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.
- CFN Final 2006 Rankings -
No. 1 to 10
|CFN Final 2006
Based on how good the we thought the teams were.
1. Florida (13-1)
2. USC (11-2)
3. LSU (11-2)
4. Ohio State (12-1)
5. Louisville (12-1)
6. Michigan (11-2)
7. Wisconsin (12-1)
9. Arkansas (10-4)
10. Boise State (13-0)
11. Auburn (11-2)
13. California (10-3)
18. TCU (11-2)
Texas A&M (9-4)
Oregon State (10-4)
21. Hawaii (11-3)
Penn State (9-4)
Notre Dame (10-3)
28. Boston College (10-3)
29. Georgia Tech (9-5)
30. Virginia Tech (10-3)
31. South Carolina
32. Kentucky (8-5)
33. Maryland (9-4)
Texas Tech (8-5)
35. Oklahoma State
36. Florida State
37. UCLA (7-6)
38. Missouri (8-5)
40. Miami (7-6)
41. Houston (10-4)
42. Minnesota (6-7)
43. Cincinnati (8-5)
45. Navy (9-4)
46. Utah (8-5)
47. Arizona State
48. Southern Miss
49. Kansas (6-6)
50. Kansas State
51. Arizona (6-6)
52. Oregon (7-6)
53. Alabama (6-7)
54. Purdue (8-5)
55. Central Michigan
56. Nevada (8-5)
57. Tulsa (8-5)
58. East Carolina
59. San Jose State
60. Western Michigan
61. Vanderbilt (4-8)
62. Virginia (5-7)
63. Pitt (6-6)
64. Indiana (5-7)
65. Washington (5-7)
66. Ohio (9-5)
67. New Mexico (6-76)
68. Washington State
69. Ole Miss (4-8)
70. Wyoming (6-6)
73. Michigan State
74. SMU (6-6)
75. Colorado (2-10)
76. Troy (8-5)
77. Rice (7-6)
78. Syracuse (4-8)
79. North Carolina
80. Iowa State (4-8)
81. NC State (3-9)
84. Baylor (4-8)
85. Illinois (2-10)
86. Ball State (5-7)
87. Kent State (6-6)
88. Air Force (4-8)
89. Akron (5-7)
90. Duke (0-12)
91. Marshall (5-7)
92. Tulane (4-8)
93. UCF (4-8)
94. Toledo (5-7)
95. UAB (3-9)
96. Army (3-9)
97. Fresno State
98. Memphis (2-10)
99. Stanford (1-11)
100. UTEP (5-7)
101. San Diego State
102. Colorado State
103. UNLV (2-10)
104. Idaho (4-8)
105. Louisiana Tech
106. Miami Univ.
107. Middle Tennessee
108. Bowling Green
109. UL Monroe (4-8)
110. Eastern Michigan
111. UL Lafayette
112. Arkansas State
113. Florida Atlantic
114. New Mexico State
115. North Texas
116. Buffalo (2-10)
117. Temple (1-11)
11. Auburn (11-2) CFN Score: 18.76
2005 Score: 8.93 2005 Ranking: 13
While it might not have been the SEC championship season the Tiger fans
were hoping for, there's no arguing with an 11-2 record and a Cotton
Bowl win. Wins over LSU and Florida might have been the best pair anyone
came up with this year, but the puzzling blowout home losses to Arkansas
and Georgia left everyone scratching their heads. Oddly enough,
considering the conference they play in, there were only four Quality
Wins (LSU, South Carolina, Florida and Nebraska).
12. Boston College (10-3) CFN Score:
2005 Score: 15.19 2005 Ranking: 15
Equal parts maddening and thrilling, the Eagle season saw losses to Wake Forest,
Miami, and NC State by a total of 12 points; BC was roughly three plays
away from being unbeaten. On the flip side the got miraculous wins over
Clemson and BYU, with the thriller over the Cougars counting as an Elite
Win. The last-second Daniel Evans wing-and-a-prayer loss to NC State was
a killer Bad Loss (one of only two among the top 40 teams. The other was
Florida State's loss to NC State.)
13. Rutgers (11-2) CFN Score: 18.356
2005 Score: 7.45 2005 Ranking: 66
Oh what might have been. The win over Louisville turned out to be the
highlight of a 9-0 start only to see it all come crashing down in a
blowout loss to Cincinnati. Even so, the Scarlet Knights would've faced
Wake Forest in the Orange Bowl had they pulled out the overtime loss to
West Virginia. If they won that game, and won the Orange Bowl, they'd
have finished in the top five.
14. Oregon State (10-4) CFN Score: 18.24
2005 Score: 5.23 2005 Ranking: 81
A fantastic year for Mike Riley's Beavers had more than its share of
highlights, and low points, with a nationally televised pasting by Boise
State and blowouts to Cal and UCLA forgotten about by a 33-31 win over
USC that changed the season, and a thrilling Sun Bowl comeback to beat
Missouri. The win at Hawaii wasn't just good, it was an Elite Win.
15. Hawaii (11-3) CFN Score: 18.23
2005 Score: 4.07 2005 Ranking: 88
The high-powered, 656-point offense was the difference in the overall
score. Sure, there were Bad Wins over Eastern Illinois, UNLV, Utah State
and Louisiana Tech, but the Warriors also pushed Boise State to the wall
in a 41-34 loss and beat four bowl teams. Basically, the points put them
16. Virginia Tech (10-3) CFN Score: 17.95
2005 Score: 22.82 2005 Ranking: 3
With one of the nation's best defenses all year long, the Hokies started
out with a four-game winning streak, lost their stuff in losses to
Georgia Tech and Boston College, and went on a six-game tear before
losing to Georgia in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. The 27-6 victory at Wake
Forest counted as an Elite Win to give a big boost to the overall score.
17. Wisconsin (12-1) CFN Score: 17.40
2005 Score: 16.14 2005 Ranking: 12
The Badgers might have finished with the best record in school history,
and they might have beaten Penn State and Arkansas, but there were
absolutely no other wins of note with four Bad Wins (Western Illinois,
San Diego State, Illinois and Buffalo) and a mere three Quality Wins;
lowest among the top 18 teams. Blame a down year in the Big Ten, and
blame a putrid non-conference schedule.
18. California (10-3) CFN Score: 17.28
2005 Score: 9.58 2005 Ranking: 48
The Bears overcame the season-opening loss to Tennessee, and a shaky end
to the year with losses to Arizona, USC, and a near-miss against
Stanford, to throttle Texas A&M in the Holiday Bowl to finally put Jeff
Tedford's squad over a big hurdle. Few teams were hotter for an early
season stretch scoring over 40 points a game over a five-game streak
with four wins over bowl bound teams.
19. Arkansas (10-4) CFN Score: 16.94
2005 Score: 4.48 2005 Ranking: 87
No one in America had more Elite Losses with the Hogs losing to USC, LSU,
Florida and Wisconsin, so despite the three-game losing streak to close
things out, this really was a magical year. The 27-10 win at Auburn set
the tone, while the wins over South Carolina and Tennessee ended all
talk of Houston Nutt's club being a fluke.
20. Texas (10-3) CFN Score: 16.81
2005 Score: 29.54 2005 Ranking: 1
Oh how the mighty have tumbled since last year's national championship.
However, had the Longhorns pulled off wins over Kansas State and Texas
A&M, or more to the point, had Colt McCoy been 100% at the end of the
year, and had they gone on to win the Big 12 title over Nebraska and the
Fiesta Bowl over Boise State, they'd have finished in the top three.
21. Notre Dame (10-3) CFN Score: 16.70
2005 Score: 13.76 2005 Ranking: 21
The Irish beat more good teams than you think with wins over Georgia
Tech, Penn State, and UCLA being completely forgotten about thanks to
embarrassing blowouts against the Elite teams getting blasted by
Michigan, USC and LSU. How many teams in America would've lost to those
three? Almost all of them.
22. Georgia (9-4) CFN Score: 16.67
2005 Score: 17.23 2005 Ranking: 9
While a 9-4 season might not be what Georgia is used to after so many
great years under Mark Richt, there couldn't be more excitement with
Matthew Stafford appearing to be a franchise quarterback to revolve the
team around, and after wins over Auburn, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech
to close out the year. Three of the four losses came by a
touchdown or less.
23. Wake Forest (11-3) CFN Score: 15.91
2005 Score: 5.64 2005 Ranking: 76
The ACC champions were the surprise of 2006 starting out with a
five-game winning streak, helped by a botched last-second Duke field
goal in a 14-13 win over the Blue Devils, and then getting all the key
wins it absolutely had to have to get to the title game. It should say
something about the ACC this year that its champion is this low, but
Duke, North Carolina and NC State dragged everyone down in the Bad Win
24. Houston (10-4) CFN Score: 15.54
2005 Score: 7.88 2005 Ranking: 61
The Conference USA champions overcame a three-game losing streak in the
middle of the year, hurt most by a stunning 31-28 loss to UL Lafayette,
to finish off with a six-game winning streak before losing to South
Carolina in the Liberty Bowl. As impressive as the year was, the only
real win of note came over Oklahoma State.
25. TCU (11-2) CFN Score: 15.30
2005 Score: 17.42 2005 Ranking: 7
Yet another great year for the Horned Frogs after closing out with an
eight-game winning streak, they were the lowest ranked team with 11 wins
hurt by Bad Wins over UC Davis, Army, UNLV and San Diego State. Another
big problem was the lack of Quality Wins, getting just two (Texas
Tech and Northern Illinois).
26. Nebraska (9-5) CFN Score: 15.11
2005 Score: 11.86 2005 Ranking: 30
It was an interesting season, but not quite a special one even with
the appearance in the Big 12 title game. The Huskers only came up with
two wins of note beating Missouri and Texas A&M, and along with a
stunner to Oklahoma State, they couldn't handle the big boys losing to
USC, Texas, Oklahoma and Auburn.
27. Tennessee (9-4) CFN Score: 15.02
2005 Score: 8.70 2005 Ranking: 57
The Vols bounced back after its disastrous 2005 starting out with an
great win over California on the way to a 7-1 start (the one loss was to
Florida 21-20). No running game and an injury to Erik Ainge were
problems during the season, while an Arian Foster fumble for a touchdown
was the team's undoing in the Outback Bowl loss to Penn State.
28. Central Michigan (10-4) CFN Score: 14.25
2005 Score: 9.80 2005 Ranking: 45
The biggest loss in the MAC championship season wasn't to Boston
College, Michigan or Northern Illinois, it was losing head coach Brian
Kelly to Cincinnati. The Chippewas had the lowest overall score for a
ten-win team hurt a bit by three Bad Wins and with only three Quality
29. Maryland (9-4) CFN Score: 14.19
2005 Score: 7.65 2005 Ranking: 64
The Terps overcame a two-game losing streak to end the year on a high
note whacking Purdue in the Champs Sports Bowl. In a resurgent year for
the program, Maryland came up with five Quality Wins to overcome the
three Bad ones. The offense scored 284 points, while the defense gave up
30. Texas A&M (9-4) CFN Score: 14.14
2005 Score: 5.54 2005 Ranking: 78
A last minute loss to Texas Tech was the only blemish in the first
nine games, the losses to both Oklahoma and Nebraska came by a total of
two points, and there was a stunning win over Texas. So how come the
Aggies are so low? Only three wins came over Quality teams and there
were three bad wins (Citadel, Army, Louisiana Tech).
31. UCLA (7-6) CFN Score: 13.94
2005 Score: 14.17 2005 Ranking: 18
The Bruins were supposed to struggle in a rebuilding year with a
brutal schedule, and they could've gone into the tank Michigan State
style after a heart-breaking loss to Notre Dame, but they rallied late
in the year with a dominant performance over a strong Oregon State team
and ruined USC's national title dreams. The loss to Florida State in the
Emerald Bowl put a damper on things, but it was still a better season
32. Clemson (8-5) CFN Score: 13.77
2005 Score: 13.22 2005 Ranking: 24
Clemson had the same record as South Carolina, lost to the
Gamecocks, but is ranked a bit higher thanks to a more prolific offense.
The hot team in the middle of the year with a six-game winning streak
highlighted by a victory over Wake Forest, things came crashing to a
halt with a loss to Virginia Tech sparking a run of four losses in the
final five games.
33. South Florida (9-4) CFN Score: 13.73
2005 Score: 10.10 2005 Ranking: 44
Jim Leavitt's program has finally arrived. Wins over West Virginia
and East Carolina to close out the year make this one of the hot teams
going into the off-season. The win over the Mountaineers overcame the
three Bad Wins in the Overall Score.
34. South Carolina (8-5) CFN Score: 13.65
2005 Score: 9.63 2005 Ranking: 47
It was a good year; not a great one. Steve Spurrier's second season
lacked an SEC win of note, but his Gamecocks beat four bowl teams
including Clemson. Four of the five losses came by a touchdown or less.
35. Georgia Tech (9-5) CFN Score: 13.56
2005 Score: 12.39 2005 Ranking: 28
Did anyone come closer to a truly huge season? The Yellow Jackets
started the year with a tough 14-10 loss to Notre Dame, and collapsed in
a three-point loss to West Virginia in the Gator Bowl. They came within
three of beating Georgia, and three of beating Wake Forest for the ACC
36. Cincinnati (8-5) CFN Score: 13.06
2005 Score: 2.83 2005 Ranking: 96
Probably the most impressive team that went totally unnoticed, the
Bearcats lost to Pitt early on for an iffy defeat, but the other four
losses came to Ohio State, Virginia Tech, Louisville (just missing the
win on the final play of the game) and West Virginia. They ruined
Rutgers' dream season, thumped South Florida, and finished up winning
seven of their final nine games.
37. Penn State (9-4) CFN Score: 12.72
2005 Score: 20.76 2005 Ranking: 4
You'd think the Nittany Lions would've been higher after getting by
Tennessee in the Outback Bowl. Blame the bad Big Ten schedule with the
only win coming over a Quality team coming in a 12-0 beating of Purdue.
Outside of the bowl win, they were 0-4 against the good teams losing to
Notre Dame, Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.
38. Missouri (8-5) CFN Score: 12.49
2005 Score: 11.02 2005 Ranking: 36
In a tale of two seasons, the Tigers won their first six games with
a stifling defense and consistent offense, bounced back after getting
steamrolled by Texas A&M to beat Kansas State, and then lost three
straight bottoming out with a loss to Iowa State. A win over Kansas was
forgotten about after a collapse to Oregon State in the Sun Bowl.
39. Florida State (7-6) CFN Score: 12.41
2005 Score: 13.33 2005 Ranking: 23
The Seminoles were never consistent. They were able to beat five
Quality teams and got by UCLA in the Emerald Bowl, but they were blasted
at home by Wake Forest and lost to a bad NC State team. Five of the six
losses came by a touchdown or less.
40. Utah (8-5) CFN Score: 12.17
2005 Score: 8.79 2005 Ranking: 56
The Utes picked up the pieces a few times during the year winning three
straight after a disastrous opening day loss to UCLA, beating TCU after
getting stomped by Boise State, and winning three straight after losing
to Wyoming and New Mexico. The four Bad Wins (Northern Arizona, Utah
State, San Diego State and UNLV) kept the overall score down.
41. Southern Miss CFN Score: 12.10
2005 Score: 9.15 2005 Ranking: 52
It was another positive year for Jeff Bower and his program with nine
wins and a bowl victory. A four-game winning streak late in the year got
the Eagles to the Conference USA title game, but a loss to Houston put a
bit of a damper on the season. Things should be even better next year
with star-in-the-making Damion Fletcher and Jeremy Young in the
42. Kentucky (8-5) CFN Score: 11.65
2005 Score: 0.41 2005 Ranking: 107
All those who thought UK would be bowling and the hot program going
into 2006, raise your hands. Liars. The Wildcats won four in a row late
in the year, highlighted by a 24-20 win over Georgia, and beat Clemson
in the Music City Bowl. The lack of defense kept them from being higher
in the rankings.
43. Oregon (7-6) CFN Score: 11.17
2005 Score: 14.69 2005 Ranking: 16
A controversial win over Oklahoma and a solid performance against
UCLA on the way to a 5-1 start made it seem like the Ducks were on their
way to a big year. The quarterback situation was never quite settled,
and the team only beat one D-I team over the final seven games finishing
up with a clunker against BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl.
44. Tulsa (8-5) CFN Score: 11.10
2005 Score: 14.19 2005 Ranking: 17
You know things have changed when an 8-5 year is a disappointment.
The Golden Hurricane went 7-1 and appeared to be the runaway favorite to
repeat as the Conference USA champion, and then came three straight
losses including head-scratchers to Rice and SMU.
45. Ohio CFN Score: 10.87
2005 Score: 2.67 2005 Ranking: 98
A seven-game winning streak made the Bobcats one of the bigger surprises
of the season, and then the lousy offense caught up to them losing the
MAC Championship and GMAC Bowl by a combined score of 59 to 17. It helps
when five wins are over Bad teams.
46. Washington State (6-6) CFN Score: 10.83
2005 Score: 6.58 2005 Ranking: 71
Everything seemed so promising in what appeared to be a bounce-back
year. The Cougars started off 6-3 needing just one win in the final
three to be certain of a bowl appearance, but after crushing UCLA, they
lost to Arizona, got blown away by Arizona State, and lost the Apple Cup
47. Texas Tech (8-5) CFN Score: 10.58
2005 Score: 15.22 2005 Ranking: 14
How do you end a season on a bigger high note than by staging the
greatest comeback in bowl history? The Insight Bowl win over Minnesota
showed the team's explosiveness, but it wasn't always there losing 12-3
to TCU and 30-6 to Colorado. The Bad Loss to the Buffs killed the
48. Nevada (8-5) CFN Score: 10.54
2005 Score: 11.77 2005 Ranking: 32
The Wolf Pack overcame an 0-2 start to win eight of the next ten
before the loss to Miami in the MPC Computers Bowl. For all the
victories, the best win came against San Jose State; the second best was
over Colorado State. Yippee.
49. Navy (9-4) CFN Score: 10.50
2005 Score: 8.39 2005 Ranking: 58
Navy had yet another strong year under Paul Johnson with nine wins
and a tough loss to Boston College in the Meineke Car Care Bowl, but six
of the victories were Bad Wins (Massachusetts, Stanford, Duke, Eastern
Michigan, Temple and Army). That's what Navy has to do to get the big
50. Kansas State (7-6) CFN Score: 10.41
2005 Score: 7.04 2005 Ranking: 68
The Wildcats fans couldn't have asked for more in Ron Prince's first
season. Fine, so the year ended with a loss to arch-rival Kansas and
with a Texas Bowl pasting from Rutgers, but a three-game winning streak,
highlighted by a win over Texas, showed how the program is on the right
51. Miami (7-6) CFN Score: 10.33
2005 Score: 16.54 2005 Ranking: 11
Arguably the year's most disappointing team, at least offensively,
the Canes got into a fight with FIU, almost lost to Duke, and then lost
four straight to get Larry Coker fired. Wins over Boston College and
Nevada helped right the ship late, but 7-6 doesn't play in Coral Gables.
Four of the seven wins go in the Bad Win category.
52. Arizona (6-6) CFN Score: 10.14
2005 Score: 3.64 2005 Ranking: 91
Everything seemed so promising after overcoming a 2-4 start by
winning four games in five, but a season ending loss to Arizona State
killed bowl hoped. The offense has to be more consistent.
53. Troy (8-5) CFN Score: 9.94
2005 Score: 2.81 2005 Ranking: 23
One great rally in a win over Middle Tennessee changed everything.
The Trojans won the Sun Belt, beat Rice in the New Orleans Bowl, and had
its most successful season ever. It helped to get three Bad Wins, but
six wins in the final seven is nothing to overlook.
54. Oklahoma State (7-6) CFN Score: 9.54
2005 Score: 3.89 2005 Ranking: 90
2006 was a great step forward for Mike Gundy's young program
highlighted by a record-setting second half in the 42-32 win over Kansas
and a stunningly convincing win over Nebraska. The Cowboys lost to
Kansas State, Texas A&M, Texas Tech and Oklahoma each by less than a
55. Western Michigan (8-5) CFN Score: 9.27
2005 Score: 9.01 2005 Ranking: 54
In the hunt for the MAC title almost all year, and with an
appearance in the International Bowl, Bill Cubit's club came up with a
nice year considering all the offensive losses of NFLers Greg Jennings
and Tony Scheffler. The 31-7 loss to Central Michigan was the only game
the Broncos were never in.
56. San Jose State (9-4) CFN Score: 9.23
2005 Score: -0.57 2005 Ranking: 111
Wake Forest, Rice and Rutgers got more publicity, but San Jose State
might have been the biggest surprise of the year with nine wins
including a bowl victory over New Mexico. However, there were five Bad
Wins (Stanford, Cal Poly, San Diego State, Utah State and Louisiana
Tech) and no victories over a team that finished with a winning record.
Only Oklahoma gave Boise State a tougher time than the Spartans did.
57. Iowa (6-7) CFN Score: 8.87
2005 Score: 11.53 2005 Ranking: 33
A wildly disappointing season started to go south with a nationally
televised loss to Ohio State sparking a string of seven losses in the
final nine games. The wins were nothing to write home about with the
best one coming over Purdue. Good losses to Ohio State, Michigan,
Wisconsin and Texas were sprinkled in with colossal gaffes to Indiana
58. Pitt (6-6) CFN Score: 9.07
2005 Score: 5.19 2005 Ranking: 82
Pitt didn't beat any of the big boys and went on a five-game losing
streak to close out what appeared to be a lock of a bowl year. The best
win of the season came early against Cincinnati, but that was about it
as Dave Wannstedt's crew beat the bad teams, lost to the good ones, and
was on the wrong side of a shootout with Connecticut.
59. Rice (7-6) CFN Score: 8.47
2005 Score: -0.72 2005 Ranking: 112
The improbable first season under Todd Graham ended with a thunk
losing to Troy in the New Orleans Bowl, but that didn't take away from
the remarkable second half of the year winning seven of the last eight
including a six-game winning streak before the post-season. Five wins
came by a touchdown or less.
60. Wyoming (6-6) CFN Score: 8.44
2005 Score: 2.85 2005 Ranking: 95
The Cowboys started off the season 1-4 before turning things around
with five wins in seven games. Three of the losses were to Elite Teams
(Boise State, TCU and BYU), but three of the victories were Bad Wins
(Utah State, San Diego State and UNLV). The future is bright with QB
Karsten Sween looking like a keeper.
61. Kansas (6-6) CFN Score: 8.42
2005 Score: 11.38 2005 Ranking: 35
It might not have been a bowl season, but a great year from Jon Cornish,
and a late three-game winning streak, highlighted by a 39-20 blowout
over Kansas State, kept it from being a major disappointment. A tough
loss to Toledo and stunning second half collapse against Oklahoma State
prevented a 13th game.
62. East Carolina (7-6) CFN Score: 8.39
2005 Score: 4.70 2005 Ranking: 84
A return to a bowl game and a nice end to the regular season winning
five games in the final six put Skip Holtz's program on the upswing. The
only Quality Win came over Southern Miss, while three of the five losses
came by five points or fewer.
63. Northern Illinois (7-6) CFN Score: 8.35
2005 Score: 12.23 2005 Ranking: 29
Garrett Wolfe provided plenty of highlights, but it was a
disappointing year getting knocked out of the MAC title race almost
right off the bat with a 35-23 loss to Ohio. Of the seven wins on the
way to the Poinsettia Bowl beatdown from TCU, five of them went into the
Bad Win category with the only decent ones coming over Ball State and
64. Arizona State (7-6) CFN Score: 8.26
2005 Score: 10.66 2005 Ranking: 40
ASU started out its season 3-0 and finished with Dennis Erickson taking
over for Dirk Koetter. The offense was inconsistent while the defense
got destroyed in losses. Three of the wins were Bad Wins beating
Northern Arizona, Colorado and Stanford.
65. Purdue (8-6) CFN Score: 7.97
2005 Score: 6.66 2005 Ranking: 69
There were no surprises whatsoever with wins over all the teams Purdue
was supposed to win and losses in all the games it was supposed to lose
closing out with a lifeless loss to Maryland in the Champs Sports Bowl.
The Boilermakers went 1-7 against bowl teams with the one win coming at
home against Minnesota.
66. Alabama (6-7) CFN Score: 7.19
2005 Score: 16.68 2005 Ranking: 10
What does 6-6 and a loss to Auburn mean? Good bye Mike Shula, hello Nick
Saban. The Tide closed out the year losing five of its final six and
seven of its last ten, but five of the defeats came by eight points or
67. Minnesota CFN Score: 7.09
2005 Score: 10.64 2005 Ranking: 41
Just when the program seemed to be on a major roll finishing off with
three straight wins to get to a Insight Bowl, and with a dominant first half
over Texas Tech, the team collapsed in the biggest bowl choke ever,
fired Glen Mason, and now is starting from scratch. The team beat the
teams it was supposed to and lost to the ones it was supposed to.
68. Middle Tennessee CFN Score: 6.98
2005 Score: 2.90 2005 Ranking: 94
Things were going so well in Rick Stockstill's first season going
7-3 with smooth sailing to the New Orleans Bowl, and then came
a loss to South Carolina, a stunning 21-20 loss to Troy to finish in a
tie for the Sun Belt title, and then a thumping from Central Michigan in
the Motor City Bowl. The Blue Raiders lost to Maryland, Louisville,
Oklahoma and South Carolina by a combined score of 179 to 34.
69. SMU CFN Score: 6.56
2005 Score: 6.19 2005 Ranking: 72
The year might have ended on a disappointing note with a loss to
Rice costing the Mustangs a bowl game, but it was still a strong season
after a rough start with a Bad Loss to North Texas, along with an
opening day loss to Texas Tech, by a combined score of 59 to 9. A 34-24
win over Tulsa was the high point.
70. Washington CFN Score: 5.93
2005 Score: 1.68 2005 Ranking: 102
After a 4-1 start, and after playing well in a 26-20 loss to USC,
Washington appeared to be one of the surprise teams of the year, but a
six-game losing streak ended the fun. Closing out with a win over
Washington State in the Apple Cup helped ease the pain of a stunning
loss to lowly Stanford.
71. New Mexico CFN Score: 5.6815
2005 Score: 8.29 2005 Ranking: 59
Arguably the worst of the bowl teams, the Lobos couldn't even win at
home over San Jose State. The home loss to Portland State started the
season off on a low note, and there was only one win of note beating
72. Arkansas State CFN Score: 5.6800
2005 Score: 6.66 2005 Ranking: 70
The defending Sun Belt champions started out 4-2, and then the
offense crashed getting shut out in back-to-back weeks by Florida
Atlantic and Auburn. At least they beat Troy to avoid going winless over
the final five games.
73. Virginia CFN Score: 5.34
2005 Score: 11.49 2005 Ranking: 34
Did the Cavaliers beat anyone good? Well, a 17-7 late-season victory
over Miami was nice, but a lack of offense kept them from having an
honest shot against anyone with a pulse. Starting out the year 1-3 with
losses to Western Michigan and Pitt didn't help.
74. UL Lafayette CFN Score: 5.02
2005 Score: 4.62 2005 Ranking: 86
A stunning late win over Houston as part of a four-game winning
streak made the Ragin' Cajuns look like a major player in the Sun Belt
race, and then came the three-game losing streak with the low point
coming in a home choke to North Texas. Losing to arch-rival UL Monroe at
home to close out the year wasn't a plus.
75. Indiana CFN Score: 5.00
2005 Score: 3.98 2005 Ranking: 89
The Hoosiers might have only gone 5-7, but they showed signs of life
highlighted by wins over Iowa and Michigan State. Losses to Southern
Illinois and Connecticut early on kept them out of a bowl.
76. Vanderbilt CFN Score: 4.88
2005 Score: 3.48 2005 Ranking: 92
The Commodores came close to having a great year with four losses by
seven points or fewer to Alabama, Arkansas, Ole Miss and Florida.
Beating Georgia was the highlight of the season. The offense wasn't
consistent getting 126 of its 264 points in wins over Tennessee State,
Temple and Duke.
77. Marshall CFN Score: 4.77
2005 Score: 3.30 2005 Ranking: 93
The first win over a D-I team didn't come until late October after a
1-5 start, and then the Herd got hot winning four of its next five
before getting blasted by Southern Miss.
78. Toledo CFN Score: 4.66
2005 Score: 13.68 2005 Ranking: 22
The perennial MAC powerhouse got crushed 31-10 by Western Michigan
in the conference opener and struggled from there. A win over Kansas
provided hope, but that was the only victory over a D-I team until the end
of October. Wins in three of the final four games saved the year from
being a total disaster.
79. Akron CFN Score: 4.07
2005 Score: 8.93 2005 Ranking: 55
The defending MAC champions appeared ready to roar after playing
Penn State well in a loss before beating NC State, but they didn't beat
anyone else with a pulse with the best win coming over Bowling Green.
The offense went completely into the tank late in the year.
80. Fresno State CFN Score: 3.95
2005 Score: 11.86 2005 Ranking: 31
The Fresno State disaster started with two close losses to Pac 10
teams (Oregon and Washington) and bottomed out with a 13-12 loss to Utah
State. An opening day win over Nevada, and a generous schedule late
helped Pat Hill's program from further embarrassment.
81. Connecticut CFN Score: 3.91
2005 Score: 5.56 2005 Ranking: 77
Two of the four victories were Bad Wins beating Rhode Island and
Army, and it took a crazy 46-45 win over Pitt to avoid a complete
disaster in the second half losing five of the last six and seven of the
82. Syracuse CFN Score: 3.72
2005 Score: -0.34 2005 Ranking: 109
Things started out positive with a 3-2 record, and then the wheels
came off losing six of the final seven with the only win coming on
Senior Day over Connecticut. The three Elite Losses (Louisville, Rutgers
and West Virginia) actually helped.
83. New Mexico State CFN Score: 3.63
2005 Score: -6.67 2005 Ranking: 119
Hal Mumme's second season at least had a win. Four of them, but they
all fell under the Bad Win category with two coming against D-IAA teams.
At least the team was more competitive thanks to the high-powered
84. Ball State CFN Score: 3.59
2005 Score: 5.53 2005 Ranking: 79
The Cardinals won three of their final four games, but the first
three victories of the season fell into the Bad Win category, while the
home loss to North Dakota State killed the overall score. This is the
lowest ranked team that scored more points than it allowed.
85. UL Monroe CFN Score: 3.53
2005 Score: 2.45 2005 Ranking: 100
Three of the four wins fell into the Bad Win category, but the win
over UL Lafayette helped the Warhawks finish with three victories in the
final four games. The one loss a 42-40 shootout against Kentucky,
got the program on the upswing going into the off-season. ULM didn't get
its first D-I win until mid-November.
86. Florida Atlantic CFN Score: 3.49
2005 Score: 1.02 2005 Ranking: 103
Howard Schnellenberger's team pulled off a nice season that no one
noticed considering it opened the year with five straight away games.
Even so, three of the five wins fell into the Bad Win category.
87. Kent State CFN Score: 3,48
2005 Score: -1.92 2005 Ranking: 115
One of the surprises of the year with a five-game winning streak,
the Golden Flashes fell off the map losing four of the last five
including a 41-14 collapse against Buffalo. They played five games
against teams that fell into the Bad category going 3-2.
88. NC State CFN Score: 3.48
2005 Score: 10.95 2005 Ranking: 37
Talk about your collapses, State brought in QB Daniel Evans and won
in miraculous fashion over Boston College, beat Florida State, and then
pffffffffffft. Seven straight losses, including a Bad Loss to North
Carolina, meant the end of the Chuck Amato era.
89. OIe Miss CFN Score: 3.21
2005 Score: 2.30 2005 Ranking: 101
Three of the four wins (Memphis, Northwestern State and Mississippi
State) fell into the Bad Win category, while the other win came over
Vanderbilt. There were signs of fight with close losses to Georgia,
Alabama, Auburn and LSU, all coming by six point or fewer.
90. UCF CFN Score: 3.20
2005 Score: 10.12 2005 Ranking: 43
A lack of offense and a rough stretch of seven losses in eight games
killed the season before mid-November. Winning two of the final three
games provides a little hope for 2007.
91. UTEP CFN Score:
2005 Score: 10.38 2005 Ranking: 42
Another year, another late season collapse. The Miners appeared to be
one of the favorites for the Conference USA title after a 4-2 start, and
2-0 conference start, and then they lost five of their final six closing
out with a brutal Bad Loss at home to Memphis.
92. Mississippi State CFN Score: 2.87
2005 Score: 0.96 2005 Ranking: 104
The program hasn't turned the corner under Sylvester Croom, but the
team was far more competitive even if the results didn't show it. MSU
might have lost four if its final five games, but it lost to Georgia,
Kentucky and Ole Miss by three points each. It doesn't help when you
have to play Auburn, LSU, and West Virginia, Elite Teams, in the first
half of the year.
93. Baylor CFN Score: 2.75
2005 Score: 5.90 2005 Ranking: 73
The Bears weren't a pushover, but they went on a slide after losing
starting quarterback Shawn Bell finishing with a four game losing
streak. The loss to Army hurt the overall score. Two of the wins came
over Kansas teams, one was over Colorado, and one was over DI-AA
94. Michigan State CFN Score: 2.69
2005 Score: 8.26 2005 Ranking: 60
Around 8:30 p.m. on September 23rd, no one could've foreseen the
Spartans finishing this low. It took a miraculous, all-timer type of
comeback against Northwestern to avoid a nine-game losing streak to end
the year. Four of the losses came by four points or fewer.
95. Tulane CFN Score: 2.57
2005 Score: -1.71 2005 Ranking: 114
Fewer than 19 points per game, and with two of the four wins in the
Bad Win category, were just a few reasons why Chris Scelfo is out and
Bob Toledo is in.
96. UAB CFN Score: 2.53
2005 Score: 7.38 2005 Ranking: 67
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but it wasn't supposed to be
this bad. Things seemed promising after winning three of the first six,
with wins over bowl bound East Carolina and Troy, and then came a
six-game losing streak to close out the year.
97. Army CFN Score: 2.48
2005 Score: 4.62 2005 Ranking: 85
Bobby Ross isn't quite making any headway after closing out with six
straight losses and only beating DI-AA VMI in the last eight games.
98. Colorado State CFN Score: 2.47
2005 Score: 9.02 2005 Ranking: 53
Can the program pull up out of its nosedive? The Rams won four out
of their first five and lost seven straight to close out. Three of the
four wins were in the Bad Win category with the only decent one a 35-23
victory over an awful Fresno State team.
99. Iowa State CFN Score: 2.40
2005 Score: 10.67 2005 Ranking: 39
Dan McCarney's final season was horrible coming within roughly four
plays of going 0-12. The loss to Colorado was rock bottom, but the the
Cyclones bounced back to finish off with a win over Missouri.
100. Air Force CFN Score: 2.35
2005 Score: 5.17 2005 Ranking: 83
With only a win over a lowly Army team in the last seven games,
after a 3-2 start, Air Force was overdue to make a coaching change. It
didn't help to play BYU, TCU and Notre Dame in the second half of the
year, but the Falcons didn't help themselves with Bad Losses to San
Diego State and UNLV.
101. Idaho CFN Score: 1.69
2005 Score: -3.08 2005 Ranking: 117
Dennis Erickson came in, the team won four games, with two counting as
Bad Wins, lost the last five games scoring just 30 in the last four, and
then left for Arizona State.
102. Northwestern CFN Score: 1.67
2005 Score: 10.89 2005 Ranking: 38
This was supposed to be a rebuilding year anyway, and then the
tragic passing of Randy Walker, and the first-year of young head man Pat
Fitzgerald, made it even more difficult. A home loss to New Hampshire
killed the overall score, while three of the four wins counting as Bad
Wins hurt. Beating Iowa 21-7 saved the year from being truly awful.
103. Illinois CFN Score: 1.56
2005 Score: 0.95 2005 Ranking: 105
Didn't the Illini seem like they have more than one win (Michigan
State) over a D-I team? They battled hard against Indiana, Ohio,
Wisconsin and Ohio State losing all four by a touchdown or less, but a
2-10 season (the other win came over Eastern Illinois) was rough for the
104. North Texas CFN Score: 1.50
2005 Score: 0.54 2005 Ranking: 106
The lack of offense, averaging under 13 points per game, hurt the
overall score, but it was the mere three wins that sent North Texas this
low. Three of the Mean Green's final four losses came by eight points or
105. Bowling Green CFN Score: 1.27
2005 Score: 15.19 2005 Ranking: 65
Losses to Temple and Miami University killed the overall score. Of the
four wins, only the 21-9 shocker at Ohio was not in the Bad Win
106. North Carolina CFN Score: 1.25
2005 Score: 9.55 2005 Ranking: 49
The good: UNC ended its season with wins over rivals NC State and
Duke. The bad: both opponents fell into the Bad Win category, as did the
other win over Furman. The offense scored just 103 points in the nine
107. Miami University CFN Score: 1.10
2005 Score: 9.27 2005 Ranking: 51
An awful year from the offensive line and no offensive pop made the
RedHawks one of the year's biggest busts. The two wins came by a total
of nine points.
108. Memphis CFN Score: 1.08
2005 Score: 9.33 2005 Ranking: 50
What happened to the defense? Giving up over 30 points per game and
ranking near the bottom in most categories ended all the positive
strides made over the previous bowl years. The only win over a D-I team
came in the season finale over UTEP.
109. Colorado CFN Score: 0.96
2005 Score: 9.77 2005 Ranking: 46
Well, it can't get anywhere but up for Dan Hawkins. The year started
out with the 19-10 loss to Montana State on the way to an 0-6 start.
Wins over Texas Tech and Iowa State kept the ugliness from going to
110. San Diego State CFN Score: 0.70
2005 Score: 5.90 2005 Ranking: 74
Chuck Long's first year started to pick up over an 0-5 start with
three Mountain West wins, but only 170 points and 16-14 Bad Loss to Cal
Poly helped make the season a disaster.
111. UNLV CFN Score: -0.02
2005 Score: -0.56 2005 Ranking: 110
Mike Sanford's second year was a total flop with the only wins
coming against Idaho State and Air Force. The 21-7 Bad Loss to San Diego
State hurt the overall score in a big way.
112. Louisiana Tech CFN Score: -0.27
2005 Score: 7.74 2005 Ranking: 62
The Bulldog defense was awful giving up 542 points. All three of the
wins (Nicholls State, Utah State, and North Texas) fell into the Bad Win
113. Eastern Michigan CFN Score: -0.47
2005 Score: 5.31 2005 Ranking: 80
The Eagles just couldn't catch a break losing six games by eight
points or fewer. The lone win came against Toledo.
114. Stanford CFN Score: -0.92
2005 Score: 5.77 2005 Ranking: 75
One of the worst seasons in Pac 10 history finished with the firing
of Walt Harris with the program starting from scratch under Jim Harbaugh.
The 20-3 win over Washington, and the good game against California, were
shockers late in the year.
115. Buffalo CFN Score: -1.19
2005 Score: -2.33 2005 Ranking: 116
Buffalo got two wins beating Temple and Kent State, but the defense
gave up 41.4 points per game over the other ten.
116. Utah State CFN Score: -2.74
2005 Score: 0.25 2005 Ranking: 108
A stunning 13-12 win over Fresno State was the lone bright spot. The
Aggies scored just seven points over the first four games and were shut
out four times.
117. FIU CFN Score: -2.98
2005 Score: 2.54 2005 Ranking: 99
A nasty defense kept the awful, winless season from slipping to
rock-bottom. The offense only scored 115 points and put up 23 over the
final six games.
118. Temple CFN Score: -3.32
2005 Score: -3.90 2005 Ranking: 118
A win over Bowling Green broke up some of the gloom and kept the
Owls out of the basement, but they
still finished with the worst scoring discrepancy getting punished 496
119. Duke CFN Score: -5.27
2005 Score: -1.22 2005 Ranking: 113
Home Bad Losses to Richmond and North Carolina were bookends to a
winless season. The offense was non-existent getting outscored 406-179.
CFN Final 2006 Rankings -
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