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CFN 2013 Final Season Rankings

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 13, 2014


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

CFN 2013 Final Rankings

The Top Ten


CFN 2013 Final Season Rankings | The Top Ten
11 to 25 | 26 to 50 | 51 to 75 | 76 to 100 | Bottom 25

2013 Rankings By Conference AAC | ACC | Big 12 | Big Ten
C-USA | Independents | MAC | M-West | Pac-12 | SEC | Sun Belt

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.

Remember, these rankings are based on how good the seasons were overall, and NOT based on how good the team might have been.

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10. UCF (12-1)
2013 CFN Season Score: 20.15
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 74
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 31

Any and all worries about whether or not the Knights were for real went bye-bye with the impressive win over Baylor in the Fiesta Bowl. At the time, the close call loss to South Carolina didn't seem like that big a deal, and it was considered a good try, but the team turned out to be fantastic with a season-defining win at Louisville and gut-check win after gut-check win. The problem was that it took too much to get by bad teams like Temple and USF – beating each dreg by three points and seven of the wins were by seven points or fewer, but they won the two massive games they needed to.

Wins: Akron, at FIU, at Penn State, at Memphis, at Louisville, Connecticut, Houston, at Temple, Rutgers, USF, at SMU, Baylor (Fiesta Bowl)
Losses: South Carolina
Quality Wins: at Penn State, at Louisville, Houston, Baylor (Fiesta Bowl)
Elite Wins: at Louisville, Baylor
Bad Wins: at FIU, at Memphis, Connecticut, at Temple, USF
Elite Losses: South Carolina
Point Differential Score: 1.73

9. Alabama (11-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 20.50
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 1
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 1

Everything came apart with just one bad special teams play. The Crimson Tide would've ended up playing Florida State in the BCS championship – if they could've gotten past Mizzou – had they stopped Chris Davis! Davis!! Davis!!!, the quest for a third straight national title will be remembered more for the meltdown in the Iron Bowl and the loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar. Along the way, though, this was another great season, winning in workmanlike fashion with six quality wins and lots and lots of blowouts. However, there weren't any elite wins and the defense had problems against Texas A&M. Between Manziel and Auburn, though, was a nine-game run of pure domination allowing just 50 points over the span.

Wins: Virginia Tech, at Texas A&M, Colorado State, Ole Miss, Georgia State, at Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU, at Mississippi State, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Losses: at Auburn, Oklahoma (Sugar Bowl)
Quality Wins: Virginia Tech, at Texas A&M, Colorado State, Ole Miss, LSU, at Mississippi State
Elite Wins: None
Bad Wins: Georgia State, Kentucky, Arkansas, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Elite Losses: at Auburn, Oklahoma
Point Differential Score: 3.15

8. Baylor (11-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 21.10
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 37
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 22

Forgetting about the clunker against Oklahoma State and the Fiesta Bowl loss to UCF, remember, Baylor actually won the Big 12 championship. Margin of victory was a big deal in the ranking, with 681 points put up on the board making up for a few problems in other categories. The Bears put up 63 points or more six times, hit the 70-point mark four times, and only dipped under 40 points three times. With double-digit margin wins over Oklahoma, Texas, Kansas State and almost everyone else on the slate, this was a dangerous team on both sides of the ball that proved itself time and again before hitting the wall in Stillwater.

Wins: Wofford, Buffalo, ULM, West Virginia, at Kansas State, Iowa State, at Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, at TCU, Texas
Losses: at Oklahoma State, UCF (Fiesta Bowl)
Quality Wins: Buffalo, at Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Texas
Elite Wins: Oklahoma
Bad Wins: Wofford, Iowa State, at Kansas
Elite Losses: UCF
Point Differential Score: 3.75

7. Stanford (11-3)
2013 CFN Season Score: 21.40
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 8
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 4

The Cardinal won the Pac-12 title, and despite the tough loss in the Rose Bowl, and even with a few puzzling letdowns – Utah - that's all that really matters. Talk about staying power, Stanford has gone to four straight BCS games and won two straight conference championships. The seven quality wins were fantastic, and there were only two bad wins, but for all the great things and all the positives – especially the win over Oregon - the stop from Michigan State's Kyler Elsworth in Pasadena could be the lasting image.

Wins: San Jose State, at Army, Arizona State, Washington State, Washington, UCLA, at Oregon State, Oregon, California, Notre Dame, at Arizona State (Pac-12 championship)
Losses: at USC, Michigan State (Rose Bowl)
Quality Wins: Arizona State, Washington, UCLA, at Oregon State, Oregon, Notre Dame, at Arizona State (Pac-12 championship)
Elite Wins: Oregon
Bad Wins: at Army, California
Elite Losses: Michigan State (Rose Bowl)
Point Differential Score: 1.86

6. Ohio State (12-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 21.81
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 11
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 10

Was Ohio State overrated and overblown like all the SEC heads kept saying? A little bit, but it also did a good job of getting into position to play for the national title. Unfortunately, 12-0 will be overshadowed by the massive disappointment in the Big Ten championship followed up by the tough Orange Bowl loss to Clemson. The offense rolled, though, with a huge point differential in blowout win over blowout win before struggling to get past Michigan and the tough final two games. The schedule might not have been an SEC killer, but there were six wins over teams that finished with winning records. The only other team in the top 14 that didn't have an elite win? Alabama.

Wins: Buffalo, San Diego State, at California, Florida A&M, Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Iowa, Penn State, at Purdue, at Illinois, Indiana, at Michigan
Losses: Michigan State (Big Ten championship), Clemson (Orange Bowl)
Quality Wins: Buffalo, San Diego State, Wisconsin, Iowa, Penn State, at Michigan
Elite Wins: None
Bad Wins: at California, Florida A&M, at Purdue
Elite Losses: Michigan State (Big Ten championship), Clemson (Orange Bowl)
Point Differential Score: 3.2

5. Missouri (12-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 23.11
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 24
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 67

It might sting that a win over Auburn in the SEC championship would've meant a trip to the BCS championship, and it was a slap in the face to not get a BCS at-large spot, but beating Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl was a nice way to cap off one of the greatest seasons in school history. The seven quality wins were outstanding, and there were just two bad wins for a team that wasn't supposed to compete for the East title, much less win the division, and even though the defense couldn't come up with an answer for Auburn, the offense finished the year with 41 points or more in eight games.

Wins: Murray State, Toledo, at Indiana, Arkansas State, at Vanderbilt, at Georgia, Florida, Tennessee, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State (Cotton Bowl)
Losses: South Carolina, Auburn (SEC championship)
Quality Wins: Toledo, Arkansas State, at Vanderbilt, at Georgia, at Ole Miss, Texas A&M, Oklahoma State (Cotton Bowl)
Elite Wins: Oklahoma State (Cotton Bowl)
Bad Wins: Murray State, at Kentucky
Elite Losses: South Carolina, Auburn (SEC championship)
Point Differential Score: 2.25

4. Michigan State (13-1)
2013 CFN Season Score: 23.19
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 13
There was a time early in the year when the offense couldn't do anything. The defense was dominant and did all the work, but this didn't exactly look like the type of team that could win the Big Ten championship or the Rose Bowl – the O couldn't do anything against Western Michigan or USF, and sputtered against Notre Dame. But thing started to get better and better as the season went on, and the defense kept doing its job. There weren't any truly nasty Big Ten games, winning all the regular season matchups with relative ease, and then came the Ohio State showdown, and everything worked when needed on both sides of the ball. It would've been fun to have seen the MSU D go against the Florida State offense, but a Rose Bowl win and 13-1 record made this a historic campaign.

Wins: Western Michigan, USF, Youngstown State, at Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, at Illinois, Michigan, at Nebraska, at Northwestern, Minnesota, Ohio State (BCS championship), Stanford (Rose Bowl)
Losses: at Notre Dame
Quality Wins: at Iowa, Michigan, at Nebraska, Minnesota, Ohio State (BCS championship), Stanford (Rose Bowl)
Elite Wins: Ohio State (BCS championship), Stanford (Rose Bowl)
Bad Wins: Western Michigan, USF, Youngstown State, Purdue
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 2.26

3. Auburn (12-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 23.68
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 40
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 92

The Tigers finished up needing just one last stop to win a second national title in four years, but considering they finished 92nd in last year's rankings, and no one thought there'd be any shot at the SEC West title much less the BCS championship, the Florida State game was gravy. The year will be remembers more for the miracle against Georgia and the Chris Davis play in the greatest Iron Bowl ever, and it'll be remembered for an unstoppable offense that ripped and rolled through Missouri for an SEC championship. The loss to LSU didn't matter, and while there were close calls against Washington State, Mississippi State and Texas A&M, it still all came down to one last drive. After going 3-9 in 2012, that's not bad.

Wins: Washington State, Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Western Carolina, at Texas A&M, Florida Atlantic, at Arkansas, at Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri (SEC championship)
Losses: at LSU, Florida State (BCS championship)
Quality Wins: Arkansas State, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, at Texas A&M, Georgia, Alabama, Missouri (SEC championship)
Elite Wins: Alabama, Missouri (SEC championship)
Bad Wins: Western Carolina, at Arkansas
Elite Losses: Florida State (BCS championship)
Point Differential Score: 2.07

2. South Carolina (11-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 23.89
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 15
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 9

Who says non-conference games don't really matter? Beat great teams and you get rewarded, but wait a minute. Weren't the losses to Georgia and Tennessee a big deal? Didn't Missouri win the SEC East? Didn't Auburn win the SEC championship and play for the national title? Sort of, yes and yes, but South Carolina holds the distinction of having the highest elite win score, beating UCF at UCF, Missouri on the road and Clemson in the regular season finale. A ten-point Capital One Bowl win over Wisconsin helped the cause – which, by the way, was the first double-digit loss by the Badgers since a 34-24 defeat to Michigan State in early October of 2010 - and beating North Carolina and Mississippi State helped, but no one had three better wins on their slate than what the Gamecocks came up with.

Wins: North Carolina, Vanderbilt, at UCF, Kentucky, at Arkansas, at Missouri, Mississippi State, Florida, Coastal Carolina, Clemson, Wisconsin (Capital One Bowl)
Losses: at Georgia, Tennessee
Quality Wins: North Carolina, Vanderbilt, at UCF, at Missouri, Mississippi State, Clemson, Wisconsin (Capital One Bowl)
Elite Wins: at UCF, at Missouri, Clemson
Bad Wins: Kentucky, at Arkansas, Coastal Carolina
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 1.79

1. Florida State (14-0)
2013 CFN Season Score: 30.28
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 2
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 8

And you thought we were nuts for the preseason No. 2 ranking. It was among the greatest seasons in the history of college football, and why? Margin of victory. Not only did the Seminoles win 14 games and the national title, they had a whopping eight quality wins and absolutely destroyed everything in their path up until the BCS championship win over Auburn. Clemson wasn't just an elite win, it was a very, very elite win going into Death Valley and coming away with a 51-14 beatdown. Lost in the fog of the season was how Maryland was unbeaten and rolling going into the October 5th showdown – FSU 63-0. Miami was undefeated and looking to come up with something special on November 2nd – FSU 41-14. ACC championship? FSU 45-7. The 34 points allowed to Boston College was an aberration, allowing no more than 17 points to anyone other than Auburn, and finishing the season with an average margin of victory of 39.5 points per game.

Wins: at Pitt, Nevada, Bethune-Cookman, at Boston College, Maryland, at Clemson, NC State, Miami, at Wake Forest, Syracuse, Idaho, at Florida, Duke (ACC championship), Auburn (BCS championship)
Losses: None
Quality Wins: at Pitt, at Boston College, Maryland, at Clemson, Miami, Syracuse, Duke (ACC championship), Auburn (BCS championship)
Elite Wins: at Clemson, Auburn (BCS championship)
Bad Wins: Bethune-Cookman, NC State, Idaho
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 5.53











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