2006 CFN Final Season Rankings

Posted Jan 10, 2007

Which teams had the best seasons and who deserves to be ranked where? Forgetting the opinion side of the equation, here's our annual ranking of the teams based on the CFN Season Ranking Formula. We all know who number one is, but you might be shocked at who earned the second spot.

Here's the CFN belief when it comes to ranking teams: From the preseason until the end of the bowls, you must rank teams based on how good you believe they are at that time. However, once the year is complete, it's only fair to take the subjectivity out of it and go by what actually happened on the field. To do that, we've created the CFN Formula used to rank every team in every year in order to properly compare and contrast seasons from different eras.

Two things to keep in mind. 1) This takes into account the entire season punishing ugly losses and pumping up good wins. A win at the beginning of the year counts the same as a win at the end, so there might be some head-to-head discrepancies; they're unavoidable in any ranking system. Remember, the formula looks at year from start to finish and not just which team beat another.

Preseason | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7  Week 8 | Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11
Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14
Coaches | AP | BCS
Notes of interest: The CFN Final Rankings
By Pete Fiutak  
If you think your team is ranked too low, look at your schedule. It's all about who you played and how your entire season went. Here are the most interesting tidbits of note.
1) Wisconsin at 17th.
The numbers don't lie. Outside of wins over Arkansas and Penn State, the Badgers didn't beat anyone with a pulse.
2) Louisville at No. 2
It was the year of the Big East with several very good teams and a few tremendous ones. U of L played a tough slate and still came within a hair of playing for the national title.
3) Hawaii at 15th
Offense, offense, offense. Hawaii scored on the bad, the good, and everyone in between, and it made a big difference in the overall score.
4) Texas Tech at 47th
The Red Raiders only beat two teams that finished with winning records, but the loss to Colorado was the true score killer.
5) Wake Forest behind Virginia Tech and Boston College
BC played the tougher schedule while Virginia Tech's defense made the difference in score.

2) This is NOT a ranking of which teams are the best or most talented. This is a formula to find out which teams had the best seasons. Anything else is simply opinion.

(One Note: the overall scores are a bit higher this year because of the 12-game schedule)

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 new wrinkle was added this year. 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 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.
- CFN Final 2006 Rankings - No. 11 to 119 & Opinion Rankings

1. Florida (13-1)   Final Score: 27.20  
Talk about earning a national title, 11 of Florida's 14 games games were against teams that went to bowls, while the one loss to Auburn came without allowing a Tiger offensive touchdown. The Gators thoroughly dominated Ohio State in the BCS Championship, but it struggled along with way needing a blocked field goal to beat South Carolina, and had close calls against Georgia, Vanderbilt, and Florida State. Call it the cumulative effect. When you play so many good teams in a row, you're going to struggle at times, but once Florida survived and got some time off, the results were breathtaking.

2005 Score: 14.92   2005 Ranking: 19
Quality Wins:  9. Southern Miss, at Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, Florida State, Arkansas, Ohio State
Elite Win Score: 2. LSU, Ohio State
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 1. Western Carolina ... Elite Loss: 1. Auburn
Point Differential Score: 2.27 ... Winning Percentage: 0.93

2. Louisville (12-1)   Final Score: 25.71  
Surprised? You really shouldn't be. After all, it took the biggest win in Rutgers history to prevent an appearance by the Cardinals in the national championship. Remember how good Kentucky looked to finish the year? U of L whacked the Cats 59-28. Despite losing Michael Bush right off the bad, and with Brian Brohm sidelined for a time, the Cardinals kept on rolling finishing with a whopping eight wins over bowl teams.

2005 Score: 12.86   2005 Ranking: 26
Quality Wins: 8. Kentucky, Miami, at Kansas State, at Middle Tennessee, Cincinnati, West Virginia, South Florida, Wake Forest
Elite Win Score: 2. West Virginia, Wake Forest
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 1. at Temple... Elite Loss: 1. at Rutgers
Point Differential Score:  2.79 ... Winning Percentage: 0.92

3. Boise State (13-0)  Final Score: 23.12
Finish as the only team in America with a spotless record and you'll finish high in the rankings. The schedule wasn't exactly murderous, but there were several nice wins blowing out Oregon State, Utah, and Nevada by a combined score of 116 to 24. Of course, the five regular season wins over bowl bound teams meant nothing until the classic win over Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl.

2005 Score: 12.96   2005 Ranking: 25
Quality Wins: 6. Oregon State, Hawaii, at Utah, at San Jose State, at Nevada, Oklahoma
Elite Win Score: 1, Oklahoma
Bad Loss Score: 0  ... Bad Wins: 3. Sacramento State, Louisiana Tech, Utah State ... Elite Loss: 0.
Point Differential Score: 2.87 ... Winning Percentage: 1.00

4. Ohio State (12-1)  Final Score: 22.76  
The Buckeyes beat four teams that finished with winning records (Northern Illinois, at Texas, Cincinnati and Penn State) to start the season, but didn't face anyone who finished above .500 for a seven-game span before the epic win over Michigan. As the blowout loss to Florida in the national title game proved, it was all just a mirage. A win over the Gators would've easily put the Buckeyes in the number one spot.

2005 Score: 19.87   2005 Ranking: 6
Quality Wins: 5. Northern Illinois, at Texas, Cincinnati, Penn State, Michigan
Elite Win Score: 2. at Texas, Michigan
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 1. Illinois ... Elite Loss: 1. Florida.
Point Differential Score: 2.84 ... Winning Percentage: 0.92

5. USC (11-2)  Final Score: 21.59
It's all about what might have been. Unable to pull off a late comeback against Oregon State, and unable to keep John David Booty clean against UCLA, USC missed out on a shot to play Ohio State for the national title. Brilliant at times (Arkansas, California), fortunate at others (Washington State, Washington, Arizona State), everything finally came together against Michigan in the Rose Bowl.

2005 Score: 25.58   2005 Ranking: 2
Quality Wins: 7. Arkansas, Nebraska, Arizona State, Oregon, California, Notre Dame, Michigan
Elite Win Score: 1. Michigan
Bad Loss Score: 0
Bad Wins: 1. Stanford
Elite Loss: 0 ... Point Differential Score: 1.99 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

6. Michigan (11-2Final Score: 20.08
Oh how fast the team fell. From the unquestioned number two spot, to getting knocked out of a rematch shot against Ohio State, to getting blasted by USC, it's easy to forget the ten-win start. The start of the season was strong beating Central Michigan, Notre Dame and Wisconsin in the first four games, but Lloyd Carr's crew only beat one team that finished with a winning record (Penn State) after September 23rd.

2005 Score: 12.84   2005 Ranking: 27
Quality Wins: 4. Central Michigan, at Notre Dame, Wisconsin, at Penn State
Elite Win Score: 2. at Notre Dame, Wisconsin
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 0 ... Elite Loss: 2. Ohio State, USC
Point Differential Score: 1.73 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

7. LSU (11-2)  Final Score: 19.84
It was a five-game season, but all the tough battles were on the road. With the bizarre schedule, LSU played one home game against a team that finished with a winning record (Kentucky), while it had to deal with Auburn, Florida, Tennessee and Arkansas away from home. The final two performances, wins over Arkansas and Notre Dame, made everyone forget the close November calls against Alabama and Ole Miss.

2005 Score: 20.33   2005 Ranking: 5
Quality Wins: 4. Kentucky, at Tennessee, Arkansas, Notre Dame
Elite Win Score: 1. Notre Dame
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 1. Miss State ... Elite Loss: 2. at Auburn, at Florida
Point Differential Score: 2.74 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

8. West Virginia (11-2)   Final Score: 19.83
The Mountaineers struggled at times late losing to South Florida and needing a big overtime performance to beat Rutgers along with a big comeback to beat Georgia Tech. WVU beat five bowl teams with the best performance coming in a dominant performance over Maryland, but things started to get tough when Steve Slaton got hurt. Even with all the rough patches, the program proved to be the real deal with its second straight No. 8 finish.

2005 Score: 17.38   2005 Ranking: 8
Quality Wins: 5. Maryland, at East Carolina, Cincinnati, Rutgers, Georgia Tech
Elite Win Score: 1. Rutgers
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 2. Eastern Washington, at Miss State ... Elite Loss: 1. Louisville
Point Differential Score: 2.23 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

9. BYU (11-2)   Final Score: 19.47
Roughly two plays away from being 13-0 (or at least 12-0 with a spot in the BCS), BYU was one of the best teams that no one saw. The offense was fantastic all season long, but it was at its best in Mountain West play on the way to a ten-game winning streak to close out the year. A dominant 38-8 win over Oregon in the Las Vegas Bowl to prove the team was for real.  

2005 Score: 7.70   2005 Ranking: 63
Quality Wins: 4. Tulsa, at TCU, Utah, Oregon
Elite Win Score: 1.5. at TCU
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 3. Utah State, San Diego State, at UNLV ...  Elite Loss: 0
Point Differential Score: 2.87 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

10. Oklahoma (11-3)  Final Score: 19.36  
As strange a season as it gets, the Sooners lost their starting quarterback, lost their franchise superstar back mid-season, got royally screwed by the officials in a loss to Oregon, showed tremendous heart in a seven-game winning streak to get in range of the Big 12 South title, got the miracle losses they needed from Texas, won the title in a 21-7 win over Nebraska, and played the role of the bad guy in a classic Fiesta Bowl loss to Boise State thanks to three of the wildest, most clutch play calls ever. (Deep breath.)

2005 Score: 13.88   2005 Ranking: 20
Quality Wins: 6: Middle Tennessee, at Missouri, at Texas A&M, Texas Tech, at Oklahoma State, Nebraska
Elite Win Score: 0
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 2: UAB, Colorado
Elite Loss: 1. Boise State ... Point Differential Score: 1.82 ... Winning Percentage: 0.79

- CFN Final 2006 Rankings - No. 11 to 119 & Opinion Rankings