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CFN Rankings No. 1 to 119 - Week 3, Sept. 16

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 16, 2007


Ranking all the teams from one to 119 based on how good they are at the moment

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.

Rankings Coaches | CFN Preseason |
Week 1 | Week 2

1. USC (2-0)
W, at Nebraska 49-31
next game: Washington State
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...if you put USC, LSU, Oklahoma and Florida into a hat and picked one team out, you’d probably have the number one. The only remote knock on USC is that the passing game hasn’t had to get rolling yet. That’s reaching. The Trojans moved down last week with a chance to prove they deserved to be back in the top spot, and they certainly did that.

2.
LSU (3-0)
W, Middle Tennessee 44-0
next game: South Carolina
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … defense, defense, defense. The line is scary-good right now, while the offense isn’t making any mistakes. Yeah, it’s Middle Tennessee the Tigers shut out, but it’s the same team that cranked out yards and points in chunks against Louisville.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Virginia Tech doesn’t appear to be any big deal, so it’s possible the win two weeks ago wasn’t as impressive as it seems. Of course, that’s reaching. There’s no argument against the Tigers being No.

3. Oklahoma (3-0)
W, Utah State 54-3
next game: at Tulsa
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the machine keeps on rolling. The Sooners have the one offensive line in America that could neutralize the defensive lines of both USC and LSU.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
QB Sam Bradford hasn’t had to deal with any real pressure yet. A case could be made that Florida, with the way it’s flying around on both sides of the ball, could easily be here.

4. Florida (3-0)
W, Tennessee 59-20
next game: at Ole Miss
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … shhhhhh. This team is playing better than last year’s team. In case you forgot, and it appears that most of the world has, last year’s team won the national title.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
blowing up Tennessee might not be as impressive as it appears. Heck, California did that, too.

5. West Virginia (3-0)
W, at Maryland 31-14

next game: East Carolina
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense is playing up to snuff, and any questions about the offensive line have been answered. The speed and explosiveness at the skill positions is scary.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it shouldn’t be. The Mountaineers could make a case to be in the top four if all the parts are working like they did against Maryland. The only knock is that they haven’t played a top team year. Beating the Terps isn’t the same as beating Nebraska, Virginia Tech, Miami or Tennessee.

6. Penn State (3-0)
W, Buffalo 45-24
next game: at Michigan
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … now that the running game is working, this might be the Big Ten’s most complete team. That might not be saying too much right now, but the defense is humming, QB Anthony Morelli is playing well, and there hasn’t been a hint of a hiccup.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
you and a bunch of friends could beat FIU, Notre Dame and Buffalo. Call this a speculative ranking. Any team worthy of being here beats Michigan next week by double digits.

7. Ohio State  (3-0)
W, at Washington 33-14
next game: Northwestern
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … beating Washington at Washington might be a lot bigger a win than you think. The defense basically gave up one last second big play at the end of the first half, and didn’t allow a thing until garbage time.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
a skeptical nation is still going to want to see more out of the offense. It did a fantastic job in the second half against the Huskies, but the defense was needed to save the day in the first half.

8. California (3-0)
W, Louisiana Tech 42-12
next game: Arizona  
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offensive machine might be unstoppable. The skill players are good enough to hang around with anyone in America. Keeping up in a shootout won’t be a problem.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the defense is still a question mark. It did its job against Louisiana Tech, but until it stops a decent attack, Cal will still be just on the outside of the top five elite.

9. Oregon (3-0)
W, Fresno State 52-21
next game: at Stanford
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … everything’s working right now. How many offenses have been more productive than this one so far? Dennis Dixon is playing at a Heisman level.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it shouldn’t be. At least, not when compared to Wisconsin or Texas. The Badgers struggled to handle Citadel’s spread attack; they’d get ripped apart by the Ducks right now. You could make a great case for Boston College being here.

10. Boston College  (3-0)
W, at Georgia Tech 24-10
next game: Army
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if you love Georgia Tech, you have to respect the way BC went into Atlanta and dominated on both sides of the ball. The game wasn’t as close as the final score indicates.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... it shouldn’t be. In fact, BC is probably severely underranked for yet another week. This might be the sixth best team in America right now.

11. Wisconsin (3-0)
W, The Citadel 45-31
next game: Iowa
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it’s possible the team is just waiting to turn it up a few notches. The running game is rumbling like you’d expect it to, while Tyler Donovan is throwing well.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the defense isn’t playing anywhere near as well as it did last year. You don’t look that lousy for a half against Citadel and just chalk it up not being focused.

12. Texas  (2-0)
W, at UCF 35-32
next game: Rice
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … there’s something to be said for simply finding ways to win. Things aren’t going well on either side of the ball, but while some teams would’ve buckled under the pressure of the UCF game, the Longhorns came through.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
this isn’t Texas. There’s no consistency to the running game, the receiving corps, thanks to a banged up Limas Sweed, has apparently decided to not start the season yet, and the run defense has gone bye-bye. You could make a case that Clemson would run for 300 yards on this bunch.

13. Clemson (3-0)
W, Furman 38-10
next game: at NC State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team is getting stronger and stronger as QB Cullen Harper keeps getting better and better. If he throws like he did over the last two weeks, the Tigers might be the class of the ACC.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... it’s not time to send the Tigers to the BCS quite yet. Beating up on Furman and UL Monroe is no reason to do any high fives, while beating Florida State right now is like beating any other average ACC team.

14. Rutgers (3-0)
W, Norfolk State 59-0
next game: Maryland
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … there hasn’t even been a whiff of a problem so far. While everyone will dog the early schedule, for a team like Rutgers that has national title aspirations, the first few games have been great for putting all the pieces together, like in the passing game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
of Buffalo, Navy and Norfolk State. Fine, so the schedule is worth ripping on. Things pick up over the next few weeks against Maryland and Cincinnati. Remember, the toughest road game on the schedule is at Louisville, and that’s the last game of the regular season.

15. Georgia Tech (2-1)
L, Boston College 24-10
next game: at Virginia
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … losing to Boston College isn’t anything to get in a twist over. Yeah, the loss was at home, and yeah, the Eagles dominated, but Tech still might be one of the ten best teams in America.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the Yellow Jackets might be great, but they made their early reputation off of dominating Notre Dame. Obviously that doesn’t mean anything now. The passing game still has to show it can click against a good defense.

16. South Carolina (3-0)
W, South Carolina State 38-3
next game: at LSU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense is humming. Steve Spurrier teams are obviously known for their offenses, but this team is getting it done with toughness on the other side of the ball.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the jury is still out on the offense. Blake Mitchell threw three touchdown passes against South Carolina State, but he also threw three interceptions. The trip to LSU could be ugly if he’s not better at securing the ball.

17. Nebraska
 (2-1)
L, USC 49-31
next game: Ball State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … losing to USC isn’t anything to cry about. This still might be a top ten team, or even higher. The Trojans would do that to a lot of teams.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
after getting dominated on the lines against the Trojans, there are question marks again about where the program is at. The near-miss against Wake Forest might be a better indicator of how good the team is.

18. Arizona State (3-0)
W, San Diego State 34-13
next game: Oregon State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … everything is working. There are several strong Pac 10 teams at the moment, and ASU is playing as well as any of them. With Keegan Herring playing a big role this week, helping out Ryan Torain, now the Sun Devils have a big-time running back duo to help out Rudy Carpenter and the passing game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... everyone’s waiting for the shoe to drop. When does Arizona State start to play like Arizona State and have a blow up game? Oregon State is a big step up in competition this week.

19. Kentucky (3-0)
W, Louisville 40-34
next game: at Arkansas
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Kentucky did it. After years of struggling under Rich Brooks, and especially against Louisville, the program might have finally turned a corner. If you believed the Cardinals were national title contenders, then you have to give the Wildcats a ton of credit for pulling off the win. However ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... … beating Arkansas at Arkansas might prove to be a tougher task. That was as emotional a win as the program has come up with in several years, but it’s not nearly as important as getting a key SEC victory, especially on the road. It’s not like the run defense slowed down the Cardinals.

20. Louisville (2-1)
L, at Kentucky 40-34
next game: Syracuse  
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it took Kentucky’s best game to beat the Cardinals. This still might be one of the ten best teams in the country, but it just so happened to lose this week.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the defense continues to be a major problem. It did a solid overall job on Kentucky, but the breakdown at the end proved indicative of the issues the D keeps having when it comes to giving up the big play. If Syracuse starts scoring next week, then it’ll really be time to worry.

21. South Florida (2-0)
Didn’t Play This Week
next game: North Carolina
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team has had a week to bask in the glow of the win Auburn, and now the defense should be fully rested for a key few weeks ahead. The national respect is now there.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... beating Auburn might not be that big a deal. The Tigers should’ve lost in week one to Kansas State, and now lost to Mississippi State.

22. Missouri (3-0)
W, Western Michigan 52-24
next game: Illinois State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense continues to be unstoppable. The skill players might not be household names, but all the parts are clicking on the nation’s seventh best attack.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... there’s still that pesky problem of the second half letdown. The Tigers can’t seem to overcome a lull that lets teams back into games. At some point, they’ll play a good team that can take advantage of this

23. Alabama (3-0)
W, Arkansas 41-38
next game: Georgia
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the win over Arkansas could be the type of confidence builder that the emerging program needed. The running game has been there all year long, and now the passing game got a jump-start with the brilliant performance from D.J. Hall, and John Parker Wilson’s tremendous final drive.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the defense was big-time shaky in the second half against the Hogs. Darren McFadden and company will run on everyone, but what looked like a walk-in-the-park win almost became a stunning collapse.

24. Virginia Tech (1-1)
W, Ohio 28-7
next game: William & Mary
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense became the Virginia Tech defense again in the win over Ohio. Fine, so it was only against Ohio, but that’s a good running team that went nowhere.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the outcome against the Bobcats was still in doubt late. The offense is going to need a while, a long while, to get rolling under Tyrod Taylor. Call the quarterback switch a case of taking a step back to hopefully take a giant leap forward.

25. Georgia (2-1)
W, Western Carolina 45-16
next game: at Alabama
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this will be the type of team that, when things are clicking, can beat anyone in the SEC. There’s a slew of young talent that should get better and better as the season rolls on. A win at Alabama would go a long way to erasing the loss to South Carolina.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it’s going to be a while before this is a fully functioning SEC contender. If the Dawgs lose to Alabama and all title dreams are effectively over, what will the team’s mood be?
 

26 Cincinnati (3-0)
27 Texas A&M (3-0)
28 Arkansas (1-1)
29 Kansas (3-0)
30 Texas Tech (3-0)
31 Oregon State (2-1)
32 Washington (2-1)
33 Purdue (3-0)
34 Michigan State (3-0)
35 Tennessee  (1-2)
36 Michigan (1-2)
37 Washington State (2-1)
38 Florida State (2-1)
39 Miami (2-1)
40 Maryland (2-1)
41 Illinois (2-1)
42 Mississippi State (2-1)
43 Auburn (1-2) 
44 Kansas State (2-1)
45 Hawaii (3-0)
46 Boise State (2-1)
47 Air Force (3-0)
48 Utah (1-2)
49 UCLA (2-1)
50 Wake Forest (1-2)
51 TCU (1-2)
52 Tulsa (2-0)
53 Indiana (3-0)
54 Colorado (1-2)
55 Connecticut (3-0)
56 Fresno State (1-2)
57 Colorado State (0-2)
58 Wyoming (2-1)
59 Vanderbilt (2-1)
60 BYU (1-2)
61 Iowa (2-1)
62 Pitt (2-1)
63 Southern Miss (2-1)
64 UCF (1-1)
65 East Carolina (1-2)
66 New Mexico (2-1)
67 Ole Miss (1-2)
68 Stanford (1-1)
69 Notre Dame (0-3)
70 Northwestern (2-1)
71 Nevada (1-2)
72 Virginia (2-1)
73 North Carolina (1-2)
74 Houston (1-1)
75 Bowling Green (1-1)
76 Baylor (2-1)
77 Troy (1-2)
78 Oklahoma State (1-2)
79 Ball State (2-1)
80 Navy (1-2)
81 Arizona (1-2)
82 New Mexico State (2-1)
83 Memphis (1-1)
84 Florida Atlantic (2-1)
85 Minnesota (1-2)
86 UNLV (1-2)
87 Western Michigan (0-3)
88 Louisiana Tech (1-2)
89 UAB (1-2)
90 NC State (1-2)
91 Central Michigan (1-2)
92 UTEP (1-2)
93 Kent State (2-1)
94 Ohio (2-1)
95 Iowa State (1-2)
96 Miami University (1-2)
97 Akron (1-2)
98 Duke (1-2)
99 Arkansas State (1-1)
100 Toledo (0-3)
101 Syracuse (0-3)
102 UL Monroe (0-3)
103 Middle Tennessee (0-3)
104 SMU (1-2)
105 Army (1-2)
106 North Texas (0-2)
107 Eastern Michigan (1-2)
108 Idaho (1-2)
109 Marshall (0-3)
110 San Jose State (0-3)
111 San Diego State (0-2)
112 Buffalo (1-2)
113 Tulane (0-2)
114 Northern Illinois (0-3)
115 Temple (0-3)
116 FIU (0-3) 
117 UL Lafayette (0-3)
118 Utah State (0-3)
119 Rice (0-3)