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CFN 2010 Final Rankings
TCU QB Andy Dalton
TCU QB Andy Dalton
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 14, 2011


Which teams had the best seasons and who deserves to be ranked where? Forgetting the opinion side of the equation, here's our annual ranking of the teams based on the CFN Season Ranking Formula. We all know who number one is, but you might be shocked with how the top ten shook out. Next week ... the 2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings.


CFN 2010 Final Rankings

The Top Ten


- 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.

The CFN Top 25 ... By Opinion
The CFN Historical Rankings take the opinions out of the equation; either you played a tough schedule or you didn't. Here's what we think based on the eyeball test.

1. Auburn
2. Oregon
3. Ohio State
4. Alabama
5. Oklahoma
6. Stanford
7. TCU
8. Wisconsin
9. LSU
10. Boise State
11. Oklahoma St
12. Arkansas
13. Virginia Tech
14. Michigan St
15. Nevada
16. Missouri
17. Florida State
18. Nebraska
19. Texas A&M
20. Notre Dame
21. NC State
22. South Carolina
23. Tulsa
24. Maryland
25. UCF
10. Alabama (10-3) 
2010 CFN Score: 20.40  
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 1
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 1
2009 Final Score.29.10
2008 Final Ranking: 7
2008 Final Score: 20.08
Key Stat: The Tide finished third in the nation in scoring defense and fifth in total defense.

Wins: 10 - San Jose State, Penn State, at Duke, at Arkansas, Florida, Ole Miss, at Tennessee, Mississippi State, Georgia State, Michigan State
Losses: 3 - at South Carolina, at LSU, Auburn
Quality Wins: 5 - Penn State, at Arkansas, Florida, Mississippi State, Michigan State
Elite Wins: 2 - at Arkansas, Michigan State, 
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 3 – San Jose State, at Duke, Georgia State
Elite Losses: at LSU, Auburn
Point Differential: +288
Winning Percentage: 77%

Considering the Tide starting the season as everyone’s preseason No. 1, this was a disappointment. Considering the turnover on defense, and finishing fifth in the nation in yards allowed, being in the top ten isn’t a bad finish for a three-loss team. The Elite Wins over Arkansas and Michigan State helped put the Tide in the top ten, but if they had held on against Auburn, they would’ve finished No. 4.

9. Nevada (13-1)   
2010 CFN Score: 20.42
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 61
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-4
2009 Final Ranking: 51
2009 Final Score. 10.63
2008 Final Ranking: 62
2008 Final Score: 8.48
Key Stat: Nevada led the nation in rushing and was 119th in pass defense. 

Wins: 13 - Eastern Washington, Colorado State, Cal, at BYU, at UNLV, San Jose State, Utah State, at Idaho, at Fresno State, New Mexico State, Boise State, at Louisiana Tech, at Boston College
Losses: 1 - at Hawaii
Quality Wins: 4 - at BYU, at Fresno State, Boise State, at Boston College
Elite Wins: 1 - Boise State 
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 5 - Eastern Washington, Colorado State, at UNLV, San Jose State, New Mexico State
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +274
Winning Percentage: 93%

The greatest season in Nevada history, the Pack won a share of the WAC title and came up with 13 wins, highlighted by the classic over Boise State. The lone blemish came in Hawaii, but the season turned back around with seven straight wins and closing out with a Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl victory over Boston College. For good and bad, Nevada got to fatten up on several bad teams, blowing up five teams that finished with three wins or fewer.

8. Oklahoma State (11-2)  
2010 CFN Score: 20.67
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 52
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 6-6
2009 Final Ranking: 34
2009 Final Score. 13.06
2008 Final Ranking: 30
2008 Final Score: 14.34
Key Stat: The Cowboys finished the year second in the nation in passing, third in yards, and third in scoring.

Wins: 11 - Washington State, Troy, Tulsa, Texas A&M, at Louisiana-Lafayette, at Texas Tech, at Kansas State, Baylor, at Texas, at Kansas, at Arizona
Losses: 2 - Nebraska, Oklahoma
Quality Wins: 7 - Troy, Tulsa, Texas A&M, at Texas Tech, at Kansas State, Baylor, at Arizona
Elite Wins: None 
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 3 - Washington State, at Louisiana-Lafayette, at Kansas
Elite Losses: Oklahoma
Point Differential: +232
Winning Percentage: 85%

No one expected anything from a rebuilding team that had to find several key new starters on both sides of the ball. Whatever. The offense blew up to be one of the most dangerous in the nation, scoring 34 points or more in every game, while the defense and special teams were solid. While losing home games to Nebraska and Oklahoma were disappointing, a blowout win over Arizona in the Alamo Bowl closed out one of the best seasons in school history.

7. Oregon (12-1)    
2010 CFN Score: 21.10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 15
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 9-3
2009 Final Ranking: 10
2009 Final Score. 18.62
2008 Final Ranking: 24
2008 Final Score: 15.30
Key Stat: The Ducks finished first in the nation in total offense and scoring offense.

Wins: 12 - New Mexico, at Tennessee, Portland State, at Arizona State, Stanford, at Washington State, UCLA, at USC, Washington, at Cal, Arizona, at Oregon State
Losses: 1 - Auburn
Quality Wins:4 - Stanford, at USC, Washington, Arizona
Elite Wins: 1 - Stanford
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 3 - New Mexico, Portland State, at Washington State
Elite Losses:1 - Auburn
Point Differential: +368
Winning Percentage: 93%

WHAT?! The Ducks came within a late field goal of the national champion and they finish seventh? Remember, this is based on who the teams played and NOT on how good we all think they were. Basically, this proves that Oregon didn’t play anyone with one win over Stanford and a whole bunch of victories over mediocre Pac 10 teams. There were a WAC champion-like four wins over teams that finished with winning records, and even the massive point differential, third only behind Boise State and TCU, couldn’t put the Ducks in the top five.

6. Stanford (12-1)   
2010 CFN Score: 21.40
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 29
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 7-5
2009 Final Ranking: 38
2009 Final Score. 12.28
2008 Final Ranking: 73
2008 Final Score: 6.28
Key Stat: The Cardinal led the Pac 10 in total offense.
2008 Score: 6.28 2008 Ranking: 73

Wins: 12 - Sacramento State, at UCLA, Wake Forest, at Notre Dame, USC, Washington State, at Washington, Arizona, at Arizona State, at California, Oregon State, Virginia Tech
Losses: 1 - at Oregon
Quality Wins: 5 - at Notre Dame, USC, at Washington, Arizona, Virginia Tech
Elite Wins: 1 - Virginia Tech
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 3 - Sacramento State, Wake Forest, Washington State
Elite Losses:1 - at Oregon
Point Differential: +298
Winning Percentage: 92%

Notre Dame. As it turns out, Notre Dame finished with a winning record and Tennessee didn't. That's the difference between Stanford and Oregon this year. Stanford played all the bad Pac 10 teams Oregon played, but the win over the Irish provided the paper-thin difference. Yes, the Ducks beat the Cardinal at home, but the Orange Bowl win over Virginia Tech provided the Elite Win to make up for it. The question will remain; had the Oregon game been played at Stanford, would the result have been different?

5. Boise State (12-1)
2010 CFN Score: 22.62
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 8
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 11-1
2009 Final Ranking: 3
2009 Final Score. 24.51
2008 Final Ranking: 6
2008 Final Score: 21.42
Key Stat: The Broncos led the nation in scoring in 2009 and was second in 2010.

Wins: 12 - Virginia Tech, at Wyoming, Oregon State, at New Mexico State, Toledo, at San Jose State, Louisiana Tech, Hawaii, at Idaho, Fresno State, Utah State, Utah
Losses: None
Quality Wins: 4 - Virginia Tech, Toledo, Hawaii, Utah
Elite Wins: 2 - Virginia Tech, Utah
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 3 - at Wyoming, at New Mexico State, at San Jose State
Elite Losses: at Nevada
Point Differential: +420
Winning Percentage: 92%

Two big keys to Boise State getting into the top five. 1) The neutral site win over Virginia Tech counts as an Elite Win, just like a bowl win would, 2) the point differential is insane, leading the nation after averaging over 45 points per game allowing fewer than 13. There weren't as many bad losses as you might think from the WAC, but there were only four Quality Wins over teams finishing with winning records. Had Kyle Brotzman hit the kick and had the Broncos beaten Nevada, they would've finished the year No. 2.

4. Oklahoma (12-2)
2010 CFN Score: 23.52
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 5
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 35
2009 Final Score. 13.02
2008 Final Ranking: 2
2008 Final Score: 25.59
Key Stat: OU finished third in the nation in passing.

Wins: 12 - Utah State, Florida State, Air Force, at Cincinnati, Texas, Iowa State, Colorado, Texas Tech, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State, at Nebraska, Connecticut
Losses: 2 - at Missouri, at Texas A&M
Quality Wins: 7 - Florida State, Air Force, Texas Tech, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State, at Nebraska, Connecticut 
Elite Wins: 1.5 - at Oklahoma State
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: None
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +216
Winning Percentage: 86%
 
The Sooners bounced back from a disappointing 2009 by winning the Big 12 title and making the two-foot putt to beat Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. No. 1 in the BCS rankings, the loss to Missouri put a damper on things, and losing at Texas A&M wasn't a plus, and then the offense turned it on hanging 145 points on the board over the final three games. There wasn't a true dud win on the board with the close call against Utah State in the opener was the worst win.

3. Ohio State (12-1)
2010 CFN Score: 23.85 
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 2
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 10-2
2009 Final Ranking: 7
2009 Final Score. 21.99
2008 Final Ranking: 12
2008 Final Score: 17.80
Key Stat: The Buckeyes were fifth in the nation in turnover margin in 2009 and fourth in 2010.

Wins: 12 - Marshall, Miami, Ohio, Eastern Michigan, at Illinois, Indiana, Purdue, at Minnesota, Penn State, at Iowa, Michigan, Arkansas
Losses: 1 - at Wisconsin
Quality Wins: 5 – Miami, Ohio, at Illinois, Penn State, at Iowa, Michigan, Arkansas
Elite Wins: 3.5 – at Penn State, Iowa, Oregon
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 2 - Eastern Michigan, at Minnesota
Elite Losses: at Wisconsin
Point Differential: +318
Winning Percentage: 92%

The Buckeyes' win over Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl meant everything to the rankings and the program, but beating seven teams that finished with winning records ended up meaning more. There might not have been any huge regular season wins, but there were plenty of very good ones that added up in a big hurry. The only loss was on the road at Wisconsin, but the Buckeyes dominated the rest of the way with only the wins over Iowa and Arkansas coming by fewer than double digits.

2. TCU (13-0)
2010 CFN Score: 24.60
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 7
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 11-1
2009 Final Ranking: 5
2009 Final Score. 22.99
2008 Final Ranking: 8
2008 Final Score: 19.50 
Key Stat: TCU led the nation in total defense for the third straight season.

Wins: 13 - at Oregon State, Tennessee Tech, Baylor, at SMU, at Colorado State, Wyoming, BYU, Air Force, at UNLV at Utah, San Diego State, at New Mexico, Wisconsin
Losses: None
Quality Wins: 6 - Baylor, BYU, Air Force, Utah, San Diego State, Wisconsin
Elite Wins: 2 - at Utah, Wisconsin
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 5 - Tennessee Tech, at Colorado State, Wyoming, at UNLV, at New Mexico
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +385
Winning Percentage: 100%

The Horned Frogs blew through a miserable schedule with five wins over teams that finished with three wins or fewer, more than any BCS conference team, but they showed up when they had to in a blowout over Utah and the program-defining win over Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. With a defense that finished first in the nation for the third year in a row, TCU went unbeaten, but didn't come within ten miles of challenging for the No. 1 spot. Had Wisconsin won the Rose Bowl, TCU would've finished out of the top five.

1. Auburn (14-0)
2010 CFN Score: 27.15
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 23
CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 8-4
2009 Final Ranking: 33
2009 Final Score. 13.12
2008 Final Ranking: 81
2008 Final Score: 5.34
Key Stat: The Tigers finished first in the nation in passing efficiency and fifth in rushing.

Wins: 14 - Arkansas State, at Mississippi State, Clemson, South Carolina, ULM, at Kentucky, Arkansas, LSU, at Ole Miss, Chattanooga, Georgia, at Alabama, at South Carolina, Oregon
Quality Wins: 7 - at Mississippi State, South Carolina, Arkansas, LSU, at Alabama, at South Carolina, Oregon
Elite Wins: 3 - LSU, at Alabama, Oregon
Bad Losses: None
Bad Wins: 1 - Chattanooga
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential: +240
Winning Percentage: 100%

The all-timer of a season didn't come cheap. The Tigers had to fight to get by Clemson and Kentucky early on, and they had to rally back in epic fashion to get by Alabama on the way to the national title. While the offense struggled to break out against Oregon, it came up big when it had to for the championship, and now it's over. Cam Newton and Nick Fairley are gone, and there's big turnover on both sides of the ball, but Tiger fans have had their fun. There was only one bad win, have the victories came over teams that finished with winning records, and the three Elite Wins were the most of anyone in the nation.

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