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.
W, Idaho 38-10
at Nebraska (Sept. 15)
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...the injuries are starting to
pile up. While the team has depth to spare, the bumps and bruises will
start to take their toll soon. The win over Idaho was hardly a thing of
beauty, and now the rust might creep in before facing a pumped up
Nebraska in two weeks.
W, at Mississippi State W 45-0
next game: Virginia Tech
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense was in
midseason form against Mississippi State, swarming all over the field
and making life miserable for Miss State’s Michael Henig. The D alone
could be good enough to beat USC.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the offense wasn’t exactly
crisp against the Bulldogs, and MSU’s offense isn’t exactly Hawaii’s. QB
Matt Flynn can’t be shaky against Virginia Tech.
W, North Texas 79-10
next game: Miami
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it’s not possible for a
team to play any better than it did against North Texas in the first
half. Sam Bradford looked like Peyton Manning, and DeMarco Murray
emerged as a superstar.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... it’s North Texas. If
Bradford, Murray and the boys can crank out yards and points like
that against Miami, then it’ll be time to get excited.
4. Wisconsin (1-0)
W, Washington State, 42-21
next game: at UNLV
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Tyler Donovan might
actually be an upgrade at quarterback over John Stocco. While he’s not
the same passer, he adds more mobility. The emergence of Lance Smith
gives UW a killer backup RB behind P.J. Hill.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the Badgers didn’t exactly
tackle well against Washington State. This is still a “prove it” team
that has keep winning impressively to overcome the current shadow of Big
W, Tennessee, 45-31
next game: at Colorado State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense appears ready
to carve up anyone in America. Tennessee is still Tennessee, full of
tremendous athletes that can run with anybody. Cal’s offense did
whatever it wanted to.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the defense is still a major
question mark. Tennessee was breaking in a slew of new receivers and
Erik Ainge had a broken finger, but Cal still struggled to stop the Vol
6. Texas (1-0)
W, Arkansas State 21-13
next game: TCU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Jamaal Charles appears to
be back to his freshman form. Yeah, it was only against Arkansas State,
but he looked good. If he’s great, the Texas offense will eventually be
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the offensive line still
doesn’t look ready for prime time, and the defense was way too mediocre
against a vastly inferior ASU offense.
7. Georgia Tech (1-0)
W, at Notre Dame, 33-3
next game: Samford
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … that wasn’t a fluke. The
Georgia Tech defense is going to be among the nastiest in America, while
the offensive line showed against the Irish just how dominant it can be.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the passing game hasn’t
clicked yet. Was Taylor Bennett just a little off or is the air attack
going to be a problem all year? Don’t read too much into beating a lousy
Notre Dame team.
8. Florida (1-0)
W, Western Kentucky, 49-3
next game: Troy
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Tim Tebow sure doesn’t
look like he’ll have any problems in his decision making. It might have
only been a blow out over Western Kentucky, but it was still an
important performance for the sophomore.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. it was Western Kentucky. The
Gators are getting time to tune up, but there are still major question
marks about the overall youth and inexperience.
9. Louisville (1-0)
W, Murray State 73-10
next game: at Middle Tennessee
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the machine got a warm-up
game to get rolling. The offense probably won’t miss a beat under the
new coaching staff. Brian Brohm might be even better than he gets credit
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. it’ll be a wait-and-see
situation with the defense. Middle Tennessee won’t pose any sort of a
challenge, but Kentucky will.
10. Nebraska (1-0)
W, Nevada, 52-10
next game: at Wake Forest
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the questions about Marlon
Lucky’s ability as a 20+ carry back have been answered for now. If he
can be the focal point of the offense, Sam Keller and the passing game
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. Keller wasn’t amazing out of
the gate. If he doesn’t light up a mediocre Wake Forest secondary, there
might be a little cause for concern.
11. West Virginia
W, Western Michgian 62-24
next game: at Marshall
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Pat White and Steve Slaton
are still Pat White and Steve Slaton. White appears to be an even better
passer this year.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. Western Michigan stopped the
Mountaineer ground game cold in the first quarter. White made the
Broncos pay through the air, but anyone with a great set of corners
could use the WMU blueprint and possibly succeed.
12. UCLA (1-0)
W, at Stanford 45-17
next game: BYU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Ben Olsen made several big
plays against Stanford. While he wasn’t always on target, he did what he
needed to do in a nice first game before dealing with BYU. The balance
is there to take the pressure off him.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the pass rush wasn’t there
against Stanford. The Bruins lived and died against the better teams by
getting to the quarterback. The pressure needs to be there against the
13. Virginia Tech (1-0)
W, East Carolina 17-7
next game: at LSU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense was once
against the Virginia Tech defense. It swarmed all over East Carolina and
appears ready to be among the best in the nation again. Let’s just
assume the pressure of the situation made the Hokies a little tight.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. Sean Glennon was once again
Sean Glennon. The Hokie running game alone can’t beat LSU.
14. Ohio State (1-0)
W, Youngstown State 38-6
next game: Akron
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it’s so far, so good for
Todd Boeckman. He wasn’t really tested against Youngstown State, and
won’t be against Akron, but he should quickly progress. The Buckeyes
still have a boatload of talent.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. it was Youngstown State.
Boeckman will have to prove he can produce under pressure. RB Chris
Wells can’t be so mediocre for an extended stretch.
15. Penn State (1-0)
W, FIU 59-0
next game: Notre Dame
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this could end up being
the Big Ten’s best team. Very quietly, the pieces have come together
with a phenomenal defense and an improved passing game. This might be
one of the ten best teams in America.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the running game didn’t
exactly explode against FIU. Austin Scott has to be far, far better or
else this will eventually become a pure passing team.
16. Georgia (1-0)
W, Oklahoma State 35-14
next game: South Carolina
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … that was a very good, very
dangerous Oklahoma State team the Dawgs beat with ease. RB Thomas Brown
is back and apparently stronger than ever.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. it shouldn’t be. That was the
type of win that should announce Georgia as a true player in the SEC
race. We’ll know more next week after the South Carolina showdown.
W, Marshall 31-3
next game: at Oklahoma
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … of Javarris James and
Graig Cooper. A nasty running game along with this defense should be
enough to make Miami one of the ACC’s top contenders.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the quarterback situation
still stinks. Kirby Freeman did nothing against Marshall to show that
the passing game will be any better.
18. Rutgers (1-0)
W, Buffalo 38-3
next game: Navy
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … there’s now a passing
game. All off-season, QB Mike Teel was sharp in practices, and it
carried over in the opener against Buffalo. If he can continue to make
the big throws when available, the offense will unstoppable.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. it’s not. This appears to be
just as good a team as Louisville and West Virginia early on.
19. Clemson (0-0)
W, Florida State 24-18
next game: UL Monroe
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team looked like a
world-beater for a half against Florida State. The defense showed off
its tremendous athleticism, while James Davis and C.J. Spiller showed
once again how dangerous they can be against even the fastest of
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. of QB Cullen Harper. He had a
nice game against the Noles, and didn’t make any major mistakes, but
when the offense bogged down in the second half, he struggled to keep
20. Oregon State (1-0)
W, Utah 24-7
next game: at Cincinnati
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the win over Utah is
better than you think. It helps that Brian Johnson was knocked out, but
the Beavers were fast, tough, and dominant despite being without top WR
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the quarterback situation
still isn’t settled. Sean Canfield was mediocre and Lyle Moevao was
awful. Oregon State can’t make much noise in the Pac 10 without good
21. Florida State (0-1)
L, at Clemson 24-18
next game: UAB
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Noles took Clemson’s
best shot and showed tremendous heart to have a shot at the win late.
The defense had a better game than you think, while Antone Smith showed
the potential to be a star back if used right.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the offensive line still has
problems and there’s still little running game. Drew Weatherford didn’t
get enough time to operate, and he was forced to eat the ball way too
often. Defenses can get to the passer in the ACC, and FSU needs to
figure something out quickly.
22. Missouri (1-0)
W, at Illinois 40-34
next game: at Ole Miss
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Chase Daniel is operating
a juggernaut of an offense. This Tiger attack showed against Illinois
just how explosive and dangerous is can be, however ….
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the offense dried up late in
the second half and helped allow Illinois to get back in the game. The
Tigers are awful at closing, and they’re going to need to show they can
produce for a full sixty minutes.
23. Michigan (0-1)
L, Appalachian State 34-32
next game: Oregon
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense is still among
the best in America. If we’re really ranking teams based on how good
they are right now, Michigan would probably beat most of the teams
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. you don’t lose to Appalachian
State. You don’t. Call this a one-week cooling off period for the
ranking. If the Wolverines don’t look great against Oregon, it might be
out of the top 25.
24. Texas A&M (1-0)
W, Montana State 38-7
next game: Fresno State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … there are too many rushing
weapons to deal with. A&M blew away Montana State with Stephen McGee
being the star runner. However ….
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. … McGee’s passing was off.
Call it first game rust, but the Aggies have to show some semblance of
25. Auburn (1-0)
W, Kansas State 23-13
next game: South Florida
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … a more experienced team
and a veteran coaching staff would’ve found a way to close out against
the Tigers. Kansas State had the game won, and blew it.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because .. the offense isn’t there yet.
The Tiger attack struggled way too much against the Wildcats, with a
running game that was ineffective and a passing attack that didn’t shine
27. Arizona State (1-0)
28. Tennessee (0-1)
29. Texas Tech (1-0)
30. Boston College (1-0)
31. Maryland (1-0)
32. South Florida (1-0)
33. Oklahoma State (0-1)
34. Kansas State (0-1)
35. Arkansas (1-0)
36. Oregon (1-0)
37. South Carolina (1-0)
38. Alabama (1-0)
39. BYU (1-0)
40. Purdue (1-0)
41. Boise State (1-0)
42. Iowa (1-0)
43. Wake Forest (0-1)
44. Washington State (0-1)
45. Illinois (0-1)
46. Colorado (1-0)
47. Washington (1-0)
48. Kentucky (1-0)
49. Utah (0-1)
50. Notre Dame (0-1)
51. Hawaii (1-0)
52. Michigan State (1-0)
53. Vanderbilt (1-0)
54. Pitt (1-0)
55. Kansas (1-0)
56. Arizona (0-1)
57. Ole Miss (1-0)
58. Southern Miss (1-0)
59. Colorado State (0-1)
60. Mississippi State (0-1)
61. Northwestern (1-0)
62. Cincinnati (1-0)
63. Syracuse (0-1)
64. Nevada (0-1)
65. Stanford (0-1)
66. Wyoming (1-0)
67. Indiana (1-0)
68. Fresno State (1-0)
69. Connecticut (1-0)
70. North Carolina (1-0)
71. Bowling Green (1-0)
72. UTEP (1-0)
73. Central Michigan (0-1)
74. New Mexico (0-1)
75. Virginia (0-1)
76. Baylor (0-1)
77. San Jose State (0-1)
78. Tulsa (1-0)
79. Houston (0-1)
80. Western Michigan (0-1)
81. Minnesota (0-1)
82. UCF (1-0)
83. SMU (0-1)
84. Memphis (0-1)
85. NC State (0-1)
86. Northern Illinois (0-1)
87. Toledo (0-1)
88 Marshall (0-1)
89. East Carolina (0-1)
90. San Diego State (0-0)
91. Kent State (1-0)
92. Navy (1-0)
93. Iowa State (0-1)
94. Akron (1-0)
95. Duke (0-1)
96. Ohio (1-0)
97. Miami University (1-0)
98. Air Force (1-0)
99. UNLV (1-0)
100. Arkansas State (0-1)
101. Ball State (0-1)
102. Troy (0-1)
103. New Mexico State (1-0)
104. Tulane (0-0)
105. UL Monroe (0-1)
106. Florida Atlantic (1-0)
107. Middle Tennessee (0-1)
108. Louisiana Tech (1-0)
109. Temple (0-1)
110. Idaho (0-1)
111. UAB (0-1)
112. UL Lafayette (0-1)
113. Eastern Michigan (0-1)
114. Buffalo (0-1)
115. Utah State (0-1)
116. Army (0-1)
117. Rice (0-1)
118. North Texas (0-1)
119. FIU (0-1)