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2014 CFN Rankings - Week 14
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Nov 30, 2014

You must rank teams based on how good you believe they are at the moment. That's the point when it comes to putting the teams in some order. However, once the year is complete, it's only fair to take the subjectivity out of it and go by what actually happened on the field.

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You must rank teams based on how good you believe they are at the moment. That's the point when it comes to putting the teams in some order. However, once the year is complete, it's only fair to take the subjectivity out of it and go by what actually happened on the field.

1. Alabama 11-1
Last Week: W, Auburn, 55-44
Why They Should No. 1: Trailing early in the third quarter, the Tide put its foot on the gas to zoom past upset-minded Auburn. Since the beginning of November, Alabama has been in playoff mode, beating LSU, Mississippi State and now Auburn. Its only loss was by six points at Ole Miss almost two months ago.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Since beating the Crimson Tide, Ole Miss has lost three games. The Iron Bowl comeback will be one for the time capsule, but Alabama has a lot to correct on defense after giving up more than 600 yards and making Nick Marshall look like Cam Newton.

2. Oregon 11-1
Last Week: W, Oregon State, 47-19
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: While others have struggled in rivalry games, particularly on the road, the Ducks trashed the Beavers in Corvallis. Oregon has coasted to seven straight wins by double-digits, and its only loss of 2014 came against a top 10 Arizona squad when the O-line was banged up.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Injuries have begun to mount for the Ducks, especially now that top-flight C Hroniss Grasu is out for an extended period of time. The last time Oregon was injured in the trenches, it almost gagged to Washington State and fell to the Wildcats in Eugene.

3. Florida State 12-0
Last Week: W, Florida, 24-19
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles are the last team in the FBS that’s yet to lose a game. While it’s rarely a work of art, Florida State always finds the right formula for success. Besides sweeping the ACC schedule, it’s also beaten teams from the Big 12, Oklahoma State, Independents, Notre Dame, and SEC, Florida.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Noles once again looked nothing like a title contender, making a slew of mistakes before finally escaping an average Gator team. Florida State has had its back against the wall in just about every game, including against unranked NC State, Notre Dame and Boston College.

4. Ohio State 11-1
Last Week: W, Michigan, 42-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes extended their winning streak to 10 games, rally to get by rival Michigan on Saturday. Ohio State has two critical wins over ranked teams this month, at Michigan State and at Minnesota.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ohio State has now struggled with underdogs in each of the last three weeks, allowing the Wolverines to hang around into the fourth quarter. With QB J.T. Barrett injured, the Buckeyes are nowhere near as potent on offense, despite the strong finish on Saturday in Columbus.

5. Arizona 10-2
Last Week: W, Arizona State, 42-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The ‘Cats are peaking at the right time of the season. They’ve knocked off Utah and Arizona State in consecutive weeks to capture the Pac-12 South for the first time. Arizona is also the only program that’s beaten Oregon in 2014, doing so at Autzen Stadium.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Arizona is somewhat fortunate to be 10-2 right now. It defeated Cal on a Hail Mary, and needed a late U-Dub gaffe to get by the Huskies two weeks ago. In its Nov. 1 showdown with three-loss UCLA, it only scored seven points in an ugly loss.

6. Baylor 10-1
Last Week: W, Texas Tech, 48-46
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bears maintained their 50-point scoring average, despite losing QB Bryce Petty during the game to a concussion. Baylor has handed TCU its only loss of 2014, 61-58, and dealt Bob Stoops one of the worst defeats of his Oklahoma coaching career three weeks ago.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Baylor just got by the 4-8 Red Raiders, which were incinerated by TCU a month ago, 82-27. No playoff contender has faced a softer non-conference slate than the Bears, which opened the season with SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo. Plus, its 41-27 loss to West Virginia is worse now that the Mountaineers are 7-5.

7. TCU 10-1
Last Week: W, Texas, 48-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Frogs snapped the Horns’ three-game losing streak, and beat them—in Austin—worse than UCLA, Baylor or Oklahoma did earlier in the year. TCU has defeated three ranked teams, including Kansas State by three touchdowns, and its only loss came to a top 10 opponent on the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It was just two weeks ago that TCU was needing to rally to get past Kansas, 34-30. In the Horned Frogs’ one loss, they allowed 782 yards to Baylor, blowing a three-touchdown, fourth-quarter lead in a 61-58 loss.

8. Missouri 10-2
Last Week: W, Arkansas, 21-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Mizzou’s most unlikely 10-win season will be capped by a second-straight appearance in the SEC title game. The East Division champs just rallied to topple one of the hottest teams in the country, the Razorbacks, and has now won six in a row.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Tigers have not played an especially tough slate of games this fall. No Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State or Ole Miss from the SEC West had to be played. Missouri’s losses are both troubling, to 4-8 Indiana and 34-0 to Georgia … both occurring in Columbia.

9. Mississippi State 10-2
Last Week: L, Ole Miss, 31-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs defeated LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn in succession, and the 17-10 win over rising Arkansas looks much better today than it did on Nov. 1. Mississippi State has a pair of losses, sure, but they came on the road to Alabama and Ole Miss.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Mississippi State has not looked like one of the top four team in the country during November, dropping two of the last three games. As LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn have retreated somewhat lately, the Bulldogs’ list of victories doesn’t jump off the resume with the same bounce that it did a month ago.

10. Michigan State 10-2
Last Week: W, Penn State, 34-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans have bounced back from their Nov. 8 loss to 11-1 Ohio State with easy Big Ten wins over Maryland, Rutgers and Penn State. Michigan State’s only defeats of the year came to playoff contenders, Oregon in Eugene and the Buckeyes earlier in the month.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Michigan State’s most impressive win of 2014 was by five points over Nebraska, which dropped back-to-back games to Wisconsin and Minnesota this month. The Spartans had two chances to act like a top 10 program, yet lost both while yielding 95 points.

11. Auburn 8-4
Last Week: L, Alabama, 55-44
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers ran circles around Nick Saban’s defense at Bryant-Denny Stadium, needing only to convert more red-zone trips into touchdowns to upset the Tide. Auburn has beaten three ranked opponents, Kansas State in Manhattan, LSU on the Plains and Ole Miss in Oxford.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Auburn’s ceiling is going to be capped by those four losses. The Tigers have not played great since Nov. 8, losing at home to an average Texas A&M team, and getting slapped around by Georgia, 34-7, which didn’t even win a so-so SEC East Division.

12. Kansas State 9-2
Last Week: W, Kansas, 51-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats won in Morgantown two weeks ago, which Baylor was unable to do back on Oct. 18. K-State has also won in Norman, and its two losses were to teams ranked in the top 10 at the time, Auburn and TCU.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Wildcats not only fell to the Horned Frogs two weeks ago, they were dominated, 41-20. Kansas State has outscored just one ranked opponent, Oklahoma, which is 8-3 and barely hanging around the Top 25.

13. Arizona State 9-3
Last Week: L, Arizona, 42-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Sun Devils came within a second half on the road versus rival Arizona from winning the competitive Pac-12 South. They were at their best in October and early November when they beat USC, Stanford, Washington, Utah and Notre Dame in a row.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: True marquee wins were scarce for ASU, especially as the Trojans, Utes and Fighting Irish stumbled in November. The Sun Devils lost to a middling Oregon State squad on Nov. 15, and got trounced by UCLA, 62-27, in Tempe.

14. Oklahoma 8-3
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Of the Sooners eight wins this season, seven have been by at least a dozen points, including against Tennessee and at West Virginia. The Red River victory over Texas keeps growing in value as the Longhorns have gone on a serious roll.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oklahoma is just 4-3 in its last seven games, including getting crushed by Baylor, 48-14, in Norman. The Sooners have zero wins over ranked teams, finishing 0-3 in their biggest tests versus TCU, Kansas State and the Bears.

15. Arkansas 6-6
Last Week: L, Missouri, 21-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Prior to this week’s loss in Columbia, the Razorbacks had blanked LSU and Ole Miss in consecutive games. They’ve also lost to six teams that were in the Top 25 at one point this season, including by a point to Alabama and a touchdown to Mississippi State.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Six losses are still far more than any other team dreaming of being in the rankings. Among the teams Arkansas lost to were Auburn and Texas A&M, which have both proven to be vastly overrated as the season has unfolded.

16. LSU 8-4
Last Week: W, Texas A&M, 23-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers went into College Station on Thanksgiving night to win a tough game over the Aggies. LSU boasts two notable wins over Wisconsin and Ole Miss. Plus, they took top-ranked Alabama into overtime, and have lost to four outstanding SEC West programs.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: In LSU’s last four opportunities against ranked opponents, the team has dropped three of them. And in two of those losses, the Tigers were routed by overrated Auburn, 41-7, and got blanked by Arkansas, 17-0.

17. Wisconsin 10-2
Last Week: W, Minnesota, 34-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers started slow and then took off, zipping past the Gophers to capture the Big Ten West Division crown. They’ve won seven in a row, playing championship-caliber football versus Nebraska, 59-24, Iowa and Minnesota to set up a meeting with Ohio State in Indianapolis.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule has few thorns, and none of the Badgers’ 10 victims is guaranteed to be ranked next week. Plus, a loss to Northwestern, which finished 5-7, is to Wisconsin what Virginia Tech is to Ohio State right now.

18. Georgia Tech 10-2
Last Week: W, Georgia, 30-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: In one of the wildest games of the weekend, the Yellow Jackets snapped their five-game losing streak to rival Georgia, winning in Athens in overtime. Tech heads to the ACC title game riding a five-game winning streak.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Dawgs were the first ranked team that Tech has played in 2014, let alone beaten. Plus, the Yellow Jackets have bowed to a couple of inconsistent programs, Duke and Carolina, which got waxed by NC State on Saturday.

19. Ole Miss9-3
Last Week: W, Mississippi State, 31-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels have now defeated two of the premier teams in the country, Ole Miss and Alabama. They’ve also handled two Group of Five teams with championship aspirations, Boise State and Memphis, and lost by just seven combined points to LSU and Auburn.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Not only has Ole Miss fallen three times, but one of those losses was a 30-0 rout at the hands of Arkansas. The Rebels haven’t been the same program since injuries began to take their toll midway through the season.

20. Minnesota 8-4
Last Week: L, Wisconsin, 34-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gophers stood tall throughout November, coming within a strong second-half Saturday in Madison from winning the Big Ten West. They beat Iowa and Nebraska, while losing to Ohio State by just a touchdown.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Gophers’ best win was over a Nebraska team that’s dropped its three toughest games of 2014. Minnesota has not taken down another ranked opponent, and it lost to 6-6 Illinois on Oct. 25.

21. UCLA 9-3
Last Week: L, Stanford, 31-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Before losing on Friday, the Bruins had reeled off five straight wins. During the streak, UCLA earned its best victory of 2014, holding eventual Pac-12 South champion Arizona to just seven points, about four touchdowns below its season average.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: With the South Division hanging in the balance, the September version of UCLA reared its ugly head on Friday. The Bruins were thoroughly outplayed—in the Rose Bowl—by an underachieving Stanford team that began the weekend with five losses.

22. USC 8-4
Last Week: W, Notre Dame, 49-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Trojans laid a historical beatdown on the rival Trojans, marking their third win over a team that had been ranked at one point this season. Troy has also beaten Pac-12 South representative Arizona in Tucson on Oct. 11.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: USC has fallen to two unranked teams, Boston College and Utah, and got mauled a week ago by crosstown rival UCLA, 38-20. An inability to close cost the Trojans games with the Utes and Arizona State, and possibly a spot in the Pc-12 title game.

23. Georgia 9-3
Last Week: L, Georgia Tech, 30-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs may not have won the SEC East, but they defeated the divisional champ, Mizzou, 34-0, on the road on Oct. 11. Georgia has also beaten Clemson, Arkansas and Auburn by double-digits.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Georgia has now lost three times as a favorite. South Carolina and Florida are mediocre SEC East teams, and the Yellow Jackets arrived in Athens as a 13-point underdog.

24. Clemson 9-3

Last Week: W, South Carolina, 35-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers gained a measure of in-state respect with Saturday’s one-sided win over the Gamecocks. Clemson has lost just once since falling to pretty good teams from Florida State and Georgia in September … in their buildings.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Clemson has beaten just one ranked opponent, Louisville at home by six points. In their other three chances, the Tigers fell short to the Dawgs, the Jameis Winston-less Noles and Georgia Tech by 22 points.

25. Louisville 9-3
Last Week: W, Kentucky, 44-40
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cards held off their in-state rival with third-stringer Kyle Bolin under center to finish the regular season on a three-game winning streak. Two of Louisville’s losses came versus the ACC’s deepest teams, Florida State and Clemson.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The underachieving Seminoles are the only ranked team Louisville has played this fall, and it blew a big lead at home in that matchup. Where are the Cards’ signature wins? Beating Notre Dame looks nice to boosters, but the Irish are now 7-5.

26. Nebraska 9-3
27. Boise State 10-2
28. Utah 8-4
29. Texas A&M 7-5
30. Texas 6-6

31. Notre Dame 7-5
32. Stanford 7-5
33. Florida 6-5
34. Tennessee 6-6
35. Washington 8-5
36. West Virginia 7-5
37. Oklahoma State 5-6
38. Kentucky 5-7
39. South Carolina 6-6
40. UCF 8-3

41. NC State 7-5

42. North Carolina 6-6
43. Duke 9-3
44. Boston College 7-5
45. Virginia Tech 6-6
46. Virginia 5-7
47. Miami 6-6
48. Rutgers 7-5
49. Maryland 7-5
50. Iowa 7-5

51. Illinois 6-6
52. BYU 8-4
53. California 5-7
54. San Diego State 7-5
55. Air Force 9-3
56. Colorado State 10-2
57. Pittsburgh 6-6

58. East Carolina 8-3
59. Utah State 9-4
60. Oregon State 5-7

61. Penn State 6-6
62. Michigan 5-7

63. Texas Tech 4-8
64. Houston 7-4
65. Navy 6-5
66. Memphis 9-3
67. Fresno State 6-6
68. Nevada 7-5
69. Washington State 3-9
70. Louisiana Tech 8-4

71. Northern Illinois 10-2
72. Toledo 8-4
73. Northwestern 5-7
74. Western Kentucky 7-5
75. Marshall 11-1
76. Western Michigan 8-4
77. UAB 6-6
78. Bowling Green 7-5
79. Indiana 4-8
80. Purdue 3-9

81. Cincinnati 8-3
82. Colorado 2-10
83. Vanderbilt 3-9
84. Temple 5-6
85. Ball State 5-7
86. Central Michigan 7-5
87. Akron 5-7
88. Kansas 3-9
89. Iowa State 2-9
90. Ohio 6-6

91. Syracuse 3-9
92. Georgia Southern 9-3
93. Appalachian State 7-5
94. UL Lafayette 8-4
95. Arkansas State 7-5
96. UTEP 7-5
97. Middle Tennessee 6-6
98. South Florida 4-8
99. Wyoming 4-8
100. San Jose State 3-9

101. Rice 7-5
102. New Mexico 3-9

103. Old Dominion 6-6
104. Wake Forest 3-9
105. Hawaii 4-9
106. Florida International 4-8
107. Florida Atlantic 3-9
108. UNLV 2-11
109. Army 4-7
110. Tulane 3-8

111. Connecticut 2-9
112. UTSA 4-8
113. North Texas 4-8
114. Texas State 7-5
115. South Alabama 6-6
116. Buffalo 5-6
117. ULM 4-8
118. Tulsa 2-10
119. Massachusetts 3-9
120. Miami Univ. 2-10

121. Southern Miss 3-9

122. Eastern Michigan 2-10
123. Troy 3-9
124. Kent State 2-9
125. SMU 0-11
126. Idaho 1-10
127. New Mexico State 2-10
128. Georgia State 1-11

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