CFN Rankings - No. 1 to 119 - Week 12
Alabama WR Mike McCoy
Alabama WR Mike McCoy
Posted Nov 16, 2008

Really, where does Alabama deserve to be ranked? Okay, so Mike McCoy and the boys should probably be No. 1, or at least No. 2, but based on how good the teams are right now, is that right? That's what the last few games are for. Based on how good the teams are at the moment, here's the latest CFN ranking of all 119 teams.

2008 CFN Rankings - Week 12

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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Week 11

(9-1)  Last Week: 1
W, South Carolina 56-6
next game: Citadel
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because … it shouldn't be. Check out everyone else coming around to something we've been saying since the beginning of October. Notice how everyone, everyone prefaces every discussion of the rankings by saying, "Florida is the best team, but ..." Of course, Alabama deserves to be No. 1 at the moment, or No. 2 behind Texas Tech, but we go by who the best team is. No one's playing better in all three phases.

2. Texas Tech (10-0)  Last Week: 2
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Oklahoma 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Texas Tech has been every bit as dominant, at least offensively, as Florida, and it doesn't have a home gag to an Ole Miss.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
we're probably going to pick Oklahoma.
Even so, if the game was in Lubbock we'd probably go with the Red Raiders. If Texas and Texas Tech played in Austin tomorrow, we'd pick Texas. Have a headache yet? Just wait to see what happens if/when there's a three-way tie for the South title. 

3. Texas (10-1)  Last Week: 3
W, at Kansas 35-7
next game: Texas A&M (Nov. 27)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Texas isn't going to lose to Texas A&M. Basically, the Longhorns lost to Texas Tech on the greatest play in Red Raider history, and after they demolish the Aggies, they'll have beaten everyone but Oklahoma State, including Oklahoma, by double digits.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
t can't be. If Oklahoma beats Texas Tech, a case could be made that Texas should be No. 1. After all, it there's a three way tie for the South. Texas will be the one who didn't get the benefit of a home game among the round-robin, while Texas Tech and Oklahoma will have won their home games.

4. Oklahoma (9-1)   Last Week: 4
Didn't Play This Week
next game: Texas Tech
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … fine, so we're almost certain to pick OU to beat Texas Tech. While Florida might be playing better than anyone in America right now, Oklahoma, at least on offense, is playing second best...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the defense isn't playing up-to-snuff. It's a good D, but hardly a great one and it might be about to be lit up like a Christmas tree. Also, watch out for that Oklahoma State date down the road. That's hardly a layup for an OU program under Bob Stoops that has faltered in the past in Stillwater.

5. Alabama (11-0)  Last Week: 5
W, Mississippi State 32-7
next game: Auburn (Nov. 29)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … fine, fine, fine, the team just wins, even if the style points aren't there. With lines like Bama has, don't just hand the SEC title over to Florida quite yet. This Tide team seems like the type that rises to every occasion. If the Tide blasts a bad Auburn team, you'll know just how focused Nick Saban's boys are..
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
let's be honest here; just how good is the SEC? The first half against Mississippi State was a bit scary, while the overtime win over LSU, considering what Troy was able to do this week in Death Valley, doesn't appear to be any big deal. The best offense Alabama has faced has been Georgia's, and that's it. Would the Tide be unbeaten if it had to survive the Big 12 South and all of its offenses?

6. USC (9-1)  Last Week: 6
W, at Stanford 45-23
next game: Notre Dame (Nov. 29)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … do you want to face this team at the moment? With the way the defensive back seven is popping, and with the vast array of weapons on offense, no one would be too shocked if the Trojans magically find their way into the national title.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
oooooooh, USC beat Stanford. Oooooooh, scary. Realizing that Virginia on opening day was hardly the same team it became by the middle of the season, USC's one win of note came against an Ohio State team that's 180-degrees different now. That's not to say Ohio State would beat USC with Beanie Wells healthy and Terrelle Pryor in a full-time job, but things might be far tighter.

7. Oklahoma State (9-2)  Last Week: 7
W, at Colorado 30-17
next game: at Colorado Oklahoma (Nov. 29)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … OSU came away from the Texas Tech blasting and did a good job of beating Colorado even when the injuries started to kick in. When all the parts are clicking, this is every bit the offense of the other stars of the Big 12. Could OSU hang with USC or Alabama?? Absolutely.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it shouldn't be. The win over Missouri earns the top seven spot, if not higher, while the close battle at Texas showed just how good the Cowboys really are. The secondary is an issue, and giving up 17 points against Colorado is too much, but the special teams are flawless and, again, the offense is the real deal.

8. Missouri (9-2)  Last Week: 7
W, at Iowa State 52-20
next game: Kansas (in KC) (Nov. 29)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Mizzou offense is still the Mizzou offense. When it's on, it can roll on anyone with as many weapons and as much talent as anyone else in the league. Now the Tigers will get their shot to show their stuff on the biggest stage in the Big 12 Championship.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the best win was against ... Illinois? The Illini might not even make a bowl. At Nebraska? Okay, fine, however, it'll take a Big 12 title now to prove that the Tigers really are the real deal compared to the rest of the Big 12 big boys.

9. Penn State (10-1)  Last Week: 8
W, Indiana 34-7
next game:
Michigan State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … fine, so maybe the Nittany Lions shouldn't have dropped after a dreary performance (at least in the first half) against Indiana, and maybe the defense really could slow down Missouri. It would be nice to see a dominant win over Michigan State to show that this team really does have a chance against USC (assuming things go to form in the bowl picture).
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
that was hardly the big answer to the Iowa loss that everyone was looking for. The defense was stifling against Indiana, but the offense hardly pounded away like it should've.

10. Ohio State (9-2)  Last Week: 10
W, at Illinois 30-20
next game: Michigan
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it sort of can't be. This team (to go cliché) is what it is. It's a well above-average team with the overall talent to beat about 100 teams without a problem, but it's missing that over-the-top element to beat the elite. Even so, Terrelle Pryor is improving by the week and Beanie Wells is running like a top draft pick.
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 (11-0)  Last Week: 11
W, at San Diego State 63-14
next game: BYU
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it really had a letdown looking ahead to BYU ... yeesh. Alright, kids. Here we go. Forget about the BCS and all the other implications, this is Utah vs. BYU. This is the rivalry that broke the Utes' heart over the last few years. Beating the heated rival might mean more than getting into the big money game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
is the defense ready for a real offense? The TCU attack was fine, but it's not BYU's. The pressure is on now. Will the team play like it against the Cougars, or will this finally be the over-the-hump game the program has been waiting for?

12. Michigan State (9-2)  Last Week: 12
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Penn State 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the passing game is starting to come around just enough to provide the needed balance. Javon Ringer has been able to stay in one piece all season long, and now, with two weeks off, the Spartans are rested and ready for the showdown at Penn State for the Big Ten title (or at least part of it).
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it took a choke from Wisconsin for MSU to be in this position. Good teams make their own breaks, or at least capitalize on them, and MSU.will need several things to go its was to beat Penn State in Happy Valley. The lines have been fine, but they're not playing at an elite level.

13. Georgia (9-2) Last Week: 13
W, at Auburn 17-13
next game: Georgia Tech (Nov. 29)
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …the Dawgs had to face a jacked up Auburn team that played better than it had all season long, and it fought its way to the win. Yeah, the Tiger offense might be having problems, but the Georgia D came through.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
well, the Tiger offense is having problems. Georgia is finding ways to win games, coming through with a shootout victory over Kentucky and now a defensive win over Auburn. However, there isn't one really good win to get excited about. This might be a good team, but it's hardly an elite one.

TCU (9-2)  Last Week: 15
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Air Force 
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it took a last-second big play from Utah's Brian Johnson, and two missed TCU field goals, to lose two weeks ago. With the right breaks, the Horned Frogs might be in the hunt for a BCS slot right now..
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... there was the one big win over BYU, and that was about it. Unless you're really impressed by a blowout of Stanford, the TCU season comes down to one blowout win, one blowout loss (Oklahoma), and one battle to the finish.

15. Boise State (10-0)  Last Week: 17
W, at Idaho 45-10
next game: at Nevada
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Broncos have been flawless. The defense has been stifling, the one Idaho touchdown came on a freakish play, while the offense is consistent and doesn't screw up. This really might be the best Boise State team yet.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the WAC ... zzzzzzz. The Oregon team the Broncos beat in September isn't the same as it is now, while the next best win so far might have been against Southern Miss. Don't be shocked if Nevada makes next week's WAC showdown a major battle.

16. Maryland
(7-3)  Last Week: 33
W, North Carolina 17-15
next game: Florida State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it can't be, but with the way the tie-breakers are likely to shake out, Maryland might have just beaten the future Coastal Division champion (North Carolina ... if Virginia Tech loses).
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... basically, this is a flip a coin ranking. Pick the hot ACC team of the week and put it in the top 15. Losing to Middle Tennessee, getting blasted 31-0 by Virginia, and losing at Virginia Tech two weeks ago doesn't make this an inspiring pick. However, if the Terps beat Florida State and Boston College over the final two weeks, they'll have earned an even higher ranking.

17. North Carolina (7-3)  Last Week: 18
L, Maryland 17-15
next game: NC State
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …the Tar Heels will probably end up winning the ACC title if they can get a Virginia Tech loss. Getting NC State and Duke to finish up will help the fight. The athletes are in place; they're just young.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
the offense simply isn't there. It's hard to be an elite team with you're putting up 15 points on Maryland. However, UNC has lost three games by a total of eight points including one in overtime. Overall, the team might be a year away.

18. Boston College (7-3)  Last Week: 22
W, at Florida State 27-17
next game: at Wake Forest
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the win at Florida State was more special than it might appear. That was a fired up Noles team BC was able to beat on national TV. With DTs B.J. Raji and Ron Brace in place and healthy. the defense is a killer.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
alright, so Chris Crane is an interception waiting to happen and the rest of the offense is hardly special. You're not a top team if you're losing at home to Clemson.

19. Florida State (7-3)  Last Week: 19
L, Boston College 27-17
next game: at Maryland
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it can't be. It can't be ranked higher than Boston College at the moment and it's already ahead of Miami and Virginia Tech. In the wild and crazy ACC, the Noles could certainly beat Maryland next week and throw everything into a tizzy.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there was the loss to Georgia Tech a few weeks ago; the Yellow Jackets should probably be in this spot. The offense is way too hit or miss with little passing game and not enough from the running game in the big battles. On the plus side, there's an almost equal balance averaging 193 passing yards per game and 192 on the ground.

20. Miami (7-3)  Last Week: 20
W, Virginia Tech 16-14
next game: at Georgia Tech
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the defense is flying around. On sheer athleticism and speed, this is a scary-good defense that's been shutting everyone down over the last few weeks. At some point, all the youth and inexperience will turn into experience and savvy.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
technically, it can't be. The Canes lost to Florida, North Carolina and Florida State, who are all ranked higher. On a five-game winning streak, the program is starting to turn everything around just at the right time.

21.  Pitt (7-2)  Last Week: 24
Didn't Play This Week
next game: at Cincinnati
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … fine, so we had it screwed up last week and we changed it around. Pitt did beat Iowa and it has the far better overall record. The team is playing with supreme confidence and it has the pieces back in place to make a big run to the Big East title. We'll know just how good the Panthers are next week after playing at Cincinnati.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
needing four overtimes to beat Notre Dame isn't exactly going to inspire confidence. Which team will show up against Cincinnati, West Virginia and Connecticut? Will it be the one that dominated Louisville, or the with a defense that went bye-bye at home against Rutgers?

22. Iowa (7-4)  Last Week: 21
W, Purdue 22-17
next game: at Minnesota
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Hawkeyes did beat Penn State, so theoretically, they should be higher up. With e terrific run defense and the running of Shonn Greene, the formula for success is in place. If they can beat Minnesota, they'll close out winning five of their last six games.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the loss to Illinois is looking worse and worse. Outside of Greene, the rest of the offense is just mediocre enough to lose to the Gophers next week.

23. Cincinnati
(8-2)  Last Week: 25
W, at Louisville 28-20
next game: Pitt
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Bearcats are in control of their own destiny. If they beat Pitt and Syracuse, they're off to the BCS. In other words, beat Pitt, get the big money game. On a three game winning streak, the Bearcats are finding ways to get wins.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it seems like things are sometimes hanging by a thread. It took overtime to beat West Virginia, and the Bearcats needed to battle way too hard to beat a bad Louisville team. If UC beats Pitt handily, then it'll be time to put it in the top 20.

24. Virginia Tech (6-4)  Last Week: 23
L, at Miami 16-14
next game: Duke
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … they beat Maryland. For all the issues lately and all the problems, the Hokies beat the Terp team that has control of its own ACC destiny. The defense really is good.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
losing three of the last four games doesn't exactly inspire confidence. However, with home games against Duke and Virginia to close, finishing 8-4 is likely. This will be the lowest Tech ranks for the rest of the year, because if it wins its final two games, it'll play for the ACC title..

25. BYU (11-1)  Last Week: 26
W, at Air Force 38-24
next game: at Utah
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense is rolling, the special teams are solid, and the defense, well, the offense is great. At 10-1 with a shot at taking a piece of the Mountain West title, this is when BYU has been its best over the last few years.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the best win this season was against ... Air Force? That's fine, but that's hardly like beating Texas. The Cougars have faced one really good team, TCU, and it was obliterated.

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