CFN 2012 Final Season Rankings - No. 49-67
Posted Jan 15, 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. 49 to 67

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.

67. Missouri (5-7) 2012 CFN Score: 7.85

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 17
2011 Final Season Ranking: 34
2011 CFN Final Score: 12.58
2010 Final Season Ranking: 14
2010 CFN Score: 19.06 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 46
2009 Final Score: 11.59
2008 Final Season Ranking: 16
2008 Final Score: 16.81
Key Stat: The Tigers finished 12th in the nation in total offense in 2011 and 96th in 2012.

Even with the move to the SEC, Mizzou was supposed to be a player with decent athletes across the board and a good-looking offense that just needed James Franklin to stay healthy. He didn't, there wasn't much of a passing game, and the Tigers turned out to be a major disappointment in Welcome To Grown Man Football blowout losses to Georgia and South Carolina. Even with the problems, there were still chances to become bowl eligible needing to just win one of the final two games, but a home loss to Syracuse and a blowout to Texas A&M ended that.

66. SMU (7-6)  2012 CFN Score: 8.67

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 77
2011 Final Season Ranking: 37
2011 CFN Final Score: 12.23
2010 Final Season Ranking: 61
2010 CFN Score: 8.51
2009 Final Season Ranking: 61
2009 Final Score: 9.33
2008 Final Season Ranking: 114
2008 Final Score: -1.69
Key Stat: SMU was tenth in the nation in turnover margin after finishing dead last in 2011.

Even though it seemed like a disappointing season after being considered one of the favorites to win the Conference USA title, everything finished up strong with a win over eventual league champion Tulsa and a thumping of Fresno State in the Hawaii Bowl. The offense didn't exactly work like it was supposed to, even with a 72-point explosion against Houston, but the defense was the beat in the league against the run.

65. Rice (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 8.78

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 113
2011 Final Season Ranking: 91
2011 CFN Final Score: 4.13
2010 Final Season Ranking: 94
2010 CFN Score: 2.90
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 111
2009 Final Season Ranking: 118
2009 Final Score: -2.56
2008 Final Season Ranking: 31
2008 Final Score: 14.31
Key Stat: Rice second in Conference USA in rushing.

Very quietly, Rice came up with nice season. Left for dead after a 1-5 start - with the lone victory coming against Kansas - and needing to win out to go bowling, the Owls rolled up four straight wins to get to the post-season, and then made the most of it by destroying Air Force 33-14. The offense was solid, but the defense struggled a bit too much early on. Even so, three of the losses came by a total of 11 points including a double overtime thriller to Marshall.

64. Ole Miss (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 8.79

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 59
2011 Final Season Ranking: 108
2011 CFN Final Score: 0.75
2010 Final Season Ranking: 98
2010 CFN Score: 2.03
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 25
2009 Final Season Ranking: 25
2009 Final Score: 14.48
2008 Final Season Ranking: 15
2008 Final Score: 16.89
Key Stat: Ole Miss finished fourth in the nation in tackles for loss and 11th in sacks.

Hugh Freeze breathed new life into the program helped by a great finish. Blowing away Mississippi State was nice, but having no problems with Pitt in the bowl game put a terrific cap on a winning season. There might not have been many impressive SEC wins with Auburn and Arkansas having so many problems, but the Rebels beat the mediocre teams they needed to with an aggressive defense and a fun offense that came up with a nice balance. However, before the win over MSU, Ole Miss was 0-6 against bowl teams.

63. ULM (8-5) 2012 CFN Score: 9.23

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 107
2011 Final Season Ranking: 92
2011 CFN Final Score: 3.73
2010 Final Season Ranking: 92
2010 CFN Score: 3.28
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 104
2009 Final Season Ranking: 78
2009 Final Score: 5.54
2008 Final Season Ranking: 102
2008 Final Score: 2.93
Key Stat: ULM finished 108th in the nation against the pass.

Forgetting that the Warhawks failed to show up for the bowl game loss to Ohio, it was still the greatest season in the program's history, starting out with a thrilling overtime shocker over Arkansas and two more wild games against Auburn and Baylor. But ULM lost to the Tigers and Bears before going on a run, winning five in a row before getting blasted by Louisiana-Lafayette and Arkansas State to get knocked out of the Sun Belt title chase.

62. Washington (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 9.27

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 42
2011 Final Season Ranking: 59
2011 CFN Final Score: 8.46
2010 Final Season Ranking: T46
2010 CFN Score: 9.10
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 in 2011 and 23rd in 2012.

The Huskies improved by leaps and bounds on defense, but it didn't show in the final record with a second straight 7-6 campaign. The offense was a major disappointment, finishing tenth in the Pac-12 in total yards, and it showed in losses to USC, Oregon and Arizona. However, a win over Stanford was one of the biggest national victories of 2012, and beating Oregon State was impressive, but losing to Washington State and dropping a tight bowl game to Boise State put a bad cap on the year.

61. Iowa State (6-7) 2012 CFN Score: 9.29

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 56
2011 Final Season Ranking: 60
2011 CFN Final Score: 8.34
2010 Final Season Ranking: 74
2010 CFN Score: 6.31
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 sacks.

The overall talent just isn't there to win the Big 12, but the Cyclones managed to get hot early with a 3-0 start and a 4-1 record to form the base to survive a rough conference season. Beating Baylor was a bit of a stunner, but combined with the layup against Kansas, the Cyclones were able to get to a bowl game. The loss to Conference USA champion Tulsa wasn't a positive, but at least the bar is set at the post-season - the team is always good for one or two big wins a year it absolutely needs.

60. NC State (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 9.36

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 35
2011 Final Season Ranking: 38
2011 CFN Final Score: 12.08
2010 Final Season Ranking: 20
2010 CFN Score: 6.57 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 73
2009 Final Score: 6.57
2008 Final Season Ranking: 54
2008 Final Score: 9.84
Key Stat: NC State was ninth in the nation in tackles for loss.

This was supposed to be a big season for the Wolfpack with a good team of veterans returning and with a decent schedule. Even with a shocking win over Florida State, the year was a major disappointment, starting out with a loss to Tennessee and with major problems on the offensive line throughout the second half of the year. The problems meant the end of Tom O'Brien's run, and going forward it'll be up to Dave Doeren to do for State what he did for Northern Illinois.

59. West Virginia (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 9.47

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 19
2011 Final Season Ranking: 19
2011 CFN Final Score: 16.93
2010 Final Season Ranking: 19
2010 CFN Score: 14.95 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 21
2009 Final Score: 15.02
2008 Final Season Ranking: 29
2008 Final Score: 14.42
Key Stat: The Mountaineers finished tenth in the nation in total offense.

It all looked so great. There was the 70-point outburst against Baylor, the win over Texas, and the 5-0 start that seemed like it was leading to a Big 12 title and a Heisman for Geno Smith. And then reality set in as the miserable defense couldn't stop Texas Tech, Kansas State, or anyone else in a five game losing streak that destroyed the season. Getting run over by Syracuse in the Pinstripe Bowl was a fitting finish.

58. Bowling Green (8-5) 2012 CFN Score: 9.67

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 43
2011 Final Season Ranking: 82
2011 CFN Final Score: 5.39
2010 Final Season Ranking: 112
2010 CFN Score: -1.06
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 114
2009 Final Season Ranking: 65
2009 Final Score: 8.42
2008 Final Season Ranking: 84
2008 Final Score: 5.04
Key Stat: BGSU was sixth in the nation in total defense.

A good performance in a loss to a great San Jose State team in the bowl capped off a terrific bounceback season. The defense led the MAC and was among the best in the nation at getting into the backfield, but unlike past Dave Clawson teams, the offense didn't hold up its end of the bargain. Losing on the road to Florida, Toledo and Virginia Tech early on wasn't that bad, and losing 31-24 to Kent State late was nothing to get in a twist over. There weren't any great wins, but there weren't any gaffes, either.

57. Miami (7-5) 2012 CFN Score: 8.02

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 52
2011 Final Season Ranking: 65
2011 CFN Final Score: 8.02
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 116th in the nation in total defense.

The program has had the NCAA hanging over its head, but before any ruling could possibly come down after the Nevin Shapiro allegations, the school took the bull by the horns for the second year in a row and refused to play in any post-season games. Even with a defense that rarely slowed anyone down, and despite all the problems on offense, the Canes would've played Florida State for the ACC title had there not been a ban. Instead, they had to settle for closing out with three wins in the final four games. Three of the losses came to teams that ended up in the BCS - Notre Dame, Kansas State and Florida State - but losses to Virginia and North Carolina weren't pretty for the résumé.

56. Virginia Tech (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 9.83

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 16
2011 Final Season Ranking: 15
2011 CFN Final Score: 17.73
2010 Final Season Ranking: 18
2010 CFN Score: 17.15
2009 Final Season Ranking: 9
2009 Final Score: 18.63
2008 Final Season Ranking: 11
2008 Final Score: 17.96
Key Stat: Tech was 18th in the nation in scoring D.

Just when it seemed like the Hokies were in for one of the worst seasons in the Frank Beamer era, starting out 4-6, the team managed to slip by Boston College in overtime, snuck past Virginia by three, and then made the most of the opportunity with an ugly overtime win over Rutgers in the bowl. In all, Tech won three overtime games and beat Duke and Bowling Green teams that went bowling.

55. Mississippi State (8-5) 2012 CFN Score: 9.92

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 25
2011 Final Season Ranking: 55
2011 CFN Final Score: 9.27
2010 Final Season Ranking: 33
2010 CFN Score: 12.88 
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 fifth in the nation and first in the SEC in turnover margin.

It was a tale of two seasons. The first half of the year was fun and easy with no games against bowl bound teams over a seven-game winning streak, and then came Alabama, Texas A&M and LSU to drop reality on the Bulldogs like a hammer. Losing the Egg Bowl to Ole Miss was awful, and struggling in a bowl loss to Northwestern was hardly a plus for a team that failed to beat anyone with a pulse. Again, 0-5 against bowl teams, 8-0 against those who stayed home.

54. Navy (8-5) 2012 CFN Score: 10.28

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 93
2011 Final Season Ranking: 70
2011 CFN Final Score: 10.28
2010 Final Season Ranking: 39
2010 CFN Score: 11.77
2009 Final Season Ranking: 26
2009 Final Score: 14.41
2008 Final Season Ranking: 42
2008 Final Score: 11.79
Key Stat: Navy was 114th in the nation in tackles for loss.

The Midshipmen went bowling again after a year off, but they were badly outclassed by Arizona State in an embarrassing 62-28 disaster. Beating Army and Air Force always makes for a good year, and getting by Central Michigan and East Carolina were nice wins, but there wasn't anything splashy getting blown away by Notre Dame and Penn State - all five losses were by double-digits.

53. Georgia Tech (7-7)  2012 CFN Score: 10.49

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 31
2011 Final Season Ranking: 40
2011 CFN Final Score: 11.44
2010 Final Season Ranking: 78
2010 CFN Score: 5.81 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 13
2009 Final Score: 17.55
2008 Final Season Ranking: 22
2008 Final Score: 15.72
Key Stat: Tech was fourth in the nation in rushing.

In a strange season, the Yellow Jackets suffered two September overtime losses to Virginia Tech and Miami before failing to show up against Middle Tennessee and getting waxed by Clemson and BYU. But because Miami chose not to play in the post-season, and because North Carolina wasn't eligible, it was off to the ACC championship. Despite a tight loss to Florida State and a 6-7 record, Tech was able to go bowling and was great against a lifeless USC team to finish at .500.

52. Texas Tech (8-5) 2012 CFN Score: 11.11

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 47
2011 Final Season Ranking: 69
2011 CFN Final Score: 7.52
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 in 2011 and 38th in 2012.

How freaking weird was the 2012 Texas Tech season? It started out red hot winning the first four games on the way to a 6-1 start - highlighted by a blowout that exposed West Virginia - and then came the second half slide losing four of the final five regular season games. Needing double overtime to get by Kansas didn't help the cause, and a sideline slap of an assistant by Tommy Tuberville was a black mark, but beating Minnesota with a nice comeback in the bowl helped. Just when it seemed like Tuberville was on a hot seat, he took off for Cincinnati. The Red Raider faithful never really took to Tuberville, and now they have one of their own in Kliff Kingsbury.

51. Ohio (9-4) 2012 CFN Score: 11.34

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 82
2011 Final Season Ranking: 31
2011 CFN Final Score: 13.13
2010 Final Season Ranking: 52
2010 CFN Score: 9.85 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 41
2009 Final Score: 12.13
2008 Final Season Ranking: 95
2008 Final Score: 3.45
Key Stat: Ohio was seventh in the nation in turnover margin.

Great start, awful back half, great finish. The Bobcats pulled off a shocker to kick things off, pushing around Penn State in a 24-14 victory, and then they took advantage of a cakewalk of a schedule on a seven game winning streak before losing to a bad Miami University team. Blowout losses to Bowling Green, Ball State and Kent State put a damper on the regular season, but blowing away ULM in the bowl game turned things back around.

50. Arizona State (8-5)  2012 CFN Score: 11.45

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 46
2011 Final Season Ranking: 44
2011 CFN Final Score: 10.55
2010 Final Season Ranking: 55
2010 CFN Score: 9.37 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 90
2009 Final Score: 3.98
2008 Final Season Ranking: 87
2008 Final Score: 4.94
Key Stat: ASU led the nation in tackles for loss and was second in sacks.

No one was quite sure how the Todd Graham era would start out, considering there was a bit of a rebuilding job needing to be done. As it turned out, Graham put together a huge turnaround year with an offense that ranked among the best in the nation and a defense that led the nation in tackles for loss and was second in sacks. There was a rough four-game midseason stretch losing to Oregon, UCLA, Oregon State and USC, but a win over arch-rival Arizona and a blowout bowl victory over Navy ended the year on the upswing. However, those to wins to close out the season were the best of the bunch - there weren't any really, really strong wins to get excited about.

49. USC (7-6) 2012 CFN Score: 11.55

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 1
2011 Final Season Ranking: 14
2011 CFN Final Score: 18.54
2010 Final Season Ranking: 44
2010 CFN Score: 11.18 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 16
2009 Final Score: 16.55
2008 Final Season Ranking: 5
2008 Final Score: 23.13
Key Stat: USC was fourth in the nation in sacks.

Thud. It wasn't just that USC didn't live up to the preseason hype and promise; it's that the team didn't quite ever look like the killer it was supposed to be. The 6-1 start was shaky, and then the wheels came off losing five of the final six games, coming up with one good performance against Arizona State to show just how good the team could've been. There's no shame in losing to Oregon in a shootout, and there wasn't anything wrong with losing at home to Notre Dame, but not showing up in a lifeless loss to Georgia Tech in the Sun Bowl was inexcusable.