CFN Ranking Of Every Team - Week 3
Posted Sep 21, 2009

How good are the teams right now? The CFN rankings go on how the teams are performing at the moment. While the rankings have changed dramatically (and will again), Alabama appears to have staying power among the best of the best. Who else is close? Check out the third week of the 2009 CFN Rankings.

2009 CFN Rankings

Week 3, Sept. 20

- 2009 CFN Preseason Rankings
- 2009 Coaches' Poll
- Scoreboard & Game Recaps 

- CFN Rankings Week 1 | Week 2

1. Florida 3-0
Last Week: W, Tennessee 23-13
This Week: at Kentucky
Why the ranking is too high: If the offense is going to be Tim Tebow running, Tim Tebow running, and Tim Tebow running some more, the team is beatable. Tennessee might have been able to pull off the win if it had a quarterback the coaching staff had any confidence in.

2. Texas 3-0
Last Week: W, Texas Tech 34-24
This Week: UTEP
Why the ranking is too high: It's not like Texas, who's supposed to be this mature, rock-solid squad, blasted a young and rebuilding Texas Tech team that's not supposed to be ready for primetime. This is a Longhorn squad that looked like it has the weight of the world on its shoulders, and no one is playing tighter than Colt McCoy.
Why the ranking is too low: Texas didn't play its best game, McCoy hasn't been McCoy yet, and Sergio Kindle and the pass rush are just now starting to get going. The team isn't close to hitting its stride, but it has two games to get there before the Oklahoma showdown.
3. Alabama 3-0
Last Week: W, North Texas 53-7
This Week: Arkansas
Why the ranking is too high: It's not. It's hard to make a case that Florida and Texas are playing better than the Tide. There's the résumé win over Virginia Tech, and now there are two blowout wins in tune-ups against FIU and North Texas to prepare the team for the SEC season.
Why the ranking is too low: Greg McElroy is playing as well as any quarterback in the country, while the running game is crushing and killing everything in its path. Throw in the nasty run defense, ranked fifth in the nation, and it's all there for this to be a national title-caliber team.

4. California 3-0
Last Week: W, at Minnesota 35-21
This Week: at Oregon
Why the ranking is too high: The argument could be made that the Bears haven't done jack-squat yet. Maryland is awful and Minnesota is, at best, the fifth best team in the Big Ten. The next two weeks against Oregon and USC will show what the team is made of.
Why the ranking is too low: It's all there. As long as Jahvid Best is healthy and Kevin Riley isn't making mistakes, Cal's offense should be strong. The defense is swarming with one of the nation's best pass rushes.

5. Penn State 3-0
Last Week: W, Temple 31-6
This Week: Iowa
Why the ranking is too high: Akron, Syracuse, Temple. That's the start to the season, and the rushing game isn't exactly working averaging a pathetic, for Penn State, 133 yards per game.
Why the ranking is too low: The defensive front is still the Penn State defensive front. The O line might be having problems, and the offense isn't playing as well as it needs to, but the defense is cleaning up the mess by not allowing anyone to do anything yet. However, Iowa will be the first real test.

6. Miami 2-0
Last Week: W, Georgia Tech, 33-17
This Week: at Virginia Tech
Why the ranking is too high: It's not like the secondary has shown up yet. It got torched by Florida State, and then it dealt with Georgia Tech, who doesn't throw. Oklahoma is looming soon, and even with Landry Jones under center, that team can pitch it.
Why the ranking is too low: It's all there. Miami isn't back to being Miami, but the defense is ultra-athletic, there's a running game again, when needed, and Jacory Harris is playing like the type of cool, calm, steady leader of past Miami superstar quarterbacks.

7. Virginia Tech 2-1
Last Week: W, Nebraska 16-15
This Week: Miami
Why the ranking is too high: The running game isn't working. It did against Marshall, but it struggled and sputtered against Alabama and Nebraska. Give credit to Tyrod Taylor for finding a way to get his team the win, but the Hokies have to start producing on the ground and against the run.
Why the ranking is too low: If you think the Hokies will beat Miami, then this is probably a top five team. Who cares how it's done? Tech found a way to pull off the win against a strong Nebraska team, while the Alabama game was close until late. The special teams are strong, Taylor is a veteran who's making things happen, and the chance is there this week to make a huge national statement.

8. Auburn 3-0
Last Week: W, Virginia Tech 41-30
This Week: Ball State
Why the ranking is too high: Are you a believer yet in Chizik Ball? The special teams have been disastrous and the pass rush has been a bit too spotty. And then there's the offense that's putting up big overall numbers, but is still full of players trying to figure out what they're doing.
Why the ranking is too low: The team is adapting and adjusting. West Virginia put the clamps down on the running game, at least somewhat, and the passing attack kicked in. This is a smart team that's hitting big, running big, and playing extremely well.

9. Cincinnati 3-0
Last Week: W, at Oregon State 28-18
This Week: Fresno State
Why the ranking is too high: The running game got stuffed cold by Oregon State and the pass defense is average. Other than that, Cincinnati is playing as efficiently as anyone in America.
Why the ranking is too low: The win at Oregon State was impressive. The brand name might be Cincinnati, and the Big East doesn't get enough credit, but the Bearcats have been unbelievable on the defensive front, QB Tony Pike is playing like a Heisman candidate, and the schedule isn't all that bad with the toughest game on the schedule (now that USF QB Matt Grothe is gone for the year) doesn't come until the date with West Virginia in mid-November.

10. LSU 3-0
Last Week: W, Louisiana-Lafayette, 31-3
This Week: at Mississippi State
Why the ranking is too high: ZZZZZZZZZZ. The LSU offense has been stunningly sleepy. RB Charles Scott hasn't done much, the passing game is fine, but nothing special, and the line isn't crushing and killing like it should be.
Why the ranking is too low: The defense isn't giving up much. Beating Vanderbilt and Louisiana-Lafayette might not seem like that big a deal, but the Tiger defense should feed off the momentum. It was flying around a little better than it did against Washington, and it should start to do more to get into the backfield. And by the way, how good does that win over the Huskies look now?

11. Michigan 3-0
Last Week: W, Eastern Michigan, 45-17
This Week: Indiana
Why the ranking is too high: This is still a young team that's relying on freshmen. And it showed with shaky performances from Tate Forcier and Denard Robinson against EMU. Brandon Minor's ankle might never be healthy all season long.
Why the ranking is too low: The team played poorly and won 45-17. This is how the Michigan rushing attack was supposed to be working ranking third in the nation averaging 271 yards per game.

12. Notre Dame 2-1
Last Week: W, Michigan State 33-30
This Week: at Purdue
Why the ranking is too high: The pass defense isn't slowing down anyone. A week after Tate Forcier and Michigan did what it wanted to, Michigan State was great through the air. There will be plenty of shootouts ahead unless the pass rush is better and the secondary can do more.
Why the ranking is too low: No one is playing any better than Jimmy Clausen. Notre Dame leads the nation in passing efficiency with an attack that's rolling at will. However, the loss of Michael Floyd to a broken collarbone will hurt. The pressure might be on Charlie Weis, but his team really is playing well.

13. Missouri 3-0
Last Week: W, Furman, 52-12
This Week: at Nevada
Why the ranking is too high: The close call against Bowling Green is still too fresh. This is still a relatively young team that's going to make big mistakes from time to time and is going to be inconsistent.
Why the ranking is too low: Blaine Gabbert is learning on the fly. He was terrific against Furman, and while that might not seem like that big a deal, it's a step in the progression. The team has one more game of tuning up before Nebraska, but going to Nevada is hardly a layup.

14. Ole Miss 2-0
Last Week: W, SE Louisiana 52-6
This Week: at South Carolina
Why the ranking is too high: It's not like the Rebels have done anything yet. Beating Memphis and SE Louisiana is no reason to throw a parade. The passing game still has yet to fully click, even though Jevan Snead put up big numbers last week.
Why the ranking is too low: Call this a wait-and-see ranking. The team hasn't played like it belongs in the top ten, but if it can get by South Carolina in Columbia on Thursday night, then it will be time to believe.

15. Nebraska 2-1
Last Week: L, at Virginia Tech 16-15
This Week: Louisiana-Lafayette
Why the ranking is too high: In his first big game, QB Zac Lee sputtered and struggled. There were several chances to put Virginia Tech away, and Lee and the Husker offense didn't do it. The attack will have to be far more efficient to beat Missouri and Texas Tech in the next few weeks.
Why the ranking is too low: It took a miracle for Virginia Tech to win at home. With the way the run defense played, the Huskers might be the better team and probably deserves to be in the top ten. A win over Missouri in Columbia on October 8 will bring that respect.

16. Washington 2-1
Last Week: W, USC 16-13
This Week: at Stanford
Why the ranking is too high: This probably isn't one of the 25 best teams in the country, but the rankings have to be played straight. Washington did beat USC, and USC did beat Ohio State. So, with the only blemish a loss to a higher ranked LSU, this is technically where the Huskies need to be.
Why the ranking is too low: If you really believe that USC was one of the three best teams in the country, and if you believe that it's still the team to beat in the Pac 10 race, then Washington might truly have turned things around this fast. QB Jake Locker is a special player who makes a decent team very, very good.

17. USC 2-1
Last Week: L, at Washington 16-13
This Week: Washington State
Why the ranking is too high: Uhhhhhh, the offense? Aaron Corp and Matt Barkley were superstar recruits who could've gone anywhere, and they have NFL-caliber talent around them. There's no excuse for the passing game to be this bad. None.
Why the ranking is too low: On talent, this still might be one of the five best teams in America. Does anyone out there not think that Pete Carroll and his crew will be holding up the Rose Bowl trophy and complaining about how there should be a playoff?
18. Ohio State 2-1
Last Week: at Toledo 38-0
This Week: Illinois
Why the ranking is too high: If Washington could get the job done at home against USC, why couldn't Ohio State? The offense still isn't producing at a consistently high level, and the defensive line isn't doing nearly enough to get into the backfield.
Why the ranking is too low: Terrelle Pryor finally started to play like Terrelle Pryor. It was only one game, and it came against Toledo, but Pryor was fantastic and the defense was swarming against Aaron Opelt and the high-octane attack.

19. Florida State 2-1
Last Week: W, at BYU 54-28
This Week: South Florida
Why the ranking is too high: Jacksonville State. Oh sure, Florida State is America's darling after blowing away BYU, but don't just dismiss how close the Noles came to losing to Jacksonville State at home two weeks ago. The defense still has a long, long way to go, even though it came up with several big plays against the Cougars.
Why the ranking is too low: If the team plays like that, with playmakers in the secondary, and a nearly flawless performance from QB Christian Ponder and the offense,  it can hang around with anyone in the country. Watch the win at BYU, and watch Florida's win over Tennessee, and come up with a reason why the Noles aren't going to be a problem in the regular season finale. The team might grow into something special as the season goes on.

20. Oklahoma 2-1
Last Week: W, Tulsa 45-0
This Week: At Miami (Oct. 3)
Why the ranking is too high: There's still that little mater of Sam Bradford's shoulder. The offense has been great over the last two weeks at home, but can Landry Jones get the job done when he's under pressure in a big game? He might get that chance to weeks from now against Miami.
Why the ranking is too low: This is probably one of the ten best teams in the country. Jones is starting to come into his own, while the defense has been phenomenal against the run, leading the nation in run defense and in tackles for loss. OU has won its last two games by a combined score of 109-0.

21. Boise State 3-0
Last Week: at Fresno State 51-34
This Week: at Bowling Green
Why the ranking is too high: It's not. If you want to argue that this is one of the ten best teams in the country, it'll be hard to fight it. Outside of a lack of run defense against Ryan Mathews, that was a very strong, very good win over Fresno State that deserves more credit.
Why the ranking is too low: There's talent and explosion, and the team showed the type of level-headedness needed to overcome the big home runs hit against its run defense. Now only will the Broncos be favored the rest of the way, but they'll be favored by double-digits against everyone.
22. Houston 2-0
Last Week: Didn't play last week
This Week: Texas Tech
Why the ranking is too high: It's possible that beating Oklahoma State right now isn't all that big a deal. The Cowboys struggled against Rice. The Cougar defensive line hasn't played well enough to suggest that any team with a good passing game can't come up with huge numbers ... uh oh, look who's up next.
Why the ranking is too low: No one's stopping this offense. Texas Tech could end up winning in a shootout, but the Cougars will get their licks in. They have only played two games, but they lead the nation in scoring.

23. Oklahoma State 2-1
Last Week: W, Rice 41-24
This Week: Grambling
Why the ranking is too high: The team isn't playing well. It's 2-1 and the sky hasn't completely fallen, but the supposedly unstoppable attack is only averaging 364 yards and 33 points per game. Any team worth this spot should beat Rice by 40.
Why the ranking is too low: The team should come around. The coaching staff is calling out its players and everyone knows that this has been a disappointing start. There's a reason the Cowboys were so highly ranked at the beginning of the season, and eventually, QB Zac Robinson will settle down and start playing like the fringe Heisman candidate he's supposed to be.

24. Georgia 2-1
Last Week: W, at Arkansas 52-41
This Week: Arizona State
Why the ranking is too high: Uhhhhh, defense? Georgia is giving up 285 passing yards per game ... Georgia? South Carolina and Arkansas rolled at will on the Dawg defense that's starting to get banged up and isn't doing anything to get to the quarterback. However ...
Why the ranking is too low: ... Georgia did beat South Carolina and Arkansas. The D might have been torched, but the offense kept up the pace and put up 93 points in the last two games. QB Joe Cox has found his groove.

25. BYU 2-1
Last Week: L, Florida State 54-28
This Week: Colorado State
Why the ranking is too high: The team looked slow, inept, and very, very average at home against Florida State with all the world paying attention. Would you take BYU over TCU right now? With the turnovers, no pass rush, and the lack of a return game, the Cougars have some major flaws.
Why the ranking is too low: Uhhhhhh, didn't BYU beat Oklahoma? Where's the consistency in the rankings? Technically, how can the Cougars be ranked below the Sooners? Yes, but OU appears to be better now with QB Landry Jones knowing what he's doing, and while BYU gets credit for the win, the loss to Florida State makes the victory in Arlington appear to be a bit of a fluke.

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