2014 CFN Rankings - The Boston College Issue

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.


CFN Rankings - 2014

Week 3 - Sept. 14

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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.

Sometimes, though, yes, you have to go by what just happened. Is Boston College really one of the 25 best teams in the country? Probably not, but ...

1. Oregon 3-0
Last Week: W, Wyoming, 48-14
Why They Should Be Ranked No. 1: The Ducks allowed the first score of the game to Wyoming before rattling off 41 straight points for an easy win. Oregon owns one of the best wins of the season so far, battling back to defeat Michigan State in Week 2.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oregon had some defensive problems early on against the Spartans last weekend, which could get exposed when Pac-12 play begins. Knocking off Michigan State was nice, but the way the Big Ten is headed in 2014, the outcome may not resonate as originally anticipated.

2. Texas A&M 3-0
Last Week: W, Rice, 38-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The South Carolina team that just defeated formerly top-ranked Georgia? Yeah, the Aggies annihilated those Gamecocks, 52-28, in Columbia two weeks ago. The offense is clicking, while the young D is showing signs of emerging into an asset.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Since beating South Carolina, the Aggies have not been tested by either Lamar or Rice. Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Alabama in consecutive weeks in October will determine of A&M is truly a national championship threat.

3. Florida State 2-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles are the defending national champions, they’ve won 18 in a row and their roster is littered with future NFL players. It’s going to take a complete effort for someone to take down Florida State in the regular season.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: In two tries, the Noles have yet to play like a champion in 2014. They had a surprisingly close call with Oklahoma State in the opener, and then managed to score just 37 points versus The Citadel.

4. Alabama3-0
Last Week: W, Southern Miss, 52-12
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: As a tune-up for next week’s visit from Florida, the Tide blew out Florida Atlantic and Southern Miss by a combined score of 93-12. Oh, and that win over West Virginia in the opener looks a little better now that the Mountaineers have beaten Maryland on the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Bama has gained confidence on the backs of some really average opponents, including the last two versus Conference USA also-rans. Questions about the defense and the passing game must still be answered when SEC play begins next week.

5. Auburn 2-0
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Since being knotted with Arkansas at halftime of the opener, the Tigers have been unstoppable, outscoring their opponents 83-13 over the last six quarters. So far, the ground game and the D are meeting Gus Malzahn’s expectations.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Auburn has handled Arkansas and San Jose State, two teams that might not even bowl this season. Everyone gets a better read on the Tigers when they travel to Manhattan to play Kansas State on Thursday.

6. Oklahoma 3-0
Last Week: W, Tennessee, 34-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Vols arrived in Norman looking for a breakthrough win, but never threatened the Sooners. In fact, no one has put a scare into Oklahoma, which is playing exceptional defense.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oklahoma has yet to play a ranked opponent this year, but it better tweak the offense a little before doing so. The Sooners scored just 27 offensive point Saturday night, while struggling to convert on third downs.

7. LSU 3-0
Last Week: W, Louisiana-Monroe, 31-0
Why The Ranking Should be Higher: Since midway through the third quarter of the opener with Wisconsin, the Tigers have outscored their opponents 108-0. That’s 108 unanswered points for a young team that’s growing up on the fly.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense in Baton Rouge is still iffy and inconsistent. The Tigers only scored 10 first-half points on the Warhawks, while finishing well below 400 total yards. That can be overcome against Sun Belt teams, but not once SEC games begin.

8. Michigan State 1-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Oregon squad that most consider to be one of the two or three best teams in the country? Yeah, Michigan State had those Ducks on the ropes in Eugene last weekend. The Spartans are close to a complete team, because they can win games in so many different ways.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Standing atop the Big Ten these days is like being San Quentin’s Most Likely To Succeed. The Spartans showed flashes at Autzen Stadium, but they needed to follow through to be considered a bona fide top 10 program.

9. South Carolina 2-1
Last Week: W, Georgia, 38-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Gamecocks have rebounded better than one of Frank Martin’s power forwards. Over the last two weeks, South Carolina has defeated East Carolina, which knocked off Virginia Tech today, and beat what was considered by some to be the nation’s best team.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Not every loss gets measured the same. The Gamecocks’ lone defeat came at the hands of a very good Texas A&M team, but the 52-28 final score will follow them like a bad rumor.

10. Georgia 1-1
Last Week: L, South Carolina, 38-35
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs have opened the season with one of the toughest schedules, yet are just four points from 2-0. Georgia soared past Clemson in the opener, and was a pair of missed field goals from beating an improved Gamecock team in Columbia.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, the ceiling is high in Athens, but Georgia still has a lot to prove. Jeremy Pruitt’s defense is a work-in-progress, and Hutson Mason has a long way to go to show he’s a championship-caliber quarterback.

11. Baylor3-0
Last Week: W, Buffalo, 63-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bears have torpedoed their first three opponents by a combined score of 178-27. Even better, QB Bryce Petty threw four touchdown passes in his first game since cracking two small bones in his back.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Who’d you beat? It’s the same old story with Baylor’s non-conference schedule. Obliterating SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo could wind up being be a mild smokescreen for when Big 12 play begins.

12. Notre Dame 3-0
Last Week: W, Purdue, 30-14
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Irish avoided a letdown in Week 3, the Saturday following their emotional whitewash of Michigan. Notre Dame took control in the second half, scoring the game’s final 20 points.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Central Michigan beat the Boilermakers worse than the Irish did tonight in Indianapolis. ND owns a win over Rice and a pair of teams from the Big Ten, the worst of the Power Five leagues.

13. Ole Miss 3-0
Last Week: W, Louisiana, 56-15
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Rebels have begun this season with a take-no-prisoners mentality. With Bo Wallace leading the way on offense, they’ve shelled each of their first three opponents by at least three touchdowns.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’ll be hard to get a read on Ole Miss until the SEC portion of the schedule begins. It’s yet to face a ranked team, and the last two victims, Vanderbilt and Louisiana, are having their share of problems in September.

14. Clemson 1-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers’ loss came at Georgia, a team many feel should belongs at the top of the rankings. Clemson is gradually unleashing some of its young offensive weapons, who’ll complement a terrific veteran D as the season develops.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s tough to get too excited about a school that has a lone blowout of an FCS opponent. Clemson didn’t just fall to the Bulldogs two weeks ago; they collapsed in crunch time, allowing the game’s final 31 points.

15. Missouri 3-0
Last Week: W, UCF, 38-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers had no issues with UCF, a solid all-around program. The offense was brutally efficient, needing just 322 yards to produce 38 points, while the D notched six sacks and four takeaways.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Mizzou’s best win came over the Knights, which has yet to win in 2014. Meanwhile, the Toledo team it defeated a week ago got throttled by Cincinnati on Friday night, 58-34.

16. BYU 3-0
Last Week: W, Houston, 33-25
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cougars are on a roll, opening with three straight wins, including two on the road. They lit up Texas in Austin in Week 2, and then piled up 323 rushing yards in a defeat of Houston that was easier than the score indicated.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: BYU has been tested, sure, but not really. Both Texas and Houston were overrated in the preseason, and the latter had success through the air Thursday night, which future BYU opponents will look to emulate.

17. Oklahoma State 2-1
Last Week: W, UTSA, 43-13
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Since UTSA has already beaten Houston, and nearly did the same to Arizona, a 30-point rout of the Roadrunners qualifies as a quality win. The Cowboys appear even more dangerous on offense with Daxx Garman, the best of the team’s passing quarterbacks.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Oklahoma State has played well, even in losing to Florida State in Week 1. But with back-to-back wins over an FCS and Conference USA team, it remains to be seen if the Cowboys are ready to compete with the top tier of the Big 12.

18. East Carolina 2-1
Last Week: W, Virginia Tech, 28-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Pirates went on the road to beat one of the nation’s hotter programs at the outset of the weekend. In fact, they dominated the Hokies for much of the game. Just a week ago, ECU almost upended South Carolina, which got the best of Georgia.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Very good program by the American measuring stick, but how would the Pirates fare facing a Power Five schedule? The offense might be up to the challenge, but the D would never hold up over the long run.

19. Virginia Tech 2-1
Last Week: L, East Carolina, 28-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Hokies own an impressive win over Ohio State in Columbus, and that lone loss came against an East Carolina team that’s now ranked. Tech’s defense is one of the best in the country when it’s on.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Not only did Virginia Tech show it couldn’t handle prosperity, it looked feeble doing it. The Hokies rallied versus ECU, but should they have had to when hosting a team from a Group of Five conference?

20. Ohio State 2-1
Last Week: W, Kent State, 66-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes bounced back from a loss to destroy Kent State. It could end up being a springboard game for Ohio State, but especially young QB J.T. Barrett, who tied a school record with six touchdown passes.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Losing at home to Virginia Tech by two touchdowns was bad for the Buckeyes’ reputation. However, it got even worse in Week 3 when those same Hokies fell at home to East Carolina, 28-21.

21. Pittsburgh 3-0
Last Week: W, Florida International, 42-25
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Panthers have started fast this season behind the relentless running of James Conner. That relatively easy win at Boston College a week ago really resonates now that the Eagles have floored top 10 USC.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: It’s Conner and a ton of question marks. The passing game is iffy, the defense is light on star power and the O-line lost its most important blocker when C Artie Rowell went down with a season-ending injury.

22. Boston College 2-1
Last Week: W, USC, 37-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: A week after the Trojans rose to prominence with an upset of Stanford, they were unable to get past Boston College. The Eagles wore down their ranked visitor with five touchdowns and well over 400 yards on the ground.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Great moment, BC, but good luck sustaining it. Prior to this weekend, the Eagles were no better than average in a win over Massachusetts and a loss to Pitt. If the running stalls, Steve Addazio’s team doesn’t have many other options on either side of the ball.

23. USC 2-1
Last Week: L, Boston College, 37-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Trojans had a program-defining moment last week with an upset of Stanford on the Farm. USC’s athletes on offense and defense can match up with just about anyone in the country.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: USC was outplayed by Stanford, yet found a way to win. USC was outplayed by BC this past Saturday, yet wasn’t so fortunate. The Trojans’ struggles at the line of scrimmage were staggering, considering the Eagles began the weekend nowhere near the Top 25.

24. Stanford 2-1
Last Week: W, Army, 35-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Cardinal rebounded from a loss to USC by blanking the Black Knights at home. In that game with the Trojans, Stanford lost by just three and was a few minor tweaks and adjustments from winning the game comfortably.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: If Stanford belongs higher, it’ll need to prove it in upcoming road games at Washington and Notre Dame. In the USC loss, the Cardinal made the kinds of mental mistakes and red-zone gaffes typically reserved for unranked teams.

25. Nebraska 3-0
Last Week: W, Fresno State, 55-19
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Huskers bounced back from a sluggish Week 2 performance to outclass Fresno State on the road. Big Red racked up the yards on offense, while getting special teams contributions as well.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Nebraska has defeated a pair of second-tier FBS schools and a visitor from the FCS. And in that FCS game with McNeese State, the Huskers got dragged into a four-quarter fight before surviving, 31-24.

26. Arizona State 3-0
27. UCLA 3-0
28. Wisconsin1-1
29. Florida 2-0
30. Tennessee 2-1

31. Kansas State 2-0
32. Mississippi State 3-0
33. Arkansas 2-1
34. Arizona 3-0
35. West Virginia 2-1
36. Kentucky 2-1
37. Michigan 1-1
38. Virginia 2-1
39. Louisville 1-1
40. Maryland 2-1

41. Penn State 3-0
42. TCU 2-0
43. Texas Tech 2-1
44. UCF 0-2
45. Texas 1-2
46. Duke 3-0
47. Georgia Tech 3-0
48. Cincinnati 1-0
49. Oregon State 2-0
50. North Carolina 2-0

51. Rutgers 2-1
52. Boise State 2-1
53. Washington 3-0
54. California 2-0
55. Navy 2-1
56. Iowa 2-1
57. Northern Illinois 3-0
58. Utah 2-0
59. Syracuse 2-0
60. Miami 2-1

61. NC State 3-0
62. Minnesota 2-1
63. Colorado State 2-1
64. Illinois 2-1
65. Toledo 1-2
66. Marshall 3-0
67. Utah State 2-1
68. San Diego State 1-1
69. Middle Tennessee 2-1
70. Nevada 2-1

71. Western Kentucky 1-2
72. Northwestern 0-2
73. Washington State 1-2
74. Bowling Green 2-1
75. Rice 0-2
76. Indiana 1-1
77. UTEP 2-1
78. Louisiana Tech 2-1
79. Fresno State 0-3
80. North Texas 1-2

81. Iowa State 1-2
82. Temple 1-1
83. Colorado 1-2
84. Vanderbilt 1-2
85. South Florida 1-2
86. UTSA 1-2
87. UAB 2-1
88. Ball State 1-2
89. Army 1-1
90. San Jose State 1-1

91. Georgia Southern 1-2
92. Central Michigan 2-1
93. Purdue 1-2
94. Houston 1-2
95. Arkansas State 1-2
96. Wake Forest 1-2
97. South Alabama 1-1
98. Memphis 1-1
99. UNLV 1-2
100. Air Force 2-1

101. Akron 1-1
102. Western Michigan 1-1
103. Wyoming 2-1
104. Connecticut 1-2
105. Ohio 1-2
106. Kansas 1-1
107. Buffalo 1-2
108. ULM 2-1
109. Texas State 1-1
110. Florida Atlantic 1-2

111. Tulsa 1-2
112. Tulane 1-2
113. UL Lafayette 1-2
114. New Mexico 0-2
115. Old Dominion 2-1
116. Hawaii 1-2
117. Appalachian State 1-1
118. Massachusetts 0-3
119. Miami Univ. 0-3
120. Kent State 0-3

121. Southern Miss 1-2
122. Florida International 1-2
123. SMU 0-2
124. New Mexico State 2-1
125. Georgia State 1-2
126. Idaho 0-2
127. Troy 0-3
128. Eastern Michigan 1-2


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