CFN Rankings No. 1 to 119 - Week 12, Nov. 18
Ohio State RB Chris Wells
Ohio State RB Chris Wells
Posted Nov 18, 2007

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.

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.

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1. LSU (10-1)
W, Ole Miss 41-24
next game: Arkansas
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
this is the unquestioned number one team at the moment, but is it really playing at its peak efficiency? It’s the most talented team in America, but is it playing up to its talent level? It took a bit too long to get by Ole Miss. The allowed Brent Schaeffer to look like Vince Young.

2. Missouri (10-1)
W, at Kansas State 49-32
next game: Kansas (in Kansas City)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Tigers are an offensive machine. The Kansas State win was better than it might appear (considering the Wildcats got blasted by Nebraska) as the team didn’t show any let down going into the upcoming showdowns. Mizzou has scored 40 points or more in each of the last five games despite getting everyone’s full attention.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... … the defense continues to be an X factor. Is it allowing too many points because it doesn’t have to crank up the intensity, thanks to the offense, or is it merely average? Kansas will answer that in a hurry.

3. Ohio State  (11-1)
W, at Michigan 14-3
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if the defense plays like it did against Michigan, OSU might actually be the number one team in America. If the offensive line isn’t the best in the country, it’s probably second behind LSU.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the Illinois loss can’t be glossed over. With everything on the line, Ohio State lost at home in what amounted to a playoff game. For two straight weeks, QB Todd Boeckman and the passing game didn’t get going. While there wasn’t much of an air attack needed against Michigan, how he’d fare against a superior defense, like LSU’s, is in question.

4. Kansas
W, Iowa State 45-7
next game: Missouri (in Kansas City)  
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the numbers continue to be staggering. It’s not like KU is buckling under the pressure averaging 55 points per game over the last three. No. 1 in the nation in kickoff returns and No. 1 in turnover margin, KU is doing most of the little things right. QB Todd Reesing is on fire.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there continues to be the question mark about the competition. Beating Oklahoma State is still the signature win, but it’s not like there won’t be chances over the next two weeks (if KU gets past Missouri first).

West Virginia (10-1)
W, at Cincinnati 28-23
next game: Connecticut
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offensive playmakers are rolling. Pat White is playing at a Heisman level, Steve Slaton got going against Cincinnati, and the offense continues to come through when needed. The pressure is on, and the Mountaineers are coming through.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the defense is starting to have a few issues. It took a little too much effort to beat a good, but not elite Cincinnati, and the struggle to beat Louisville looks extremely ugly now. If WVU struggled against the Cardinals and the Bearcats, the D would have big problems with the teams ranked higher, and would have a hard time with Arizona State.
6.  Arizona State
next game: USC
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it’s rested and ready to make some big noise. What happens if ASU blows out USC? What happens if it rolls over an Arizona team that was just so great against Oregon? The Sun Devils are more in the hunt than many might believe.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the offensive line could use as much time as needed. As good as the season has been, it could quickly go into the tank if the front five can’t keep Rudy Carpenter upright. At this point, being great in the Pac 10 doesn’t seem like that big a deal.

7. Georgia
W, Kentucky 24-13
next game: at Georgia Tech
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …
it’s as hot as anyone in America. After rolling for 131 points on Florida, Troy and Auburn, the Dawgs got pushed a little bit by Kentucky and still came through with a double-digit win. When you’re not playing your best and you still beat a bowl team by 11, you’re doing something right.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... there’s still a question mark about how good the Dawgs are in a true road game. They have yet to win a road game by more than three points (Florida doesn’t count) and now comes a trip to Georgia Tech.

8.  Oklahoma (9-2)
L, Texas Tech 34-27
next game: Oklahoma State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … even with everything going wrong, OU still almost pulled out a win over Texas Tech. It everything is clicking, this could be the best team in the country. Backup QB Joey Halzle lit up the Red Raiders like a Christmas tree in the fourth quarter.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... is Sam Bradford out for the Oklahoma State game? How’d DeMarco Murray? This might not be the same Sooner team that looked like a number one team earlier in the year. How good are the Sooners on the road or at a neutral site? It appears to be a night-and-day different team away from Norman.

9.  Florida
W, Florida Atlantic, 59-20
next game: Florida State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … no one wants anything to do with the Gators right now. Andre Caldwell is providing a top receiving threat, Tim Tebow is the best player in America, and the defense, well, Tebow is playing extremely well. If this is a top five caliber team, it rolls past Florida State.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... whoopee, they blew out Vanderbilt, South Carolina and Florida Atlantic. The defense is still in question mark and can be bombed on. The D line isn’t generating nearly enough pressure.

10. Texas
Didn’t Play This Week
next game:
at Texas A&M
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it’s happening again, only to Oklahoma. Last year, Texas had the South won before dropping its final two games helped by the injury to Colt McCoy. OU lost to Texas Tech when Sam Bradford got knocked out, and now comes the rivalry game against Oklahoma State. If Texas beats A&M, the South is still up for grabs.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the pass defense is extremely suspect. It’s not as bad as last year’s production, but it’s not all that far off. The injuries on both sides of the ball are starting to mount.

11. Virginia Tech
W, Miami 44-14
next game: at Virginia
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … had Tech recovered the onside kick against Boston College, or if Matt Ryan hadn’t come up with a big comeback, it would be in the national title hunt with a shot at a rematch against LSU. Basically, Tech is a recovery away from being in the top five, and possible No. 2. The offense is starting to him scoring four points or more in four of the last six games.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... it shouldn’t be. The Hokies are jelling at just the right time and can prove it again next week against Virginia. They’ll get a second shot at Boston College, but this time, almost all the stars will be available.

12. Tennessee (8-3)
W, Vanderbilt 25-24
next game: at Kentucky
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the world keeps waiting for a slip so Georgia can get into the SEC championship game, but Tennessee isn’t obliging. The pressure has been on but the wins just keep on coming.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the Vols are an eyelash of a missed Vanderbilt field goal away from being among the SEC also-rans instead of the leaders in the East race. The last time they went on the road they got blasted by Alabama 41-17. That was the Tide’s last win.

13. Oregon (8-2)
L, at Arizona 34-24
next game: at UCLA
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense stepped up its play big-time in the second half against Arizona and almost led the way to a comeback win. If you believed this was a national title-level team a few weeks ago, then you should’ve believed there was more to it than Dennis Dixon. Of course …
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... … without Dixon, this is a night-and-day different team. Brady Leaf isn’t suited for the offense, as it showed against Arizona, and now the injury situation has gone from bad to apocalyptic. How good are the Ducks away from home now without their superstar?

14.  USC
Didn’t Play This Week
next game: at Arizona State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … you can be honest; after two weeks off to rest up, this isn’t a team you want your team to deal with right now. Had Stanford’s last-gasp touchdown pass hit the turf, USC would probably be in the national title picture. The defense is the best in the Pac 10, and if it flexes its muscle against Arizona State, the Trojans will be in top ten. If you’re honest, you sort of want to see a USC – Ohio State Rose Bowl.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the offense had better wake up quickly. Arizona State is going to be ready for a shootout, and it’s time for the USC attack to start putting up better numbers. Fun stat: USC has scored more than 27 points once in the last seven games, and that was against Notre Dame.

15. Illinois
W, Northwestern 41-22
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the lines are playing extremely well. There’s a reason Juice Williams and Rashard Mendenhall are having some huge games for the nation’s sixth best running game. Illinois leads the Big Ten in rushing and sacks allowed and is 14th in the nation in sacks.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the loss to Iowa now goes from bad to horrendous, but that’s the only real knock. This is probably one of the nation’s ten best teams to close out the regular season.

16. Boston College (9-2)
W, at Clemson  20-17
next game: Miami 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … well, welcome back to the living. Not only does the two-game losing streak to Florida State and Maryland not matter after the win over Clemson, but as Atlantic Division champions, the Eagles can coast against Miami next week. Oh yeah, Matt Ryan is really, really good, while the run defense is number one in the nation.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... BC was a dropped touchdown catch in the final minute from losing to Clemson, and a just-missed field goal from going into overtime. Give all credit where credit is due for pulling off the win, but the Eagles were this close to losing their third in a row.
17. Auburn (7-4)
Didn’t Play This Week
next game: Alabama  
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this is a rested team after the 45-20 shellacking against Georgia. When the final pecking order shakes out, this could be the SEC’s third best teams, or if Tennessee rolls, it could be no worse than fourth if it beats the Tide. The defense is better than is looked against the Dawgs.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the pressure is now all on the Tigers against Alabama. After the Tide lost to UL Monroe, and on a three-game losing streak, no one’s expecting the Tide to pull out the Iron Bowl. Will Brandon Cox be steady, or will he play like he did against Georgia?

18. Clemson (8-3)
L, Boston College 20-17
next game: at South Carolina
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …
the Tigers were within an eyelash, or a dropped touchdown pass, of getting by Boston College and going off to the ACC title game. Talent-wise, this is still one of the ACC’s elite teams and more than good enough to finish the year with ten wins.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... it’s Clemson. After losing to BC, will it go into the tank against South Carolina? As good as the team might be, a loss to the Gamecocks would all of a sudden turn a terrific season sour and put the heat back on Tommy Bowden.

19.. Virginia (9-2)
Didn’t Play This Week
next game:
Virginia Tech
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … after having plenty of time off to rest up, the Cavaliers are going to be as close to 100% as possible going into the showdown against Virginia Tech for the Coastal Division title.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... is the offense going to be good enough to keep up with the suddenly hot Hokies? As great as the season has been, the Cavs are a few plays away from just fighting for bowl survival. Is this a team waiting to be exposed, or is it good enough to really play with the big boys? We’ll know more after this week.

20. Wisconsin (9-3)
W, at Minnesota 41-34
next game: BOWL GAME  
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … even hurt, the Badger offense is putting up points in bunches. With almost all the key parts, especially P.J. Hill, returning after several weeks off, this could be a frighteningly good bowl team. The offensive line stepped up its play over the final five weeks of the season.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the defense got lit up like Paris by Minnesota. It took everything in the bag to beat one of America’s worst teams. The Badgers would be destroyed by a great spread attack.

21. Michigan  (8-4)
L, Ohio State 14-3
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it’ll be interesting to see what kind of a team this is in six weeks. Almost certain to get a New Year’s Day bowl considering someone big will want Lloyd Carr’s final game, Chad Henne and Mike Hart should finally be healthy again. There’s no excuse for Michigan to not roar in the bowl game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the defense was challenged over the last few weeks and didn’t come through. It got run over by both Wisconsin and Ohio State. For all the skill and all the talent and all the motivation, the offense didn’t show up against the Buckeyes. Injuries or no injuries, 91 yards of total offense in the biggest game of season is inexcusable.

22. Penn State
L, at Michigan State 35-31
next game: BOWL GAME  
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if everything is working, this is one of the most dangerous teams around. The lines can be fantastic when they’re on a roll, and the defense has the parts to shut teams down. However …
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... … the consistency just wasn’t there this season. In a lather, the Nittany Lions destroyed Wisconsin, and then struggled against Indiana. There was only one good win this season for one of the Big Ten’s biggest enigmas. The stats are there, but the overall production, especially with the spotlight on, wasn’t.

  Arkansas (7-4)
W, Mississippi State 45-31
next game: at LSU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … now there’s a passing game. Of course the nation’s fourth best running attack will always be devastating, but Casey Dick was razor-sharp throwing the ball against Mississippi State and could be the X factor in the pivotal game against LSU.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the pass defense has gone bye-bye. The overall stats are great, but the secondary has collapsed in two of the last three games. If you’re getting torched through the air by MSU, there’s a problem.

24. Texas Tech (8-4)
W, Oklahoma 34-27
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense is always going to be amazing, but it was the defense, at least for around 50 minutes, that led the way to the win over the Sooners. Tech finally got its first big win of the season with a near-perfect performance … again, for around 50 minutes.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... Oklahoma was without Sam Bradford. Give Tech credit for coming up with the victory, but the Sooners didn’t have their triggerman and still almost pulled it out. Yeah, Tech is good enough to beat OU, but it’s also inconsistent enough to crash against a Colorado.

25. Cincinnati (8-3)
L, West Virginia 28-23
next game: at Syracuse
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … when all is said and done, Cincinnati is probably the second best team in the Big East. This is a rock-solid team that happened to lose to a national title-level West Virginia team. Don’t forget about the great wins over South Florida and Connecticut, but …
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... … don’t forget about the losses to Louisville and Pitt. This is a very good team that gives up plenty of passing yards and gets just enough offense to get by. This could be the most difficult team to figure out going into the bowls.

26 Connecticut (9-2)
27 Wake Forest (7-4)
28 South Florida (8-3) 
29 Michigan State (7-5)
30 Boise State (10-1)
31 South Carolina (6-5)
32 Rutgers (7-4)
33 BYU (8-2)
34 Mississippi State (6-5)
35 Kentucky (7-4) 
36 Florida State (7-4) 
37 Oregon State (7-4)
38 Georgia Tech (7-4)
39 Colorado (5-6)
40 Hawaii (10-0)
41 California (6-5) 
42 Maryland (5-6)
43 Alabama (6-5)
44 Texas A&M (6-5)
45 Oklahoma State (6-5)
46 Arizona (5-6)
47 UCLA (5-5)
48 Air Force (9-3)
49 Utah (8-3)
50 Northwestern (6-6)
51 Indiana (7-5)
52 NC State (5-6)
53 Purdue (7-5) 
54 UCF (8-3)
55 Vanderbilt (5-6)
56 TCU (6-5)
57 New Mexico (7-4)
58 Tulsa (8-3)
59 Fresno State (6-4)
60 Nebraska (5-6)
61 Troy (7-3)
62 Kansas State (5-6)
63 Washington (4-7)
64 Pitt (4-6)
65 Iowa (6-6)
66 Louisville (5-6)
67 Miami (5-6)
68 Iowa State (3-9)
69 Houston (6-4)
70 Washington State (4-7)
71 Navy (7-4)
72 Stanford (3-7)
73 East Carolina (6-5)
74 Nevada (5-5)
75 Ole Miss (3-7)
76 San Diego State (4-6)
77 North Carolina (3-8)
78 Southern Miss (6-5)
79 UL Monroe (5-6)
80 Ball State (5-5)
81 Notre Dame (2-9)
82 Bowling Green (7-4)
83 Colorado State (2-9)
84 Memphis (6-5)
85 Central Michigan (6-5)
86 Wyoming (5-6)
87 UNLV (2-9)
88 Baylor (3-9)
89 Western Michigan (4-7)
90 San Jose State (4-7)
91 Miami University (6-5)
92 Duke (1-10)
93 Florida Atlantic (5-4)
94 Toledo (5-6)
95 Louisiana Tech (5-6)
96 Minnesota (1-11)
97 Syracuse (2-9)
98 Ohio (5-6)
99 UAB (2-9)
100 Tulane (4-7)
101 UTEP (5-6)
102 Buffalo (4-7)
103 Temple (4-7)
104 Eastern Michigan (4-8)
105 Rice (3-8)
106 Army (3-8)
107 Akron (4-7)
108 UL Lafayette (3-8)
109 Middle Tennessee (5-6)
110 Northern Illinois (2-9)
111 Arkansas State (5-6)
112 Marshall (2-9)
113 Utah State (1-10)
114 New Mexico State (4-8)
115 Kent State (3-8)
116 North Texas (1-9)
117 SMU (1-10)
118 Idaho (1-10)
119 FIU (0-10)