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2013 CFN Final Pac-12 Rankings & Roundup
Posted Jan 13, 2014

2013 CFN Final Roundup & Recap. Players of the Year, and more.

CFN 2013 Final Season Rankings | The Top Ten
11 to 25 | 26 to 50 | 51 to 75 | 76 to 100 | Bottom 25
By Conference ACC | AAC | Big Ten | Big 12 | 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. Number next to team is the final overall season ranking.

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.

14. Arizona State (10-4)
2013 CFN Season Score: 19.69
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 27
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 50

The hope was there for a good season, and even with the Pac-12 title loss to Stanford and the blowout shocker to Texas Tech in the Holiday Bowl, this was a fascinating campaign with the win – and it was a win – over Wisconsin, a program-changing blasting of USC, and with a nice seven-game winnings streak with wins over Washington, UCLA and Arizona to get a second shot at Stanford. ASU just couldn’t get by the Cardinal, and the loss to Notre Dame was a battle, but it was the first ten-win season since 2007.

16. USC (10-4)
2013 CFN Season Score: 18.40
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 12
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 49

For all the drama, all the failed early expectations, and the massive coaching switch, it was still a tremendous bounceback year from a disappointing 2012. The Trojans didn’t have a head coach, but they still destroyed Fresno State in the Las Vegas Bowl. They might have lost to UCLA – never okay in Trojan world – and scoring ten points in a loss to Notre Dame was a problem, but a five-game winning streak under Ed Orgeron, highlighted by a win over Stanford, changed the narrative. There were only two bad wins – Hawaii and California – and six of the victories came against teams that finished with winning records.

17. Oregon (11-2)
2013 CFN Season Score: 18.35
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 3
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 2

For all the big numbers and all the blowout wins, the problem was the inconsistency. Beating UCLA 42-14 and ripping up Washington was great, but the O was stopped cold by Stanford and in an ugly loss to Arizona. Ripping apart Texas in what was supposed to be an emotional Alamo Bowl was a better win than it got credit for in the glut of bowl games, but there were way too many wins over mediocre teams like Virginia, California and Tennessee. There were only four wins over teams that finished with winning records – no one in the top 18 outside of two AAC teams had that few.

18. UCLA (10-3)
2013 CFN Season Score: 17.31
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 33
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 30

The Bruins might have failed to get to the Pac-12 championship, and the Sun Bowl might not have been the post-season game they were hoping for, but this was a far better team than the one that lost the previous two Pac-12 championships. The three losses came against Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State – there weren’t any cheap mistakes – and closing out with blowout wins over USC and in the post-season against Virginia Tech have all the signs pointing up going forward. Beating Nebraska on the road and getting by Arizona, Washington and USC late in the season will make this a fun and positive offseason.

27. Washington (9-4)
2013 CFN Season Score: 15.40
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 29
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 62

Remember, there was a moment when Steve Sarkisian was on a hot seat; not the guy for the USC gig. The Huskies started out 4-0, and then came the big tests and the Dawgs didn’t pass, losing to Stanford, Oregon and Arizona State in an ugly three week span. The schedule got easier, and the wins came back, but with a loss to UCLA, the team was 0-4 against the really good teams on the slate. However, beating BYU in the Fight Hunger Bowl – and without Sarkisian – and with an Apple Cup win over Washington State and a 69-27 win over Oregon State, it was a good end to the season.

35. Arizona (8-5)
2013 CFN Season Score: 14.32
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 44
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 33

Rich Rodriguez continues to build up something potentially special in Tucson with a special offense good enough to come up with stunning performances like the 42-16 walloping of Oregon. However, it’s a RichRod team so the defense is also capable of giving up 58 the week after to Arizona State. There were clunkers against Washington and Washington State, and the ASU game was a disaster, but with a 42-19 blasting of Boston College in the AdvoCare V100 Bowl, the Wildcats closes out strong. Consistency will be the key going forward, but that will only come with an improved D.

68. Utah (5-7)
2013 CFN Season Score: 8.56
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 55
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 81

Injuries turned out to be a problem over the second half of the season, losing five in a row before beating Colorado to close things out. Beating Stanford turned out to be among the biggest shockers of the season – by far it was the worst loss by any team in the BCS – and pushing Arizona State made it a decent year. However, the consistency wasn’t there, scoring three points against USC and 48 against Oregon State.

74. Oregon State (7-6)
2013 CFN Season Score: 8.23
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 28
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 23

Even with the fireworks show of Sean Mannion to Brandin Cooks, it was still a disappointing year losing five straight before rising back up to beat Boise State in the Hawaii Bowl. Starting out with a home loss to an FCS team – even a great one like Eastern Washington – was a huge hit to the ranking, but six straight wins put the season back on track. Things got ugly over the second half of the season, but a 36-35 tight loss at Oregon almost gave the team even more credibility going into the bowl season.

75. Washington State (6-7)
2013 CFN Season Score: 8.01
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 75
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 112

It got lost in the shuffle, but the Cougars had Auburn in big, big trouble in the opener before losing 31-24. A win over USC helped put the Lane Kiffin era into a tailspin, and a 4-2 start was great with the losses coming to Stanford and Auburn, but the complete and utter collapse against Colorado State in the New Mexico Bowl cast a cloud over what should be seen as a strong year under Mike Leach. The D that gave up 52 points or more four games in five weeks was a problem, but the offense picked things back up late.

94. Colorado (4-8)
2013 CFN Season Score: 3.54
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 77
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 122

If 4-8 can be seen as a positive, Mike McIntyre’s team came up with a three-win improvement starting out 2-0 highlighted by a win over Colorado State. Two FCS wins over Central Arkansas and Charleston Southern helped the record, and getting to face a miserable Cal team helped, but it was still a rocky year. Three of the four victories were bad wins, but the Buffs beat who they were supposed to.

111. California (1-11)
2013 CFN Season Score: -1.42
2013 CFN Preview Preseason Ranking: 70
2012 CFN Season Ranking: 96

The Sonny Dykes offense was like a big budget film with a plot that went nowhere. The O put up a ton of yards per game, but they didn’t result in enough points in blowout after blowout. The defense couldn’t stop anyone, and the team got stuck in blowout after blowout – the win over Portland State and the 33-28 loss to Arizona were the only two games decided by fewer than 14 points. However, the schedule wasn’t a walk in the park with eight losses to teams that finished with winning records and five of those to teams that finished with double-digit win totals.

Pac-12 Offensive Player of the Year
WR Brandon Cooks, Oregon State – Yeah, it was a season of great performances by running backs, but no one was more unstoppable than Cooks in 2013. The Biletnikoff Award winner drew maximum attention from the opposition, yet he still caught 120 balls for a nation’s-high 1,670 yards and 15 touchdowns. Cooks is NFL-ready if he decides to forego his final year.

Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year
LB Trent Murphy, Stanford – The Cardinal’s “Yeti” was quite beastly for opposing tackles to handle this season. Murphy was arguably the Pac-12’s most consistent pass rusher, surpassing even UCLA’s Anthony Barr by making 21.5 stops for loss and a league-high 14 sacks. He also batted down seven passes, using his long arms and 6-6 frame to obstruct the quarterback’s vision.

3 Biggest Surprises
1. Arizona over Oregon. It was the game that sent shockwaves through the Pac-12 North, changing the landscape of the conference title chase. The Wildcats’ 42-16 shocker on Nov. 23 propelled Stanford back into the driver’s seat, and it promptly steered back to Pasadena for another Rose Bowl appearance.
2. Washington State. Mike Leach is ahead of schedule, guiding the Cougars to their first bowl game in a decade. Wazzu earned its New Mexico Bowl berth by going a respectable 4-5 in Pac-12 play, including stirring upsets of USC and Arizona on the road.
3. Stanford RB Tyler Gaffney. Last year, Gaffney was banging out extra base hits for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. This fall, he was punishing defenders as the MVP of the Cardinal offense. Gaffney was one of the most underrated Pac-12 players this season, coming off hiatus to rush for 1,626 yards and 20 scores on 307 carries.

3 Biggest Disappointments
1. Oregon. For the first time since 2008, the Ducks will not be closing the season in a BCS bowl event. One of a small handful of favorites to play for a national championship didn’t even win its division, getting outclassed by Stanford and stunned by Arizona in an epic flop.
2. USC WR Marqise Lee. Nah, it wasn’t entirely the fault of the reigning Biletnikoff Award winner that he didn’t earn a spot on the All-Pac-12 first or second team. Nagging injuries and erratic quarterback play have hamstrung the nation’s premier wide receiver. It’s still kind of strange that a player of Lee’s caliber has caught just 50 passes for 673 yards and two touchdowns.
3. Cal. The Bears weren’t supposed to compete in the North, but they weren’t supposed to go winless against FBS opponents either. Cal displayed no growth in Sonny Dykes’ first season in Berkeley, creating a sense of urgency at every level of the program for 2014.

Best Pac-12 Game of the Season
Nov. 29 Oregon 36 … Oregon State 35
The excitement is prepackaged when the Ducks and the Beavers are in the same building, but the outcome was in doubt for a change for all 60 minutes in the latest Civil War. Both teams went up and down the field, combining for more than 1,100 yards. In the end, Oregon won for the sixth straight time in the series on a Marcus Mariota to Josh Huff touchdown pass with 29 seconds left on the clock.

Coach of the Year
1) Todd Graham, Arizona State 2) David Shaw, Stanford 3) Mike Leach, Washington State

Grading the Pac-12
Stanford: A … Somehow, some way, the Cardinal has found the road back to the Rose Bowl. While losses to unranked Utah and USC derailed a national title run, Stanford did what was necessary to win a second straight Pac-12 title.

Arizona State: A- … It was a breakthrough campaign for the Sun Devils, which won the South Division for the first time. Stanford was a roadblock to the Rose Bowl, but ASU knocked off Wisconsin, USC and UCLA en route to a rare 10-win campaign.

UCLA: B+ … For the second straight year, the Bruins have won nine games. They battered crosstown rival USC, 35-14, but came up empty against in three attempts against ranked Pac-12 opponents.

Washington State: B+ … The Cougars shocked USC and Arizona outside of Pullman to help lock down a bowl bid for the first time since 2003. It’s been a stepping stone year for Mike Leach at Wazzu.

Oregon: B … It turns out that the Ducks miss Chip Kelly after all. A program built for Pasadena split its final four games, including a bad loss to Arizona, resulting in a disappointing Alamo Bowl date with Texas.

USC: B … It was a curious season for the Trojans. Although a rocky start cost Lane Kiffin his job, interim coach Ed Orgeron rallied the troops to an upset of Stanford and a respectable 9-4 mark.

Washington: B … The Huskies were unable to get over the hump when facing ranked teams, losing to Stanford, Oregon, Arizona State and UCLA. But, hey, at least they won’t be 7-6 for a fourth consecutive season.

Arizona: C+ … Tough to figure the schizophrenic ‘Cats in 2013. They beat Oregon in a stunning upset, yet just a week earlier, they also lost at home to Washington State. Consistency escaped Arizona in 2013.

Utah: C … Strange team, those Utes. Talented enough to beat Pac-12 champion Stanford, yet it still lacked the consistency to even qualify for the 70-team postseason.

Oregon State: C … The Beavers would have been just dandy had the year ended on Oct. 19. They clumsily stumbled to five losses in a row to conclude a regular season that started with a loss to Eastern Washington.

Colorado: C- … Baby steps. The Buffs won just four games, but they weren’t the Pac-12’s worst team, and they were a lot more competitive in head coach Mike MacIntyre’s first year in Boulder.

Cal: F … The Bears authored one of the worst seasons in school history, counting Portland State as their only victim of 2013. Cal was competitive in just one other game all year.

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