CFN 2013 Rankings
Nov. 3, Week 10
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2013 Coaches' Poll
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2013 Week 10 Rankings, No. 26-125
1. Alabama 8-0
Last Week: Idle
Why They Should Be No. 1: Ever since getting tested by Texas A&M in Week 2, the Tide has stampeded through the schedule by an average score of 41-4. The offense is balanced, the D has become impenetrable and a steady flow of routs has allowed Nick Saban to build his overall depth.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Is the Tide truly the best team in the country? Hard to tell when a team feasts on the likes of Colorado State, Georgia State, Kentucky and Arkansas. Sure, beating Ole Miss and Tennessee by a combined score of 70-10 is impressive, but Bama's strength of schedule hardly looks as if it's on PEDs.
2. Florida State 8-0
Last Week: W, Miami, 41-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The ‘Noles raced past the nation's No. 7 program, the second time this season that they've outclassed a top 10 ACC rival. Florida State also handed Clemson its only loss of the year, 51-14, and has scored at least 41 points in eight straight games for the first time in school history.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Compared to the SEC and the Pac-12 this year, Florida State's home, the ACC, is the weakest overall of the three leagues. The Seminoles also faced a soft non-conference schedule, playing Nevada and Bethune-Cookman, with Idaho and fading Florida still to come.
3. Oregon 7-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks' roll through the Pac-12 mirrors what Alabama has done in the SEC. Oregon has outscored opponents by an average margin of 55-16 behind an offense—and a defense—that traffics in speed, explosive and momentum-changing plays.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oregon hasn't exactly navigated the gauntlet to get to this point, beating just one team that's currently ranked, UCLA. Against the Bruins, the Ducks appeared vulnerable, needing to rally in the second half to win a game that was deadlocked at halftime.
4. Ohio State 9-0
Last Week: W, Purdue, 56-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes are rolling downhill, beating Penn State and Purdue by a combined score of 119-14 over the last two weeks. The offense is among the best in the country, but it's the improved play of the D that has Ohio State entering into the national championship discussion.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ohio State's ability to rise higher continues to be capped by the weakness of its schedule. The Buckeyes played no one of significance out of conference, and the Big Ten is light on powerhouses. They've got one win over a current Top 25 team, two-loss Wisconsin.
5. Clemson 8-1
Last Week: W, Virginia, 59-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are back on track following their lone loss to Florida State, one of the country's premier programs. They've scored 99 points over the last two games, establishing their spot as the next best thing to the Noles in the ACC. Beating a healthy Georgia team in the opener remains a true signature victory.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's been a really, really long time since Clemson defeated a quality opponent. The Tigers got embarrassed at home by Florida State two weeks ago. Heck, Miami put up a much better fight against the Noles, and did so in Tallahassee.
6. LSU 7-2
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should be Higher: The Tigers enjoyed a well-deserved week off, their first of the season. Both of their losses occurred on the road, and they're the only program that's tagged a loss on Auburn this fall. LSU has as much talent as anyone, but now they have to go out and prove it in Tuscaloosa.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Since the defeat of Auburn on Sept. 21, the Tigers haven't performed like a top 10 team. They've lost twice, including to Ole Miss, and needed beyond halftime to get rid of Furman.
7. Auburn 8-1
Last Week: W, Arkansas, 35-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers continued their remarkable season with a comfortable win over Arkansas behind four Tre Mason touchdowns. Auburn has beaten Ole Miss and Texas A&M out of the SEC West, and its only loss came way back on Sept. 21 in Baton Rouge to a very good LSU team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Auburn played absolutely no one outside the conference this year, disposing of Wazzu, Arkansas State, Western Carolina and Florida Atlantic. If the Tigers want to inch higher, it'll take another quality win later this month against either Georgia or top-ranked Bama.
8. Texas A&M 7-2
Last Week: W, UTEP, 57-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies' only two losses of the season have come against Alabama and Auburn, which are 16-1 combined. Led by QB Johnny Manziel, Texas A&M will score on anyone, including the top-ranked Tide. No one has held the Aggies below 41 points this season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Best win of the year? Ole Miss in Oxford on Oct. 12 is an underrated one, but nothing else comes close to qualifying. Decent teams, such as LSU and Missouri later in the month, can toy with an Aggie defense that's been second-rate all season long.
9. Ole Miss 5-3
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Yeah, the record doesn't stand out, but the Rebels own victories over LSU and Texas, arguably the hottest team in the Big 12. Ole Miss' three losses came against SEC West heavyweights Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M, the latter two by just 11 points combined.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule has been among the toughest in the country, no doubt. But Ole Miss was unable to rise above it during the three-game losing streak. The D hasn't been top 10-caliber, ranking in the middle of the field nationally.
10. Baylor 7-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With five games left in the regular season, the offense appears unstoppable, averaging an FBS-best 718 yards and 64 points per game. The defense has been rather salty as well, yielding an average of 16 points, many of which were scored long after games were out of reach.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's going to be hard finding the true reading on the Bears until at least this week's visit from Oklahoma. Is Baylor a national championship contender or just the product of a prolific offense and a soft schedule? It's tough to determine when a school hasn't faced an opponent better than middling Kansas State.
11. Stanford 7-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Back-to-back wins over UCLA and Oregon State have reestablished the Cardinal as the next best thing to Oregon in the Pac-12. Stanford has also handled Washington and Arizona State, a team that's challenging for the South Division crown.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Cardinal has been rather erratic this fall, especially on offense. During October, it averaged only 24 points a game, while regressing through the air. The lone loss came to Utah, an unranked team that's now 1-4 in conference play.
12. South Carolina 7-2
Last Week: W, Mississippi State, 34-16
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gamecocks got five turnovers and four touchdown passes from QB Connor Shaw to remain in the hunt in the SEC East race. South Carolina has beaten two ranked teams, Mizzou and UCF, a victory that gets better with each passing week.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: South Carolina has a limit on its ceiling not only because it's lost twice, but because one of those losses came to a mediocre Tennessee team. The Gamecocks are never going to earn many style points, blowing up just one opponent all year.
13. Missouri 8-1
Last Week: W, Tennessee, 31-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Take that, doubters. The Tigers rebounded from their only loss of 2013 by thoroughly outclassing the Volunteers in every phase of the game. Mizzou still leads the SEC East, with its only loss coming in double-overtime to South Carolina, which lost to Tennessee last month.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Mizzou caved in against the Gamecocks last week, squandering a chance act like a true top 10 team. The Florida and Georgia teams that the Tigers beat in October were missing a slew of key players that could have changed the complexion of the game had they been healthy.
14. Wisconsin 6-2
Last Week: W, Iowa, 28-9
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers pulled away from Iowa, using a strong defense and the running of James White to post their biggest win in the series since 1999. Wisconsin has won its last three convincingly, and its two narrow losses were to Arizona State and Ohio State, who are 15-2 combined.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Wisconsin lost to the two ranked teams on the schedule, which means quality wins have been scarce in 2013. The Badgers' best victories have been over Northwestern and Iowa, middling Big Ten programs.
15. UCLA 6-2
Last Week: W, Colorado, 45-23
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins rebounded from a two-game losing streak to cruise past Colorado. UCLA's only losses of the year came on the road versus the Pac-12's two premier programs, Stanford and Oregon.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: UCLA's wins that used to look so shiny a month or so ago don't appear so impressive today. The Bruins knocked off Nebraska and Utah on the road, but both the Huskers and the Utes have played like .500 teams ever since. Climbing higher will require UCLA to win the Pac-12 South this month.
16. Texas 6-2
Last Week: W, Kansas, 35-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Texas hasn't lost since Sept. 14, reeling off five straight to remain atop the Big 12 standings. The ‘Horns pummeled a good Oklahoma team along the way, and the early losses to Ole Miss and BYU wound up coming at the hands of a couple of pretty good opponents.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's not so much that UT lost to the Rebels and the Cougars, but how it lost that is so disturbing. Just because they occurred in September doesn't mean that anyone ought to forget that the Longhorns were gashed in both games. They also got a gift in the Oct. 3 escape of now 1-7 Iowa State.
17. Michigan State 8-1
Last Week: W, Michigan, 29-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans have now won five games in a row, with the demolition of the rival Wolverines serving as the exclamation point. Michigan State is allowing just 11 points a game, and its only loss was to 7-2 Notre Dame by four points in South Bend.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's the curse of a Big Ten team, especially one that plays Western Michigan, South Florida and Youngstown State—along with the Irish—in non-conference games. No one on the Spartan schedule is currently ranked in the Top 25.
18. Oklahoma 7-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Despite a slew of injuries, the Sooners are in the small fraternity of schools with no more than one loss as November begins. Oklahoma defeated Notre Dame in South Bend, and handed an underrated Texas Tech team its first loss of 2013.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Although Texas is vastly improved from September, Oklahoma got whipped when the two met in Dallas on Oct. 12. The Sooners lack dominance, playing instead like a team that's persevering and hanging on for dear life.
19. Oklahoma State 7-1
Last Week: W, Texas Tech, 52-34
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys haven't lost since Sept. 28, really getting things right on offense with 110 points over the last two weeks. Oklahoma State handled the Red Raiders easier in Lubbock than Oklahoma did in Norman last Saturday.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: That one loss was a really bad one, to a West Virginia team that's a game under .500. While the win over Texas Tech was impressive, it was the first time all year that Oklahoma State faced a ranked opponent.
20. Arizona State 6-2
Last Week: W, Washington State, 55-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sun Devils are one of the Pac-12's hottest teams, averaging 54 points during their current three-game winning streak. They've already beaten Wisconsin, and tagged for 62 points a USC defense that's only yielded an average of 13 points in its other eight games.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If not for some horrendous officiating in the game with the Badgers, ASU might be 5-3 right now. The Sun Devils also lost to an average Notre Dame squad, and was manhandled by Stanford worse than the 42-28 score indicated.
21. Georgia 5-3
Last Week: W, Florida, 23-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs snapped a two-game losing streak—and remained in the SEC East race—by beating rival Florida in Jacksonville. Now that RB Todd Gurley is back, this is a very different team, one that can beat just about anyone in the country. Wins over South Carolina, LSU and now the Gators are testament to Georgia's potential.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Georgia darn near squandered a big lead and blew a game to a depleted Florida squad. Losses to a pair of ranked Tigers, Clemson and Mizzou, are tolerable, but falling to 4-4 Vanderbilt on Oct. 19 will limit the Dawgs' ability to rise north.
22. Miami 7-1
Last Week: L, Florida State, 41-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: There's no shame in suffering your first loss in Tallahassee to a Florida State team that could win a national championship this year. The Hurricanes were actually down by just seven at the half against the Seminoles, which means they played FSU better at Doak Campbell than Clemson did in Death Valley.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Miami played a solid half before wilting to the ‘Noles. However, this is also the same team that needed to rally to beat in North Carolina and Wake Forest in back-to-back games leading up to Week 10. The ‘Canes must now deal with the loss of star RB Duke Johnson, who badly injured his ankle on Saturday.
23. Texas Tech 7-2
Last Week: L, Oklahoma State, 52-34
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Yeah, the Red Raiders have dropped back-to-back games, but both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State are currently ranked. Texas Tech boasts one of the most prolific offenses in America, averaging 39 points a game, while ranking second nationally in passing.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's difficult even ranking a team that hasn't beaten anyone better than 4-5 West Virginia. As soon as the schedule got tougher, the Red Raiders shrunk on defense, allowing 90 points in the losses over the last two Saturdays.
24. UCF 6-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Knights have had an impressive start as a member of the American, beating Penn State and Louisville on the road. They also fell by just three points to a South Carolina squad that just might represent the East in the SEC Championship Game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: As a member of the American, the Knights are only going to face two teams with the potential of being ranked, and both of those opponents are in the rear view mirror. A month ago, UCF had its hands full with Memphis, which fell to 1-6 on Wednesday night.
25. Louisville 7-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinals will exit their off week having outscored opponents by an average margin of 39-10. Louisville's only loss of the season came by three points to UCF, which is also ranked in the Top 25.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: No quality wins. And it's not even that close. Louisville's best victory of 2013 was against an average Rutgers team that got destroyed, 49-14, by Houston at the end of October.
2013 Week 10 Rankings, No. 26-125