2009 CFN Rankings
Week 11, Nov. 15
- 2009 CFN Preseason
Scoreboard & Game Recaps
- CFN Rankings
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No. 26 to 120
1. Texas 10-0
Last Week: W, at Baylor 47-14
Next Week: Kansas
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Big 12 stinks. Every league has its issues this season, but the Big 12 isn’t doing anything to show off. The best Texas win this year was against … Oklahoma? That isn’t the 2008 version. Oklahoma State? Zzzzzzzz. Texas Tech and Missouri aren’t exactly world beaters. It’s possible that Texas is a very good team that looks better than it is because of the mediocre competition.
2. Florida 10-0
Last Week: W, at South Carolina 24-14
Next Week: FIU
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The defense really is good. For all the problems and all the lackluster performances, the Gators are first in the nation in scoring D, second in yards allowed, second in pass defense and first in pass efficiency defense. As Urban keeps saying, if you play in the SEC and you’ve won 20 in a row, you’re doing something right.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Do you believe in your heart of hearts that the TCU defense couldn’t stop this predictable Gator offense cold? There’s little from the passing game, outside of a home run here and there, and Tim Tebow is hardly Tim Tebow right now. The wins are coming, but they’re hardly impressive.
3. Alabama 10-0
Last Week: W, at Mississippi State 31-3
Next Week: UT Chattanooga
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: When the passing game is working, like it was against Mississippi State, this might be the nation’s No. 1 team. It’s not a consistent attack, but the offense is averaging 217 yards rushing and 201 through the air.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense is getting the yards, but it’s struggling to get the points. The 31 scored against MSU were nice, but it’s not like the Tide can go out and hang 40 because it wants to. There could be problems against anyone who can score early.
4. TCU 10-0
Last Week: W, Utah 55-28
Next Week: at Wyoming
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Last five games: TCU 233, Opponents 53. The Horned Frogs have a better résumé than anyone in the top three, and outside of a rough outing against Air Force, winning 20-17, and a 14-10 win at Clemson, no one has come close.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It can’t be right now. We promised a big move up the rankings with a win over Utah, and 55-28 does it.
5. Oregon 8-2
Last Week: W, Arizona State 44-21
Next Week: at Arizona
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: As it turned out, that 51-42 shootout loss to Stanford wasn’t so bad. The Ducks have scored 40 points or more in six of their last seven games, with the one time under the mark coming in a 24-10 win over UCLA.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: There’s still the matter of the Ducks losing to Stanford. The win over UC doesn’t seem like such a big deal now, and if that’s not the team’s best win, then the victory over Utah probably is. Whoopee.
6. Ohio State 9-2
Last Week: W, Iowa 27-24 OT
Next Week: at Michigan
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It shouldn’t be. The defense has played well, but it struggled to put away James Vandenberg and a mediocre Iowa attack. The Buckeyes got this high in the rankings thanks to its defense, but the offense is starting to come through with more of a ground attack.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ohio State vs. Oregon in Pasadena and you have to bet the house. Okay, Ohio State vs. Stanford or Oregon State, with the way the teams are playing right now. Oh yeah … the Buckeyes also lost at home to USC (that seems like five years ago).
7. Georgia Tech 10-1
Last Week: W, at Duke 49-10
Next Week: Georgia (Nov. 28)
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It takes a little while to heat up, and then BOOM. 400 yards rushing. The Yellow Jackets did it. They’re going to the ACC title game and are just one win away from the big stage. No one wants to deal with this offense at the moment, while the defense has improved.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: 10-1 is great. Terrific. Special. But the wins over the last month have been against Virginia, Vanderbilt, Wake Forest, and Duke. Yes, the résumé is solid with wins over Clemson, North Carolina, and Virginia Tech, and five of the wins have come on the road, but if you don’t believe in the ACC, then you don’t believe in Georgia Tech.
8. Cincinnati 10-0
Last Week: W, West Virginia 24-21
Next Week: Illinois (Nov. 27)
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: At 10-0, the Bearcats keep rolling along with the nation’s third best offense. The win over West Virginia was stronger than the 24-21 final score might appear. This is as well coached a team as there is in the country, and it knows how to win. Remember, they went to the Orange Bowl last year.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: They’re going to loss at Pitt. The last two games against UConn and West Virginia were way too shaky.
9. Boise State 10-0
Last Week: W, Idaho 63-25
Next Week: at Utah State
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: That was a jacked up Idaho team (don’t laugh, it’s going bowling) that the Broncos put away without a problem. The offense is steamrolling through everyone, leading the nation averaging 43.6 points per game, and on its home turf this is an unstoppable machine.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: C’mon … it was Idaho. Yeah, the Vandals will end up in a bowl, but so far there have been only three wins over almost-certain bowl teams. Oregon (great), Tulsa (eeeeh, whatever), and Fresno State (solid).
10. Wisconsin 8-2
Last Week: W, Michigan 45-24
Next Week: at Northwestern
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Yeah, it was Michigan, but the Badgers are starting to him at just the right time. While they might not have enough juice to get into the BCS over a two-loss Iowa or Penn State, they’ll be assured of a prime New Year’s Day game somewhere in Florida by beating Northwestern and Hawaii.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The best win this year was again… Michigan State? Fresno State? The non-conference schedule wasn’t exactly a killer, while the Badgers lost in their two big tests (Ohio State and Iowa). For good and bad, there wasn’t a Penn State on the slate to help boost the profile.
11. Penn State 9-2
Last Week: W, Indiana 31-20
Next Week: at Michigan State
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It’s hard to sell it. The team should be playing better than it has been; on talent, it should be a top ten team and should be good enough to play with anyone. Should be. If the Nittany Lions blow away Michigan State, they have a shot to play their way into a possible at-large BCS spot, but they’ll likely get their shot to show what they can do in a big Florida bowl against LSU or Ole Miss.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The defense is supposed to be strong, but it had too many problems with Indiana, while the offense continues to be shakier than it should be. The special teams have been abysmal with one of the nation’s worst return games and a bad punting game.
12. LSU 8-2
Last Week: W, Louisiana Tech 24-16
Next Week: at Ole Miss
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: It’ll be the common theme until they lose again: the two losses came against Florida and Alabama. The defense continues to be solid, while the special teams might be the best in the SEC.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: 24-16 against Louisiana Tech. The Tigers dropped like a rock after showing just how average they really are. The offense is mediocre, the defense doesn’t generate enough of a pass rush, and the team is far, far worse off without Charles Scott and with a hobbling Jordan Jefferson.
13. Oklahoma State 8-2
Last Week: W, Texas Tech 24-17
Next Week: Colorado
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: On a roll winning seven of their last eight, the Cowboys are putting themselves in a nice position to potentially be an at-large BCS team. The offense might not be humming, but the defense is doing a solid job and the O line is among the best in America.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Zzzzzzzzzzz. Yeah, OSU is 8-2, and it’s not necessarily a shaky 8-2, but it’s an unimpressive mark. This is a good one, not a great one, and now that QB Zac Robinson has concussion issues, there’s even more reason to worry over the final two games against a flaky Colorado and at Oklahoma.
14. Pitt 9-1
Last Week: W, Notre Dame 27-22
Next Week: at West Virginia
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: There are few skill trios playing better than QB Bill Stull, RB Dion Lewis, and WR Jonathan Baldwin. Led by Greg Romeus, the pass rush is the best in the nation, as Jimmy Clausen found out, and on a six-game winning streak, it’s a two-game run for the Big East title and the BCS. The Panthers are good enough to do it.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The wins have been less than dominating. For all the talent and all the good things the team does, it should be dropping the hammer early on teams like Rutgers, Connecticut, and Notre Dame. But if the Panthers beat West Virginia and Cincinnati, there’s no complaining.
15. Oregon State 7-3
Last Week: W, Washington 48-21
Next Week: at Washington State
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The loss at USC a month ago wasn’t all that bad, and the team has played extremely well since. Sean Canfield might be the best quarterback in the Pac 10 this season, while the rest of the offense is playing just well enough to get to Pasadena.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s a tough A-B-C ranking now. Oregon State beat Stanford, Stanford beat USC, USC beat Oregon State. There’s still the matter of the Arizona loss, too. The secondary is porous and the lines are average.
16. Stanford 7-3
Last Week: W, at USC 55-21
Next Week: California
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Stanford 55, USC 21. Stanford 55, USC 21. Stanford 55, USC 21. Stanford 55, USC 21. Stanford 55, USC 21. Stanford 55, USC 21. Stanford 55, USC 21.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense has hung up 106 points in the last two games, but there’s still the question of whether or not the defense can stop anyone with an effective offense. USC’s attack has been hit or miss, but Arizona, Oregon State, and Oregon were able to rumble without a problem. Wait and see what Cal and Notre Dame are able to do in high-octane shootouts.
17. Clemson 7-3
Last Week: W, Virginia 43-23
Next Week: Virginia
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: When Clemson is on and plays up to its speed, athleticism, and talent, few teams in the country match the skill. C.J. Spiller is playing like a Heisman candidate. The defense is coming through when needed, and the parts are working in the five game winning streak on a possible run to the ACC title.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Let’s not set up the parade route quite yet. The stunning overtime win over Miami was good, but the other recent wins over NC State, Florida State, and Wake Forest are less impressive than they seem.
18. USC 7-3
Last Week: L. Stanford 55-21
Next Week: UCLA
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Take a deep breath. Relax. Yes, the Trojans have lost two of their last three games, and yes, the defense is a mess, but do you want to face this team in a bowl game? Now you’ve made them mad.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The team might not be that good. The offense isn’t improving and the defense has suddenly quit. Stanford might be good, but you don’t lose 55-21 at home if you’re USC without some major issues.
19. Iowa 9-2
Last Week: L, at Ohio State 27-24 OT
Next Week: Minnesota
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: You really want to punish the Hawkeyes for losing in overtime at Ohio State in the biggest game of the season? Fine, so the ranking should be higher; the Hawkeyes are going to end up in the BCS.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Northwestern loss is still a bit too fresh. Yes, the game at Ohio State was a battle, but it took a conservative game, even by Buckeye standards, to keep it interesting. Do you trust James Vandenberg to have two good games in a row right now against solid teams?
20. North Carolina 7-3
Last Week: W, Miami 33-24
Next Week: at Boston College
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tar Heels just outathleticed (yes, that’s a word … for the moment) Miami. The defense is great at forcing big mistakes.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense stinks. Don’t let the 33 points fool you. The defense saved the day with two scores and several takeaways, while the offense used the good fortune to kick field goals.
21. Virginia Tech 7-3
Last Week: W. at Maryland 36-9
Next Week: NC State
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The defense has started to put the clamps down again. Yeah, East Carolina and Maryland aren’t any big deal, but the Hokies did a great job of winning with ease thanks to a tremendous pass defense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It shouldn’t be. The Hokies will roll through NC State and Virginia, win a bowl game, and be 10-3.
22. Georgia 6-4
Last Week: W, Auburn 31-24
Next Week; Kentucky
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs have won three of their last four with the loss coming to Florida. The other losses were at Oklahoma State, LSU, and at Tennessee. That’s not that bad. The offense is starting to put up points averaging around 34 a pop in the last three wins.
Why the Ranking Should Be Lower: The defense is still failing to impress. It came through when it had to against Auburn, but the proof of improvement will be in two weeks against Georgia Tech. Get cracking now.
23. Arkansas 6-4
Last Week: W, Troy 56-20
Next Week: Mississippi State
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The offense is peaking with 152 points in the last three games. Ryan Mallett and the passing game are all tuned up for the back stretch against Mississippi State and LSU..
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, the offense is playing well, but it lit up Eastern Michigan, South Carolina, and Troy. Fine, there were big performances against Auburn and Texas A&M , too, but the Hog defense has to show it can stop a strong offense. Troy’s sort of counts.
24. Auburn 7-4
Last Week: L, at Georgia 31-24
Next Week: Alabama (Nov. 27)
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Call this a sneaking suspicion. This is a preemptive strike for what the ranking might be in a few weeks. Watch out for a tremendous performance against Alabama. With two weeks off to prepare for the rivalry game, the Tigers could throw a wrench into the plans, but ...
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: … that’s not a reason. The Tigers should be lower after losing to Georgia, but don’t blow off the win over Ole Miss a few weeks ago. If you want to put one of around ten other teams up here, fine.
25. Nevada 6-3
Last Week: W, Fresno State 52-14
Next Week: at New Mexico State
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Yeah, yeah, yeah, it might be the WAC, but YEEEEEEESH. Want numbers? Over the last seven games, Nevada has rushed for 559 yards, 345, 313, 484, 312, 517, and 461 and has now scored 40 rushing touchdowns on the year with 15 in the last two weeks. Read those again.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The competition hasn’t exactly been stiff, but no one wants to play the Pistol attack at the moment. Watch out for the WAC game of the year at Boise State in a few weeks.
No. 26 to 120