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CFN 2011 Final Season Rankings - No. 51 to 75

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 13, 2012


Which teams had the best seasons? Here are the 2011 final season ranking based on who earned it on the field, using the CFN Historical Formula to rank the teams from 51 to 75.


CFN 2011 Season Rankings

No. 51 to No. 75


- CFN 2008 Final Season Rankings
- CFN 2009 Final Season Rankings 
- CFN 2010 Final Season Rankings  

2011 CFN Final Season Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-25 | Rankings 26-50
- Rankings 51-75 | Rankings 76-100The Bottom 20

- Based On Opinion ... CFN 2011 FINAL Rankings, Top  25

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 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.

NOTE: This is based on who had the best season. This isn't a ranking of who the best teams were.

75. UCLA (6-8)
2011 CFN Score: 6.77
2011 Preseason Ranking: 54
2010 Final Season Ranking: 90
2010 CFN Score: 3.36
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 6-6 CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 51
2009 Final Season Ranking: 59
2009 Final Score. 9.39
2008 Final Season Ranking: 101
2008 Final Score: 2.97
Key Stat: UCLA was 112th in the nation in sacks.

It was one of the strangest-bad seasons possible, getting to the Pac-12 title through the back door and going bowling with a losing record, and losing head coach Rick Neuheisel along the way. There was only one quality win coming against Cal, and beating Arizona State was a high point, but the offense way too erratic and the defense far too soft against the better passers.

74. South Florida (5-7)
2011 CFN Score: 6.96
2011 Preseason Ranking: 49
2010 Final Season Ranking: T48
2010 CFN Score: 10.65
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 41
2009 Final Season Ranking: 50
2009 Final Score. 10.72
2008 Final Season Ranking: 44
2008 Final Score: 11.36
Key Stat: USF was fourth in the nation in sacks and second in tackles for loss.

It seemed like everything was about to come together under second-year head coach Skip Holtz, the offense went bye-bye. Led by one of the nation’s best pass rushes, the Bulls rolled to a 4-0 record but managed just one win in the final eight games. Beating Notre Dame in the opener was supposed to be a start. Instead it turned out to be the high point.

73. Vanderbilt (6-7)
2011 CFN Score: 7.12
2011 Preseason Ranking: 60
2010 Final Season Ranking: 111
2010 CFN Score: -1.04
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 64
2009 Final Season Ranking: 106
2009 Final Score. 1.08
2008 Final Season Ranking: 43
2008 Final Score: 11.48
Key Stat: Vandy was ninth in the nation in pass efficiency defense.

Head coach James Franklin got the Commodores to a bowl game, and while he doesn’t want that to seem like a big deal, it is. The program doesn’t get a whole bunch of post-season games, but a hot start and wins in the five easy game along with a blowout over Wake Forest meant a 13th appearance. On the year, Vandy didn’t come up with any quality wins, but it’s Vandy. A bowl is a bowl.

72. Pitt (6-7)
2011 CFN Score: 7.14
2011 Preseason Ranking: 40
2010 Final Season Ranking: 30
2010 CFN Score: 13.32
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 17
2009 Final Season Ranking: 14
2009 Final Score. 17.37
2008 Final Season Ranking: 13
2008 Final Score: 17.42
Key Stat: The Panthers were third in the nation in sacks.

The Panthers came up with a mediocre season, but it was good enough for Arizona State to be hot for head coach Todd Graham. The only quality win came against Louisville and the team failed in close games in special fashion. Iowa came up with its greatest comeback ever and Notre Dame, Cincinnati, and West Virginia all beat the Panthers by a combined total of seven points. The lifeless bowl loss to SMU was the perfect capper to the disappointment.

71. Air Force (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 7.39
2011 Preseason Ranking: 66
2010 Final Season Ranking: 31
2010 CFN Score: 13.21
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 62
2009 Final Season Ranking: 40
2009 Final Score. 12.19
2008 Final Season Ranking: 46
2008 Final Score: 11.21
Key Stat: The Falcons was 109th in the nation against the run.

It was supposed to be one of the strongest seasons yet under head coach Troy Calhoun, but the defense couldn’t get healthy and could stop anyone, and games against teams like San Diego State and Wyoming that would normally be locks were stunning losses. Six of the seven wins were bad, with the only victory over a team with more than three wins coming in overtime against Navy. A win over Toledo in the bowl would’ve ended things on a high note, but the failed final two-point conversion attempt put a tough cap on the campaign.

70. Navy (5-7)
2011 CFN Score: 7.51
2011 Preseason Ranking: 39
2010 Final Season Ranking: 39
2010 CFN Score: 11.77
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 74
2009 Final Season Ranking: 26
2009 Final Score. 14.41
2008 Final Season Ranking: 42
2008 Final Score: 11.79
Key Stat: Navy was 117th in the nation in tackles for loss.

The Midshipmen didn’t go bowling after struggling to consistently get its offense rolling and not getting nearly enough from the defense. A stretch of six straight losses appeared to kill the season, but the finishing kick was easy enough to get to six wins. The 27-24 loss to San Jose State ended that. Beating Western Kentucky and SMU was nice, but the program expects more at this point.

69. Texas Tech (5-7)
2011 CFN Score: 7.52
2011 Preseason Ranking: 55
2010 Final Season Ranking: 38
2010 CFN Score: 11.90
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 32
2009 Final Season Ranking: 42
2009 Final Score. 12.09
2008 Final Season Ranking: 9
2008 Final Score: 19.42
Key Stat: The Red Raiders finished 114th in the nation in total defense and 117th in scoring D.

41-38 over Oklahoma. The Red Raiders lost close heartbreakers to Texas A&M and Kansas State before beating OU on the way to a 5-2 start, and then the bottom dropped out losing five straight. It could’ve been a decent season, and all the team needed was one more win to get a bowl bid, but it didn’t happen. The defense gave up 31 points or more in each of the last ten games.

68. Wake Forest (6-7)
2011 CFN Score: 7.53
2011 Final Season Ranking: 68
2011 Preseason Ranking: 63
2010 Final Season Ranking: 103
2010 CFN Score: 1.18
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 55 CFN 2010 Preseason Prediction: 5-7
2009 Final Season Ranking: 76
2009 Final Score.5.93
2008 Final Season Ranking: 32
2008 Final Score: 13.97
Key Stat: Wake Forest was 115th in the nation in sacks.

The Demon Deacons got back to a bowl game. It was a loss, and they lost five of the final six games, but it was still a bowl season with wins over NC State and Florida State. The offense was inconsistent and the defense got bombed on too often, but getting to six wins was still a plus after finishing 103rd last year.

67. Western Kentucky (7-5)
2011 CFN Score: 7.55
2011 Final Season Ranking: 67
2011 Preseason Ranking: 106
2010 Final Season Ranking: 110
2010 CFN Score: -0.82
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 118
2009 Final Season Ranking: 120
2009 Final Score.-5.80
2008 Final Season Ranking: Not Ranked
2008 Final Score: Not Ranked
Key Stat: WKU was 35th in the nation and first in the Sun Belt in rushing.

The Hilltoppers were dead last in 2009 and didn’t exactly fly up the board. After starting out 0-4, it looked like just another lousy year, and then they went on a roll winning seven of the final eight games with the lone loss coming LSU. The 44-16 home loss to Indiana State was a killer for the ranking. If that supposed layup was a win, WKU would’ve been well up into the 50s.

66. Western Michigan (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 7.90
2011 Final Season Ranking: 66
2011 Preseason Ranking: 83
2010 Final Season Ranking: 77
2010 CFN Score: 6.02
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 98
2009 Final Season Ranking: 94
2009 Final Score. 3.57
2008 Final Season Ranking: 50
2008 Final Score: 10.42
Key Stat: The Broncos finished eighth in the nation in passing.

The high-octane Broncos gave everyone with their terrific passing game. Four of the six losses came by five point or fewer, including battles with Illinois, Toledo, and Purdue. However, losing to Eastern Michigan wasn’t a plus and it too k too much work to beat Miami University. Even so, it was a nice season and a big move back up the rankings.

65. Miami (6-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.02
2011 Final Season Ranking: 65
2011 Preseason Ranking: 84
2010 Final Season Ranking: 45
2010 CFN Score: 11.02
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 11
2009 Final Season Ranking: 20
2009 Final Score. 15.25
2008 Final Season Ranking: 53
2008 Final Score: 9.92
Key Stat: The Canes were 70th in the nation in total offense.

It wasn’t exactly the start that head coach Al Golden was hoping for. The Nevin Shapiro controversy has been the big story, with the problems leading to the team choosing to not go to a bowl game. It was an uneven season, but five losses came by seven points or fewer with the eight point loss to Maryland tighter than the final score. Wins over North Carolina and Georgia Tech were great, and beating Ohio State in any year is a positive.

64. Nevada (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.16
2011 Final Season Ranking: 64
2011 Preseason Ranking: 64
2010 Final Season Ranking: 9
2010 CFN Score: 20.42
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 61
2009 Final Season Ranking: 51
2009 Final Score. 10.63
2008 Final Season Ranking: 62
2008 Final Score: 8.48
Key Stat: Nevada was sixth in the nation in total offense.

The Wolf Pack fell off the rankings map after finishing in the top ten last year, but it was still a terrific season going to a bowl game and winning six of the final nine games. However, there weren’t any quality wins and there wasn’t a signature moment. The best win of the season might have been against San Jose State – yippee. There were three bad wins and close losses to Texas Tech, Utah State, and Louisiana Tech that could’ve gone either way before losing to Southern Miss in the Hawaii Bowl.

63. Florida (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.28
2011 Final Season Ranking: 63
2011 Preseason Ranking: 14
2010 Final Season Ranking: 34
2010 CFN Score: 12.73
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 4
2009 Final Season Ranking: 2
2009 Final Score. 26.71
2008 Final Season Ranking: 1
2008 Final Score: 28.98
Key Stat: Florida was eighth in the nation in total defense and 105th in total offense.

No. 1 in 2008 and No. 2 in 2009, it’s been a swift and painful freefall into mediocrity. The Gator offense didn’t work with struggle after struggle in the SEC. There weren’t any quality wins and three of the seven victories were bad. Beating Ohio State in the bowl was the best moment of the season, but it was too late; the year was already a dud and the pressure is now on for 2012.

62. Utah State (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.28
2011 Final Season Ranking: 62
2011 Preseason Ranking: 104
2010 Final Season Ranking: 89
2010 CFN Score: 3.92
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 91
2009 Final Season Ranking: 93
2009 Final Score. 3.74
2008 Final Season Ranking: 106
2008 Final Score: 1.97
Key Stat: The Aggies were sixth in the nation in rushing.

It might have been a painful end to the season losing to Ohio in the final moments, but that was par for the course with collapses against Auburn, Colorado State, and BYU keeping the season from being truly special. Wins over Wyoming and Nevada showed the Aggies were good enough to battle with the decent teams, but the loss to Colorado State was a killer in the rankings.

61. FIU (8-5)
2011 CFN Score: 8.34
2011 Final Season Ranking: 61
2011 Preseason Ranking: 90
2010 Final Season Ranking: 63
2010 CFN Score: 7.98
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 110
2009 Final Season Ranking: 105
2009 Final Score. 1.76
2008 Final Season Ranking: 90
2008 Final Score: 4.23
Key Stat: The Golden Panthers were first in the nation in punt returns.

The Golden Panthers showed staying power after a strong 2010 winning eight games and going to a bowl. The loss to Marshall in St. Petersburg was a disappointment, but overall, it was another good step forward. The only quality win came against Louisville, but beating UCF was also good and helped offset a bad loss to Duke.

60. Iowa State (6-7)
2011 CFN Score: 8.34
2011 Final Season Ranking: 60
2011 Preseason Ranking: 72
2010 Final Season Ranking: 74
2010 CFN Score: 6.31
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 63
2009 Final Season Ranking: 67
2009 Final Score. 8.12
2008 Final Season Ranking: 110
2008 Final Score: 0.66
Key Stat: Iowa State finished 112th in the nation in turnover margin.

On paper, Iowa State shouldn’t have been anything more than a Big 12 doormat, but instead it turned the season around with the shocking double overtime win over Oklahoma State. However, that was it for the fun with three straight losses to close things out. Beating Iowa always makes for a good year, and beating Connecticut and blasting Texas Tech came out of the blue, but the losses were all rough. The Kansas State loss was the only one of the seven by fewer than double digits.

59. Washington (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.46
2011 Final Season Ranking: 59
2011 Preseason Ranking: 43
2010 Final Season Ranking: T46
2010 CFN Score: 9.10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 35
2009 Final Season Ranking: 63
2009 Final Score. 9.10
2008 Final Season Ranking: 119
2008 Final Score: -3.29
Key Stat: The Huskies were 116th in the nation in pass defense.

It seems like the ranking should’ve been higher, but the bad loss to Oregon State hurt and there weren’t enough quality wins. Of course, the season will be defined by the wild Alamo Bowl loss to Baylor, but losing four of the final five games was the bigger story after starting out 5-1 and 6-2. The only wins of note, though, came against California and Utah in back-to-back weeks early on.

58. Purdue (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.55

2011 Preseason Ranking: 53
2010 Final Season Ranking: 79
2010 CFN Score: 5.64
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 49
2009 Final Season Ranking: 71
2009 Final Score. 7.02
2008 Final Season Ranking: 85
2008 Final Score: 5.03
Key Stat: Purdue was first in the nation in kickoff returns.

The Boilermakers finally got back to a bowl game after closing out the year with two wins in the final three. Beating Western Michigan in Detroit was the icing on the cake, but that was one of the only quality wins. The other was against Illinois, but beating the Buckeyes and Indiana in November made everyone happy. Four of the seven wins, though, were bad wins and the loss to Rice was close to being counted as a bad one.

57. Illinois (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 8.68

2011 Preseason Ranking: 44
2010 Final Season Ranking: 41
2010 CFN Score: 11.47
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 60
2009 Final Season Ranking: 98
2009 Final Score. 2.78
2008 Final Season Ranking: 69
2008 Final Score: 6.67
Key Stat: The Illini was seventh in the nation in total defense.

At least it was a historic season. For the first time ever, a team won its first six games and managed to lose the final six. But even with all the turmoil and all the controversy, including the firing of head coach Ron Zook, closing out with a bowl win over UCLA made the bad second half a bit better. The win over Arizona State and Western Michigan were good, but the victory of Arkansas State actually turned out to be one of the strongest of the season. The bad loss to Minnesota, though, hurt the ranking.

56. California (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 9.08

2011 Preseason Ranking: 33
2010 Final Season Ranking: 76
2010 CFN Score: 6.06
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 34
2009 Final Season Ranking: 43
2009 Final Score. 12.03
2008 Final Season Ranking: 27
2008 Final Score: 15.09
Key Stat: Cal was seventh in the nation in tackles for loss.

Yet another uneven season, Cal managed to get to the Holiday Bowl, and did a nice job over the second half of the season winning four of the final six regular season games, but the offense was shut down cold against Texas. There was only one quality win coming against Utah, but there was also a win over Arizona State and a good battle with Stanford. Three wins against bad Colorado, Presbyterian, and Oregon State teams helped provide a nice base, but there weren’t enough big wins.

55. Mississippi State (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 9-27

2011 Preseason Ranking: 34
2010 Final Season Ranking: 33
2010 CFN Score: 12.88
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 45
2009 Final Season Ranking: 62
2009 Final Score. 9.28
2008 Final Season Ranking: 91
2008 Final Score: 4.20
Key Stat: The Bulldogs were 84th in the nation in offense.

Coming off a major success in 2010, the sky was supposed to be the limit under hot head coach Dan Mullen. Instead, the offense fell flat and wasn’t helped quite enough by an occasionally dominant defense. There was only one quality win – Louisiana Tech – and that came in overtime, while four of the wins were bad. Beating Wake Forest in the bowl game was okay, but the program was hoping for a lot more. The third best win over the year came against a miserable Ole Miss.

54. Marshall (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 9.41

2011 Preseason Ranking: 105
2010 Final Season Ranking: 87
2010 CFN Score: 4.47
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 95
2009 Final Season Ranking: 57
2009 Final Score. 9.46
2008 Final Season Ranking: 77
2008 Final Score: 5.72
Key Stat: Marshall finished fifth in the nation in tackles for loss.

Doc Holliday’s team wasn’t great offensively, and the defense was hit or miss, but it won three of the final four regular season game and closed out with three straight wins including a bowl victory over FIU. There was a stunning elite win over Southern Miss early on, but maintaining the momentum was hard losing three of four before getting hot. Good enough to beat Louisville, the Herd couldn’t get by Ohio or UCF. Inconsistency was the norm.

53. Ohio State (6-7)
2011: CFN Score: 9.41

2011 Preseason Ranking: 21 2010: Final Ranking: 3
2010 CFN Score: 23.85
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 2
2009 Final Season Ranking: 7
2009 Final Score. 21.99
2008 Final Season Ranking: 12
2008 Final Score: 17.80
Key Stat: The Buckeyes finished 115th in the nation in passing.

It was a disappointing year from the start, but it ended with Urban Meyer taking over the head coaching job. Beating Wisconsin was the high point, and getting by Illinois and Toledo helped the résumé, but the season was soured by four straight losses to close things out including a heartbreaker to Michigan. Outside of the disastrous effort against Miami, the Buckeyes were in every game and had an honest shot to win six of the other games they lost.

52. Iowa (7-6)
2011 CFN Score: 9.52

2011 Preseason Ranking: 41
2010 Final Season Ranking: 24
2010 CFN Score: 15.42
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 14
2009 Final Season Ranking: 8
2009 Final Score. 21.36
2008 Final Season Ranking: 19
2008 Final Score: 16.19
Key Stat: The Hawkeyes 76th in the nation in total offense.

Eighth in the final 2009 rankings, the Hawkeyes have taken a tumble hurt by a mediocre and uneven offensive year and not enough good wins. Losing to Minnesota was unacceptable, and not playing well defensively against Iowa State was inexcusable, but that was the team this year. The win over Michigan was the high point, but that was offset by the gaffe against the Gophers. The loss of star running back Marcus Coker at the end of the year made a disappointing year that much worse.

51. Virginia (8-5)
2011 CFN Score: 9.54

2011 Preseason Ranking: 57
2010 Final Season Ranking: 93
2010 CFN Score: 3.23
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 69
2009 Final Season Ranking: 107
2009 Final Score. 0.91
2008 Final Season Ranking: 58
2008 Final Score: 8.75
Key Stat: The Cavaliers were 86th in the nation in scoring.

Head coach Mike London showed just how bright the future might by with quality wins over Georgia Tech and Florida State to get into a position to win the ACC Coastal division. The Cavs got blasted by Virginia Tech, and ended up getting blown out by Auburn in the Chick-fil-A, but it was still a positive season considering they were 107th in 2009. Four of the eight wins were against the weak and the sad, but there were enough good moments to show the team was for real.