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CFN 2010 Final Rankings - No. 11-25
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
Posted Jan 14, 2011

Who were the teams that finished just outside of the top 10? Which teams had the best seasons? Here's 2010 final ranking based on who earned it on the field, using the CFN Historical Formula to rank the teams from 11 to 25.

CFN 2010 Final Rankings

No. 11 to No. 25

- CFN 2009 Final Rankings 
- CFN 2008 Final Rankings

2010 CFN Final Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-25 | Rankings 26-50
- Rankings 51-75 | Rankings 76-100The Bottom 20

The Formula's Components: 
1. Wins. - If you win, everything else falls into place. Each win counts as 1.
2. Quality Wins - The number of wins over teams that finished with a winning record. Each win counts as 1.
3. Elite Wins - The number of wins over teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each win counts as 1 with a road win over an Elite team getting an extra 0.5. Also counting as 1 is a road win over a team that finished with three losses or fewer (but the extra 0.5 isn't added). A win over a team that finishes with three losses in a bowl game or a neutral site game counts as one.
4. Bad Loss - The number of losses to teams that finished with three wins or fewer or a loss to a FCS (DI-AA) team. Each loss counts as minus-1. Take away an additional 0.5 for a Bad Loss at home.
5. Bad Win - The number of wins to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a win over a D-IAA team. Each win counts as minus 0.25. 
6. Elite Loss - The number of losses to teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each loss counts as 0.25.
7. Point Differential - Points for minus points against divided by 100. 
8. Winning Percentage - To take losses into account, winning percentage is in the mix. Total wins is the tie-breaker followed by winning percentage.

25. Northern Illinois (11-3)   2010 CFN Score: 14.96
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 76
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 68
2009 Final Score. 7.45
2008 Final Ranking: 74
2008 Final Score: 6.26
Key Stat: NIU finished seventh in the nation in rushing averaging 260 yards per game.

The Huskies dominated MAC play … until gagging in the MAC Championship to Miami. They had several chance to win, but blew it late costing them a shot at finishing in the top 20. More than half the wins came against either FCS teams or teams that finished with three wins or fewer, but blasting away on Fresno State 40-17 in the Humanitarian Bowl was a nice way to end the season. Now the program has to rebuild after losing head coach Jerry Kill to Minnesota.

24. Iowa (8-5)    2010 CFN Score: 15.42
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 14
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 8
2009 Final Score. 21.36
2008 Final Ranking: 19
2008 Final Score: 16.19
Key Stat: The Hawkeyes were sixth in the nation against the run.

Shockingly high in the rankings after an extremely disappointing year, including a loss to Minnesota as part of a three game slide to close out the regular season, the Hawkeyes were saved by the win over Missouri in the Insight Bowl to salvage something positive. Blowing away Michigan State also helped the cause. Still, for a team planning on playing for the Rose Bowl, 8-5 wasn’t what anyone was planning for.

23. Utah (10-3)  2010 CFN Score: 15.68
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 48
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 23
2009 Final Score. 14.77
2008 Final Ranking: 4
2008 Final Score: 23.56
Key Stat: The Utes led the nation in punt return averaging 17.6 yards per try.

After starting out red hot with an 8-0 start, reality set in with blastings from TCU and Notre Dame by a combined score of 75 to 10 and close calls against San Diego State and BYU. A 26-3 Las Vegas Bowl loss to Boise State put a bad end to an otherwise strong season. Ten wins should be a positive, but half the victories were against weak and sad teams that finished with three losses or fewer. On the plus side, two of the three losses – TCU and Boise State – came against two of the nation’s elite teams.

22. Notre Dame (8-5)  2010 CFN Score:15.91
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 38
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 64
2009 Final Score. 8.75
2008 Final Ranking: 67
2008 Final Score: 6.87
Key Stat: The Irish were 23rd in the nation in scoring defense.. 

The Irish might have had a disastrous, tragic season off the field, but the team rallied on it with four straight wins after losing to Navy and Tulsa in back-to-back weeks. The key to the ranking were all the Quality Wins, beating six teams that finished with winning records, including a blasting of Miami in the Sun Bowl to generate a nice buzz and excitement going into 2011. The Irish only played two teams that didn’t go bowling, not counting USC, who would’ve gone had it been eligible.

21. Hawaii (10-4)  2010 CFN Score: 16.18
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 86
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-7
2009 Final Ranking: 77
2009 Final Score. 5.84
2008 Final Ranking: 59
2008 Final Score: 8.66
Key Stat: The Warriors were 113th in the nation in turnover margin in 2009 and led the WAC and was 14th in the nation in 2010.

One of the surprise teams of the season, Hawaii overcame a tough schedule and a slew of personnel changes to get the offense rolling to Warrior levels. While the season ended with a thud, losing badly to Tulsa in the Hawaii Bowl, and the 42-7 loss to Boise State was worse than it looked, the Warriors gave Nevada their only loss and won nine of their last ten regular season games.

20. NC State (9-4)
2010 CFN Score: 6.57
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 44
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 73
2009 Final Score. 6.57
2008 Final Ranking: 54
2008 Final Score: 9.84
Key Stat: NC State was 114th in the nation in turnover margin in 2009 and 27th in 2010.

This wasn’t quite the year the Wolfpack faithful hoped for, failing late in the year to get into the ACC title game, but it was still a strong nine-win season finishing up with a dominant 23-7 win over West Virginia in the Champs Sports Bowl. Starting out 4-0, highlighted by wins over UCF and Georgia Tech, provided a nice base, but an overtime loss to East Carolina and a one-point defeat to Clemson made the year a fight. With everything on the table in the regular season finale, the Pack lost to Maryland and missed out at a shot at the ACC championship.

19. Texas A&M (9-4)   2010 CFN Score: 16.90
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 26
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Score. 7.37
2008 Final Ranking: 99
2008 Final Score: 3.09
Key Stat: The Aggies were last in the Big 12 in punting.

In a tale of two seasons, the Aggies struggled through a midseason three-game losing stretch before going on a tear. The emergence of QB Ryan Tannehill sparked a six-game winning streak highlighted by wins over Oklahoma, Texas and Nebraska to earn a spot in the Cotton Bowl. And then it all came unraveled in a loss to LSU. All four of A&M’s losses came to teams that finished with three losses or fewer.

18. Virginia Tech (11-3)    2010 CFN Score: 17.15
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 9
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 9
2009 Final Score. 18.63
2008 Final Ranking: 11
2008 Final Score: 17.96
Key Stat: Tech led the nation in turnover margin.

After starting out giving up a late drive to Boise State and suffering a hangover to James Madison, the Hokies turned things around and went on an 11-game run on the way to an ACC Championship with a win over Florida State to get to the Orange Bowl. Stanford and Andrew Luck ended the season with an ugly thud, but that doesn’t take too much away from the strong regular season. Had the Hokies come up with one stop late against the Broncos, and had they shown up against JMU, they’d have played for the nation al title.

17. Arkansas (10-3)   2010 CFN Score: 17.47
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 19
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 28
2009 Final Score. 14.04
2008 Final Ranking: 72
2008 Final Score: 6.56
Key Stat: The Hogs led the SEC and were fourth in the nation in passing.

The Hogs were really, really close to finishing with a truly special season had they been able to complete the rally to beat Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. The win over LSU was one of the biggest in the recent history of the program, capping off a six-game winning streak including a blowout win over South Carolina and a thrilling double overtime win over Mississippi State. The three losses came to Alabama, Auburn, and Ohio State; that’s not bad.

16. Nebraska (10-4)   2010 CFN Score: 17.60
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 38
2009 Final Ranking: 17
2009 Final Score. 15.77
2008 Final Ranking: 35
2008 Final Score: 13.58
Key Stat: The Huskers were third in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

The final season in the Big 12 was a disappointment for a team that hoped to be in the mix for the national championship. A clunker of a loss was the only thing that derailed the Huskers over the first ten games before clunking late. The penalty-filled 9-6 loss to Texas A&M wasn’t good, and the 23-20 Big 12 Championship loss to Oklahoma was a battle, but the Holiday Bowl loss to Washington was inexcusable. The 51-41 win over Oklahoma State meant everything to the ranking, giving the Huskers a key Elite Win.

15. Florida State (10-4)    2010 CFN Score: 18.10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 12
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 44
2009 Final Score. 11.80
2008 Final Ranking: 20
2008 Final Score: 16.16
Key Stat: FSU was third in the nation and first in the ACC in sacks.

The Jimbo Fisher era got off to a rousing start with an appearance in the ACC Championship, a loss to Virginia Tech, and finishing off with a dominant Chick-fil-A win over South Carolina. The Seminoles got through quarterback injuries and back-to-back losses to NC State and North Carolina to close strong, highlighted by a 31-7 win over Florida. Three of the four losses came away from home.

14. Missouri (10-3)   2010 CFN Score: 19.06
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 27
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 46
2009 Final Score. 11.59
2008 Final Ranking: 16
2008 Final Score: 16.81
Key Stat: The Tigers led the Big 12 and were sixth in the nation in scoring defense.

The Tigers almost had a great season. They lost to Nebraska and Texas Tech in back-to-back weeks to miss out on playing for the Big 12 title, but they were able to come up with excellent wins over Illinois, Texas A&M, and the season-defining win over Oklahoma. At 10-2, this was one of the stronger teams to not get into the BCS, but things ended with a clunk as Blaine Gabbert closed out his Tiger career, leaving early for the NFL, with a pick six in a 27-24 Insight Bowl loss to Iowa.

13. Wisconsin (10-3)   2010 CFN Score: 19.07
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 6
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 19
2009 Final Score. 15.32
2008 Final Ranking: 60
2008 Final Score: 8.66
Key Stat: The Badgers were fourth in the nation in passing efficiency.

Lost in all the blowout wins late in the year was the hidden truth that the Badgers only came up with one amazing win (Ohio State) and one good win (Iowa). The Michigan State loss probably cost them a shot at the national title, but they still came close even with the defeat in East Lansing. Arizona State win was nice and beating Michigan and Northwestern was solid, but UW needed to beat TCU in the Rose Bowl to finish in the top ten, likely the top five. There were only four Quality Wins over winning teams.

12. LSU (11-2)    2010 CFN Score: 19.09
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 22
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 27
2009 Final Score. 14.06
2008 Final Ranking: 40
2008 Final Score: 12.25
Key Stat: The Tigers were 107th in the nation in passing.

It was a strange, wild, fun season with a few miracles, like the strange, wild, fun finish against Tennessee, and it all ended with an impressive Cotton Bowl showing against Texas A&M. The two losses were on the road against Auburn and Arkansas, while beating Alabama, Mississippi State, and Florida made the Tigers one of the year’s top teams. There were plenty of Quality Wins, but no Elite Wins.

11. Michigan State (11-2)   2010 CFN Score: 19.53
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 31
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 66
2009 Final Score. 8.15
2008 Final Ranking: 28
2008 Final Score: 14.83
Key Stat: MSU was first in the Big Ten in punt returns and last in kickoff returns.

The Spartans’ two losses might have been completely and totally disastrous, getting obliterated by Iowa 37-6 and being embarrassed by Alabama 49-7 when the Tide was able to stop playing early in the third quarter. The win over Wisconsin was a big key to the rankings, as were the six good wins over teams like Illinois, Penn State, and Notre Dame. The season might be remembered for the clunker in the end, but it was still a Big Ten championship campaign.

2010 CFN Final Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-25 | Rankings 26-50
- Rankings 51-75 | Rankings 76-100The Bottom 20