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CFN Ranking Of Every Team - Week 5
USC RB Joe McKnight & QB Matt Barkley
USC RB Joe McKnight & QB Matt Barkley
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Oct 4, 2009


Where should USC be ranked? We do the CFN rankings based on how good the teams are right now, but what happened on the field has to be taken into account. With all the craziness, as always, there's a massive change in the order. Check out the fifth week of the 2009 CFN Rankings.


2009 CFN Rankings

Week 5, Oct. 4

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

- CFN Rankings Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4

1. Alabama 5-0
Last Week: W, at Kentucky 38-20
This Week: at Ole Miss
Why the ranking is too high: The punting game isn't that big a deal. There have to be some warts, right? Going through the motions a bit, the Tide was outplayed for a long stretch by Kentucky. It was still an easy 38-20 win as all the parts continue to hum.

2. Florida 4-0
Last Week: Didn't Play This Week
This Week: at LSU
Why the ranking is too high: It this really the No. 2 team in America it Tim Tebow is hurt/out? The Tennessee game is still a little fresh, the Gators didn't look that great, and there might be a question mark about whether or not the offense, that isn't getting much out of the receivers, can produce against a great D if it's Tebow left, Tebow right, Tebow up the middle.
Why the ranking is too low:Yeah, if Florida isn't No. 1, it's No. 1A. Tebow's melon is supposedly fine, LSU isn't all that great, and the Gators, for any problems you might want to come up with, has outscored everyone by an average score of 45.5 to 7.25. The offense is third in the nation and the defense is first.

3. Texas 4-0
Last Week: Didn't Play This Week
This Week: Colorado
Why the ranking is too high: Colt McCoy has been fine, but he hasn't been the Colt McCoy of last year quite yet. The offense is working more with the running backs, but it still has to prove it can produce against a real defense. That win over Texas Tech doesn't seem like any big deal, and it seems even more mediocre since it was such a struggle and with the problems Houston had this week against UTEP. Of course ...
Why the ranking is too low: ... that the UTEP team that hung up 58 points on Houston gained a total of 53 yards on Texas. The Longhorns appear to be all tuned up and ready to take on the big boys coming up soon. With a week off to prepare for Colorado, this might not be pretty unless the Longhorns are licking their chops after watching OU's loss to Miami.

4. Virginia Tech 4-1
Last Week: W, at Duke 34-26
This Week: Boston College
Why the ranking is too high: Yeeeeeeeesh. You don't struggle that much against Duke. Yeah, the Hokies had the game in hand throughout, for the most part, but a top four team doesn't beat Duke by eight. The offensive line has been good, but inconsistent.
Why the ranking is too low: Everyone seemed to take last week off except for Tyrod Taylor. The Hokie QB proved once again that he can throw a little bit, and while he might not be a bomber, he's becoming tremendously efficient.

5. Auburn 5-0
Last Week: W, at Tennessee 26-22
This Week: at Arkansas
Why the ranking is too high: The run defense has been a tad soft, and the pass defense is the only one in FBS or FCS that couldn't come up with a pick of Tennessee QB Jonathan Crompton. The pass rush isn't at an elite level and there aren't enough big plays being made behind the line.
Why the ranking is too low: The offense is almost perfectly balanced averaging 254 rushing yards and 259 passing yards per game. With wins over Mississippi State, West Virginia, and now Tennessee, the Tigers are building a decent résumé, and if they play up to their talent level over the next two weeks, they'll by 7-0 before going to LSU. Welcome to the party, other polls.

6. Miami 3-1
Last Week: W, Oklahoma 21-20
This Week: Florida A&M
Why the ranking is too high: If Oklahoma two points better if Sam Bradford is under center? The Virginia Tech blasting is still a little too fresh, and while the Canes looked athletic, fast, and extremely talented against Oklahoma, this still could be a flaky enough team to go into the tank like it did in Blacksburg.
Why the ranking is too low: It's almost as if the team went from thinking it had swagger and confidence to actually getting both. Give credit to Jacory Harris for overcoming the adversity of a rough start to settle down and get the win over the Sooners. There's no one on the schedule, with the possible exception of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, who can touch the Canes before the trip to South Florida.

7. USC 4-1
Last Week: W, at California 30-0
This Week: at Notre Dame (Oct. 17)
Why the ranking is too high: Fine, so blasting California isn't necessarily a reason to put USC in Pasadena already, but that was a dominant defensive performance against a talented offense. At some point, Matt Barkley is going to have to start putting it up deep. USC has to prove it can produce in a shootout (like it might have against Notre Dame next week).
Why the ranking is too low: Forgetting the loss to Washington for a moment, the defense really has been good. The Trojans have allowed just nine points in the last two weeks. In five games, USC has given up just two meaningful touchdowns. The run defense is giving up just 65 yards per game ... that's not a good sign for Oregon on Halloween.

8. Ohio State 4-1
Last Week: W, at Indiana 33-14
This Week: Wisconsin
Why the ranking is too high: The Buckeyes could lose to Wisconsin. The Badgers are a bad matchup for the Buckeyes and might pull off the upset if the OSU passing game doesn't get rolling. Yeah, the team has looked great over the last three games winning by a combined total of 101 to 14, but that was against Toledo, Illinois, and Indiana. Whoopee.
Why the ranking is too low: The defense really is good. You probably can't name any of Buckeye defenders, but outside of a big pass play by Navy and a late Matt Barkley drive, the defense hasn't given up anything meaningful.

9. Nebraska 3-1
Last Week: Didn't Play This Week
This Week: at Missouri
Why the ranking is too high: The Huskers will probably lose at Missouri on Thursday night. The offense hasn't produced enough points against anyone with a pulse and it will have to prove it can keep up in a firefight, which it might be in Columbia.
Why the ranking is too low: It took a miraculous last second pass for Virginia Tech to beat the Huskers, and if the D could've held firm, the ranking might be in the top five. Nebraska had an easy time against an Arkansas State team that gave Iowa a big push.

10. Wisconsin 5-0
Last Week: W, at Minnesota 31-28
This Week: at Ohio State
Why the ranking is too high: The team can't close. The Badgers were in complete control late against Northern Illinois, Fresno State, Michigan State, and Minnesota, and they found ways to make all four games far too interesting. The secondary has to be much, much tighter.
Why the ranking is too low: It's almost like the team is a few tweaks away from being truly special. The offensive line is starting to heal up and come together, the run defense has been solid, and there's perfect offensive balance averaging 217 rushing yards per game and 216 through the air.

11. LSU 5-0
Last Week: W, at Georgia, 20-13
This Week: Florida
Why the ranking is too high: LSU came up with its best performance of the year on the lines against Georgia, but it was still a horrible, horrible unsportsmanlike penalty call away from probably losing. One rumbling touchdown run from Charles Scott aside, the offense was mediocre yet again.
Why the ranking is too low: The talent is there. The Tigers might not be looking like world beaters, but they're winning. 3-0 in the SEC is 3-0, and now there are chances to prove they're for real with Florida and Auburn at home over the next two weeks and Alabama coming up in early November.

12. Iowa 5-0
Last Week: W, Arkansas State 24-21
This Week: Michigan
Why the ranking is too high: The offense stinks. Oh sure, QB Ricky Stanzi was fine against Arkansas State, but there isn't enough happening on the ground and the points aren't coming. Needing to battle to beat Northern Iowa in the opener is an aberration, but struggling against Arkansas State at home, too, shows the team's problems.
Why the ranking is too low: This appears to be the type of team that's going to find ways to win, even if it's not pretty. The secondary is playing tremendously well and the run defense has been solid. Now comes another Prove It game, two weeks after the Penn State victory, with Michigan up next.

13. Boise State 5-0
Last Week: W, UC Davis
This Week: at Tulsa (Wednesday, Oct. 14)
Why the ranking is too high: Uhhhhhhh, 34-16 against UC Davis? If you're Boise State and you have no one left on the schedule, you can't do that. The Oregon win was nice, but the other three FBS wins were against Miami University, Fresno State, and Bowling Green. Those three teams have combined to win one FBS game.
Why the ranking is too low: It's not. The Oregon win is looking better and better, but that was a different Duck team. The Broncos had better blast Tulsa next Wednesday or the ranking is dropping.

14. TCU 4-0
Last Week: W, SMU 39-14
This Week: at Air Force
Why the ranking is too high: The offense is a whole bunch of bleccchhh. The running game is fine and the passing game is efficient, but can it produce against a real live defense? It's not going to have a chance to find out in Mountain West play.
Why the ranking is too low: The defense is phenomenal. It's leading the nation against the run, allowing just 47 yards per game, and the pass rush is tremendous. The scary part is that this group appears to be just scratching the surface.

15. Oregon 4-1
Last Week: W, Washington State 52-6
This Week: at UCLA
Why the ranking is too high: How flaky are the Ducks? Oh sure, there were the impressive performances against Cal and Washington State, but will the passing game that was so poor against Utah show up in one of the four road games in the next six? Basically, do you trust this team?
Why the ranking is too low: 94-9. That's the combined score that Oregon beat Cal and Washington State over the last two weeks. USC is ranked much higher, but it wasn't as impressive against the Bears and Cougars over the last two games.

16. Cincinnati 5-0
Last Week: W, Miami Univ. 37-13
This Week: at South Florida (Oct. 15)
Why the ranking is too high: Miami University is awful. Every team is allowed a down week, but after a shaky performance against Fresno State, the Bearcats needed to be better against one of America's worst teams. The running game isn't doing well enough to scare South Florida.
Why the ranking is too low: UC is going through the motions. Yeah, it was a bit of a lifeless performance against the RedHawks, but it didn't matter. The passing game is among the best in the country, the defense is first in tackles for loss and second in sacks. But now we get to see if the team is the real deal. A win over South Florida in Tampa and UC might be in the top ten.

17. Kansas 4-0
Last Week: W, Didn't Play This Week
This Week: Iowa State
Why the ranking is too high: Now that Southern Miss had a clunker against UAB, the win over the Golden Eagles doesn't seem that impressive. No, beating UTEP, even after the Houston win, isn't any big deal. The secondary will struggle against just about everyone in the Big 12 who can throw.
Why the ranking is too low: The run defense is third in the nation. While there haven't been too many great running games to deal with so far, the D really is playing well. No quarterback in the nation is playing as well as Todd Reesing, who has thrown for 1,137 yards and nine touchdowns with two picks. KU will rip up Iowa State and Colorado over the next two weeks.

18. South Florida 5-0
Last Week: W, at Syracuse 34-20
This Week: Cincinnati (Wednesday, Oct. 15)
Why the ranking is too high: Beating Florida State isn't all that big a deal now, and the second best win is over Syracuse. The team has been good, but it needs a bigger win than the FSU victory to prove it's great. Beating Cincinnati would prove the team is among the elite.
Why the ranking is too low: B.J. Daniels has stepped in for Matt Grothe without skipping a beat. The Bulls are third in the nation in passing efficiency and the pass rush, even without George Selvie playing at an All-America level at the moment, has been strong. And yeah, the win over the Seminoles really was good.

19. Missouri 4-0
Last Week: Didn't Play Last Week
This Week: Nebraska
Why the ranking is too high: Bowling Green has been lousy, making the rough outing at home look that much worse. The best win at the moment is over Nevada ... whoopee. This is still a developing team that's going to be inconsistent, and if defense isn't a little more stout, there will be problems over the next three weeks against Nebraska, Oklahoma State, and Texas.
Why the ranking is too low: The Nevada win looks really nice after the Pack ripped off 559 rushing yards and seven scores against UNLV. With the way QB Blaine Gabbert was playing before the time off, the offense should have a puncher's chance against everyone left on the schedule.

20. Oklahoma 2-2
Last Week: W, at Miami 21-20
This Week: Baylor
Why the ranking is too high: The Sooners are 0-for-2 this year outside of the state of Oklahoma. The defense is also 0-for-2 on coming up with clutch stops late, while the offense doesn't have nearly the same pizzazz it had last year. And no, it's not just because Sam Bradford isn't playing. The line isn't dominating, the ground game hasn't been consistent, and the best win was against Tulsa.
Why the ranking is too low: The Sooners lost their two big games by two points. If Bradford is back and up to his old tricks, everything might quickly turn around. if OU beats Texas in two weeks, it might be game on against for the national title hunt (IF Bradford is Bradford again).

21. Penn State 4-1
Last Week: W, at Illinois
This Week: Eastern Illinois
Why the ranking is too high: The offense still hasn't proven much. Daryll Clark didn't have to do too much to beat a horrible Illinois, while the running game still has to show it can produce against a good D. If you don't believe in Iowa, then Penn State might not be a top 25 team.
Why the ranking is too low: The team is better than it has played offensively. At some point, everything is going to start clicking on the line, and every game the young receiving corps gets more work will mean a vast improvement to the passing attack. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, Eastern Illinois is up next to turn things up even more.

22. West Virginia 3-1
Last Week: W, Colorado 35-24
This Week: at Syracuse
Why the ranking is too high: The offense can't stop giving the ball away. Part of the key to West Virginia's success has been forcing turnovers while being stingy with the ball, but the team is 118th in the nation in turnover margin. The secondary is struggling way too much.
Why the ranking is too low: Losing to Auburn at Auburn deserves more respect. WVU might be a top ten team if it can stop giving the ball away, while the offense appears to be just scratching the surface of how good it can become. QB Jarrett Brown is coming into his own.

23. Georgia 3-2
Last Week: L, LSU 20-13
This Week: at Tennessee
Why the ranking is too high: The defense has gone bye-bye, especially when it needs to come up with a truly big stop, and there have been way too many errors on offense. Where's the running game? Where's the secondary? Where are the playmakers outside of A.J. Green?
Why the ranking is too low: 3-2 is a very unGeorgia-like record, but the schedule has been murderous and the Dawgs are battling hard. Who else would only have two losses with at Oklahoma State, South Carolina, at Arkansas, Arizona State, and LSU to deal with? The offense might not be consistent, but it's putting up numbers.

24. Stanford 4-1
Last Week: W, UCLA 24-16
This Week: at Oregon State
Why the ranking is too high: Is beating UCLA and Washington that big a deal? The offense is turning the ball over too much, the defensive front hasn't been a rock, even though it hasn't faced anyone great, and the passing attack could stand to put up a few more yards.
Why the ranking is too low: Stanford is one bad call against Wake Forest away from being unbeaten. Toby Gerhart is pounding away for the efficient attack, while the O line is playing well enough to pound away over the next few weeks at Oregon State and Arizona to pull off wins. The team is the real deal.

25. Georgia Tech 4-1
Last Week: W, at Mississippi State 42-31
This Week: at Florida State
Why the ranking is too high: Is the running game really back to its old self? Beating North Carolina and Mississippi State isn't anything special, while the defense hasn't done quite enough to keep up its end of the bargain.
Why the ranking is too low: Has the offense found itself again? After sputtering a little too much against Clemson and then getting stopped by Miami, it's back on track. Now it has to show it against Florida State and Virginia Tech over the next two weeks.


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