As we head into week 4, the picture has become a little clearer as to who the powerhouses of the league are for Season 12. Below we break down the top 20 teams of the Power Rankings Index for the CFSL. We will work our way from number 20 to number 1.
20. Washington (1-2) – Washington comes in at number 20 in this release. They had a solid start to the season by beating Ohio State on the road 27-20. However, they have since fallen short against Kent State (14-24) and most recently to Florida (49-16). Washington comes in at 29th Total Offense and 30th in points scored; but their defense is one of the best in the league coming in at 7th for giving up the fewest yards and 13th in points allowed. If the Huskies could get their offense to the same level as their defense, this team could easily be one of the toughest in the league.
19. Michigan (1-2) –Like Washington, the Wolverines started the season with a big win over an SEC opponent by beating Florida State 37-20. Again, like the Huskies, Michigan has seemed to stall out and has lost their last two games to Wisconsin (20-44) and to Clemson (38-26). The Wolverines come in this week with the 19th total offense and ranked 24th in points scored. Their defense doesn’t seem to fair much better being ranked 25th for giving up the fewest yards and 17th in points allowed. Michigan needs to find some improvement on both sides of the ball if they have any chance of a playoff berth.
18. Alabama (1-2) – The Crimson Tide are much like the previous two teams discussed in that they came out in their season opener with a thrashing of Ohio (83-24) but have since dropped two in a row as well to Boise State (21-35) and the LSU Tigers (31-52). Alabama’s hopes aren’t lost just yet though. Alabama enters this week with the 9th total offense and ranked 7th in points scored. Their defense however leaves more to be desired and enter this week ranked 14th for giving up the fewest yards and 22nd in points allowed. As they get in to conference play, they can make a splash; if they get their defense to match their offensive power.
17. Florida State (1-2) – The Florida State Seminoles may have lost their season opener to Michigan (20-37), but they have since bounced back. They are currently on a two game winning streak with big wins over in conference foe Clemson (27-19) and the Ohio State Buckeyes (38-34). The Noles of Tallahassee move on to Auburn in week 4, and enter this game with the 27th total offense and ranked 23th in points scored. Their defense isn’t the top of the class, but they are turning some heads as they enter this week ranked 20th for giving up the fewest yards and 12th in points allowed. If Florida State can keep their defense rolling and do just enough offensively, they could come away with a third straight win.
16. Kent State (2-1) – The Golden Flashes are the only MAC team to be inside the top 20 Power Rankings this week. They lost their season opener to Missouri Tigers (17-37), but much like the Seminoles, they have gone on a two game win streak over the Washington Huskies (24-14) and the Toledo Rockets (45-20). Kent State travels to face the NIU Huskies this week and enter this contest with the 21st total offense and 22nd in points scored. However, this defense has proved to be their biggest weapon as they enter this week ranked 10th for giving up the fewest yards and 4th in points allowed. If you were a betting man, which thanks to sportsbook we are, then this Golden Flashes team would be my pick for frontrunners to claim “MAC Champions” of Season 12.
15. Texas A&M (1-2) – The Fighting Aggies opened the season with a tough loss at home to the Fighting Irish (23-35). They then hosted the Bowling Green Falcons (47-6) and followed up with road game loss against the Missouri Tigers (9-38). The Aggies move on to face yet another tough opponent in Boise State for week 4. Texas A&M enters this week with the 30st total offense and 25th in points scored and the ranked 1st for giving up the fewest yards and 6th in points allowed. If the Aggies have any shot in turning their season around, it needs to start this week, and they have to find something on offense to help alleviate the pressure for this phenomenal defense.
14. Iowa (1-2) – The Hawkeyes enter week 4 with a 1-2 record with their only win on the season coming in week 3 against NIU (52-3). Iowa faced Texas Tech (14-24) and USC (23-27) in their first two weeks of play and started 0-2. The Hawkeyes host the Washington Huskies in week 4. Iowa enters this week with the 24th total offense and 19th in points scored and the ranked 2nd for giving up the fewest yards and 1st in points allowed. Expect this to be an extremely defensive battle. Whichever team is capable of getting their offense rolling would likely be the team to win this great matchup.
13. Nebraska (1-2) – The Cornhuskers opened their season with a complete domination by the Oklahoma State Cowboys (19-55). However, Nebraska has found their grove with a win over Toledo (80-22) and a heartbreaking loss to Miami (23-24) that can only be explained by a mismanagement of the clock; Nebraska had 3 timeouts remaining with less than 10 seconds to play and was well within field goal range. Nebraska enters this week with the 10th total offense and 9th in points scored and the ranked 19th for giving up the fewest yards and 16th in points allowed. Nebraska will host the Missouri Tigers in week 4, which looks to be a great matchup between these two teams. Nebraska touts a top 10 Offense for sure, but they need their defense to get back to what we have all come to love and expect from the Cornhuskers; smash mouth football at its best.
12. Wisconsin (2-1) – As the Badgers lost their season opener to Oklahoma (24-48) to start season 12, they have bounced back on a two game win streak over Michigan (44-20) and Bowling Green (38-19). Wisconsin enters week 4 with the 8th total offense and 14th in points scored and the ranked 8th for giving up the fewest yards and 10th in points allowed. As Wisconsin moves into week 4 play, they will be hosted by USC. Can the Badgers extend their win streak to 3? This will be a great matchup for them and they rank no lower than 14th in any metric. The Trojans will surely have their hands full with these Badgers.
11. USC (2-1) – USC started their season by defeating the LSU Tigers (33-16) as the former LSU AD’s took on their protégé’s. Since then they hosted Iowa (27-23) and travelled to Oklahoma State (30-47). USC enters into week 4 with the 17th total offense and 18th in points scored and the ranked 6th for giving up the fewest yards and 9th in points allowed. USC will play host to the Wisconsin Badgers who look to continue their win streak to 3-straight wins. Can this USC defense slow down the Badgers and produce enough offensive firepower to get them another great win? Be sure to tune in for this matchup between two top 15 powerhouses.
10. Florida (2-1) – The Florida Gators have started their season at 2-1 with a win against Toledo (105-16), a loss to Miami (66-72) in a record setting five overtimes, and a win against Washington (49-16). The Gators enter week 4 in the power rankings at the 10th ranked spot and will play host to the Clemson Tigers for their week 4 matchup. Florida enters this contest with the 1st place total offense and 1st place in points scored and the ranked 18th for giving up the fewest yards and 20th in points allowed. This offense is led by Ronnie Blevins, who is having a season like no other, has 24 passing touchdowns and 1600 passing yards. Combine that with having Levi Temes at wide-receiver, who leads the league with 10 reception touchdowns and 515 receiving yards, and you have yourself the most prolific offense in the league. However, if the Gators want to come away with a win at home this week, they need to get their defense at the same tempo as their offense. Can the Gators continue their dominance on offense? Will their defense step up to the plate? Or will the Tigers defense rise up to the occasion and be the first team to hold this offense in check?
9. Texas Tech (2-1) – The Red Raiders enter their first season in the CFSL with an impressive 2-1 start. Texas Tech started out with back-to-back wins over both Iowa (24-14) and NIU (49-24) before losing at home to the Oklahoma Sooners (28-42). Their schedule doesn’t get any easier as they head to Stillwater to battle with the Oklahoma State Cowboys in their week 4 matchup. Texas Tech enters this week with the 18th total offense and 17th in points scored and the ranked 11th for giving up the fewest yards and 7th in points allowed. Their offense is lead by Kurtis Andrews who currently ranks as the 26th best passer in the league; but don’t take that as a jab at the man, this is a dual-threat QB who can beat you on the ground just as easily as he can through the air. This Texas Tech defense is lead by Teddy Tate (MLB) and Paxton Cooper (FS) who combined have 44 tackles, five TFL’s, and two interceptions to boot. This will surely be a great matchup between these two teams this week, especially if Andrews can get this offense firing on all cylinders.
8. Boise State (2-1) –The Broncos started their season with two straight wins against Tennessee (61-31) and Alabama 35-21) before losing to in conference foe Texas (45-48). They travel for the second straight week to Texas as they will be hosted by the Texas A&M Aggies. The Broncos enter this matchup with the 13th total offense and 5th in points scored and the ranked 22nd for giving up the fewest yards and 15th in points allowed. This Boise State offense is a beautiful thing to watch as they are led by (RS) Freshman QB Ryan Smith, who is currently sits as the 12th best passer in the league with nearly 900 passing yards and 8 passing TDs; let’s not forget his 5 rushing TDs as well. If Boise State wants to get back to their winning style, they need Trace Jones (OLB) to get this defense running at full speed as he cannot do this alone; Jones currently sits as the 4th best tackler in the league with 34 tackles, 9 TFL’s, a sack, and pick six INT. Look to Boise St having the bounce back that they need, but don’t count the Aggies out just yet. Can Allie Peters and company slow down one of the best offenses in the league?
7. Texas (2-1) – The Texas Longhorns come into this week with impressive wins over Clemson (44-10) and Boise State (48-45) and a devastating loss to the Auburn Tigers (28-47). As we move in to week 4, Texas plays host to the Oklahoma Sooners in the Red River Showdown. Folks, you couldn’t ask for a better game or matchup for week 4. The Longhorns come into this contest with the 7th total offense and 10th in points scored and the ranked 12th for giving up the fewest yards and 17th in points allowed. This team is led by veteran QB Vito Pipino, Freshmen of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year in Season 8, and currently sits as the 5th best passer in the league. Pipino has 1204 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns on the season. But wait, there is more. Add HB Brandon Black into the mix, who currently is in the top 10 rushing leaders with 289 yards and a rushing touchdown of his own, and you have a team that can do it all. Will this offense be enough to win this game? Not likely. However, Texas does have someone on defense who is one of the best at what he does, and that’s none other than Joey Cass (SS). Cass and company will need to step up in a big way to take home this rivalry trophy. Or will the Sooners be too much for the Longhorns?
6. Oregon (2-1) – The Oregon Ducks sit at number 6 this week, a spot they are not all too happy about. They started out with two great wins over Auburn (62-20) and LSU (49-35) before losing a very close game to Notre Dame (31-34). The Ducks look to rebound against Ohio State, who has lost two of their last three games. Oregon enters this week with the 4th total offense and 4th in points scored and the ranked 4th for giving up the fewest yards and 11th in points allowed. The Ducks are lead by QB Philip Camit who is sitting as the 3rd best rated passer in the league with 1283 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns. Add wide-receivers Anthony Delano, Bobby Barrett, and Joseph Gates, and you have an extremely high powered air attack offense. The defense is lead by none other than two time, back-to-back, Defensive Player of the Year winner Jedidiah Longtree (OLB). Longtree is in his senior season and is looking to win another Player of the Year and National Title as he has 30 tackles, 11 TFL’s, a sack, 2 pass deflections and a forced fumble already this season. Can the Ducks prove too much for the Buckeyes, or will Oregon start a losing streak?
5. Oklahoma State (2-1) – The Oklahoma State Cowboys are 2-1 with wins over Nebraska (55-19) and USC (47-30) and their lone loss coming against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish (21-33). The Cowboys will host Texas Tech in week 4 and look to improve to 4-1 this week. They enter this matchup with the 16th total offense and 8th in points scored and the ranked 13th for giving up the fewest yards and 8th in points allowed. The Cowboys are led by QB Harrison Murray, who is rated as the 9th best passer in the league with 991 passing yards and eight passing touchdowns. He also has 115 rushing yards with a pair of rushing touchdowns. On the opposite side of the ball is (RS) Freshmen John Alstott (LB) who leads this Cowboys defense and has 27 tackles and four TFL’s. If there was a defense that could match the prowess of Oklahoma State, it’s the Texas Tech Red Raiders for sure. So who comes away with this win? Which defense steps up to take this battle of titans? Or will the Cowboys offense not give the defenses a chance to decide this win? This is a matchup you do not want to miss.
4. Notre Dame (3-0) – Notre Dame comes into this week 3-0 beating three teams that are all ranked in the top 15. They went on to beat Texas A&M (35-23), Oklahoma State (33-21), and Oregon (34-31). You may be asking the question if they have nothing but competitive wins, then why aren’t they ranked higher? And that is a great question. Let’s find out the why behind this. The Fighting Irish ended week 3 as the 25th total offense and 16th in points scored and the ranked 5th for giving up the fewest yards and 5th in points allowed. It would appear that there is no question to their defensive dominance in the league, but their offensive production just doesn’t match what their defense is doing. The Irish offense is led by two true freshmen, QB KyShawn Williams and HB Duece Williams. KyShawn is currently rated as the 21st best passer in the league with 808 passing yards and five passing touchdowns while Duece is rated as the 15th best rusher with 253 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Lets flip the script here though as this defense is led by the number 1 rated tackler in the league in Nick Hopper (SS) and number 10 rated tackler in Rocky Dale (MLB) and both combined account for 67 tackles, 15 TFL’s, two sacks, and interception, a pass deflection, and a forced fumble. There is no doubt that this is one of the best defenses in the league right now. Notre Dame will travel to take on the Michigan Wolverines for their week 4 matchup. Will this be the turning point for the Irish offense? Or will their defense steal the spotlight yet again? Can Michigan come away with the upset this week? Tune in to find out.
3. Miami (3-0) – The Hurricanes enter this season with three straight wins against EMU (83-21), Florida (72-66), and Nebraska (24-23). The two latter games were extremely close with the contest between Florida going to five overtimes and the win over Nebraska comes off a botched drive that if the Cornhuskers had called a timeout they could have attempted a short field goal to potentially have won that game. The Hurricanes don’t care about any of that though as they see it, a win is a win and they look to continue that as the travel to Tuscaloosa to take on the Crimson Tide. Miami enters this contest as the 3rd total offense and 3rd in points scored and the ranked 15th for giving up the fewest yards and 21st in points allowed. Miami is led by (RS) Freshmen QB DaShawn Odie who comes in as the 4th best passer in the league with 974 passing yards and 10 passing touchdowns, but he can also beat you on the ground with his impressive 406 rushing yards and six rushing touchdowns. This may be the greatest dual-threat QB in the league right now. Now, add the 5th best rusher in the league in Mojo Rison, 346 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns and you have a team that is pretty difficult to gameplan for. Miami’s defense is lead by Brian Copher (SS) and comes in as the 48th best tackler in the league with 22 tackles, 2 TFL’s, a sack and three pass deflections. Miami is surely an offensive powerhouse, but it will take their defense to slow down the Alabama offense. Does Miami continue to assert its dominance on teams, or does Odie/Mojo finally meet a defense that slows them down?
2. Missouri (3-0) – The Missouri Tigers have chewed through every opponent in their way this season by beating the likes of Kent State (37-17), Tennessee (66-31), and Texas A&M (38-9). The Tigers must travel to face Nebraska on the road in their week 4 matchup. Missouri comes in to this contest as the 5th total offense and 5th in points scored and the ranked 3rd for giving up the fewest yards and 2nd in points allowed. Now this could very well be the best team on both sides of the ball with not having a single metric higher than 5th ranked. This is absolute pure domination in every facet of the game. The Tiger offense is lead by QB Kai Kohko who comes into this week rated as the number 6th best passer in the league with 939 yards and seven passing touchdowns. An addition to his ability to throw the ball, he has great vision and awareness to scramble and has racked up 190 rushing yards with six rushing touchdowns. Let’s talk about what makes this defense as amazing as it is and it all starts with their MLB Sean Moore Jr. who is rated as the 16th best tackler with 29 tackles, seven TFL’s, two sacks, a pass deflection and an astounding four forced fumbles. Moore Jr. is the heart and soul of this defense and he makes everyone around him perform better. If there was a team that could give Missouri a run for their money, it will be Nebraska for sure. Does Kohko and Moore Jr. rally their sides of the ball to a pure dominant win? Or can the Cornhuskers defend the cornfields of Nebraska against this prowling Tiger?
- Oklahoma (3-0) – The Oklahoma Sooners come in as the number 1 team in the first ever Power Rankings as they have started their season with straight wins over Wisconsin (48-24), EMU (93-14) and Texas Tech (42-28). The Sooners look forward to what should be the Game of the Week as they take on the Texas Longhorns in the Red River Showdown. Oklahoma comes in to this matchup as the 2nd total offense and 2nd in points scored and the ranked 9th for giving up the fewest yards and 3rd in points allowed. Much like the Missouri Tigers, you would be hard pressed to find another more dominant team in all facets of the game and is why these two teams are ranked where they are. The Sooners offense is led by (RS) Freshman Jim Carr who is rated as the 2nd best passer in the league with 1148 passing yards and 14 passing touchdowns along with 372 rushing yards with four rushing touchdowns. Thomas Welch (HB), Tomlin Clementine (WR), and Vernon Mills (WR) provide Carr with some extraordinary weapons and these four players often find themselves too much for any team to handle. The Sooner defense is lead by Taesean Blackman (CB) and Gage Zeigler (MLB) who combined account for 54 tackles, six TFL’s, one sack, one interception, five pass deflections, and a forced fumble. They have been able to cause havoc to any team’s ability to move the ball on the ground or through the air. However, they haven’t met an offense with a veteran Offensive Player of the Year winner like Pipino in conjunction with the running abilities like Blackman. Can the Sooners prove too much for the Longhorns? Or does Pipino and company make a stand in what should be the most electrifying Red River Showdown the CFSL has ever seen? Tune in Saturday, September 18th at 12pm CST to find out.