CFN 2012 Final Season Rankings - MAC
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

MAC Rankings

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.

The number next to the team is the overall rank.

15. Northern Illinois (12-2)   2012 CFN Score: 19.23

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 81
2011 Final Season Ranking: 23
2011 CFN Final Score: 14.29
2010 Final Season Ranking: 25
2010 CFN Score: 14.96 
2009 Final Season Ranking: 68
2009 Final Score: 7.45
2008 Final Season Ranking: 74
2008 Final Score: 6.26
Key Stat: NIU finished 17th in the nation in sacks and 14th in tackles for loss.

After finally getting over the hump and winning the MAC title in 2011, NIU took things to a whole other level, blowing through the regular season - after losing to Iowa in the final seconds to open things up - with a two overtime victory over Kent State to give the MAC a BCS berth. The loss to Florida State might have been ugly and the Huskies might have been totally outclassed, but the season still showed the potential for the league's best program. Now life will have to go on without Dave Doeren, who took the NC State head coaching job. Assistant Rod Carey will take over full time.

26. Kent State (11-3) 2012 CFN Score: 15.24

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 88
2011 Final Season Ranking: 89
2011 CFN Final Score: 4.31
2010 Final Season Ranking: 82
2010 CFN Score: 5.48
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 90
2009 Final Season Ranking: 87
2009 Final Score: 4.29
2008 Final Season Ranking: 96
2008 Final Score: 3.36
Key Stat: KSU was 4th in the nation in turnover margin.

The greatest season in Kent State football history could've been so much better. A double overtime loss to NIU not only kept the Golden Flashes from winning the MAC title; it kept them out of the BCS. Losing to Arkansas State in the bowl game didn't help ease the pain, but it was still a great year with win after win over a slew of bad teams - and a shocking 35-23 victory over Rutgers. Head coach Darrell Hazell is off to Purdue, but many of the pieces are still in place to come up with another strong year.

41. Toledo (9-4) 2012 CFN Score: 12.85

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 78
2011 Final Season Ranking: 27
2011 CFN Final Score: 13.81
2010 Final Season Ranking: 68
2010 CFN Score: 7.54
2009 Final Season Ranking: 91
2009 Final Score: 3.96
2008 Final Season Ranking: 107
2008 Final Score: 1.67
Key Stat: Toledo was 116th in the nation in pass defense.

The Rockets did just fine with Tim Beckman taking off to Illinois. Matt Campbell led the team to eight straight wins over a heartbreaking overtime loss at Arizona to start the season. Close losses to Ball State and Northern Illinois ruined the MAC title hopes, and the blowout loss to Utah State was a disaster, but it was still a strong year thanks to wins over Cincinnati and Bowling Green.

43. Ball State (9-4) 2012 CFN Score: 12.65

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 114
2011 Final Season Ranking: 83
2011 CFN Final Score: 5.38
2010 Final Season Ranking: 109
2010 CFN Score: -0.68
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 103
2009 Final Season Ranking: 116
2009 Final Score: -1.91
2008 Final Season Ranking: 18
2008 Final Score: 16.38
Key Stat: The Cardinals finished 114th in the nation in tackles for loss and 106th against the run.

The Cardinals didn't play any defense, but the MAC's second-ranked offense made up for it against a stunning number of decent teams. September wins over Indiana and South Florida gave the team credibility, and close battles with Kent State and Northern Illinois were the last two losses before going on a six-game winning streak to close out the regular season. Being outclassed by UCF in the bowl doesn't take away from the strong campaign.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

115. Eastern Michigan (2-10) 2012 CFN Score: -1.28

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 104
2011 Final Season Ranking: 79
2011 CFN Final Score: 6.13
2010 Final Season Ranking: 116
2010 CFN Score: -2.32
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 120
2009 Final Season Ranking: 119
2009 Final Score: -4.97
2008 Final Season Ranking: 113
2008 Final Score: -1.43
Key Stat: EMU was dead last in the nation against the run.

After looking like everything as on the right track with a strong 2011, it was back to normal with wins over Army and Western Michigan the only bright spots. The offense was horrendous, the defense worse, and even though there were a few close losses against Toledo and Central Michigan, the lack of a pass rush and the problems with the passing game meant a long and awful season.

117. Massachusetts (1-11) 2012 CFN Score: -2.22

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 124
Key Stat: UMass was 118th in the nation in rushing.

The Minutemen struggled way too much early on, getting destroyed in seven of the first nine games, giving Ohio a hard time and battling with Miami University. A 22-14 win at Akron was the long bright spot, and it was just enough to get out of the basement in the national rankings. Charley Molnar's team had a hard time finding anything to do consistently right, especially when it came to putting points on the board.

119. Akron (1-11)  2012 CFN Score: -2.57

2012 CFN Preseason Ranking: 120
2011 Final Season Ranking: 118
2011 CFN Final Score: -4.59
2010 Final Season Ranking: 118
2010 CFN Score: -3.10
2010 CFN Preseason Rank: 109
2009 Final Season Ranking: 102
2009 Final Score. 2.11
2008 Final Season Ranking: 88
2008 Final Score: 4.52
Key Stat: The Zips finished last in the nation in kickoff returns.

Terry Bowden's first season wasn't much better than Rob Ianello's finishing kick, failing to beat an FBS team for the second season in a row blasting Morgan State 66-6, but losing the rest of the way. However, the offense was fun and exciting with QB Dalton Williams leading the MAC's best passing attack that averaged 313 yards per game. However, the defense gave up yards and points quicker than the offense could come up with them.