CFN 2012 Final Season Rankings - No. 87-105
Maryland DL Joe Vellano
Maryland DL Joe Vellano
Posted Jan 14, 2013

Which teams had the best seasons? Here's CFN's final ranking based on who earned it on the field.

CFN 2012 Season Rankings

Rankings No. 87 to 105

2008 | 2009 | 2010 | 2011

2012 CFN Final Season Rankings
The Top 10 | Rankings 11-29 | Rankings 30-48 | Rankings 49-67
- Rankings 68-86Rankings 87-105The Bottom 19 
- ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind
- MAC | Mountain West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

- Based On Opinion ... CFN 2012 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.

103. FIU (3-9) 2012 CFN Score: 1.95

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 84
2011 Final Season Ranking: 61
2011 CFN Final Score: 8.34
2010 Final Season Ranking: 63
2010 CFN Score: 7.98
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 109th in the nation in sacks allowed.

Just when it seemed like FIU was going to cement itself as the superstar of the Sun Belt thanks to the return of a loaded team full of veterans, everything went wrong. The offense couldn't seem to find any consistency and the defense that was so great over the previous few years failed to come up with the big stops when needed. Gone is Mario Cristobal, who was considered one of the hot young head coaches, and in comes Ron Turner to try to turn things back around.

102. New Mexico (4-9)  2012 CFN Score: -0.58

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 119
2011 Final Season Ranking: 120
2011 CFN Final Score: -4.98
2010 Final Season Ranking: 120
2010 CFN Score: -6.59
2009 Final Season Ranking: 117
2009 Final Score. -2.52
2008 Final Season Ranking: 5.38
2008 Final Score: 80
Key Stat: The Lobos were 5th in the nation in rushing offense and second-to-last in passing.

Bob Davie restored some order to the program, and it looked like the team would be one of the surprises of the 2012 season with a 4-3 start. And then came the drop-off losing the final six games of the season. There weren't any wins over teams that finished with winning records, but even with the losing campaign, UNM improved losing five games by a touchdown or less.

101. Western Michigan (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 2.29

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 87
2011 Final Season Ranking: 66
2011 CFN Final Score: 7.90
2010 Final Season Ranking: 77
2010 CFN Score: 6.02 
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 110th in the nation in turnover margin.

A major disappointment, WMU was supposed to be deep in the hunt for the MAC title - it was supposed to do what Kent State and Northern Illinois did - losing five of the final six games including inexcusable gaffes against Buffalo and Eastern Michigan in the final two games to miss out on a bowl. Beating Connecticut and Central Michigan showed the potential the team had.

100. Kentucky (2-10) 2012 CFN Score: 2.35

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 66
2011 Final Season Ranking: 85
2011 CFN Final Score: 5.11
2010 Final Season Ranking: 70
2010 CFN Score: 7.08
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 46
2009 Final Season Ranking: 55
2009 Final Score: 9.73
2008 Final Season Ranking: 57
2008 Final Score: 8.94
Key Stat: UK was 114th in the nation in total offense in 2011 and 113th in 2012.

The offense never improved in a disastrous season that meant the end of the Joker Phillips coaching term and brought in Mark Stoops. UK blew out Kent State early on, which didn't seem like a big deal at the time, but turned out to be a terrific win. Unfortunately, that was the highlight with the only other victory coming against Samford. It's not just that the Cats lost ten games; they weren't even close against anyone but WKU and Georgia.

99. Memphis (2-10) 2012 CFN Score: 2.38

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 121
2011 Final Season Ranking: 115
2011 CFN Final Score: -2.59
2010 Final Season Ranking: 115
2010 CFN Score: 0.36
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 115
2009 Final Season Ranking: 108
2009 Final Score: 2-10
2008 Final Season Ranking: 78
2008 Final Score: 5.71
Key Stat: The Tigers were 110th in the nation in total offense.

Justin Fuente turned in one of the nice surprises of the 2012 season, and while 4-8 is hardly special, closing out with three straight wins after a 1-8 start - with the lone win coming against a Rice team that went on to win a bowl game - showed what he could potentially do. The defense improved by leaps and bounds, but the offense, especially the passing attack, was wildly inconsistent.

98. Maryland (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 2.73

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 49
2011 Final Season Ranking: 110
2011 CFN Final Score: 0.58
2010 Final Season Ranking: 29
2010 CFN Score: 14.25
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 59
2009 Final Season Ranking: 109
2009 Final Score: 0.23
2008 Final Season Ranking: 36
2008 Final Score: 13.03
Key Stat: The Terps finished dead last in the nation in total offense.

Just when it seemed like Randy Edsall was starting to turn things around with a 4-2 start, and then came the slew of quarterback injuries that destroyed the offense and killed the season. The Terps battles in losses to NC State and Boston College, but that was about it with a six-game losing streak closing out the season. The offense averaged just 285 yards per game thanks to an offense that couldn't keep the backup quarterbacks upright.

97. Temple (4-7)   2012 CFN Score: 3.15

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 73
2011 Final Season Ranking: 41
2011 CFN Final Score: 11.39
2010 Final Season Ranking: 51
2010 CFN Score: 10.13
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 77
2009 Final Season Ranking: 60
2009 Final Score: 9.38
2008 Final Season Ranking: 86
2008 Final Score: 4.96
Key Stat: Temple was the only team in the country to play 11 games.

It wasn't like the Owls were able to play off their MAC success in the Big East. They managed to beat South Florida and UConn for a 2-0 Big East start and a 3-2 run, and then the defense went into the tank giving up 32 points or more the rest of the way with five losses in the last six games. Head coach Steve Addazio, even with the down year, managed to get an upgrade to Boston College, and now it'll be up to Matt Rhule to try to navigate the Big East waters.

96. California (3-9) 2012 CFN Score: 3.29

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 29
2011 Final Season Ranking: 56
2011 CFN Final Score: 9.08
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 115th in the nation in sacks allowed.

The talent seemed to be in place following the Holiday Bowl appearance of 2011, but the season never came together. A 1-4 start set the tone, and even though it seemed like things were about to turn around with a blasting of UCLA and a win over Washington State, a lifeless loss against Stanford and a strange blowout over Utah sparked a five-game losing streak to end the Jeff Tedford era. New coach Sonny Dykes might not be known for his defenses, but the offense should start to shine.

95. Indiana (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 3.29

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 72
2011 Final Season Ranking: 114
2011 CFN Final Score: -1.08
2010 Final Season Ranking: 88
2010 CFN Score: 4.35
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 70
2009 Final Season Ranking: T99.
2009 Final Score. 2.61
2008 Final Season Ranking: 105
2008 Final Score: 2.48
Key Stat: The Hoosiers were 116th in the nation - and dead last in the Big Ten - in rush defense.

Thanks to Ohio State and Penn State being ineligible, there was actually a time in mid-November when the Hoosiers had a home game with a chance to take the Big Ten's Leaders division by storm. And then the fun quickly stopped as Wisconsin ran wild in a 62-14 win to spark a run of three losses to close things out. However, Kevin Wilson got four wins out of the revamped team including back-to-back close battles against Illinois and Iowa. IU lost four games by four points or fewer - losing to Ball State, Michigan State, Ohio State and Navy by a grand total of ten points.

94. Buffalo (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 3.46

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 111
2011 Final Season Ranking: 94
2011 CFN Final Score: 2.88
2010 Final Season Ranking: 117
2010 CFN Score: -2.47
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 93
2009 Final Season Ranking: 81
2009 Final Score: 4.96
2008 Final Season Ranking: 52
2008 Final Score: 10.36
Key Stat: UB had the third worst punting game in the country.

The Bulls came up with some nice wins late - beating Miami University, Western Michigan and UMass in November - but a disastrous start to the season was too much to overcome. There wasn't much of a passing game, but the ground game was solid and the defense was among the best and most aggressive in the MAC. Three losses by a touchdown or less ended up costing the team a shot at coming close to a bowl, but overall, the offense has to start getting better. The attack needs far more pop.

93. Texas State (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 3.49

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 123
Key Stat: Texas State was 118th in the nation in total defense.

The first year in the FBS started out with a shocking bang, running past Houston 30-13. But Dennis Franchione's team struggled too much on defense, giving up too many big plays through the air and needing the offense to pick up the slack. A 3-3 start showed good promise, but the schedule got tougher and the Bobcats couldn't keep up. However, they gave Louisiana Tech a run in a 62-55 loss, and closed the season with a 66-28 win over New Mexico State.

92. Auburn (3-9)  2012 CFN Score: 3.59

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 40
2011 Final Season Ranking: 29
2011 CFN Final Score: 13.70
2010 CFN Score: 27.15 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 33
2009 Final Score: 13.12
2008 Final Season Ranking: 81
2008 Final Score: 5.34
Key Stat: The Tigers averaged just 305 yards per game.

No one expected Auburn to challenge for the SEC title in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but this was an epic disaster. A 1-7 start - with the lone win coming in overtime against ULM - the team struggled from the start. While there were two November wins over New Mexico State and Alabama A&M, the lack of offensive punch meant a stunning end to the Gene Chizik era, just two years removed from winning a national title. Gus Malzahn has a ton of young talent to work with, but it's going to take a ton of work to battle back into contention in the West.

91. South Florida (3-9) 2012 CFN Score: 3.68

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 36
2011 Final Season Ranking: 74
2011 CFN Final Score: 6.96
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 118th in the nation in turnover margin.

How did it go so wrong so quickly? The Bulls appeared ready to challenge for the Big East title, and they came out hot with a 2-0 start and a good win at Nevada, and then the air went out of the balloon with a home loss to Rutgers to kick off conference play and a shocking road gaffe at Ball State. Only a 13-6 win over Connecticut provided a little bit of a break from the gloom, and that marked the end of the Skip Holtz era. New head man Willie Taggart could come up with a quick turnaround considering the Bulls have decent talent in place. However, after three straight blowout losses to end the year, and scoring a total of 22 points in the three, the offense has to get moving.

90. Miami University (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 3.69
2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 105
2011 Final Season Ranking: 105
2011 CFN Final Score: 1.64
2010 Final Season Ranking: 37
2010 CFN Score: 11.98
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 93
2009 Final Season Ranking: 114
2009 Final Score: -0.65
2008 Final Season Ranking: 117
2008 Final Score: -2.79
Key Stat: MU was second-to-last in the nation against the run.

The RedHawks couldn't build on a good first half of the season, starting out 4-4 before dropping the final four games of the year. The defense couldn't stop the run and the offense, as usual, couldn't run the ball thanks to an attack that revolved around the short passing game.

89. North Texas (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 4.00

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 109
2011 Final Season Ranking: 88
2011 CFN Final Score: 4.47
2010 Final Season Ranking: 99
2010 CFN Score: 1.81
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 102
2009 Final Season Ranking: 110
2009 Final Score: -0.16
2008 Final Season Ranking: 116
2008 Final Score: -2.23
Key Stat: UNT led the nation with the fewest sacks allowed.

The Mean Green couldn't find a groove, failing to win two games in a row all season long. Having to play LSU and Kansas State didn't help the cause, but close losses to Troy and Western Kentucky were a problem in Sun Belt play. Getting blown away by Middle Tennessee, ULM and Arkansas State showed how far the program still has to go.

88. Arkansas (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 20.24

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 13
2011 Final Season Ranking: 10
2011 CFN Final Score: 20.24
2010 Final Season Ranking: 17
2010 CFN Score: 17.47 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 28
2009 Final Score: 14.04
2008 Final Season Ranking: 72
2008 Final Score: 6.56
Key Stat: The Hogs were 122nd in the nation in turnover margin.

The writing was on the wall in the offseason when Bobby Petrino got in trouble and got canned, and the team failed to rise up to the occasion under John L. Smith. Despite the problems in a 1-4 start - bottoming out in an overtime loss to ULM - the team kept fighting and battling, beating Auburn and Kentucky when the defense came up with two of its best performances of the year. Just when it seemed like the team was turning things around winning three games in four weeks, the schedule got nasty again and the Hogs lost three straight. Arkansas finished 104th in the nation in rushing, but that should change with the arrival of Bret Bielema.

87. Troy (5-7) 2012 CFN Score: 4.68
2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 102
2011 Final Season Ranking: 104
2011 CFN Final Score: 1.65
2010 Final Season Ranking: 56
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 100
2009 Final Season Ranking: 49
2009 Final Score: 10.95
2008 Final Season Ranking: 47
2008 Final Score: 10.86
Key Stat: The Trojans were 113th in the nation in both sacks and tackles for loss.

Turnovers continue to be an issue, but the program's ineffectiveness on defense has been the bigger problem over the last several years. The offense rocked - finishing 11th in the nation - but it wasn't nearly enough in several close losses. Six of the seven losses were by a touchdown or less.