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CFN Rankings No. 1 to 119 - Week Five
Alabama head coach Nick Saban
Alabama head coach Nick Saban
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Sep 28, 2008


There's a massive shake-up in the CFN rankings after the wild week, headed up be a brand new number one. The top teams that lost didn't fall too far ... for now. The season just got a whole bunch more interesting.

2008 CFN Rankings - Week 5

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 | Week 3 | Week 4

1. Alabama
(5-0)
W, at Georgia 41-30
next game: Kentucky
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
if you didn't believe in Georgia, who struggled with a mediocre South Carolina team, then you don't believe in Alabama ... maybe. Considering the spotlight was on, and how good the Bulldogs are, that win in Athens was the best win by anyone this season. Now the team will have to deal with unrealistic expectations. Can it live up to them?.

2. Oklahoma (4-0)
W, TCU 35-10
next game: at  Baylor
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Sooner passing game is scary-good. All questions about what Sam Bradford would do under pressure were answered by the TCU win. He was hit, he was sacked, and he came up with a career-high 411 yards.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the running game was shut down by TCU and even though Bradford came up big, for the first time, the offensive line looked vulnerable. That's nitpicking. There's no argument if you want to call OU the nation's best team.

3. LSU (4-0)
W, Mississippi State 34-24
next game: at Florida (Oct. 11)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the win over Auburn last week can't be ignored. That might have been best win of the year before this wild weekend. The running game is rolling and the defending national champions appear to have reloaded on defense.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
there were way too many issues putting away a mediocre Mississippi State offense. A better team than MSU would've been able to come up with the one or two big plays needed to pull off the win. LSU will need to be far tighter to win at Florida in two weeks.

4. Texas (4-0)
W, Arkansas 52-10
next game: at Colorado
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …no one's playing better than Texas at the moment. Colt McCoy would deserve the Heisman if the season ended right now, and not only has Texas not lost, it hasn't been close. The defense stiffened against the Arkansas passing game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
a skeptical nation still wants to see a game against a real team. It's not UT's fault that Arkansas stinks, but the schedule has been light and breezy. Beating Colorado and Oklahoma away from Austin over the next two weeks would prove the Longhorns are the real deal..

5. Missouri (4-0)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Nebraska 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense really is impressive. And now it's had a week off. The Tigers have been explosive, effective, and impressive in three easy games and a shootout against Illinois. The defense will only be better with the rest.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
there's still the question mark about how strong the secondary is. The tests are about to come, but could the Tigers really handle top Big 12 teams and the best the SEC has to offer? We'll find out about the Big 12 side in a hurry.

6. Penn State (5-0)
W, Illinois 38-24
next game: at Purdue
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … that 45-14 win over Oregon State looks really, really strong now. Daryll Clark is the real deal. For anyone wonder about just how good the offense can be with a relatively inexperienced runner under center, the questions were answered by Clark's passing against Illinois.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
for the first time this season, the defense blinked. The Illinois offense is inconsistent, yet its running game worked relatively well and the secondary had a nightmare of a time with Arrelious Benn.

7. Florida (3-1)
L, Ole Miss 31-30
next game: at Arkansas
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Gators were just this close to coming up with the one really big play on the final drive to beat Ole Miss. The game shouldn't have come to that, but with a healthy and devastating Percy Harvin, this team can beat anyone on a given day.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Tebow hasn't been Tebow. He's having a hard time keeping the chains moving and the switch to the more-pass, less run version appears to have taken away his mojo. The D line got flat-out whipped by the Ole Miss defensive front on too many plays.

8. Georgia (4-1)
L, Alabama 41-30
next game: Tennessee (Oct. 11)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team that came out of the halftime locker room and hung 17 straight points Alabama, and played great in all phases, is the type of team that can win the SEC title. This still might be one of the three best teams in America.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
you don't go down 31-0 in the first half at home if you're really that good. The Georgia offensive line got exposed a bit.

9. USC (2-1)
L, at Oregon State 27-21
next game:
Oregon
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this is USC. You know exactly what this team does. It loses a game it shouldn't, gets back on track, and comes up with a blowout win in the bowl game. Would you take Alabama or Oklahoma over USC in the national championship?
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it's Oregon State. The team got blasted by Penn State and lost to ... Stanford?! USC has to beat Oregon handily to prove it's the real deal.

10. Auburn (4-1)
W, Tennessee 14-12
next game: at Vanderbilt
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense is suffocating. Outside of LSU's Charles Scott, no one's going to run on this group. The defensive line is playing extremely well.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... uhhhhh, the offense? It struggled at best against Tennessee, and was a liability at worst.

11. BYU (4-0)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Utah State 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … with everyone crashing and burning, BYU should probably be in the top ten somewhere. BYU is better than Oregon State, Ole Miss and Michigan, the teams that came up with the big, stunning upsets.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
sorry, but it's going to be a weekly reason why there's a ceiling on this ranking. Washington is awful, and BYU struggled way too much in the close win in Seattle.

12. Oklahoma State (4-0)
W, Troy 55-24
next game: Texas A&M 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this is the same Troy that pushed Ohio State in a 28-10 loss. Oklahoma State blew through the Trojans like they weren't even there. The win over Houston looks far better now after the Cougars beat East Carolina.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
alright, fine, hanging 50 points a game on the board is nice, but when's the real test? At Missouri, October 11th. Win that game, and it might be top five time.

13.
Wisconsin (3-1)
L, at Michigan, 27-25
next game: Ohio State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the collapse was swift and stunning. Call this a wait-and-see ranking, because that choke in the Big House might have been just a one-shot deal. Ole Miss beat Florida on the lines. The same is true for Oregon State against USC. Michigan's defensive line had a lot to say about it, but Wisconsin took its foot off the gas and it showed. This really might be a BCS-caliber team with the exception of ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
... the quarterback play. Allan Evridge has to be better. If you want to argue that the Badgers don't deserve to be in the top 20, there's no complaints here. Again, wait and see over the next two weeks.

14.
Ohio State (4-1)
W, Minnesota 34-21
next game: at Wisconsin
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team finally has the pieces in place. Beanie is running the ball, Terrelle is under center, and all appears right with the Buckeye world. The Minnesota game was easier than the 34-21 score might indicate.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it's prove it time. Beat Wisconsin in Madison, and then the world will start to believe again.

15.
Texas Tech (4-0)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Kansas State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … call this a place-setter ranking. The Red Raiders will probably move into the top ten if they're impressive at Kansas State.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Eastern Washington, at Nevada, SMU and UMass. The schedule has been a joke. We still don't know how good this team really is.

16. South Florida (5-0)
W, at NC State 41-10
next game: Pitt
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … that's more like it. South Florida has the ability to rise up a beat the stuffing out of an inferior team that doesn't get good quarterback play, like NC State. On the other hand ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
... this team has the ability to struggle against the mediocre to lousy. As good as the Kansas win looks now is as bas as the near-misses agaisnt USC and FIU appear.

17.
Kansas (3-1)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Iowa State 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the loss to South Florida isn't looking all that bad, even acceptable, but there can't be any more slip-ups for a while
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
it's time to prove it. Beating FIU, Louisiana Tech and Sam Houston State isn't enough to show that this team can be as good as last year's.

18.
Utah (5-0)
W, Weber State 37-21
next game: Oregon State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this is one of the hottest teams in the country over the last 14 games, going 13-1 with only the painful late collapse against BYU for the blemish. Don't look into the final score of the Weber State game; it was a blowout.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it shouldn't be. The Michigan win looks better now, and if the Utes beat Oregon State this week, all of a sudden it should be time to put them in the BYU category.

19.
California (3-1)
W, Colorado State 42-7
next game: Arizona State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Maryland loss doesn't look all that bad now. Had the Bears woken up early and won that game, this would be a top ten team with outside dreams of playing for the national title.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
whoppee, they beat Colorado State. The Michigan State win was nice, but there needs to be a good performance against Arizona State to warrant a higher ranking.

20. Boise State (3-0)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: Louisiana Tech 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Oregon 63, Washington State 14. That really was a good Duck team that Broncos blew past last week.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
is anyone believing that this team could beat most of the teams ranked immediately lower? It could, but the respec factor isn't there yet.

21. Michigan State (4-1)
W, at Indiana 42-29
next game: Iowa
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Spartan offense is clicking. Javon Ringer is the workhorse who makes it all go, but the passing game kicked in against Indiana, too.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the defense needs to be better. Beating Iowa next week won't open anyone's eyes. The win over Notre Dame is looking solid, but it'll be hard to put the Spartans much higher until more big wins start to come.

22. Virginia Tech (4-1)
W, at Nebraska 35-30
next game: Western Kentucky
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Hokies are an East Carolina blocked punt away from being in the top ten. Beating Georgia Tech, North Carolina, and now Nebraska at Nebraska are as impressive a trio of wins as anyone has come up with in a row.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it's happeing with a few smoke and mirrors, but really, the Hokies can't be any lower than this. They should be in the top 20 somewhere despite a lousy offense.

23. Oregon (4-1)
W, at Washington State 63-14
next game: at USC
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team is one decent backup quarterback away from being unbeaten and in the top ten. The running game has been fantastc and the defense was great against Washington State. Now comes the real test against USC.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there's still that quarterback question. Which team is going to show up against USC? If it's the one that's unstoppable running the ball, it could come up with the upset.

24. Georgia Tech (3-1)
Didn't Play This Week
next game: Duke
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … with a week off, and with Duke and Gardner-Webb up next, the record should get fatter before dealing with Clemson. The offense needs as much time as it can get to work, and now it's had two weeks off to prepare.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it shouldn't be. No one wants to deal with this offense right now. The defensive line is good enough to win the ACC title win.

25. Illinois (2-2)
L, at Penn State 38-24
next game: at Michigan
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the two losses are to Missouri and Penn State. Theoretically, Illinois could be one of the ten best teams in the nation.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the defense is suspect. Missouri and Penn State are going to rip up a lot of team,s, but the Illini werent even close. There still isn't an impressive win on the résumé.

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