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2013 CFN Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 8, 2013


You must rank teams based on how good you believe they are at the moment. That's the point when it comes to putting the teams in some order. However, once the year is complete, it's only fair to take the subjectivity out of it and go by what actually happened on the field.


CFN 2013 Rankings

Dec. 8, Week 15
 


- 2013 AP Rankings | 2013 Coaches' Poll
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- 2013 CFN Preseason Rankings

For discussion of the rankings and all of Week 15 - Campus Insiders

CFN Rankings
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- CFN 2013 Week 15 Rankings, No. 26-125  

1. Florida State 13-0
Last Week: W, Duke, 45-7
Why They Should be No. 1: The Seminoles tore through their regular season schedule, shredding 13 opponents by an aggregate score of 689-139. Since beating Boston College by two touchdowns on Sept. 28, no team has come within 26 points of upsetting the ‘Noles, including Duke in Charlotte Saturday night.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule? Very soft and cushy. The Seminoles have played just two ranked teams all year, Clemson and Duke. The non-conference schedule is comprised of Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, Idaho and a Florida squad that lost to Georgia Southern in November.

2. Auburn 12-1
Last Week: W, Missouri, 59-42
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are the SEC champs, with a bullet, racing past Mizzou in Atlanta on Saturday evening behind a record-setting effort on the ground. Auburn’s only loss was in Baton Rouge, back on Sept. 21, and they’ve now defeated five ranked teams, including top-ranked ‘Bama and No. 5 Missouri on consecutive Saturdays. No other school has beaten two top 5 teams in 2013.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tigers remain seriously flawed on defense, an incomplete overall program that ranks near the bottom of the conference in total D. Auburn was beaten soundly in their lone loss by an LSU squad that dropped three games during the regular season.

3. Alabama11-1
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Crimson Tide’s only loss of the year came at Jordan-Hare Stadium on a once-in-a-lifetime walk-off touchdown return of a missed field goal as time expired. Alabama has defeated LSU, which Auburn did not this year, and has allowed just 11.3 points per game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Bama didn’t play like a champion on the Plains, squandering opportunities, particularly on special teams. Yeah, there were wins over LSU and Texas A&M, but both of those programs had issues down the stretch to finish with seven combined losses.

4. Michigan State 12-1
Last Week: W, Ohio State, 34-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans are headed to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1987, handing the Buckeyes their first loss of the season. Michigan State’s only loss of the year was a four-pointer to Notre Dame in South Bend long before QB Connor Cook and RB Jeremy Langford had emerged as productive offensive playmakers.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Michigan State’s lone loss of the season was to an average, unranked Irish squad that’s lost four games. Save for the Big Ten title game, quality wins have been virtually non-existent, and the Spartans played a poor non-conference schedule. MSU lacks the offensive firepower to compete with Florida State or the best that the SEC has to offer this year.

5. Ohio State 12-1
Last Week: L, Michigan State, 34-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes were one of just two major programs to sweep through the regular season schedule without a loss. They’ve defeated a very good Wisconsin team, and have won 10 games by double-digits.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: When faced with a top 10 team for the first time this year, Ohio State couldn’t survive, losing a shot at a national championship as well as the Big Ten title to Michigan State. After the Badgers, who have the Buckeyes defeated in 2013? The schedule is extremely flimsy for a team that had national championship dreams entering the final weekend.

6. Missouri 11-2
Last Week: L, Auburn, 59-42
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are SEC East champs, having closed the regular season with wins over Ole Miss and Texas A&M to secure the division. Their only losses came to 10-win opponents, South Carolina and one-loss Auburn.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Auburn hadn’t scored as many as 59 points against an FBS opponent all year … until Saturday. The Tigers were powerless on D, yielding 545 yards on the ground. Mizzou’s schedule wasn’t all that nasty by the SEC measuring stick. The Tigers faced Georgia and Florida when both were severely shorthanded by injuries, and they missed Alabama and LSU on the schedule.

7. LSU 9-3
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should be Higher: The Tigers own a signature win over Auburn, 35-21, and easily disposed of Texas A&M in the penultimate game of the regular season. The emergence of Zach Mettenberger into an NFL-caliber quarterback helped the program unlock the potential of the entire offense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Two weeks ago, LSU barely escaped Arkansas, a team that went 3-9 and last won on Sept. 14. The Tigers also lost to an Ole Miss squad that’s dropped five games in 2013, including to Mississippi State, and is a game under .500 since the end of September.

8. Stanford 11-2
Last Week: W, Arizona State, 38-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal are Pac-12 champions for a second straight year, pummeling a Sun Devil team that hadn’t lost since Oct. 5. Stanford also handled the league’s other top two teams, Oregon and UCLA, behind dominant defensive performances.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Stanford has fallen to a couple of unranked teams this fall, Utah and USC, and needed help from Arizona last month just to capture the North. The Utes finished the season out of the bowl picture at 5-7, while the Trojans closed their regular season with a three-touchdown loss to UCLA.

9. South Carolina 10-2
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gamecocks wrapped up another outstanding regular season with five straight wins, including two over top 10 opponents, Missouri in Columbia and rival Clemson. The defense has really come together since the Week 2 loss to Georgia, allowing an average of just 14 points a game in November.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: South Carolina had narrow escapes with UCF, which is overrated, Kentucky and Florida. The Gamecocks also lost to a rebuilding Tennessee squad that finished Butch Jones’ debut season in Knoxville 5-7.

10. Arizona State 10-3
Last Week: L, Stanford, 38-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sun Devils won seven straight games to close out the regular season, scoring no fewer than 53 points in four of those games. ASU owns quality wins over Wisconsin, UCLA and Arizona, and two of its three losses came at the hands of the Pac-12 champs.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Wins over the Badgers and the Trojans aren’t quite as impressive after both teams suffered damning losses in Week 14. The Sun Devils have been manhandled by Stanford—twice—and fell to an unranked Notre Dame team that’s lost to Michigan and Pitt.

11. Clemson 10-2
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers ripped through an Atlantic Coast Conference that’s sending a representative to the national title game in Pasadena. Clemson defeated Georgia back when it meant something, while losing to a couple of teams, Florida State and South Carolina, with top 10 resumes.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: That victory over the Bulldogs was a very long time ago. The Tigers best win since opening day was over 7-5 Georgia Tech or 7-5 Maryland, meaning they haven’t felled a ranked team since August. When Clemson had cracks at top teams, it failed to deliver in double-digit losses to the Noles and the Gamecocks.

12. Texas A&M 8-4
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies have lost to four of the 10 or so best teams in America, Alabama, Auburn, LSU and Missouri. Led by Johnny Manziel and a potent 43-point-per-game offensive attack, Texas A&M has claimed wins over Ole Miss and Vanderbilt.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: A&M had four shots against top-flight opponents in 2013 and lost all of them. Over the final two games, the vaunted offense stumbled to just 31 total points in losses to LSU and Missouri. This is not the same team that slapped 42 points on the Tide in mid-September.

13. Oklahoma State 10-2
Last Week: L, Oklahoma, 33-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cowboys have beaten six bowl-eligible schools, none more impressive than the back-to-back blowouts of Texas and then-undefeated Baylor last month. Prior to this past weekend, Oklahoma State hadn’t lost in over two months.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: That first loss was a hideous one, to a West Virginia squad that went 4-8 this year. With a league title and a BCS bowl bid on the line, you just can’t lose the way the Cowboys did on Saturday, at home to a banged-up rival.

14. Baylor 11-1
Last Week: W, Texas, 30-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: With a win over the ‘Horns—and an Oklahoma State loss—the Bears captured the Big 12 title and an automatic BCS bowl bid. Baylor lost just one game, to the Cowboys, and finished the regular season with a long line of blowout victories.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Bears were trounced by Oklahoma State, which lost to West Virginia this season, on Nov. 23, exposing weaknesses on both sides of the ball. Baylor also barely escaped a TCU team that won just four games in 2013.

15. Oregon 10-2
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks survived a thrilling Civil War two weeks ago, scoring with 29 seconds left to defeat rival Oregon State. Oregon is averaging almost 47 points per game, while owning a quality four-touchdown win over 9-3 UCLA on Oct. 26.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oregon went just 2-2 in November, suffering a devastating 42-16 defeat at the hands of Arizona. The Ducks on Friday night narrowly escaped the Beavers, which have lost five straight and fell to Washington two weeks ago, 69-27.

16. UCLA 9-3
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins earned they best win of 2013 to close the regular season, ending rival USC’s five-game winning streak at the Coliseum. Even in losses this fall, UCLA played Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State very tough, losing to the torrid Sun Devils by only five points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Against the three highest-rated opponents on the schedule, UCLA found a way to come up short in each game. Against ASU, the Bruins not only fell at home, but they were whipped in the trenches by the Sun Devil D-line.

17. Wisconsin 9-3
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers’ first two losses of the year were against two streaking teams, Arizona State and Ohio State, by just nine points combined. Before the regular season finale, Wisconsin tore through the schedule, winning six straight games by bloated margins.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: You just can’t lose at Camp Randall to an unranked Penn State team and expect to be ranked any higher. The Nittany Lions that stunned Wisconsin as a 24-point underdog had lost five times, including to 5-7 Indiana. Where are the Badgers’ notable wins? They’ve yet to beat a ranked team in 2013.

18. Oklahoma 10-2
Last Week: W, Oklahoma State, 33-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sooners went into their rival’s building over the weekend and denied them a conference championship, a true gut-check win. Oklahoma has also beaten Notre Dame, handed Texas Tech its first loss of 2013 and impressively snapped Kansas State’s four-game winning streak in Manhattan on Nov. 23.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Both of Oklahoma’s losses unveiled troubling signs. The Sooners were blown out by Baylor and Texas, both of whom got schooled by Saturday’s opponent, Oklahoma State. OU has beaten some decent teams this fall, but no elite ones.

19. USC 9-4
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Trojans are one of just two teams to have defeated Stanford, the winner of the Pac-12 championship. Prior to the visit from UCLA last weekend, USC was one of the hottest teams in the league, winning five in a row, highlighted by the upset of the Cardinal.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Troy has beaten just one Top 25 team in 2013, losing a chance for a second in last Saturday’s blowout loss at home to the Bruins. All four of USC’s defeats were ugly, from losing at home to Washington State and scoring 10 in South Bend to allowing 62 points to Arizona State in Lane Kiffin’s finale.

20. Georgia 8-4
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs dodged a spate of tough injuries to win eight games, including victories over South Carolina, LSU and rival Georgia Tech without the services of QB Aaron Murray. If not for a miracle on a tipped ball, Georgia would have defeated Auburn at Jordan-Hare on Nov. 16.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Bulldogs are just 4-3 over their last seven games, including a tough loss to unranked Vanderbilt back on Oct. 19. Georgia also had to escape weak, sub-.500 teams from Florida and Tennessee teams by just a field goal apiece.

21. Ole Miss 7-5
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels knocked off a very good LSU team, the only one that’s beaten Auburn in 2013, back on Oct. 19, which kicked off a four-game winning streak. Four of Ole Miss’ losses came against teams that were ranked in the top 10 at one point during the season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Rebels are below .500 over their last nine games of the campaign, hardly Top 25-worthy. It’s one thing to lose to Auburn and Alabama, but falling to 6-6 Mississippi State on Thanksgiving ought to get a team bumped from the rankings.

22. Kansas State 7-5
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats have not dropped a game by more than 10 points this season, including against Oklahoma State, Baylor and Oklahoma. In fact, only West Virginia played the Cowboys as tough as Kansas State did back on Oct. 5 in a 33-29 loss.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: You cannot lose five times, especially when one was to an FCS opponent, and still expect to be ranked. Kansas State’s best win of 2013 was over Texas Tech, which finished the regular season on a five-game losing streak, or possibly Louisiana-Lafayette. Neither school is considered top 50, let alone ranked.

23. UCF 11-1
Last Week: W, SMU, 17-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Knights won their school-record eighth straight game, getting past SMU to secure a school-first BCS bowl berth. UCF’s only loss of the year came by three points to South Carolina in a game it led at halftime.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Sure, UCF keeps finding a way to survive, but the program has given new meaning to winning games ugly. The Knights have captured seven games by a touchdown or less, six of which were against unranked teams, including Memphis, Temple, South Florida and SMU.

24. Louisville 11-1
Last Week: W, Cincinnati, 31-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinals closed the regular season on a five-game winning streak, denying Cincinnati its tenth victory Thursday on the road. Louisville has lost just one time, by three points to a UCF team that’ll be representing the American in a BCS bowl game.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Louisville went an entire regular season without facing a ranked opponent, yet still couldn’t capture a league it was heavily favored to win. In fact, the Cards had a penchant for struggling against lesser competition, winning their last three games by just seven points apiece.

25. Minnesota 8-4
Last Week: Regular season over
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gophers have pieced together a pair of four-game winning streaks this season. The only things that slowed down the latest one in November were dates with two of the Big Ten’s best programs, ranked Wisconsin and Michigan State.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Feel-good story of the Big Ten, sure, but Minnesota has beaten no one of significance this season. Not only have the Gophers failed to topple a single ranked team, but they also lost to unranked Iowa and Michigan by 16 points and 29 points, respectively.

- CFN 2013 Week 15 Rankings, No. 26-125

  

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