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CFN Rankings No. 1 to 119 - Week Three
USC WR Damian Williams
USC WR Damian Williams
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 14, 2008


Things shook out a bit after this weekend. The Pac 10 took a tumble, the Mountain West got a boost, Wisconsin passed a test, and the Big 12 made a move. Of course, the big story was Damian Williams and USC. Check out week three of the CFN Ranking of all 119 teams.

2008 CFN Rankings - Week 3

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. 

Click on the teams for the recaps and thoughts on every game or click here for the team pages.

Rankings CFN Preseason | Coaches
Week 1 | Week 2

1. USC
(2-0)
W, Ohio State 35-3
next game:
at Oregon State (Sept. 25)
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
at the moment, it can't be. Ohio State really is a talented team (really ... wait until the 2009 NFL Draft) and the Trojans won with ease. This was a relaxed, confident, dominant performance over a team that's probably going to end up in the Rose Bowl. Now it's up to USC to keep its focus and make a trip to Miami on Janiary 8th instead of up the road to Pasadena on the 1st.

2. Oklahoma (3-0)
W, at Washington 55-14
next game: TCU (Sept. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Sooners have the lines to hang around with the Trojans. Ohio State didn't get any pressure on Mark Sanchez; Oklahoma would.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
at the moment, it can't be. You could make a case that this is the best team in America. It has done absolutely nothing wrong in three games.

3. Georgia (3-0)
W, at South Carolina 14-7
next game: at Arizona State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the win over South Carolina might not have seen impressive, but the Dawgs just beat one of the nation's best defenses. That was a pressure-packed game against a Gamecock team bringing its A+ effort, and Georgia came through.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the passing game is still suspect. Matt Stafford might be an elite talent, and there are good receivers to throw to, but it just isn't dominant enough.

4. Florida (2-0)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Tennessee 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this is a rested, healthy team that has the athletes and the talent to beat anyone in America. Now it'll have the chance to prove itself against Tennessee.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there's still the question mark about the first big test. Miami might not have been it. The running backs had better show up soon or Mr. Tebow will have to carry the offense like last year.

5. LSU (2-0)
W, North Texas 41-3
next game: at Auburn
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defending national champion has done absolutely nothing to show that this isn't the same sort of dominant team. Everything has clicked so far. Of course ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
there hasn't been a game against anyone remotely close to the talent level on LSU's fourth team. Will all the bad weather end up being a distraction in any way? It wasn't against North Texas.

6. Missouri  (3-0)
W, Nevada 69-17
next game: Buffalo
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Nevada is a good team. Good enough to win the WAC. Missouri ripped through the Wolf Pack defense like it was standing still. No one in America is playing better than Chase Daniel.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
at the moment, it can't be. This might be one of the five best teams in the country right now, but there's still the question mark about that performance in week one against an Illinois team that has struggled a bit.

7. Texas (2-0)
Arkansas Game Postponed
next game: Rice
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team is fully rested. Mack Brown didn't want the postponement, but on the plus side, his Horns are getting more time to heal up with a big run ahead. As long as the team is focused, it should roll until the Oklahoma showdown.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
Florida Atlantic and UTEP. Rice is up next. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
.

8. Wisconsin (3-0)
W, at Fresno State 13-10
next game: at Michigan (Sept. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … that win at Fresno State is much better than you think. Much, much better. Don't sleep on this team. The schedule and the talent are both there to make an interesting run.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the corners still aren't there. The defense can be beaten deep with the banged up cornerbacks very, very suspect. There's still a question about the quarterback play. Allan Evridge was good against Marshall two weeks ago, but he has yet to show he can be special under pressure.

9. Penn State (3-0)
W, Syracuse 55-13
next game: Temple
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Nittany Lions have been as dominant over three games as any team in America. Yeah, the schedule might not seem that great, but Oregon State and Syracuse are BCS conference teams that were obliterated.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
eventually, the problems at defensive tackle will be exposed. You can't keep losing that much frontline talent and survive.

10. Auburn (3-0)
W, at Mississippi State 3-2
next game: LSU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense: good. Really good. there's no running on Auburn.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the offense: bad. Really bad, at least against Mississippi State. The attack had better be humming in practices this week with LSU coming to town.

11. Oregon (3-0)
W, at Purdue 32-26 2OT
next game: Boise State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the running game is phenomenal. While everyone else in the Pac 10 outside of USC shanked their drive, Oregon managed to come back on the road against a decent Purdue team and survived. Everything was going wrong and the Ducks still won.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
can an Oregon quarterback stay healthy? Now Justin Roper is out for a few weeks. The offense keeps on rolling, but now the attack is going to be even more one-dimensional.

12. Ohio State (2-1)
L, at USC 35-3
next game: Troy
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it was USC. The Trojans, when everything is humming, could probably beat 110 other teams by 30 points or more. There's no real shame in losing in L.A. to that team.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the team has to earn its way back up the rankings after that clunker. When will the OSU play up to it talent level?

13.
Texas Tech (3-0)
W, SMU 43-7
next game: Massachusetts
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … finally, the offense is starring to find its groove and it's starting to do what it's supposed to. All these warm-up games should sharpen things up. However ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
... there's a lot to prove. After the way Missouri ripped apart Nevada, the Texas Tech struggle against the Wolf Pack looks far worse.

14. South Florida (3-0)
W, Kansas 37-34
next game: at FIU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … on straight speed and athleticism, South Florida could run with almost anyone in America. Kansas has a fantastic defense and it looked like it was running in mud at times compared to the Bulls.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
will there be any consistency? The win over Kansas was fantastic, and it should make the Bulls the favorites in the Big East, but they had a hard time closing and were saved by an awful late pass from Todd Reesing.

15. BYU (3-0)
W, UCLA 59-0
next game: Wyoming
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … yeeessh. UCLA might not be an offensive juggernaut, but 59-0? Remember, the Bruins beat Tennessee. Not Tennessee Tech, Tennessee. BYU came up with one of the most impressive performances of 2008.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the close shave against Washington is still an issue. The Huskes aren't that good and BYU, even though it was a dominant game statistically, struggled to get the win.

16.
Alabama (3-0)
W, Western Kentucky 41-7
next game: at Arkansas
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team bounced back from a clunker of a win over Tulane to dominate Western Kentucky. The defense has bee tremendous over three games showing this might be the type of team that can take things to another level in the really big games.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the offense has to prove it again against a good team. Consistency will be the key. Not to dog the Clemson win, but the Tigers have yet to look strong.

17.
Kansas (2-1)
L, at South Florida 37-34
next game: Sam Houston State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … in a nasty environment, the Jayhawks did a great job of rallying against South Florida and coming close to pulling off the comeback win. It was a good, hard-fought battle against a fast, athletic team.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
KU finally got a great test and it didn't come through. After getting out to a good early lead, the defense suddenly looked slow and the offense couldn't get the running game going.

18. East Carolina (3-0)
W, at Tulane 28-24
next game: at NC State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Virginia Tech and West Virginia are going to get better and better as the season goes on. Those wins are going to carry the Pirates as long as they can keep on winning.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the spotlight is now on. A top team shouldn't struggle so much with Tulane. If ECU is the real deal, it should whack NC State without much of a problem.

19. Oklahoma State (3-0)
W, Missouri State 57-13
next game: Troy (Sept. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … in case you haven't noticed, and chances are, you haven't, Oklahoma State is averaging more than 50 points per game. The offensive line is among the best in the country, and the offense is humming because of it.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
it's time to prove it. Blowing away Washington State, Houston and Missouri State is nice, but soon the offense has to prove it can produce against a real defense.

20. Tennessee (1-1)
W, UAB 35-3
next game: Florida
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Vols might really be that good and the loss to UCLA could be a total aberration. That was a jacked up Bruin team that come through when it had to. Tennessee can all but erase that loss with a win over Florida.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the Vols still have to prove it. UCLA just got destroyed by BYU making the loss in Pasadena look that much worse.

21.
California (2-1)
L, at Maryland 35-27
next game: Colorado State (Sept. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Bears eventually woke up against Maryland and showed off all the speed and athleticism that made them so hot in the first place. Don't get too hung up on the loss, but now there's little margin for error when it comes to national respect.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
a great team shows up against a struggling team like Maryland. Yeah, the Bears stormed back and dominated the game overall, but it was too late.

22. Nebraska (3-0)
W, New Mexico State 38-7
next game: Virginia Tech (Sept. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … te Huskers are quietly demolising everyone in their path. While they haven't played a who's who of tough teams, they've produced easy wins.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
they need to prove it. Beating Western Michigan, San Jose State and New Mexico State isn't going to get it done. Call this a wait-and-see ranking until the Virginia Tech game.

23.
Utah (3-0)
W, at Utah State 58-10
next game: at Air Force
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the machine is rolling. Blasting Utah State isn't that big a deal, but the offense had a near-perfect balance. This is the type of veteran team that can make the Mountain West look great.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the Michigan win doesn't seem that great anymore. It's still decent win, but it'll take a win at Air Force to start getting BYU-like respect.

24.
Clemson (2-1)
W, NC State 27-9
next game: South Carolina State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Tigers won easily against NC State. Yeah, whoopee, but the Wolfpack has a nice defense and Clemson was able to get by. However, this team still needs to do a lot more considering ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
... this ranking is based on talent level. The Tigers have yet to play up to their skills.

25. Illinois (2-1)
W, UL Lafayette 20-17
next game: at Penn State (Sept. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Daniel Dufrene really might be a decent back after all. He might not be Rashard Mendenhall, but he'll be fine.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Eastern Illinois and UL Lafayette made it way too close. Illinois needs to prove it can play two weeks from now at Penn State.

26

Iowa (3-0)

27

West Virginia (1-1)

28

Michigan State (2-1)

29

Kansas State (2-0)

30

Fresno State (1-1)

31

TCU (3-0)

32

Cincinnati (1-1)

33

Wake Forest (2-0)

34

Virginia Tech (2-1)

35

Georgia Tech (2-1)

36

Boston College (1-1)

37

Vanderbilt (3-0)

38

South Carolina (1-2)

39

Purdue (1-1)

40

Kentucky (3-0)

41

Arizona State (2-1)

42

UCLA (1-1)

43

North Carolina (2-0)

44

Arizona (2-1)

45

Boise State (2-0)

46

Miami (1-1)

47

Ole Miss (1-1)

48

Maryland (2-1)

49

Air Force (3-0)

50

Northwestern (3-0)

51

Notre Dame (2-0)

52

Connecticut (3-0)

53

Indiana (2-0)

54

Michigan (1-2)

55

Southern Miss (2-1)

56

Florida State (2-0)

57

Colorado (2-0)

58

Louisiana Tech (1-1)

59

Arkansas (2-0)

60

Mississippi State (1-2)

61

Iowa State (2-1)

62

Tulsa (2-0)

63

Louisville (1-1)

64

Ball State (3-0)

65

Rutgers (0-2)

66

Minnesota (3-0)

67

Central Michigan (2-1)

68

Bowling Green (1-2)

69

Pitt (1-1)

70

UCF (1-1)

71

Arkansas State (2-1)

72

Texas A&M (1-1)

73

UNLV (2-1)

74

New Mexico (1-2)

75

Houston (1-2)

76

Navy (1-2)

77

Washington (0-3)

78

Stanford (1-2)

79

Oregon State (1-2)

80

Duke (2-1)

81

Baylor (2-1)

82

Middle Tennessee (1-2)

83

Nevada (1-2)

84

Virginia (1-2)

85

Florida Atlantic (1-2)

86

Toledo (1-1)

87

Troy (2-0)

88

NC State (1-2)

89

Marshall (2-1)

90

Colorado State (1-1)

91

San Jose State (2-1)

92

Ohio (0-3)

93

Western Michigan (2-1)

94

Northern Illinois (0-2)

95

Buffalo (2-1)

96

Temple (1-2)

97

Wyoming (2-1)

98

Tulane (0-2)

99

Rice (2-1)

100

Washington State (0-3)

101

UL Monroe (0-3)

102

Kent State (1-2)

103

Memphis (1-2)

104

Miami Univ. (1-2)

105

Hawaii (1-1)

106

Akron (1-2)

107

UTEP (0-2)

108

UL Lafayette (0-2)

109

Eastern Michigan (1-2)

110

UAB (0-3)

111

Syracuse (0-3)

112

New Mexico State (0-1)

113

San Diego State (0-3)

114

SMU (1-2)

115

Utah State (0-3)

116

North Texas (0-3)

117

Idaho (1-2)

118

Army (0-2)

119

FIU (0-2)