CFN Rankings No. 1 to 119 - Week Four
Posted Sep 24, 2006

There's one very important distinction in the CFN rankings: these are based on how good the teams are and NOT how they're going to finish. Some teams have easier schedules than others, some get tougher road games and some will need a little bit of time to jell meaning they might be better than their final record might indicate. CFN Rankings

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1. USC (3-0)
W, Arizona 20-3
next game: at Washington State  
It’s sort of amazing that USC can play two sluggish games against Nebraska and at Arizona and still win with ease. The defense is better than it’s been in past years, but the offense isn’t quite up to snuff thanks to a shaky running game. Dropped passes, missed opportunities, and not enough big plays might make some Trojan fans worry about this week’s game at Washington State. There’s reason to be concerned against the high-powered Cougars.

Ohio State (4-0)
W, Penn State 28-6
next game: at Iowa
Ohio State certainly didn’t look like the nation’s number one team against Penn State. The Nittany Lions didn’t show much on offense yet still ran well and had a chance to win late. Give the Buckeyes credit for coming through late and sealing the win, but this week’s battle at Iowa will be the real test.

Auburn (4-0)
W, Buffalo 38-7
next game: at South Carolina
No argument here is you want to put Auburn number two. The win over LSU will look better and better as the year goes on, but the real test is coming up soon against Florida. An impressive win at South Carolina next week would do wonders to start proving to doubters that this is a real-deal national title contender.

 LSU (3-1)
W, Tulane 49-7
next game: Mississippi State
A legitimate case could be made that Auburn is the number one team in the nation right now and LSU is number two. No one throttles the mediocre like the Tigers, and it should have few problems with Mississippi State next week.

Michigan (4-0)
W, Wisconsin 27-13  
next game: at Minnesota
How good does that Notre Dame win look now? Don’t get too fired up over that; Michigan State choked and the Irish still gave up way too many big plays. In other words, people are going to make a bigger deal out of that win than it probably deserves. Be careful of the trip to Minnesota.

Florida (4-0)
W, Kentucky 26-7
next game: Alabama
While this is certainly a great team, it seems to be missing something to put it ahead of Auburn, LSU and Michigan. There will be more than a few chances ahead to prove it’s a major player in the national title race. Blowing past Alabama would be a good start.

Texas  (3-1)
W, Iowa State 37-14
next game: Sam Houston State
Shhhhhhh, Texas is going to be laying low for a while, even with the Oklahoma game coming up in a few weeks. However, watch out as this team stays in the title race all season long. Longhorn fans, get out your Ohio State pom poms because you need the Buckeyes to rock and roll the rest of the way since that’s the one team you’re not going to get past in the polls.

Tennessee (3-1)
W, Marshall 33-7
next game: at Memphis
The Cal win is going to look better and better as the year goes on. Blowing up Marshall is no big deal, and beating Memphis isn’t going to get any national love, but the Vols have speed and skill to burn. If you believe in Florida, then you need to believe that Tennessee might be really, really good.

California (3-1)
W, Arizona State 49-21
next game: at Oregon State
Would Cal beat Tennessee if the game was played next week in Berkeley? This looks like a team that just needed to get its feet wet, and now it’s ready to start dominating. USC is the only team in the Pac 10 that can run with the Bears, but Oregon won’t be a pushover by any stretch in a few weeks.

10. Louisville (4-0)
W, at Kansas State 24-6
next game: at Middle Tennessee (Fri. Oct. 6)
Easily the hardest team to figure out, the Kansas State win wasn’t convincing enough to believe that this might be a good road squad. It would be interesting to see what the Cards could do against a complete team. Miami certainly doesn’t qualify at this point.

11. Notre Dame (3-1)
W, Michigan State 40-37
next game: Purdue
Is Notre Dame any good? The jury is still sort of out, but it’s going to be 10-1 going into the USC showdown. Michigan State’s O went into the tank in the second half of the classic loss, but the Irish D showed great heart and had something to do with the collapse. The offense is flat-out fearless.

12. West Virginia (4-0)
W, at East Carolina 27-10
next game: at Mississippi State (Oct. 7)
West Virginia needs to play against someone good, but we’ll all have to wait a while for that. How could the offense handle a fast, talented defense that’s fired up to stop it?

Virginia Tech (4-0)
W, Cincinnati 29-13
next game: Georgia Tech
The Hokies were way too shaky against a bad Cincinnati team. Sean Glennon doesn’t appear to be consistent enough to get through an entire season without one major clunker. Georgia Tech will finally provide a real indication of how good Beamer’s bunch is.

14. Clemson (3-1)
W, North Carolina 52-7
next game: Louisiana Tech
Yeah, yeah, yeah, BC beat Clemson so, technically, this ranking might be too high. Clemson is the better team and could be the one to beat in the ACC. That was a flat-out spanking over North Carolina.

Oregon (3-0)
W, Oklahoma 34-33
next game: at Arizona State  
The Ducks have had two weeks off to prepare for what’s sure to be a disheartened Arizona State coming off a blowout loss in Berkeley.  An impressive win in Tempe would go a long way to proving that they’re the main challenger to USC.

16. Georgia (4-0)
W, Colorado 14-13
next game: at Ole Miss
The ranking should probably be way, way lower. The running game couldn’t get going against Colorado and the passing attack is a major mystery with the issues at quarterback. All the problems on offense overshadow the fantastic defense that’s good enough to lead the way to an SEC title.

17. Nebraska (3-1)
W, Troy 56-0
next game: Kansas
Whoopee … we know you can blowout Troy. We know you’ll throttle Kansas next week. At Iowa State in two weeks begins the road to respectability on a national scale, but the October games against Missouri and Texas are the big tests.

18. Missouri (4-0)
W, Ohio 31-6
next game: Colorado
You could make a case that Missouri is playing better than anyone in the Big 12. Yeah, it hasn’t beaten anyone with a pulse, but everything’s working on both sides of the ball. This appears to be Gary Pinkel’s best team yet by a long shot.

19. Iowa  (4-0)
W, at Illinois 24-7 
next game: Ohio State
If Iowa beats Ohio State when the national spotlight is on, and beats Michigan in Ann Arbor on October 21st, it’ll be in the Rose Bowl with a shot at possibly a lot more. However, the team has to play a whole bunch better. The same performances that beat Iowa State and Illinois with ease won’t be good enough.

20. Oklahoma (3-1)
W, Middle Tennessee 59-0
next game: vs. Texas (Oct. 7)
Now that’s the Oklahoma we’ve all been waiting for. Yeah, it was only against Middle Tennessee, but it was a dominating performance on both sides of the ball that showed how good the team might be down the line.

21. Michigan State (3-1)
L, Notre Dame 40-37
next game: Illinois
That same offense that blew the doors off Notre Dame for thirty minutes is more than good enough to give Ohio State and Michigan fits. Not known for being the most mentally tough team around, Michigan State has plenty of chances to make amends.  

22. Boston College (3-1)
L, at NC State 17-15 
next game: Maine
A few plays away from being 1-3, Boston College is as hard a team as any to figure out. With Maine up next followed up by a week off, the Eagles will be as ready as they can possibly be for Virginia Tech and Florida State.

23. Arizona State (3-1)
L, at California 49-21 
next game: Oregon
There’s more than enough talent and explosion to beat anyone in the Pac 10, but everyone seems to be pressing too hard. Much is made out of the quarter situation with Rudy Carpenter struggling and Sam Keller taking classes at Nebraska, but the bigger problem is receiver. The offense desperately missed Derek Hagan.

24. Florida State (3-1)
W, Rice 55-7
next game: at NC State (Oct. 5)
Who cares that the Noles throttled Rice? There was an actual running game getting the job done. It’s too bad there were plenty of empty seats to witness it. Don’t forget that the Noles are one big run by Clemson away from being 4-0 and in the national title chase.

Penn State (2-2)
L, Ohio State 28-6
next game: Northwestern
Penn State is hanging on here by a thread, but its defense made Ohio State’s juggernaut offense look mediocre. QB Anthony Morelli has to start playing better or the ranking slips to around 35.

  1. TCU (3-0)
  2. Miami (1-2)
  3. Georgia Tech (3-1)
  4. Boise State (4-0)
  5. Wisconsin (3-1)
  6. Pitt (2-1)
  7. Texas Tech (3-1)
  8. Arkansas  (3-1)
  9. Washington (3-1)
  10. Alabama (3-1)
  11. UCLA (2-1)
  12. BYU (2-2)
  13. Iowa State (2-2)
  14. Utah (3-1)
  15. Arizona  (2-2)
  16. Oregon State (2-1)
  17. Texas A&M (4-0)
  18. Purdue (4-0)
  19. Washington State (3-1)
  20. Rutgers (4-0)
  21. Minnesota (2-2)
  22. South Carolina (3-1)
  23. Tulsa (3-1)
  24. Wake Forest (4-0)
  25. Maryland (3-1)
  26. Houston (4-0)
  27. Southern Miss (2-1)
  28. Fresno State (1-2)
  29. Hawaii (1-2)
  30. NC State (2-2)
  31. Air Force (1-1)
  32. Kansas State (3-1)
  33. South Florida (3-1)
  34. Syracuse (2-2)
  35. North Carolina (1-3)
  36. Connecticut (2-1)
  37. Navy (3-1)
  38. Oklahoma State (3-1)
  39. Ole Miss  (1-3)
  40. Western Michigan (3-1)
  41. Kansas (3-1)
  42. Central Michigan (2-2)
  43. Toledo (2-2)
  44. Akron (2-2)
  45. Nevada (2-2)
  46. Colorado State (2-1)
  47. Kentucky (2-2)
  48. Colorado (0-4)
  49. Cincinnati (1-3)
  50. Vanderbilt (1-3)
  51. Virginia (1-3)
  52. East Carolina (1-3)
  53. New Mexico (2-2)
  54. Wyoming (1-3)
  55. UTEP (1-2)
  56. Troy (1-3)
  57. Ohio (2-2)
  58. Illinois (1-3)
  59. Memphis (1-2)
  60. Mississippi State (1-3)
  61. UCF (1-2)
  62. Army (2-2)
  63. Northwestern  (2-2)
  64. Baylor (1-3)
  65. Indiana (2-2)
  66. San Jose State (2-1)
  67. UAB (1-3)
  68. San Diego State (0-3)
  69. Marshall (1-3)
  70. Tulane (1-2)
  71. Ball State (2-2)
  72. Kent State (2-2)
  73. Northern Illinois (2-2)
  74. Idaho (1-3)
  75. Louisiana Tech (1-2)
  76. UNLV (1-2)
  77. Bowling Green (2-2)
  78. UL Lafayette (1-2)
  79. Duke (0-3)
  80. SMU (2-2)
  81. Stanford (0-4)
  82. Eastern Michigan (0-4)
  83. MTSU (2-2)
  84. Rice (0-4)
  85. Arkansas State (1-2)
  86. North Texas (1-3)
  87. New Mexico State (2-1)
  88. Miami Univ. (0-4)
  89. FIU (0-4)
  90. UL Monroe (1-2)
  91. Buffalo (1-3)
  92. Utah State (0-4)
  93. Florida Atlantic (0-4)
  94. Temple  (0-4)