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CFN All-Time Season Rankings - Top Ten

CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Jan 14, 2014


The CFN All-Time Season Rankings - Ranking the greatest campaigns in college football history.

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, in a neutral site 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.

- The Greatest Seasons of All-Time – No. 11 to 25

1. 2011 LSU SEC (13-1)
2011 CFN Season Score: 30.60

Alabama won the BCS championship, but that was at a neutral site; LSU beat Alabama at Alabama. The Tigers also came up with a 13th win, taking down a great Georgia team in the SEC championship to complete one of the best regular season runs of all-time. Nine of the 13 games before the bowl were against teams that finished with winning records, including season-opening victory over an Oregon team that went on to win the Rose Bowl, a thrashing over an Arkansas squad that went on to win the Cotton Bowl, and, of course, the 9-6 war of attrition at Alabama in the regular season. After giving up 27 against the Ducks, LSU didn’t allow more than 21 points in any game the rest of the way, and allowed 11 points or fewer ten times.

Wins: Oregon, Northwestern State, at Mississippi State, at West Virginia, Kentucky, Florida, at Tennessee, Auburn, at Alabama, WKU, at Ole Miss, Arkansas, Georgia (SEC championship)
Losses: Alabama (BCS championship)
Quality Wins: Oregon, at Mississippi State, at West Virginia, Florida, Auburn, at Alabama, WKU, Arkansas, Georgia (SEC championship)
Elite Wins: Oregon, at West Virginia, at Alabama, Arkansas
Bad Wins: Northwestern State, at Ole Miss
Elite Losses: Alabama (BCS championship)
Point Differential Score: 3.42

2. 2013 Florida State ACC (14-0)
2013 CFN Season Score: 30.28

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? An epic 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

3. 2005 Texas Big 12 (13-0)
2005 CFN Season Score: 29.64

If Texas had come up with a 14th win over anyone, instead of going 13-0, it would’ve been No. 1. The showdown with USC had been building all season long, with the winner to have received the No. 1 all-time season-ranking spot, at least at the time. Not only did Vince Young and the Longhorns come up with a win in one of the greatest games of all time – the 41-38 classic Rose Bowl – but they beat great team after great team. They took down a fantastic Ohio State team in Columbus, beat Colorado twice, and in all came up with wins over eight teams that finished with winning records. Texas beat the Buckeyes 25-22, and it was thrown a wee bit of a scare from Oklahoma State, but the offense came up with 40 points or more in every game but the OSU win and put up 51 or more seven times, getting hot at the right time averaging 59.5 points per game over the final four in the regular season. How good was the schedule and the season? The only bad win came against Rice.

Wins: Louisiana-Lafayette, at Ohio State, Rice, at Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, at Baylor, Kansas, at Texas A&M, Colorado (Big 12 championship), USC (Rose Bowl)
Losses: None
Quality Wins: Louisiana-Lafayette, at Ohio State, at Missouri, Oklahoma, Colorado, Texas Tech, Kansas, Colorado (Big 12 championship), USC (Rose Bowl)
Elite Wins: at Ohio State, USC (Rose Bowl)
Bad Wins: Rice
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 4.39

4. 2009 Alabama SEC (14-0)
2009 CFN Season Score: 29.10

The season was more about Florida and Tim Tebow’s attempt to come up with a second straight national title and the possible tag of Greatest Team Ever. That Gator team was a monster, full of experience and loaded with talent, and while Alabama wasn’t an afterthought, it took a bit of backseat during the season while Florida and Texas were rolling right along. One 32-13-Tebow-sobbing, Urban Meyer chest pain-inducing win later, and it was off to Pasadena where the Tide knocked Colt McCoy out of the game right away on the way to a BCS championship win over Texas. The season was more than that, though, with ten of the 14 wins coming against teams that finished with a winning record including a season-opening stomping of Virginia Tech and great wins over LSU and Ole Miss. The D didn’t only allowed more than 20 points four times and gave up fewer than ten in six wins.

Wins: Virginia Tech, FIU, North Texas, Arkansas, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, LSU, at Mississippi State, Tennessee-Chattanooga, at Auburn, Florida (SEC championship), Texas (BCS championship)
Losses: None
Quality Wins: Virginia Tech, Arkansas, at Kentucky, at Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, LSU, at Auburn, Florida (SEC championship), Texas (BCS championship)
Elite Wins: Florida (SEC championship), Texas (BCS championship)
Bad Wins: FIU, North Texas, Tennessee-Chattanooga
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 2.85

5. 2008 Florida SEC (13-1)
2008 CFN Season Score: 28.98

The greatest season ever by a team with one loss, Florida was shocked by Ole Miss when Tim Tebow couldn’t connect with a wide open Percy Harvin, and the defense couldn’t stop QB Jevan Snead in a 31-30 loss in late September. As it turned out, that was a total aberration as the Gators destroyed everyone else in their path up until the SEC championship game. All the focus in 2008 was on an unbeaten Alabama team and an Oklahoma squad that put up epic offensive numbers, and the real fight was about a Texas team that beat OU and didn’t get a shot at playing for the Big 12 title. Meanwhile, Florida kept winning and kept winning, hanging up 42 points or more on the board in the final regular season games. Tebow was brilliant in a win over Alabama to get to the BCS championship game, and the defense got the job done against Heisman-winner Sam Bradford and the Sooners for the national title.

Wins: Hawaii, Miami, at Tennessee, at Arkansas, LSU, Kentucky, Georgia, at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Citadel, at Florida State, Alabama (SEC championship), Oklahoma (BCS championship)
Losses: Ole Miss
Quality Wins: Miami, LSU, Kentucky, Georgia, at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, at Florida State, Alabama (SEC championship), Oklahoma (BCS championship)
Elite Wins: Alabama (SEC championship), Oklahoma (BCS championship)
Bad Wins: Citadel
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 4.30

6. 1905 Chicago Western (11-0)
1905 CFN Season Score: 28.66

It’s one of the most interesting seasons of all-time, starting with the five points allowed to Indiana in a 16-5 road win. That was the only time all season long the Maroons were scored on, outscoring opponents 271 to 5. Granted, there was a win over North Division High School, but the key to the year was the first real “Game of the Century,” getting a late safety for a 2-0 win over a Michigan team that had was on a 54-0-1 streak after losing to Chicago to close out the 1900 season. The season ranking is so high because of the win over the Wolverines – avenging the only loss in the 1904 season - and mostly by beating Iowa, Indiana, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Purdue teams there all qualify as elite wins.

Wins: North Division High School, Lawrence, Wabash, Beloit, Iowa, Indiana, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan
Losses: None
Quality Wins: Lawrence, Iowa, Indiana, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan
Elite Wins: Iowa, Indiana, at Wisconsin, at Northwestern, Purdue, Michigan
Bad Wins: North Division High, Beloit
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 2.66

7. 2000 Oklahoma Big 12 (13-0)
2000 CFN Season Score: 28.10

Oklahoma came up with a tremendous season thanks to lots of wins over elite teams. Kansas State lost at Texas A&M, and it only lost to one other team – OU. Twice. Nebraska lost a 29-82 thriller to Kansas State, and the only other loss came to OU. The Sooners also tagged an outstanding Texas team, and came up with its magnum opus in an Orange Bowl win over Heisman-winner Chris Weinke and a high-octane Florida State team, shutting out the attack in a 13-2 win. The D had a few rough spots, giving up 31 to Kansas State and Texas A&M, and it was a fight to get by the Wildcats in the Big 12 title game, but it did what it needed to on the biggest stage, giving Bob Stoops the national title.

Wins: UTEP, Arkansas State, Rice, Kansas, Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Baylor, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, Kansas State (Big 12 championship), Florida State (Orange Bowl)
Losses: None
Quality Wins: UTEP, Rice, Texas, at Kansas State, Nebraska, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Kansas State (Big 12 championship), Florida State (Orange Bowl)
Elite Wins: at Kansas State, Nebraska, Kansas State (Big 12 championship), Florida State (Orange Bowl)
Bad Wins: Arkansas State, Rice, at Baylor, at Oklahoma State
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 29.37

8. 1995 Nebraska Big 8 (13-0)
1995 CFN Season Score: 27.64

Widely considered to be among the greatest teams of all-time, helped by the epic 62-24 destruction of Florida for the national championship, the season was fantastic thanks to blowout wins over some very, very good teams. Kansas State, Colorado and Kansas all had just one other loss to anyone other than the Huskers, and those three 1995 powerhouses lost by a combined score of 144 to 49. On the year, Nebraska scored 35 points or more in every game outscoring the 12 opponents 638 to 174. The closest call, oddly enough, came against a 3-8 Washington State team with a 35-21 win, but there weren’t any problems for the juggernaut. So why so low in the season rankings? 12 games. Had the Huskers played two more games, depending on the opponents, they almost certainly would’ve been No. 1.

Wins: at Oklahoma State, at Michigan State, Arizona State, Pacific, Washington State, Missouri, Kansas State, at Colorado, Iowa State, at Kansas, Oklahoma, Florida (Fiesta Bowl)
Losses: None
Quality Wins: at Michigan State, Arizona State, Kansas State, at Colorado, at Kansas, Florida (Fiesta Bowl)
Elite Wins: Kansas State, at Colorado, at Kansas, Florida (Fiesta Bowl)
Bad Wins: Pacific, Washington State, Missouri, Iowa State
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 4.64

9. 2012 Alabama SEC (13-1)
2012 CFN Season Score: 27.57

The loss to Johnny Manziel in a wild 29-24 loss didn’t ultimately matter as the Tide still got to the SEC title game, survived Georgia, and went on to destroy Notre Dame in an ugly BCS championship that was all but over after a few plays. It’s not like the Tide destroyed everything in their path, having problems against the great teams and struggling to get past LSU, but they blew out the mediocre and ended up scoring 40 points or more in eight games while allowing ten points or fewer in seven games, pulling four shutouts. The blowouts were enough to help the point differential score to move the Tide season ranking up into the elite.

Wins: Michigan, WKU, at Arkansas, Florida Atlantic, Ole Miss, at Missouri, at Tennessee, Mississippi State, at LSU, Western Carolina, Auburn, Georgia (SEC championship), Notre Dame (BCS championship)
Losses: Texas A&M
Quality Wins: Michigan, WKU, Ole Miss, Mississippi State, at LSU, Georgia (SEC championship), Notre Dame (BCS championship)
Elite Wins: at LSU, Georgia (SEC championship), Notre Dame (BCS championship)
Bad Wins: Florida Atlantic, Auburn
Elite Losses: Texas A&M
Point Differential Score: 3.89

10. 1971 Nebraska Big 8 (13-0)
2013 CFN Season Score: 27.28

The season will forever be remembered for the “Game of the Century,” the classic 35-31 win over Oklahoma after a year of hype that had been building and building up to the Thanksgiving weekend showdown. There was still work to be done after that, though, getting to make a fun trip to Hawaii and came away with a 45-3 win, and then locked down the greatness and national championship with a 38-6 stomping of an unbeaten Alabama in the Orange Bowl. Colorado lost two games that year to Oklahoma and Nebraska, and there weren’t any problems with a good Iowa State team, or anyone else. In back-to-back games, Nebraska allowed 48 points in wins over Kansas State and Oklahoma. The D allowed a total of 56 points in the other 11 games, allowing seven points or fewer in ten of the 13 games.

Wins: Oregon, Minnesota, Texas A&M, Utah State, at Missouri, Kansas, at Oklahoma State, Colorado, Iowa State, at Kansas State, at Oklahoma, at Hawaii, Alabama (Orange Bowl)
Losses: None
Quality Wins: Utah State, Colorado, Iowa State, at Oklahoma, at Hawaii, Alabama (Orange Bowl)
Elite Wins: Colorado, at Oklahoma, Alabama (Orange Bowl)
Bad Wins: at Missouri
Elite Losses: None
Point Differential Score: 4.03

- The Greatest Seasons of All-Time – No. 11 to 25