CFN 2012 Final Season Rankings - No. 68-86
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. 68 to 86

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.

86. Air Force (6-7) 2012 CFN Score: 4.75

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 71
2011 Final Season Ranking: 71
2011 CFN Final Score: 7.39
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 were 106th in the nation in turnover margin.

It's been two straight disappointing seasons, but there weren't the expectations for 2012 like there were in 2011. The Falcons had some puzzling brain-cramps against UNLV and Army, and they barely got off the bus over the second half of the season losing four of the final five games including a bowl disaster against Rice. A convincing 48-31 win over Nevada went to show just how much potential the team had.

85. Wake Forest (5-7) 2012 CFN Score: 4.82

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 64
2011 Final Season Ranking: 68
2011 CFN Final Score: 7.53
2010 Final Season Ranking: 103
2010 CFN Score: 1.18
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 next-to-last in the nation in kickoff returns.

The Demon Deacons had three chances to get to a bowl game, and they blew it against NC State, Notre Dame and Vanderbilt to miss out. The offense was awful and the defense didn't do enough to pick up the slack in putrid midseason losses against Duke and Maryland. Five of the first seven games were decided by a touchdown or less, but it got really ugly, really fast over the second half of the season.

84. Marshall (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 4.91

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 92
2011 Final Season Ranking: 54
2011 CFN Final Score: 9.41
2010 Final Season Ranking: 87
2010 CFN Score: 4.47 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 57
2009 Final Score: 9.46
2008 Final Season Ranking: 77
2008 Final Score: 5.72
Key Stat: Marshall led the nation in passing.

Doc Holliday's team went from having a problem offensively in 2011 to finishing first in the nation in passing and sixth in total offense. Rakeem Cato bombed away for a fun, high-octane attack, but the defense didn't hold up, finishing second-to-last in the nation in points allowed. there were a few nice wins, but not enough of them, failing to put together two victories in a row and only coming up with one win over a bowl bound team - Rice.

83. Houston (5-7)  2011 CFN Score: 5.24

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 62
2011 Final Season Ranking: 6
2011 CFN Final Score: 22.10
2010 Final Season Ranking: 81
2010 CFN Score: 5.58 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 18
2009 Final Score: 15.41
2008 Final Season Ranking: 41
2008 Final Score: 12.13
Key Stat: The Cougars were 11th in the nation in total offense.

The Cougars went from rocking and rolling with head coach Kevin Sumlin and quarterback Case Keenum, to struggling out of the gate defensively and failing to do enough offensively. Starting out with a loss to Texas State was a problem, and even though there was a nice streak of four wins in five games, everything fell apart in losses to East Carolina, Tulsa and Marshall to ruin any bowl hopes.

82. Nevada (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 5.82

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 67
2011 Final Season Ranking: 64
2011 CFN Final Score: 8.16
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.

In head coach Chris Ault's final season, the Wolf Pack failed to come through as expected in conference play, but they started 6-1 to get the base needed to go bowling. Unfortunately, the schedule got harder with a win over New Mexico the lone victory over the second half of the year. The year ended on a heartbreaking loss to Arizona in the bowl.

81. Utah (5-7) 2012 CFN Score: 5.86

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 27
2011 Final Season Ranking: 45
2011 CFN Final Score: 10.49
2010 Final Season Ranking: 23
2010 CFN Score: 15.68
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 48
2009 Final Season Ranking: 23
2009 Final Score: 14.77
2008 Final Season Ranking: 4
2008 Final Score: 23.56
Key Stat: The Utes were 105th in the nation in total offense.

Utah was thought to be a possible sleeper in the Pac-12 race, but injuries and offensive issues were too much to overcome. With Jordan Wynn needing to retire, the passing game finished last in the Pac-12. Three wins in the final five games weren't good enough to salvage the year that brought a wacky win over BYU, but that was about it.

80. Purdue (6-7) 2012 CFN Score: 5.88

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 41
2011 Final Season Ranking: 58
2011 CFN Final Score: 8.55
2010 Final Season Ranking: 79
2010 CFN Score: 5.64
2009 Final Season Ranking: 71
2009 Final Score: 7.02
2008 Final Season Ranking: 85
2008 Final Score: 5.03
Key Stat: Purdue led the Big Ten in kickoff returns.

It was a year of good mental toughness, overcoming a 3-6 start by winning the final three games of the year - including two on the road at Iowa and Illinois - but everything fell apart in an ugly bowl loss to Oklahoma State. Danny Hope was canned and Kent State's Darrell Hazell was brought in for next year, but the defense has to be far better and the offense more consistent.

79. Virginia (4-8)  2012 CFN Score: 6.34

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 45
2011 Final Season Ranking: 51
2011 CFN Final Score: 9.54
2010 Final Season Ranking: 93
2010 CFN Score: 3.23 
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 110th in the nation in turnover margin.

The future was supposed to be bright after going to the Chick-fil-A Bowl in 2011, and after a 2-0 start, helped by a thrilling win over Penn State, everything looked up. And then came the losses, dropping six straight with an offense that failed to convert yards into points and a defense that struggled way too often. Wins over NC State and Miami in November appeared to get the season back on track, but losses to North Carolina and Virginia Tech made this one of the year's bigger disappointments.

78. Minnesota (6-7) 2012 CFN Score: 6.37

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 61
2011 Final Season Ranking: 97
2011 CFN Final Score: 2.66
2010 Final Season Ranking: 91
2010 CFN Score: 3.32
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 71
2009 Final Season Ranking: 70
2009 Final Score: 7.09
2008 Final Season Ranking: 71
2008 Final Score: 6.59
Key Stat: Minnesota was 108th in the nation in total offense, but 12th in pass defense.

The second season in the Jerry Kill era was a tremendous success, even with a heartbreaking loss to Texas Tech in the bowl game to close out the year with four losses in the final five games. A 4-0 start gave the Gophers enough of a head start to make up for the problems late, and the improvements on defense were a great step forward for a program on the way up.

77. Connecticut (5-7) 2012 CFN Score: 6.42

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 55
2011 Final Season Ranking: 80
2011 CFN Final Score: 5.91
2010 Final Season Ranking: 35
2010 CFN Score: 12.69
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 36
2009 Final Season Ranking: 36
2009 Final Score: 12.60
2008 Final Season Ranking: 48
2008 Final Score: 10.79
Key Stat: UConn finished ninth in the nation in total defense and 122nd in scoring offense.

The Huskies couldn't find a balance and it couldn't come up with a win in the season finale against Cincinnati to get to a bowl. The Huskies had the third-worst scoring offense in America, but the defense kept them alive time and again with one of the most active front lines in college football. Beating Louisville in three overtimes was the highlight, but close losses to Western Michigan, NC State and South Florida turned out to be too much to overcome.

76. Iowa (4-8) 2012 CFN Score: 6.65

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 56
2011 Final Season Ranking: 52
2011 CFN Final Score: 9.52
2010 Final Season Ranking: 24
2010 CFN Score: 15.42 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 8
2009 Final Score: 21.36
2008 Final Season Ranking: 19
2008 Final Score: 16.19
Key Stat: The Hawkeyes 114th in the nation in total offense.

The preseason thought was the Iowa was going to be bad, but the schedule was going to be worse, so even though it wasn't going to be the best Kirk Ferentz team, everything was going to be fine with no Ohio State or Wisconsin on the slate. Instead, after a 4-2 start, the offense went completely into the tank finishing 11th in the Big Ten in both yards and points on the way to a six game losing streak to close things out. The Hawkeyes battled with Nebraska, but was blown out by Penn State and Michigan and suffered the indignity of losing to both Indiana and Purdue.

75. Tennessee (5-7) 2012 CFN Score: 6.73

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 30
2011 Final Season Ranking: 77
2011 CFN Final Score: 6.40
2010 Final Season Ranking: 72
2010 CFN Score: 6.46
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 42
2009 Final Season Ranking: 39
2009 Final Score: 12.21
2008 Final Season Ranking: 66
2008 Final Score: 6.99
Key Stat: The Vols were fifth in the nation in sacks allowed.

Tennessee can't be blamed for the first part of its schedule, going 3-5 with losses to Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama and South Carolina all more than reasonable. However, a four overtime loss to Missouri at home and a 41-18 blowout against Vanderbilt weren't okay, ultimately costing Derek Dooley his job. Butch Jones will have to deal with some massive personnel losses, and from here on, losing to the better SEC teams won't be acceptable.

74. Duke (6-7) 2012 CFN Score: 7.13

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 86
2011 Final Season Ranking: 106
2011 CFN Final Score: 1.46
2010 Final Season Ranking: 100
2010 CFN Score: 1.78
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 75
2009 Final Season Ranking: 97
2009 Final Score:2.79
2008 Final Season Ranking: 79
2008 Final Score: 5.68
Key Stat: Duke was 114th in the nation and last in the ACC in pass efficiency defense.

The season might have hit the skids with five straight losses to close, but the Blue Devils started out 6-2 to go bowling after some nice wins over North Carolina and Virginia. The schedule got more difficult and the results showed thanks to a defense that gave up 42 points or more in each of the last five losses. Duke was 6-0 when it gave up fewer than 41 points, 0-7 when allowing more.

73. Middle Tennessee (8-4) 2012 CFN Score: 7.25

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 103
2011 Final Season Ranking: 113
2011 CFN Final Score: -0.82
2010 Final Season Ranking: 96
2010 CFN Score: 2.50
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 88
2009 Final Season Ranking: 41
2009 Final Score: 11.60
2008 Final Season Ranking: 70
2008 Final Score: 6.67
Key Stat: The Blue Raiders allowed just seven sacks all year.

MTSU came up with eight wins including a nice four game winning streak late in the year to get in a position to win the Sun Belt title, and then a 45-0 loss to Arkansas State meant no championship and no bowl. Losing to McNeese State to start the season wasn't any way to kick things off, but beating Georgia Tech a few weeks later made up for it. Outside of the opener, the other three losses - ULM, Mississippi State and Arkansas State - came against bowl teams.

72. Central Michigan (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 7.33

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 110
2011 Final Season Ranking: 100
2011 CFN Final Score: 2.46
2010 Final Season Ranking: 102
2010 CFN Score: 1.31
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 96
2009 Final Season Ranking: 12
2009 Final Score: 17.96
2008 Final Season Ranking: 56
2008 Final Score: 9.03
Key Stat: CMU was second-to-last in the nation in tackles for loss and 100th in sacks.

It'll take a long way to go to get anywhere near the 2009 level when the program finished No. 12, but it was a nice rebound season complete with a four-game winning streak and a bowl win over WKU to close out the year. After a four-game losing streak made it seem like things were going tumble into the abyss, but the schedule eased up and the Chippewas took full advantage.

71. East Carolina (8-5) 2012 CFN Score: 7.60

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 98
2011 Final Season Ranking: 87
2011 CFN Final Score: 4.70
2010 Final Season Ranking: 62
2010 CFN Score: 8.27
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 99
2009 Final Season Ranking: 29
2009 Final Score: 13.85
2008 Final Season Ranking: 34
2008 Final Score: 13.72
Key Stat: The Pirates finished last in the nation in punting and 119th in turnover margin two years ago, and was 55th in punting and 58th in turnover margin this year.

The Pirates weren't expected to do too much after a rocky 2011, but the managed to piece together eight wins in the regular season helped by a nice three-game run to close things out. A bowl loss to Louisiana-Lafayette soured the fun, but overall the team was better, even though it was inconsistent. ECU didn't just lose their five games, it got blasted by double digits in each one including an inexplicable gaffe against Navy.

70. Western Kentucky (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 7.64

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 64
2011 Final Season Ranking: 67
2011 CFN Final Score: 7.55
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 first in the Sun Belt in total defense, run defense, sacks and tackles for loss.

It certainly has been interesting at WKU, starting out the year 5-1, fizzling in Sun Belt play and losing five of the final seven games, losing head coach Willie Taggart to South Florida, losing to Central Michigan in the bowl, and getting Bobby Petrino to take over as a rental have all made this a hot program to keep an eye on. There were several chances to make this a big season with four of the six losses by a touchdown or less. However, there's obviously no shame in losing to Alabama. The same can't be said for losing to Florida Atlantic 37-28.

69. Pitt (6-7) 2012 CFN Score: 7.68

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 53
2011 Final Season Ranking: 72
2011 CFN Final Score: 7.14
2010 Final Season Ranking: 30
2010 CFN Score: 13.32
2009 Final Season Ranking: 14
2009 Final Score: 17.37
2008 Final Season Ranking: 13
2008 Final Score: 17.42
Key Stat: The Panthers was 15th in the nation and first in the Big East in turnover margin.

It was a rocky year, but the team showed good toughness getting through a few inconsistencies on both sides of the ball, and a 2-4 start, to win four of the final six games to go bowling. A missed kick away from beating Notre Dame, Pitt lost in three overtimes, but it managed to thump Virginia Tech and Rutgers. The blowout to Ole Miss in the bowl game doesn't ruin what head coach Paul Chryst appears to be putting together.

68. UTSA (8-4) 2012 CFN Score: 7.71

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 122
Key Stat: The Roadrunners beat four non-FBS teams.

UTSA's first season started out with a thrilling win over South Alabama on the way to a 5-0 start. While reality set in once the schedule got tougher, closing out with three straight wins including close victories over Idaho and Texas State gave the team four wins over FBS teams. Head coach Larry Coker's team has the fan base, and at least for one year, the wins over bad teams made it a fun campaign.