CFN 2013 Rankings
Nov. 17, Week 12
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2013 Week 12 Rankings, No. 26-125
1. Alabama 10-0
Last Week: W, Mississippi State, 20-7
Why They Should Be No. 1: No one in the FBS is yielding fewer points per game than the Tide, which is giving up an average of 6.6 points to teams not named Texas A&M. Bama has a knack for delivering when it needs to, including in College Station in Week 2 and last Saturday against LSU.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tide slogged through Saturday's game with an average Bulldog team, finally escaping into daylight in the second half. Alabama has not been as dominant in its wins this fall when compared to the other three major unbeatens, Florida State, Ohio State and Baylor.
2. Florida State 10-0
Last Week: W, Syracuse, 59-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: FSU has won its last two games by identical 59-3 scores, testament to their dominance throughout the season. Only once all season has an opponent, Boston College, finished within two touchdowns of handing the Seminoles their first loss of 2013.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule is soft, especially now that once-ranked Miami has gotten exposed in November. Florida State has beaten just one really good team all year, Clemson, and won't face a really good team until the bowl game. How is the Noles' slate different than Ohio State's or Baylor's?
3. Ohio State 10-0
Last Week: W, Illinois, 60-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: For the fourth time this year, the Buckeyes scored at least 56 points to hold off the challenge of the Illini. They're now averaging close to 50 points a game. Back on Sept. 28, Ohio State handled Wisconsin, which hasn't lost a game since.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: After the Badgers, who has Ohio State toppled? The Buckeyes have only beaten one ranked team all season, hardly the resume of a team that belongs in a national championship game. The D showed some holes in Saturday's win over Illinois.
4. Baylor 9-0
Last Week: W, Texas Tech, 63-34
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Even without their full complement of weapons, the Bears still slapped around the Red Raiders for 675 yards and eight offensive touchdowns. Baylor is winning its games by an average margin of 61-17.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Bears haven't run the gauntlet to get to this point in the season. Their toughest road game to date was the Oct. 12 visit to Manhattan to play a Kansas State team that was below .500 at kickoff. Everyone learns more about Baylor when it travels this week to Stillwater.
5. Clemson 9-1
Last Week: W, Georgia Tech, 55-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers thoroughly dominated a Yellow Jacket team that began the week on a three-game winning streak. Since beating Georgia on opening night, Clemson has won five games by at least 24 points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Okay, there was the red-letter win over the Dawgs and then what? When Clemson had a shot against a ranked team on Oct. 19, it got embarrassed at home by Florida State, 51-14.
6. LSU 7-3
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should be Higher: Yeah, the record doesn't appear top 10-caliber, but how many programs have played the Tigers' schedule? Not many. LSU is the only team that's beaten Auburn in 2013, and its losses have come against solid teams on the road, Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: In the what-have-you-done-lately world of college football, the Tigers are just 3-3 since Sept. 21. LSU's best win over that period was against Florida, which is in grave danger of not even appearing in the postseason.
7. Stanford 8-2
Last Week: L, USC, 20-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal can hang its hat on last week's handling of Oregon, the team that looked as if it was headed toward a national championship shot. Stanford had also beaten two of the Pac-12 South's better programs, Arizona State and UCLA, by two touchdowns apiece.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Stanford is just 3-2 over the last five games, with the losses coming to teams that were unranked at the start of the game. The Cardinal offense is not top 10-caliber, last producing more than 26 points on Oct. 5.
8. Oregon 9-1
Last Week: W, Utah, 44-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks overcame a slow start to jet past the Utes in Eugene. All nine of Oregon's wins have been by at least three touchdowns. The Utah team that the Ducks outclassed on Saturday is the same one that defeated Stanford earlier in the season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, the Ducks lost by six points to the Cardinal last Thursday, but the game was a lot more lopsided than the final score indicates. Oregon has knocked off just a single ranked team, UCLA, in a game that was very competitive in the first two quarters.
9. Missouri 9-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The leader of the SEC East has suffered just one loss, a three-pointer to South Carolina back on Oct. 26. Mizzou went on the road to beat Georgia, on a day when starting QB James Franklin was injured, and have won its games by an average margin of 21 points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tigers have beaten just one ranked team all season, and the Dawgs were severely banged up in that game a month ago. In the loss to the Gamecocks, Mizzou looked like it was not quite ready for primetime when it blew a 17-0 fourth-quarter lead.
10. Auburn 10-1
Last Week: W, Georgia, 43-38
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers' miraculous season continued with a thrilling comeback win over Georgia on Saturday. Auburn has not lost since falling to LSU in Baton Rouge on Sept. 21, handling the likes of Texas A&M and Ole Miss along the way to set up a winner-take-all battle with 'Bama for the SEC West in two weeks.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The D got exposed late in the Georgia game, allowing 29 first downs, while blowing a 20-point fourth quarter lead. If not for a fortuitous bounce, Auburn would have two losses right now. It was a while ago, but the Tigers did have some close calls earlier in the season, only beating Washington State and Mississippi State by 11 combined points.
11. Texas A&M 8-2
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies' two losses were by 11 total points to two of the premier teams in the country, Alabama and Auburn. A&M averages more than 49 points a game, and it's the only team that's beaten Ole Miss at Vaught-Hemingway this season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, the Aggies defeated the Rebels on Oct. 12, but where are the other big wins? Vandy, possibly. The defense is not SEC-caliber. In fact, it's not ACC-caliber, yielding almost 31 points per game.
Last Week: W, Indiana, 51-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers have built a head of steam with five straight wins, and look as if they may not lose again this season. Wisconsin became the only team in 2013 to hold the Hoosiers under 28 points, limiting them to just a single field goal.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Wisconsin has risen about as high it can at this point, the result of having not beaten a ranked opponent this season. Yeah, the Badgers played Ohio State well, and the Arizona State finish was controversial, but both games still went down as losses.
13. Oklahoma State 9-1
Last Week: W, Texas, 38-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys are the hottest thing this side of Waco in the Big 12, capping a six-game winning streak with a blowout of Texas. The 'Horns began the weekend with their own six-game winning streak, but were unable to solve the OSU defense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oklahoma State's lone loss of the season was a really ugly one, falling to a West Virginia team that's now 4-7 and out of the bowl picture. The Cowboy schedule is back-loaded, with games against Baylor and Oklahoma still to come.
14. Ole Miss 7-3
Last Week: W, Troy, 51-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels have rolled to four straight wins, a streak that began with an upset of LSU on Oct. 19. Ole Miss has also beaten Texas, with its only losses coming against the three best teams on the SEC West, Alabama, Auburn and Texas A&M.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ole Miss has fattened up lately on second-rate opponents, such as Troy, Arkansas and Idaho. None of the latter teams were able to exploit a Rebel defense that appears vulnerable once the level of competition improves.
15. South Carolina 8-2
Last Week: W, Florida, 19-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: South Carolina is the only team to have beaten Mizzou in 2013, doing so in Columbia. By virtue of that victory on Oct. 26, the Gamecocks remain in the hunt for an SEC East title.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Gamecocks failed to impress in their home win over a depleted Florida team that was using a first-time starter behind center. Marquee wins have been scarce, especially as UCF labors for survival, and South Carolina's loss to 4-6 Tennessee is an eyesore.
16. Michigan State 9-1
Last Week: W, Nebraska, 41-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans' only loss was a four-pointer in South Bend almost two months ago. Michigan State went on the road to knock off the Huskers in Lincoln, getting five turnovers and a little more help than normal from the offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Not only has Michigan State not played a ranked opponent this season, but it's often slogged through games with second-rate competition. This is the team that scored 14 points on Purdue, which allowed the same number of points to Indiana State earlier in the year.
17. UCLA 8-2
Last Week: W, Washington, 41-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins remained in the Pac-12 race, getting four touchdown runs in a win over the Huskies. UCLA's solid resume includes wins over Nebraska, Utah, Arizona and U-Dub, while its only losses came at the hands of league-leaders Oregon and Stanford.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Decent wins, yes. Marquee wins, no. None of the Bruins' victims are currently ranked, and the two losses to the Ducks and the Cardinal were by an average of three touchdowns.
18. Arizona State 8-2
Last Week: W, Oregon State, 30-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sun Devils weren't perfect over the weekend, yet still found a way to get past the Beavers for their fifth win in a row. ASU owns wins over Wisconsin and USC, two of the hotter teams in the country right now. In fact, the Devils annihilated the Trojans, 62-41.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: ASU has played poorly the last two weekends in games with Utah and Oregon State, performing erratically enough to lose to a weaker team. In losses to Stanford and Notre Dame, it got abused and fell to an average, unranked opponent, respectively.
19. USC 8-3
Last Week: W, Stanford, 20-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The exclamation point of Troy's current four-game winning streak came in Saturday's upset of Stanford, which had manhandled Oregon just a week earlier. The Trojans have played tremendous defense since the ouster of Lane Kiffin on Sept. 28.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Cardinal was the first ranked team that USC defeated this season. All three of the Trojans' losses had hideous qualities, from losing at home to Wazzu to allowing 62 points to Arizona State in Kiffin's finale.
20. Georgia 6-4
Last Week: L, Auburn, 43-38
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs battled back on the road, and was a Hail Mary away from becoming just the second team to defeat Auburn in 2013. Georgia has wins over South Carolina and LSU, with losses to Clemson, Mizzou, Vandy and Auburn were by an average of just seven points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Bulldogs are just 2-3 over their last five games, with the Vanderbilt loss sticking out as an eyesore for a Top 25 wannabe. Georgia also escaped middling Florida and Tennessee teams by just a field goal apiece.
21. UCF 8-1
Last Week: W, Temple, 39-36
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: UCF has shown a lot of heart and resiliency the last two weeks, holding on to defeat Houston and Temple. The Knights have beaten one-time consensus AAC favorite Louisville on the road, while losing by just three to South Carolina.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: A win's a win, but UCF played horribly in Philadelphia, needing to rally to get past the 1-9 Owls. The Knights have had too many close calls with the likes of Memphis and Temple to be considered a legitimate Top 25 team.
22. Louisville 8-1
Last Week: W, Houston, 20-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Led by the nation's second-ranked scoring defense, the Cardinals have only lost once, to one-loss UCF. Louisville has outscored opponents 36-10 in getting to this point in the season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Despite playing a flimsy schedule, Louisville hasn't flexed its muscles in a very long time. The offense has been a disappointment as evidenced by Saturday's struggles to score points on Houston. The Cards will go the entire regular season without beating a ranked team.
23. Oklahoma 8-2
Last Week: W, Iowa State, 48-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: After a slow start, the Sooners took flight on Saturday to rout the Cyclones at home. Oklahoma's only two losses of the year have come to ranked Big 12 rivals, Texas and Baylor.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: OU didn't just fall to the 'Horns and the Bears; they got schooled by both by an average of three touchdowns. Not a single Sooner victory this season is a head-turner. The team's best wins were over Notre Dame and Texas Tech, a couple of overrated teams.
24. Kansas State 6-4
Last Week: W, TCU, 33-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats made it four in a row with a thrilling come-from-behind win over the Horned Frogs. No one came closer this season to beating Baylor than Kansas State, which was within a field goal in the fourth quarter of a 35-25 loss last month.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Can you lose four times, especially when one was to an FCS opponent, and still be ranked? The Wildcats' best win of 2013 was over Texas Tech, which has now lost four consecutive games.
25. Minnesota 8-2
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gophers have won four straight games, keeping alive the program's quest for its first 10-win season since 2003. Minnesota keeps finding new ways to win as it gets contributions from the offense, defense and special teams.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It's been a magical season for Minnesota, but the team hasn't beaten anyone better than Nebraska. Plus, its two losses were against unranked opponents, Iowa at home and struggling Michigan in Ann Arbor.
2013 Week 12 Rankings, No. 26-125