CFN 2013 Rankings
Nov. 24, Week 13
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2013 Week 13 Rankings, No. 26-125
1. Alabama 11-0
Last Week: W, Chattanooga, 49-0
Why They Should Be No. 1: No one in the FBS is allowing fewer points this season than the Crimson Tide. The defending national champs have handled Texas A&M, Ole Miss and LSU, impressively jetting past the Tigers, 38-17, earlier in the month.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: ‘Bama has had moments this season when it’s appeared vulnerable and mortal, such as last week’s ho-hum 20-7 victory over Mississippi State. The Tide has not been nearly as dominant when it should be as Florida State and Ohio State have been in 2013.
2. Florida State 11-0
Last Week: W, Idaho, 80-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles have won their last three games by at least 56 points, a trend for a team that’s blown through the schedule like a locomotive. Florida State has not been challenged all year, including in its 51-14 demolition of Clemson on the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule? Rather soft. The ‘Noles have played just a single ranked opponent all year. The non-conference schedule is comprised of Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho and a Florida squad that just got done losing to Georgia Southern.
3. Ohio State 11-0
Last Week: W, Indiana, 42-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes steamrolled their way to a 23rd consecutive win behind four Braxton Miller touchdowns. Ohio State defeated Wisconsin back on Sept. 28, a victory that gets better and better with each passing week.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: After the Badgers, who has Ohio State beaten? The schedule is horrible for a team with national championship aspirations, a situation exacerbated by last week’s sideways performance against a bad Illinois team.
4. Clemson 10-1
Last Week: W, The Citadel, 52-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers have a marquee win over Georgia, a lone loss to unbeaten Florida State and a bunch of blowouts along the way. Clemson is a win over South Carolina away from locking down an at-large BCS bowl berth.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: That victory over Georgia was a very long time ago. The Tigers best effort since was over Georgia Tech or Maryland, meaning they haven’t defeated a ranked team since. When Clemson had a crack at a ranked team on Oct. 19, it got whacked at home by Florida State, 51-14.
5. LSU 8-3
Last Week: W, Texas A&M, 34-10
Why The Ranking Should be Higher: Forget the record. The Tigers showed on Saturday afternoon why they’re one of the top 10 programs in the country. They grounded Johnny Manziel en route to a blowout win. LSU is the only team that’s beaten Auburn, and its losses were against Georgia, Ole Miss and Alabama on the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Three losses are three losses. The Tigers fell by three touchdowns to the Tide, and the Rebels and the Bulldogs have been just slightly above average since beating LSU earlier in the year.
6. Missouri 10-1
Last Week: W, Ole Miss, 24-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers impressively went into Vaught-Hemingway Stadium and did what LSU couldn’t last month, beat the Rebels in their own building. Mizzou is on the brink of an SEC East title, suffering its only loss to South Carolina in overtime.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule hasn’t been all that thorny this year. The Tigers got Georgia and Florida when both were shorthanded, and have yet to face the four best teams out of the West, Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Texas A&M.
7. Oklahoma State 10-1
Last Week: W, Baylor, 49-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys did what no one else could this season, shutting down the Baylor offense during a monster upset in Stillwater. Winners of seven straight and the frontrunner in the Big 12, Oklahoma State is performing like a complete team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Pokes’ only 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. Beating Baylor was great, but it’s the team’s only win over another Top 25 team.
8. Stanford 9-2
Last Week: W, Cal, 63-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal won a rivalry game … and a division, prospering from Oregon’s loss to Arizona. Stanford derailed the Ducks’ national championship hopes weeks ago, while also handling UCLA and a very good Arizona State team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Stanford has lost to a pair of unranked teams, Utah and USC, which is why it had to take the back door to capture the North Division crown. The program has been wildly inconsistent this season, especially on offense.
9. Wisconsin 9-2
Last Week: W, Minnesota, 20-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers have now won six straight games, building a head of steam as the end of the regular season approaches. They went on the road to snap Minnesota’s four-game winning streak, holding three of the last four opponents to single-digits. Wisconsin’s only losses were to very good teams from Ohio State and Arizona State.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Badgers have beaten just one ranked team all year, and that was Saturday against the overachieving Golden Gophers. The poor strength of schedule and lack of big wins have put a hard cap on Wisconsin’s upward mobility.
10. Michigan State 10-1
Last Week: W, Northwestern, 30-6
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans wrapped up the Legends Division on the road, snuffing out Northwestern for a sixth consecutive victory. Michigan State’s only loss of the year was a four-pointer on the road, and its defense is one of the best in the country.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: That loss was to a Notre Dame team that’s currently unranked. Quality wins? Good luck locating one. Michigan State played a terrible non-conference schedule, hasn’t had to face Ohio State yet and hasn’t beaten anyone better than Nebraska or Michigan.
11. Auburn 10-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It’s been a remarkable season for the Tigers and rookie head coach Gus Malzahn, who’ve completely turned things around from 2012. Auburn can still win the SEC West, the FBS’ best division, by defeating Alabama next week, thanks to prior victories over Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Georgia in the game of the year.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Malzahn’s offense has been terrific, but the D is flawed. The game with the Dawgs was a thriller, but it did require a rather lucky bounce for Auburn to remain a one-loss team. The Tigers had some close calls earlier in the year, escaping Washington State and Mississippi State by only 11 combined points.
12. South Carolina 9-2
Last Week: W, Coastal Carolina, 70-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: That was one of the better FCS teams that the Gamecocks abused for more than 600 total yards. South Carolina owns quality wins over UCF and Mizzou in Columbia, which first kept the program alive in the SEC East.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Gamecocks played poorly in last week’s 19-14 win over a Florida team that just lost to Georgia Southern. South Carolina is light on red-letter wins in 2013, and the Oct. 19 loss to sub-.500 Tennessee is a blemish that’ll be hard to overcome.
13. Arizona State 9-2
Last Week: W, UCLA, 38-33
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sun Devils reached a new plateau in their evolution by wrapping up the South Division in hostile territory. One of the hottest schools in the country has won six in a row, boasting victories over Wisconsin, USC and now the Bruins.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: ASU’s two losses are hurting its ability to ascend much higher. On Sept. 21, the Sun Devils were bullied by Stanford, and two weeks later, they fell to an unranked Notre Dame team that’s lost to Michigan and Pitt.
14. Baylor 9-1
Last Week: L, Oklahoma State, 49-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bears are averaging almost 57 points a game, routing the likes of Oklahoma and Texas Tech this month. Their only loss of the year was on the road against one of the hottest teams in America, Oklahoma State.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Baylor didn’t just lose a game on Saturday night, it got exposed in Stillwater. Faced with their toughest challenge of the season, the Bears collapsed on both sides of the ball to end their national championship bid.
15. Oregon 9-2
Last Week: L, Arizona, 42-16
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks boast one of the best offenses in America, scoring at least 55 points in six games this season. All nine of Oregon’s wins were by at least three touchdowns, including against a solid UCLA team on Oct. 26.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oregon has lost two of its last three games, including a damning blowout defeat in Tucson over the weekend. The Ducks were abused by RB Ka’Deem Carey and the Wildcats, handing the Pac-12 North back over to Stanford.
16. Texas A&M 8-3
Last Week: L, LSU, 34-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies have lost to three of the 10 or so best teams in America, Alabama, Auburn and LSU. Led by Johnny Manziel and a potent offensive attack, Texas A&M has claimed wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: A&M had three shots against really good opponents this year and lost each of them. The latest defeat to LSU was a one-sided game, revealing the Aggies’ weaknesses at the line of scrimmage, especially on defense.
17. UCLA 8-3
Last Week: L, Arizona State, 38-33
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins are one of the top teams in the Pac-12, the second best conference in the country. They’ve beaten Nebraska, Arizona and Washington, with the three losses coming against the league’s heavy hitters, Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Against the three best opponents on the schedule, UCLA came up short in each game. Against the Sun Devils, the Bruins not only fell at home, but they were whipped in the trenches. Where’s this program’s marquee win in 2013?
18. USC 9-3
Last Week: W, Colorado, 47-29
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Trojans avoided a hangover in Boulder, jumping all over Colorado for a comfortable win. The team has won five in a row, including a victory over the Stanford team that’s back in the Pac-12 pole position.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Cardinal was the first ranked team that Troy knocked off this season. All three of the Trojans’ losses had cover-your-eyes qualities to them, from losing at home to Wazzu to allowing 62 points to Arizona State in Lane Kiffin’s final stand.
19. Ole Miss 7-4
Last Week: L, Missouri, 24-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels defeated a very good LSU team back on Oct. 19, which kicked off a four-game winning streak. All four of Ole Miss’ losses came against teams that were ranked in the top 10 when Week 13 began.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: For how long can you hang your hat on one win? Not only have the Rebels defeated a lot of average teams, but they failed to measure up at home on Saturday night versus Missouri.
20. Oklahoma 9-2
Last Week: W, Kansas State, 41-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners got 200 yards rushing from Brennan Clay to snap Kansas State’s four-game winning streak. Oklahoma State has also won in South Bend, while becoming the first team of 2013 to defeat Texas Tech.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: OU didn't just come up short against Texas and Baylor; it got pounded by both by an average margin of three touchdowns. The Sooners have beaten some good teams this fall, but no great ones.
21. Georgia 7-4
Last Week: W, Kentucky, 59-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs rebounded from the crushing loss to Auburn by pounding Kentucky. Georgia has handled South Carolina and LSU, and all of the teams it lost to have won at least seven games so far this year.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Bulldogs are just 3-3 over their last six games, with the Vanderbilt loss sticking out as an eyesore for a Top 25 wannabe. Georgia also escaped second-rate, 4-7 teams from Florida and Tennessee teams by just a field goal apiece.
22. UCF 9-1
Last Week: W, Rutgers, 41-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Knights played their best game in weeks, thrashing Rutgers on Thursday night. UCF owns the American’s best win of the year, beating Louisville at Papa John’s, while losing to South Carolina by just three points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: UCF hasn’t always looked great this season, struggling with lesser opponents, like Memphis and Temple. Against the Owls, in fact, the Knights needed to rally in the final minutes in order to escape with a 39-36 win.
23. Louisville 9-1
Last Week: W, Memphis, 24-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinals have lost just a single game, to ranked and one-loss UCF. Charlie Strong’s D is not getting nearly enough attention this season, despite yielding just 11 points per game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Louisville has faced a tissue-soft schedule, yet has not been rolling through the competition. The offense has been surprisingly ineffective all year, while the team has defeated Houston and Memphis by just a touchdown apiece over the last two weeks.
24. Kansas State 6-5
Last Week: L, Oklahoma, 41-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats have not lost a game by more than 10 points this season, including against Oklahoma State, Baylor and Oklahoma. In fact, only West Virginia has played the Cowboys as tough as Kansas State did back on Oct. 5.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: You cannot lose five 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, or possibly Louisiana-Lafayette.
25. Minnesota 8-3
Last Week: L, Wisconsin, 20-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gophers have authored a pair of four-game winning streaks this season, the latest one ending at the hands of a very good Wisconsin team. Minnesota held the Badgers to their lowest point total of the year on Saturday.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Marquee wins have been non-existent for Minnesota. Not only have the Gophers not beaten a single ranked team, but they also lost to unranked Iowa and Michigan by 16 points and 29 points, respectively.
2013 Week 13 Rankings, No. 26-125