CFN Rankings - No. 1 to 119 - Week 11
Texas RB Foswhitt Whittaker
Texas RB Foswhitt Whittaker
Posted Nov 9, 2008

Everything is starting to shake out. Everything except the Big 12 South, where Foswhitt Whittaker and Texas still might turn out to be the best in the Big 12, but for now, they're just outside of our top two. Based on how good the teams are at the moment, here's the latest CFN ranking of all 119 teams.

2008 CFN Rankings - Week 11

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.

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(8-1)  Last Week: 1
W, at Vanderbilt, 42-14
next game: South Carolina
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because …
outside of the loss to Ole Miss, there's no knock at the moment. The offense is playing as well as any of the other top juggernauts thanks to Tim Tebow, who's playing like the Heisman winner of last year. The offense has thrown up 51, 63, 40 and 42 points on the board over the last four weeks, the special teams are phenomenal, and the defense is playing better than any in the SEC. At the moment, this is the most complete team in America.

2. Texas Tech (10-0)  Last Week: 3
W, Oklahoma State 56-20
next game: at Oklahoma ((Nov. 22)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if anyone was wondering whether or not the team was for real, a dominant, methodical destruction of Oklahoma State showed just how special Tech is. The defense showed up with a fantastic game against the Cowboys, and QB Graham Harrell has never been sharper..
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
we're probably going to pick Oklahoma. Will the two weeks off allow the team to cool down a bit after being so hot against the top teams? There's still a wee bit of the prove it factor. Blowing up Kansas on the road was nice, but can the offense do this against Oklahoma in Norman? It's a one-game shot for the Big 12 Championship (forget about blowing it against Baylor in the regular season finale).

3. Texas (9-1)  Last Week: 5
W, Baylor 45-21
next game: at Kansas
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Longhorns are one second and a Michael Crabtree heel away from being the unquestioned No. 1 team in the country. The team showed just how mentally tough it is by regrouping after the heart-ripping loss to Texas Tech and beating Baylor without breaking too much of a sweat. 
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
t can't be. Losing to Texas Tech at home in the final moments might mean UT deserves to be No. 2 and the Red Raiders No. 1. Unfortunately, the problem is perception. The voters appear to be looking for ways to make sure Oklahoma plays for the Big 12 title.

4. Oklahoma (9-1)   Last Week: 6
W, at Texas A&M, 66-28
next game: Texas Tech (Nov. 22)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … considering we're probably going to pick OU to beat Texas Tech, this might really be too low. The offense is breathtaking in its swiftness and ruthless efficiency game after game. Texas A&M might be down, but the 66 points hung on the Aggies were the most by a visiting team. In the last three games, OU has cranked out 58, 62 and 66 points..
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
can the defense handle Texas Tech? The secondary did a decent job against Jerrod Johnson and the Aggies, but it'll be a serious question mark against Graham Harrell and the boys. There's also the question of the other shoe ... is it going to drop? OU is always good for one big clunker a year.

5. Alabama (10-0)  Last Week: 2
W, at LSU 27-21 OT
next game: Mississippi State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Alabama beat a jacked up LSU and moved down three spots?! The team plays up or down to its competition, but with the ability to smack anyone in the mouth with its tremendous line, and with the way the defense came up big when it had to against the struggling LSU offense, especially Jarrett Lee, this really might be the No. 1 team in America.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the SEC isn't that big a deal. At least it isn't this year. There's Alabama, there's Florida, and there's a decent, but hardly great Georgia. LSU is a shadow of its former self, and now, the wins over Tennessee and Kentucky, along with the blasting of the Dawgs, don't seem like that big a deal compared to what's happening in the Big 12 South. Can the offense keep up with a real, live offensive attack like Florida's We'll find out soon enough. LSU wins that game against the Tide with a better quarterback.

6. USC (8-1)  Last Week: 8
W, California 17-3
next game: at Stanford
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense really is good. In the last five games it has allowed 13 points, and has allowed seven points or fewer in six of the nine games this season. The athletes and speed are breathtaking, and above everything else, the Trojans are popping. Taylor Mays, Rey Maulauga and the D are beating people up.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the Pac 10 is awful. Really, really bad. Oooooh, USC shut out Arizona State, Washington State and Washington. It took way, way too long to put away mediocre Arizona and California teams. USC is struggling way too much against mediocre teams, and it hasn't played a truly great team all year (considering Beanie Wells wasn't playing for Ohio State and Terrelle Pryor didn't come in until it was too late).

7. Oklahoma State (8-2)  Last Week: 7
L, at Texas Tech 56-20
next game: at Colorado
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if Texas Tech is a top two team, and Texas is a top five team, and possible No. 3, the theoretically, Oklahoma State could be No. 4, or even No. 3. The team ran into a buzz saw in Lubbock, but the Cowboy attack really is special. The win at Missouri deserves more and more respect.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the Missouri game is the one thing OSU can hang its hat on. The defense is by far the shakiest of the top five Big 12 teams, while the offense showed it could sputter and cough for long stretches with the passing game isn't quite clicking. If this really is a top five team, it obliterates Colorado next week.

8. Penn State (9-1)  Last Week: 4
L, at Iowa 24-23
next game:
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it can't be. At this point in the year, any team worth of the top five doesn't lose at Iowa with everything on the line. Even in the tough loss, the positives still hold true. The defense is still strong, the offensive line is among the best in America, and the receiving corps is experienced and talented. However ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
.. the one big question mark has been QB Daryll Clark in the fourth quarter. He didn't win the Ohio State game; Pat Devlin did. When the team needed a smooth and steady leader in the fourth quarter, Clark threw the interception that changed the season. The Nittany Lions need to look impressive again and they need to obliterate a bad Indiana team.

9. Missouri (8-2)  Last Week: 10
W, Kansas State 41-24
next game: at Iowa State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense can hang around with anyone. Fine, so it's probably the fourth or fifth best team in the Big 12, but that might mean Mizzou is the fourth or fifth best team in America. Chase Daniel, when he's on, might be the best quarterback in the Big 12, while defensively, the pass rush continues to dominate.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it was way too tough to get by Baylor, and the Kansas State game started to slip a wee bit. There's still a question mark about the résumé with the best wins coming against Illinois and Nebraska. The Tigers will get their chance to redeem themselves in the Big 12 title game..

10. Ohio State (8-2)  Last Week: 10
W, at Northwestern 45-10
next game: at Illinois
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Beanie and Terrelle are starting to play well. Really, really well. Pryor's emergence as more of a leader and more of a playmaker is making Ohio State a legitimate BCS team. Beat Illinois, beat Michigan, and go to yet another big money game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the line play has to be better. Beanie and Pryor are making up for the inconsistencies and issues on the offensive front, while the defensive line isn't generating nearly enough of a pass rush. that could be a problem against Juice Williams and Illinois next week.

11. Utah (10-0)  Last Week: 15
W, TCU 13-10
next game: at San Diego State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … TCU really is that good. Utah just finds ways to win, and it showed against the Horned Frogs that it's able to come up clutch when needed. The epic win might have been the confidence boost to get past the BYU hump and into the BCS.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it took one of the greatest drives in team history, and missed field goals from TCU, to come away from the win. Scoring 13 points last week against TCU is one thing, but the 13-10 win over New Mexico is still scary. This seems like a very good team, but not necessarily an elite one. The consistency is missing.

12. Michigan State (9-2)  Last Week: 16
W, Purdue 21-7
next game: at Penn State (Nov. 22)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it hasn't always been pretty, but the Spartans are on a three-game winning streak and appear to be getting more and more confident in the passing game. There's something to be said for a team that's getting challenged every week but is still coming through.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
this is hardly a juggernaut. The Spartans should've lost to Wisconsin last week and they had too tough a time putting Purdue away. It'll take a win at Penn State in two weeks for anyone to finally give the team a little bit of respect.

13. Georgia (8-2) Last Week: 13
W, at Kentucky 42-38
next game: at Auburn
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …there isn't a better QB-RB combination in America than Matthew Stafford and Knowshon Moreno. Throw the receivers A.J. Green and Mohamed Massaquoi into the mix and Georgia has skill players to burn. Outside of the blowout against Florida, the Dawg attack, the SEC leader in total offense and is second in scoring offense, is rolling.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
what happened to the defense? 38 points against LSU, 49 to Florida, and 38 against Kentucky. The only time the Dawg defense has done anything over the last few weeks has been against horrendous offenses like Tennessee's and Vanderbilt's.

14. South Carolina (7-3)  Last Week: 13
W, Arkansas 34-21
next game: at Florida
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense, while it had a few problems against Arkansas, remains the best in the SEC. It's not coming up with a ton of turnovers but it's been a rock against the pass and it's allowing just over 100 rushing yards on the ground. If Florida isn't sweating, it should be.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the Gamecocks are getting the critical acclaim without actually doing much of anything. The best win this year was against ... Arkansas? Kentucky? Everyone knows what South Carolina does, it's just a question of executing. It'll be interesting to see how USC does against Florida and Clemson over the final two games.

TCU (9-2)  Last Week: 12
L, at Utah 13-10
next game: at Air Force (Nov. 22)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if Utah doesn't go on its biggest drive in school history, and if TCU PK Ross Evans hits one of his two final field goals, TCU is in the top ten and everyone is gushing over the upcoming BCS game. The defense is still phenomenal; it stuffed Utah cold.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... if you don't believe in the Mountain West, then you're not all that fired up about the win over BYU. That's it. That's the lone bright spot this year. The second best win was against Colorado State a few weeks ago.

16. LSU (6-3)  Last Week: 14
L, Alabama 27-21 OT
next game: Troy
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Tigers gave the No. 1 team, at least according to most polls, everything it could handle. The defense rose up and played one of its better all around games, even if John Parker Wilson and Julio Jones were doing their Brady-to-Moss impersonation.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Jarrett Lee. It's not right to pile on, he did throw a striking ball on the touchdown pass to Demetrius Byrd, but Lee stunk against the Tide. The coaching staff had to hide its quarterback for stretches. He doesn't have to be perfect against Troy, Ole Miss and Arkansas, but he can't be a liability. He has thrown six interceptions for touchdowns so far.

17. Boise State (9-0)  Last Week: 17
W, Utah State 49-14
next game: at Idaho
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the train just keeps on rolling. It's getting to the point to where the Broncos aren't even being challenged. The defense has been phenomenal, no one's getting any meaningful points on this group, while Kellen Moore is growing into a special, efficient passer.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Hawaii, San Jose State, New Mexico State, Utah State .... zzzzzzzz. The only win so far that's remotely decent, Oregon, is a long, long time ago (September 20th).

18. North Carolina (7-2)  Last Week: 19
W, Georgia Tech 28-7
next game: at Maryland
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …finally, someone in the ACC stepped up with a dominant performance and separated itself from the pack. UNC is just six points away from being unbeaten, having lost to Virginia Tech and Virginia by three each.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the Tar Heels aren't getting nearly enough on offense to keep up in a shootout if Maryland is on next week. If the UNC defense isn't forcing turnovers, the offense could have issues over the final few games.

19. Florida State (7-2)  Last Week: 22
W, Clemson 41-27
next game: Boston College
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … statistically, FSU has the ACC's best defense as well as the best offense. QB Christian Ponder is starting to come into his own, and DE Everette Brown is playing at an All-America level as he heads up a resurgent defense. Had there not been a fumble late against Georgia Tech, the Noles would probably be in everyone's top five.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
overall, this is still a work in progress. This is hardly a complete and consistent team, even if the stats are nice, and it still comes up with lapses now and then.

20. Miami (6-3)  Last Week: 23
Didn't Play This Week
next game: Virginia Tech
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … somewhat quietly, the Canes are on a four-game winning streak with the only two losses coming to the ACC's top two teams (North Carolina and Florida State). This is a young, young, young team that should keep getting better with a bit more time.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
there's still a question mark about the effectiveness of the offense. The quarterback situation is going to be an issue over the final three games, even if the coaching staff doesn't want to say there's a problem. The Virginia Tech came will show just how much the Canes have matured since the start of the year.

21. Iowa (6-4)  Last Week: 27
W, Penn State 24-23
next game: Purdue
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … they're the ones who actually pulled it off. With a nasty run defense and clutch offense, the Hawkeyes knocked off Penn State and now have a decent finishing kick against Purdue and Minnesota. Shonn Greene belongs in the Heisman hunt.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
there's still that matter of the loss to a bad Illinois team two weeks ago. The offense did its job against Penn State, but outside of Greene, it's hit or miss.

22. Boston College (6-3)  Last Week: 28
W, Notre Dame 17-0
next game: at Florida State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Notre Dame game showed that the defense, when it's on, can win games by itself. With five takeaways, BC overcame the bad offense to pull out the win and get past the two-game losing streak going into the road trip to Florida State.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
uhhhhh, the offense? QB Chris Crane wasn't supposed to be Matt Ryan, but he hasn't even been close.

23. Virginia Tech (6-3)  Last Week: 29
W, Maryland 23-13
next game: at Miami
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Hokies were able to pull up out of the nosedive thanks to Darren Evans and the running game rolling against Maryland. The defense is starting to hum again, at least it did against Maryland. There are wins against Georgia Tech and North Carolina on the résumé to fall back on.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
if anyone stops Evans, the offense is done. The passing game wasn't awful against the Terps, but it's going to be a liability the rest of the way.

24. Pitt (7-2)  Last Week: 35
W, Louisville 41-7
next game: at Cincinnati
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Big East's most talented team is gaining more and more confidence by the week. The win over a mediocre Louisville team was dominant, efficient, and impressive. If the team plays with the same sort of confidence down the stretch, it'll win the Big East.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
you're right not to trust the flakiest of teams. Would you be shocked if it lost to Cincinnati, West Virginia, and Connecticut? The team puts up points, but it has to work to get them.

25. Cincinnati (7-2)  Last Week: 38
W, at West Virginia 26-23 OT
next game: at Louisville
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Bearcats are finding ways to get it done. Through injuries, inconsistencies, and wild momentum swings, UC was able to get by South Florida and West Virginia. Now it's in a position to win the Big East by beating bad Louisville and Syracuse teams, and hoping to get by a home game against Pitt.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the team is just good enough to beat anyone, and just flaky enough to potentially lose to anyone. It hasn't happened, outside of the disaster against Connecticut, but there isn't enough offensive pop to keep up with a good offense that gets hot..

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