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CFN Rankings - No. 1 to 119 - Week 14

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Dec 1, 2008


The rankings are starting to solidify a bit as the season is in the finishing kick. These rankings are based on how good we think the teams are right now. Coming early next week, the CFN Rankings will be done on our formula and based on deserve over the entire season rather than opinion.

2008 CFN Rankings - Week 14

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 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7
Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 |
Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13

1.
Florida
(11-1)  Last Week: 1
W, at Florida State 45-15
next game: Alabama (SEC Championship)
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because …
the Gators are 103rd in the nation in penalties, committing 7.33 per game. That's it. Everything else is clicking right now with the special teams and defense playing every bit as well as the offense. The loaded team is playing focused and up to its talent level..

2. Texas (11-1)  Last Week: 2
W, Texas A&M, 49-9
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … Texas is every bit as dominant right now as Florida, Oklahoma, anyone. The Longhorns have won their last two games by a combined score of 84 to 16 and they're playing phenomenal run defense at the moment. The D line has taken things to another level.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it really can't be. Yeah, the Texas Tech factor comes into the mix, but as has been stated over and over again, Texas didn't get a home game in the round-robin, three-game tournament. Would you take Texas Tech over Texas in Austin? There's always going to be the 45-35 factor for Texas to fall back on.

3. Oklahoma (11-1)   Last Week: 3
W, at Oklahoma State 61-41
next game: Missouri, Big 12 Championship
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … no one's stopping this offense, especially if there's no pass rush to get to Sam Bradford. If you're putting up 58, 62, 66, 65, and 61 points on the board, you're doing something right.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the offense has to keep putting up points, at least it did against Oklahoma State, because the batted and injured defense is having a tough time coming up with stops. It did a great job against Texas Tech, but are you going to trust this D against Florida in the national title game? How about the offense against the Alabama D?

4. Alabama (12-0)  Last Week: 4
W, Auburn 36-0
next game: Florida, SEC Championship
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the team might not be as sexy as Florida or Oklahoma, but the defense has been amazing with two shut outs in the last five games along with the nine points allowed to Tennessee and the seven given up to Mississippi State. This team has risen to every challenge. Don't just assume the Gators are going to win in a walk.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
at the moment, the best win was over Georgia? LSU? Those games don't appear to be any big deal now, and actually, the win over Ole Miss might have been the best one. 12-0 is 12-0, and if it's 13-0, Bama will go up o No. 1. Promise.

5. USC (10-1)  Last Week: 7
W, Notre Dame 38-3
next game: at UCLA
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … USC allowed 23 points to Stanford, including a garbage touchdown at the end. It gave up 27 in the loss to Oregon State, and 10 to both Arizona and Oregon. In the other seven games, USC has given up seven points or fewer. In six games, USC has given up three points or fewer. Let that sink in for a moment.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ..
. oooooh, you held Notre Dame to three points. Oooooh, you're dominating the Pac 10. The offense could stand to be pushed a little bit, and it'll be interesting to see what Mark Sanchez and the crew can do against Penn State.

6. Texas Tech (10-1)  Last Week: 6
L, at Oklahoma 65-21
next game: Baylor
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it was only one loss. It was a big one, but if you believe that Oklahoma is the best team in America at the moment, then you can't get too down on the Red Raiders for getting blasted in Norman. 11-1, this year, is a major feat in the Big 12.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Baylor might be playing well, but the Red Raiders struggled way too much at home in a key game against the Bears. If you're going on how good the teams are right now, Tech is iffy with Graham Harrell undergoing surgery on his hand and Michael Crabtree hurting. Take those two out of the equation and the team isn't so hot.

7. Penn State (11-1)  Last Week: 9
Didn't Play Last Week
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … if it had just come up with one late defensive stop against Iowa, and had Daryll Clark not thrown the ill-fate interception, then Penn State would be making plans for Miami and the national title instead of Pasadena.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
it can't be. This defense is the real deal, and with six weeks to rest up an rejuvenate, it'll be interesting to see how it comes out against USC. That might be the best bowl game of the season.

8. Oklahoma State (9-3)  Last Week: 7
L, Oklahoma 61-41
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … that offense ripped Oklahoma apart. OU didn't win because of luck, but all the key bounces seemed to go the Sooners' way. Losing to Oklahoma, Texas, and Texas Tech is hardly anything to get upset about. All that means is that OSU might be the fourth best team in America.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the defense wasn't even close against OU after the first few minutes. Granted, the Sooner offense could beat up anyone, but it was hardly an inspiring performance as OSU was helpless on drive after drive. There just wasn't any pass rush all year.

9. Utah (12-0)  Last Week: 10
Didn't Play Last Week
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … being unbeaten this year is impressive no matter who you're doing it against. The offense kicked things in at the right time over the final few games, while the Big Ten type of power defense has been a brick wall against the run.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
that Oregon State win doesn't seem like any big deal now. However, there's still the deserve factor. Utah beat the Beavers; USC didn't. This is still a team that needed everything in the bag to get by New Mexico just a few weeks ago.

10. Ohio State (10-2)  Last Week: 11
Didn't Play Last Week
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … when all is said and done, Ohio State lost to USC and lost in a battle at home to Penn State that went down to the end. At least 115 other teams would've lost those same games. However ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
... the best win was against, Northwestern? Wisconsin? Fine, it was over Michigan State, but that's a fundamentally flawed team when it comes to cranking out points. Ohio State might get a BCS bowl, and it'll have to prove it belongs among the elite of the elite with an impressive performance.

11. Georgia Tech (9-3)  Last Week: 17
W, at Georgia 45-42
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the offense is starting to get it big time. Teams are supposed to be getting better by the end of the season, and that's Georgia Tech with an offense that hung up 96 points on the board over the last two weeks against ultra-athletic Miami and Georgia defenses.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the blowout loss to North Carolina was just a few weeks ago. For all the NFL talent, the defense hasn't played up-to-snuff. giving up points in bunches over the second half of the year.

12. TCU (10-2)  Last Week: 13
Didn't Play Last Week
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Horned Frogs are a missed field goal against Utah away from being in the BCS. The defense has stayed No. 1 in the nation against the run and No. 2 overall, even with all the big things USC is doing.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... the best win was over BYU. If you're not a believer in the Mountain West, then the TCU season isn't all that big a deal. The second best win was over Air Force. Yippee!

13. Boston College (9-3)  Last Week: 15
W, Maryland 28-21
next game: Virginia Tech, ACC Championship
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … you could play quarterback for the Eagles right now and the team would win. The defense has been out of this world at times, especially against the run, while the offense is getting just enough of a running game to get by.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
anyone who can somehow get up early on the Eagles should be able to win. Dominique Davis has potential at quarterback, but he's limited. The defense might be a brick wall overall, but it's been giving up points.

14. Ole Miss (8-4)  Last Week: 25
W, Mississippi State 45-0
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it's not insane to suggest that the Rebels have the best defensive line in college football. Peria Jerry is playing at another level right now. Ole Miss, remember, beat Florida, while the four losses were all by a touchdown or less, including a battle at Alabama.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
at the moment, it shouldn't be considering QB Jevan Snead has come into his own. The lines allow Houston Nutt's team to play with anyone. Over the last four games, the Rebels have allowed 20 points, have two shutouts, and not lead the nation in tackles for loss.

15.
Missouri (9-3)  Last Week: 8
L, Kansas 40-37
next game: Oklahoma in Big 12 Championship
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … everyone relax. Yes, Missouri wanted to beat its rival, Kansas, and yes, it really did try, but the team didn't need the game with the Big 12 title game on its mind. The offense still moved the ball as well as anyone in America, but ...
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
... the defense could give up 114 points to Oklahoma. The secondary has been abysmal, getting picked clean despite getting a good pass rush to help the cause. Losing to KU isn't a plus on a neutral field after struggling a bit at times over the second half of the year. 

16. Georgia (9-3) Last Week: 12
L, Georgia Tech 45-42
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …the offense is humming. Matthew Stafford isn't just the best pro quarterback prospect out there right now, it's not even remotely close. He's leading the SEC's best passing attack and has taken his game to a No. 1 overall pick sort of level. The Dawgs hung 52 on LSU, 42 on Kentucky and 42 on Georgia Tech in the last month.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
the SEC is awful, and it was proven by the way the ACC picked the league clean (outside of the FSU loss to Florida) last weekend. Georgia's defense has decided to take a rest, doing next to nothing over the second half of the season against any offense with a pulse.


17. Boise State (12-0)  Last Week: 18
W, Fresno State 61-10
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … it's not really fair to do this, because Oregon was a far, far different team at the time with several problems at quarterback, but remember, this Boise State team beat the Ducks in Autzen. This isn't Hawaii of last year. This is a team with enough legitimate talent on both sides of the ball to hang around with anyone in the BCS.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there will always be the WAC factor. It's not like anyone in the league is playing all that well. The Oregon win was September 20th, a lifetime ago. Outside of that, the one decent win way at Nevada two weeks ago, and that was a struggle.

18.
Michigan State (9-3)  Last Week: 14
Didn't Play Last Week
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Spartans dropped big this week mainly because others played well. Overall, the losses weren't that bad (at Cal, Ohio State, at Penn State). No SEC team will want to deal with the MSU power.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
if you're not a believer in the Big Ten, then you're less than impressed by anything the Spartans have done. The team doesn't do any one thing well and is hardly flashy. It'll have problems in the bowl against anyone with a high-powered offense. When all is said and done, the best win was over Iowa ... whoopee.

19.
Oregon (9-3)  Last Week: 35
W, at Oregon State 65-38
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … no one, no one wants to face this team right now. The Ducks have been on fire, ripping off 120 points in their last two games, highlighted by the blowout stomping of Oregon State to all but ruin the Beavers' Rose Bowl dream. The Ducks have a breathtaking running game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ... it shouldn't be. Jeremiah Masoli has grown into the starting quarterback role, while the 1-2 rushing punch of Jermiah Johnson and LeGarrette Blount might be the best in America.

20. Cincinnati (10-2)  Last Week: 21
W, Syracuse 30-10
next game: at Hawaii
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Bearcats are the Big East champions and off to the BCS. There was a bad loss at Connecticut in the middle of the season. Outside of that, there was a loss to Oklahoma, and that's it. The team has been tough, efficient, and rock-solid productive over the last five weeks.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
if you're not a believer in the Big East, you're not a believer in the the Bearcats. This is a good team, but it hasn't faced a major offensive powerhouse since the loss to OU. Think a jazzed up Michigan State. This is a team that'll be fine against the sluggers, but could struggle against the high-octane attacks.

21.  Iowa (8-4)  Last Week: 19
Didn't Play Last Week
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … the Hawkeyes only moved down because others played well last week. Had the Hawkeyes not been done, and had they played and won, they probably wouldn't have moved. This will be an interesting bowl team to keep an eye on.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
technically, Northwestern should be here. The Wildcats finished with a better record and it beat the Hawkeyes. The loss to Illinois isn't a prize.

22. Oregon State (8-4)  Last Week: 20
L, Oregon 65-38
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … this is a different team with and without Jacquizz Rodgers. The offense might have the best passing game in the Pac 10, but it doesn't have the same spark. When he's healthy, this team can beat anyone in America.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
Quizz doesn't play defense. With everything on the line, the defense wasn't remotely close to handling Oregon's speed and efficiency on offense. If Oregon State couldn't deal with the Oregon athleticism, what chance would it have against a Florida State or several other teams ranked lower?

23. Florida State
(8-3)  Last Week: 16
L, Florida 45-15
next game: BOWL GAME
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … there's no shame in losing to Florida. The Seminole defense really is playing well, overall, while the offense has just enough spark to play with anyone in the ACC. Remember, this solid season has come even with suspensions, a quarterback shuffle, and several other distractions.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there isn't any consistency. The same team that blew away Maryland lost at home to Boston College. The win over Clemson was easy, but the team didn't play as well over the entire second half of the year. The inefficient passing game is still an issue thanks to the various receiver suspensions.

24. Virginia Tech (8-4)  Last Week: 24
W, Virginia 17-14
next game: Boston College, ACC Championship
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because … defense, defense, defense. The Hokies have allowed 46 points in the last four games on their way to the ACC title game.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
offense, offense, offense. The O is manufacturing points when needed, but this is hardly an offensive juggernaut averaging just 301 yards and 21.5 points per game. The Hokies have scored 14, 14 and 17 in their last three games.

25. Pitt (8-3)  Last Week: 27
W, West Virginia 19-15
next game: at Connecticut
The Ranking Should Be Higher Because …the Panthers have won three of their last four games and will end up being the No. 2 team in the Big East if they can get by Connecticut. The team is starting to play well at the right time.
The Ranking Should Be Lower Because ...
there's still the matter of the blowout loss to Rutgers and the four overtimes needed to beat Notre Dame. This is a good team that's not quite playing up to its overall talent.

26 Nebraska (8-4)
27 Kansas (7-5)
28 West Virginia (7-4)
29 BYU (10-2)
30 Northwestern (9-3)
31 Maryland (7-5)
32 California (7-4)
33 North Carolina (8-4)
34 Miami (7-5)
35 Clemson (7-5)
36 South Carolina (7-5)
37 Ball State (12-0)
38 Wisconsin (7-5)
39 Connecticut (7-4)
40 Wake Forest (7-5)
41 Arizona (6-5)
42 LSU (7-5)
43 Central Michigan (8-4)
44 Western Michigan (9-3)
45 Rutgers (6-5)
46 Kentucky (6-6)
47 South Florida (7-4)
48 Auburn (5-7)
49 Arkansas (5-7)
50 Virginia (5-7)  
51 Minnesota (7-5)
52 Illinois (5-7)
53 Rice (9-3)
54 Houston (7-5)
55 Tulsa (10-2)
56 Vanderbilt (6-6)
57 Mississippi State (4-8)
58 Notre Dame (6-6)
59 Navy (7-4)
60 Air Force (8-4)
61 Louisville (5-6)
62 NC State (6-6)
63 Nevada (7-5)
64 Louisiana Tech (7-5)
65 Arizona State (5-6)
66 Baylor (4-8)
67 Southern Miss (6-6)
68 East Carolina (8-4)
69 Colorado State (6-6)
70 Tennessee (5-7)
71 Stanford (5-7)
72 Kansas State (5-7)
73 Texas A&M (4-8)
74 Colorado (5-7)
75 Purdue (4-8)
76 UCLA (4-7)
77 Troy (7-4)
78 Michigan (3-9)
79 Wyoming (4-8)
80 UNLV (5-7)
81 Duke (4-8)
82 Northern Illinois (6-6)
83 Indiana (3-9)
84 New Mexico (4-8)
85 Memphis (6-6)
86 UTEP (5-7)
87 Buffalo (7-5)
88 Fresno State (7-5)
89 Iowa State (2-10)
90 Bowling Green (6-6)
91 Syracuse (3-9)
92 San Jose State (6-6)
93 Army (3-8)
94 Eastern Michigan (3-9)
95 UAB (4-8)
96 UCF (4-8)
97 Marshall (4-8)
98 Temple (5-7)
99 Ohio (4-8)  
100 Akron (5-7)
101 Florida Atlantic (6-6)
102 UL Lafayette (5-6)
103 Hawaii (7-5)
104 Utah State (3-9)
105 Kent State (4-8)
106 Middle Tennessee (6-6)
107 Arkansas State (6-5)
108 Toledo (3-9)
109 UL Monroe (3-9)
110 FIU (4-7)
111 Washington State (2-11)
112 Washington (0-12)
113 San Diego State (2-10)
114 Miami Univ. (2-10)
115 Idaho (2-10)
116 Tulane (2-10)
117 New Mexico State (3-9)
118 SMU (1-11)
119 North Texas (1-11)