2014 CFN Rankings - Week 13

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 10-1
Last Week: W, Western Carolina, 48-14
Why They Should No. 1: The Crimson Tide is the only team that’s beaten Mississippi State this fall, winning 25-20 in a game that was a little more comfortable than the score indicates. Bama owns wins over improved Arkansas, LSU and Tennessee … all outside of Tuscaloosa.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Alabama’s one loss is to Ole Miss, which has gone 3-3 since that meeting, including Saturday’s 30-0 loss to Arkansas. The Texas A&M game aside, the Tide has had issues scoring consistently in conference games.

2. Oregon 10-1
Last Week: W, Colorado, 44-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Ducks continue to roar through their schedule, winning their last six games by double-digits. Oregon has handily disposed of three opponents that were ranked at the beginning of the weekend, Michigan State, UCLA and Utah, the latter two on the road.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Injuries have begun to mount for the Ducks, especially now that elite C Hroniss Grasu is out for an extended period of time. The last time that Oregon was thinning up front, it almost stumbled to Washington State and lost to Arizona in Eugene.

3. Mississippi State 10-1
Last Week: W Vanderbilt, 51-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bulldogs showed no hangover the week after suffering their only loss of 2014, a five-pointer in Tuscaloosa to top-ranked Alabama. Mississippi State defeated LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn in succession, and the 17-10 win over rising Arkansas looks better today than it did on Nov. 1.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Mississippi State has not looked like one of the top four team in the country during November. As LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn have retreated somewhat of late, the Bulldogs’ list of victories doesn’t jump off the resume with the same bounce that it did a month ago.

4. UCLA 9-2
Last Week: W, USC, 38-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bruins are finally playing up to their preseason hype, capping their current five-game winning streak with Saturday’s flattening of rival USC. UCLA’s only losses were to Oregon and Utah, which were ranked at the beginning of the weekend.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: UCLA spent almost three-quarters of the season playing down to the level of the competition. Both of the Bruins’ losses took place in Pasadena, a game with Oregon they were never in and a stumble to Utah, which now has four defeats.

5. Florida State 11-0
Last Week: W, Boston College, 20-17
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Seminoles are the last remaining Power Five team that’s yet to lose a game this season. Florida State has had its back against the wall on a half a dozen different occasions, yet has consistently found a way to make the clutch plays needed to remain unbeaten.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: This is getting ridiculous. Florida State simply is not as accomplished as its record, too often playing to the level of its competition. The Noles were pushed to the brink by an average BC squad, which lost by 19 Louisville in its last outing, and they have no wins over presently ranked teams.

6. Ohio State 10-1
Last Week: W, Indiana, 42-27
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Buckeyes haven’t lost a game in almost three months, reeling off eight consecutive wins. This team was defined by its effort in back-to-back road wins over ranked opponents, Michigan State and Minnesota, this month.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: You cannot let 3-8 Indiana hang around for nearly quarters, as was the case on Saturday. This is the same Hoosier team that fell to Rutgers by three touchdowns a week earlier. Ohio State’s only loss came to Virginia Tech, which slipped under .500 with Saturday’s loss to lowly Wake Forest.

7. Baylor 9-1
Last Week: W, Oklahoma State, 49-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Bears were in complete control against the Cowboys, posting their third straight win by at least three touchdowns. Baylor has handed TCU its only loss of 2014, and dealt Bob Stoops one of the worst defeats of his Oklahoma coaching career.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: No playoff contender has faced a more pillowy-soft non-conference slate than Baylor, which opened the season with SMU, Northwestern State and Buffalo. Plus, its 41-27 loss to West Virginia is incrementally worse as the ‘eers have sunk to 6-5 following three straight losses.

8. TCU 9-1
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Horned Frogs have knocked off two of the better teams in the Big 12, Oklahoma and Kansas State, the latter by three touchdowns. TCU has made lopsided games a habit in 2014, including a 30-7 decimation of the same Minnesota team that lost by just seven points to Ohio State.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Needing to rally to beat 3-8 Kansas two weeks ago, 34-30, was an indication that the Frogs might be a little overrated at this stage of the season. In TCU’s lone loss, it gave up 782 yards to Baylor, blowing a three-touchdown, fourth-quarter lead in a 61-58 loss.

9. Georgia 9-2
Last Week: W, Charleston Southern, 55-9
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Dawgs proved they’re the class of the SEC East with a 34-7 rout of Auburn two weeks ago. They’ve also defeated Clemson, surging Tennessee and Missouri by a 34-0 cushion in Columbia.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Yeah, Georgia has only lost twice, but both are troubling results. The Bulldogs have bowed to South Carolina and Florida, both of which are hovering around the .500 mark.

10. Arizona 9-2
Last Week: W, Utah, 42-10
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats are coming off their best win of the season, blowing out the Utes at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Arizona is also the only team that’s beaten Oregon in 2014, doing so at Autzen Stadium.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Arizona is somewhat fortunate to be 9-2 right now. It defeated Cal on a Hail Mary, and needed a late U-Dub gaffe to get by the Huskies last week. In their biggest game of November, the Wildcats gagged in a 17-7 loss to UCLA.

11. Michigan State 9-2
Last Week: W, Rutgers, 45-3
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Spartans have bounced back from their loss to Ohio State with easy wins over the Big Ten’s newest members, Maryland and Rutgers. Michigan State’s only defeats of the year came to playoff contenders, Oregon in Eugene and Ohio State on Nov. 8.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Michigan State’s most impressive win of 2014 was over Nebraska, which is unranked following back-to-back losses to Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Spartans had two chances to act like a top 10 program, yet lost both while yielding 95 points.

12. Missouri 9-2
Last Week: W, Tennessee, 29-21
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are on a roll, winners of five games in a row. They’ve gone on the road to stifle the momentum of two surging opponents, Texas A&M and Tennessee, and remain atop the SEC East.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Mizzou has not played a tough schedule this season. No Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State or Ole Miss from the SEC West had to be played. The Tigers’ losses are both damning, to 3-8 Indiana and 34-0 to Georgia … both occurring in Columbia.

13. Auburn 8-3
Last Week: W, Samford, 31-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are the proud owners of three victories over ranked teams, Kansas State in Manhattan, LSU on the Plains and Ole Miss in Oxford. And all of the team’s losses came to opponents that were ranked at one point in 2014, Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Georgia.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Auburn played lethargically and uninspired versus an FCS team a week after being throttled by the Dawgs, 34-7. And the Saturday prior to visiting Athens, the Tigers were unable to get past the Aggies at home. Auburn has been just average in the second half of the season.

14. Kansas State 8-2
Last Week: W, West Virginia, 26-20
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Wildcats went into Morgantown and won, 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.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The ‘Cats didn’t just fall to TCU two weeks ago, they were declawed, 41-20. And the Auburn isn’t quite as palatable now that the Tigers have lost three times since Oct. 11.

15. Arizona State 9-2
Last Week: W, Washington State, 52-31
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: After a slow start, the Sun Devils rallied to jet past Wazzu. ASU flashed its potential as a complete program by beating USC, Stanford, Washington, Utah and Notre Dame in succession
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Last week’s loss to fading Oregon State showcased that Arizona State still lacks the focus and the consistency of a top 10 team. In their other loss, the Sun Devils were obliterated by UCLA, 62-27, in Tempe.

16. Oklahoma 8-3
Last Week: W, Kansas, 44-7
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: When the Sooners have won games this season, it’s typically been by double-digits, including versus West Virginia and Tennessee. That Red River victory over Texas looks better now that the Longhorns have located solid footing.
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 no wins over ranked teams, finishing 0-3 in their biggest hurdles against TCU, Kansas State and Baylor.

17. Arkansas 6-5
Last Week: W, Ole Miss, 30-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Forget the first half of the season. The Razorbacks are one of the hottest teams in the country right now, shutting out LSU and OIe Miss in consecutive weeks. They’ve also lost by just one point and seven points to No. 1 Bama and No. 4 Mississippi State, respectively.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Five losses are still five losses, somewhat capping this team’s ceiling. Among the teams Arkansas lost to were Auburn and Texas A&M, which have both proven to be overrated as the season has unfolded.

18. LSU 7-4
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Tigers are the owners of two significant wins, beating 9-2 Wisconsin and 8-3 Ole Miss. Plus, they took into overtime Alabama, the top-ranked team in the College Football Playoff rankings.
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.

19. Wisconsin 9-2
Last Week: W, Iowa, 26-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Badgers have solidified their position as the team to beat in the Big Ten West with consecutive wins over Nebraska and Iowa. Wisconsin annihilated the Huskers a week ago, 59-24, dispatching a statement that Ohio State ought not be handed the league title.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The schedule is light, and none of the Badgers’ nine victims is likely to be ranked next week. Plus, a loss to Northwestern, which is still looking to become bowl-eligible, is to Wisconsin what Virginia Tech is to Ohio State right now.

20. Minnesota 8-3
Last Week: W, Nebraska, 28-24
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: A week after falling to one-loss Ohio State by a touchdown, the Gophers remained alive in the Big Ten West with an upset in Lincoln. Minnesota’s November began with a 51-14 drubbing of the Iowa team that almost beat Wisconsin on Saturday.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Gophers’ best win was over a Nebraska team that’s dropped its three toughest games. Minnesota has not taken down another ranked opponent, and it lost to sub-.500 Illinois on Oct. 25.

21. Ole Miss 8-3
Last Week: L, Arkansas, 30-0
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Three losses, sure, but two of them came to LSU and Auburn by just total points. The Rebels are still the only team to beat top-ranked Alabama, and non-conference routs of Boise State and Memphis look better today than when they occurred.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Ole Miss has officially been exposed by the Razorbacks as overrated. The Rebels are heading in the wrong direction at the most important juncture of the season, turning the ball over six times in Fayetteville Saturday.

22. Texas A&M 7-4
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Aggies have defeated Auburn at Jordan-Hare Stadium with a rookie behind center and an Arkansas team that’s a lot better than its record. All four of Texas A&M’s losses came against SEC teams currently ranked no lower than No. 20.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The Auburn victory, while impressive at the time, lost some appeal after the Tigers got pounded by Georgia two weeks ago, 34-7. The Aggies also carry the humiliation of arguably the worst loss of a ranked team, bowing meekly to Alabama, 59-0.

23. Georgia Tech 9-2
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Over the past month, the Yellow Jackets have played as well as anyone in the ACC, including Florida State. They’ve won four games in a row by at least 22 points, with the exclamation point coming in the 28-6 beatdown of Clemson before the bye week.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: Where’s the signature moment against a top team? Tech’s schedule is very light on ranked opponents, only one of which is in the current College Football Playoff Top 25. Plus, the Jackets lost to an average Carolina squad and Duke, which lost to Virginia Tech two weeks ago.

24. Louisville 8-3
Last Week: W, Notre Dame, 31-28
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: Despite playing with a true freshman at quarterback, Reggie Bonnafon, the Cardinals defeated the Irish in South Bend. Louisville is 6-3 in its ACC debut, defeating Miami and Boston College, and came close to handing Florida State its only blemish.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The underachieving Seminoles are the only ranked team Louisville has played, and it blew a big lead at home in that matchup. After the ND and BC wins, he Cards don’t have much to crow about in terms of notable wins.

25. Texas 6-5
Last Week: Idle
Why The Ranking Should Be Higher: The Longhorns have been a very different team in the second half of the season. They’ve won three in a row convincingly behind an air-tight defense that’s yielded an average of just 15 points over the last month.
Why The Ranking Should Be Lower: The offense is still sketchy, so this remains an incomplete UT team. The ‘Horns have fallen three times by at least three touchdowns, to BYU, Baylor in Austin and Kansas State.

26. Nebraska 8-3
27. Utah 7-4
28. USC 7-4
29. Notre Dame 7-4
30. Clemson 8-3

31. North Carolina 6-5
32. Duke 8-3
33. West Virginia 6-5
34. Stanford 6-5
35. Virginia 5-6
36. Miami 6-5
37. Washington 7-5
38. Oklahoma State 5-6
39. Florida 6-4
40. Tennessee 5-6

41. Kentucky 5-6
42. South Carolina 6-5
43. California 5-6
44. UCF 7-3
45. Boise State 9-2
46. Colorado State 10-1
47. Boston College 6-5
48. Maryland 7-4
49. Iowa 7-4
50. Pittsburgh 5-6

51. East Carolina 7-3
52. Virginia Tech 5-6
53. Northwestern 5-6
54. Marshall 11-0
55. Utah State 9-3
56. Oregon State 5-6
57. Illinois 5-6
58. Penn State 6-5
59. Rutgers 6-5
60. Michigan 5-6

61. Texas Tech 4-7
62. BYU 7-4
63. San Diego State 6-5
64. Air Force 8-3
65. Houston 6-4
66. Navy 5-5
67. Memphis 8-3
68. Fresno State 5-6
69. Nevada 6-5
70. Washington State 3-8

71. Toledo 7-4
72. Middle Tennessee 6-5
73. Western Michigan 8-3
74. Northern Illinois 9-2
75. UAB 5-6
76. Bowling Green 7-4
77. Indiana 3-8
78. Purdue 3-8
79. Cincinnati 7-3
80. NC State 6-5

81. Colorado 2-9
82. Vanderbilt 3-8
83. Temple 5-5
84. Ball State 4-7
85. Central Michigan 7-5
86. Kansas 3-8
87. Iowa State 2-8
88. Ohio 5-6
89. Syracuse 3-8
90. Louisiana Tech 7-4

91. Georgia Southern 8-3
92. Appalachian State 6-5
93. UL Lafayette 7-4
94. Arkansas State 6-5
95. South Florida 4-7
96. Wyoming 4-7
97. San Jose State 3-8
98. Akron 5-6
99. Rice 7-4
100. New Mexico 3-8

101. Western Kentucky 6-5
102. North Texas 4-7
103. Old Dominion 5-6
104. Wake Forest 3-8
105. Hawaii 4-8
106. Florida International 4-8
107. Florida Atlantic 3-8
108. UNLV 2-10
109. Army 4-7
110. Tulane 3-8

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

121. Eastern Michigan 2-9
122. Buffalo 4-6
123. Troy 3-8
124. Kent State 1-9
125. Idaho 1-9
126. SMU 0-10
127. New Mexico State 2-9
128. Georgia State 1-10

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