CFN 2008 Final Rankings
Florida's Tim Tebow & Urban Meyer
Florida's Tim Tebow & Urban Meyer
Posted Jan 11, 2009

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 who came up with the No. 2 spot? Next week ... the 2009 Pre-Preseason Rankings.

CFN 2008 Final Rankings

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.

Rankings CFN 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
- CFN Final 2007 Rankings

- CFN Final 2006 Rankings
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) The top 5.
For all the post-season debating, the top five turned out to be relatively clear-cut, with the margin between OU and Texas and Utah and USC extremely thin.

2) Boise State at No. 6
The Broncos blew just about everyone away, and they came up with just enough good wins, including the victory at Oregon, to finish high despite the bowl loss to TCU..

3) Oklahoma State at 30th
Considering this seemed like the fourth best team in the Big 12, behind the one-loss stars from the South, the ranking is low because of the lack of great wins.

Biggest Improvements
1. Rice 111th to 31st (+80)
2. Ole Miss 84th to 15th (+69)
3. North Carolina 92nd to 26th (+66)
4. Iowa 70th to 19th (+49)
5. Pitt 59th to 13th (+46)
6. TCU 53rd to 8th (+45)
7. Minnesota 114th to 71st (+43)
8. Colorado State 97th to 55th (+42)
9. Buffalo 93rd to 52nd (+41)
10. Ball State 58th to 18th (+40)

Biggest Falls
1. UCF 22nd to 101st (-76)
2. Michigan 24th to 97th (-73)
3. Arizona State 26th to 87th (-61)
4. UCLA 42nd to 101st (-59)
T5 Illinois 15th to 69th (-54)
T5. Tennessee 12th to 66th (-54)
7. Mississippi State 38th to 91st (-53)
T8. Indiana 56th to 105th (-49)
T8. Texas A&M 50th to 99th (-49)
10. Washington 72nd to 119th (-47)

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.

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 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.

- CFN Final 2008 Rankings 11-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-119

1. Florida (13-1)   Final Score: 28.98  
And it's not even close. Only three teams had seven wins over teams that finished with winning records; Florida had nine, and almost had ten with Hawaii finishing at .500 after a bowl loss. The point differential score was No. 1 by a long shot, with Oklahoma finishing with a 3.73 score and Florida at 4.3. The great schedule, with the wins over all the good teams, doesn't even include Tennessee or Arkansas in the final score. This was the best team in the country that had the best season by a huge margin.

2007 Score: 16.90   2007 Ranking: 14
Quality Wins: 9. Miami, LSU, Kentucky, Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Florida State, Alabama, Oklahoma
Elite Win Score: 2. Alabama, Oklahoma
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 1. Citadel ... Elite Loss: 0
Point Differential Score: 4.3 ... Winning Percentage: 0.93

2. Oklahoma (12-1)   Final Score: 25.59  
The Sooners managed to finish No. 2 because of its offense, that set the record for a season with 716 points, to be the difference by a razor-thin margin over Texas. Don't discount all the great wins over terrific TCU and Cincinnati teams, to go along with the wins over Texas Tech, Missouri and Nebraska. Remember, at least theoretically, a team could still be No. 2 after losing the championship game.

2007 Score: 22.12   2007 Ranking: 3
Quality Wins: 7. Cincinnati, TCU, Kansas, Nebraska, Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, Missouri
Elite Win Score: 2. TCU, Texas Tech
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 2. Chattanooga, Washington ... Elite Loss: 1. at Texas tech
Point Differential Score: 3.72 ... Winning Percentage: 0.86

3Texas (12-1)   Final Score: 25.24  
It might not seem fair, but since these rankings are based on the seasons the teams had, and with Oklahoma winning the Big 12 title, Texas barely finishes in the No. 3 spot. While the seven wins over bowl teams was impressive, also worthy of note are the Bad Wins ... there aren't any. The least impressive win on the board was against UTEP; that's not all that bad.

2007 Score: 16.63   2007 Ranking: 16
Quality Wins: 7. Florida Atlantic, Rice, Oklahoma, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Kansas, Ohio State
Elite Win Score: 2. Oklahoma, Ohio State
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 0 ... Elite Loss: 1. at Texas Tech
Point Differential Score: 3.07 ... Winning Percentage: 0.92

4Utah (13-0)   Final Score: 23.56  
In the end, the Utes weren't even close to the top three, finishing well behind Texas in the final standings. The four Bad Wins, having one less Quality Win, and the Point Differential Score, the third lowest of anyone in the top ten and the third lowest in the top six, proved costly. Even so, there was a win over an Oregon State team that beat USC, and it's hard to argue against an unbeaten season with wins over TCU and Alabama.

2007 Score: 12.66   2007 Ranking: 36
Quality Wins: 6. Air Force, Oregon State, Colorado State, TCU, BYU, Alabama
Elite Win Score: 2. TCU, Alabama
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 4. Michigan, Utah State, Weber State, San Diego State ... Elite Loss: 0.
Point Differential Score: 2.56 ... Winning Percentage: 1.00

5USC (12-1)   Final Score: 23.13  
The Trojans finished outside of the top four because they had only one Elite Win: Penn State. Otherwise, they were this close to getting past Utah, but weren't even close to being in the top three, because there weren't enough wins over top teams. Playing in a conference with half the teams coming up with clunker seasons didn't help considering all the bowl teams Florida ended up facing.

2007 Score: 19.51   2007 Ranking: 8
Quality Wins: 6. Ohio State, Oregon, Arizona, California, Notre Dame, Penn State
Elite Win Score: 1. Penn State
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 2. Washington State, Washington ... Elite Loss: 0.
Point Differential Score: 3.71 ... Winning Percentage: 0.92

6Boise State (12-1)   Final Score: 21.42  
The Broncos should probably be lower considering they lost to TCU by one in the Poinsettia Bowl, but they beat five bowl teams and came up with a great win at Oregon that put them just outside of top five. The Point Differential Score was tremendous thanks to a scoring defense that was the third best in America. Outside of a late rally from Nevada and the 37-32 win over the Ducks, no one else came close to beating Chris Petersen's club until the bowl game.

2007 Score: 14.97   2007 Ranking: 23
Quality Wins: 5. Oregon, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, Nevada, Fresno State
Elite Win Score: 1. at Oregon
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 4. Idaho State, New Mexico State, Utah State, Idaho ... Elite Loss: 1. TCU
Point Differential Score:  3.25 ... Winning Percentage: 0.92

7Alabama (12-2)   Final Score: 20.08
Remember, Bama was supposed to be good, and then next year, possibly 2010, was when it was supposed to be BCS Championship-caliber good. Of course, closing out with losses to Florida and Utah ended things with a thud, but this was still a breakthrough season with a dominant win at Georgia and nice wins over Clemson and Ole Miss. However, there weren't all that many great wins considering the most of the SEC was so mediocre, and the non-conference season, outside of the opener against Clemson, was hardly challenging.

2007 Score: 11.20   2007 Ranking: 44
Quality Wins: 4. Clemson, Georgia, Ole Miss, LSU
Elite Win Score: 1. at Georgia
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 2. Tulane, Western Kentucky ... Elite Loss: 2. Florida, Utah
Point Differential Score:  2.22 ... Winning Percentage: 0.86

8TCU (11-2)   Final Score: 19.50  
One of the nation's most dominating defenses was the difference in a fantastic year. There was a 35-10 loss to Oklahoma, but the pass rush did a better job than anyone else of getting to Sam Bradford, and the 35 points allowed tied Texas for the fewest given up to the Sooners before the BCS Championship. The other loss was at Utah, helped by a few missed kicks. There was a stretch of six games when TCU allowed seven points in five of the games (the OU loss was the other), including a 32-7 trashing of BYU. The 17-16 win over Boise State in the Poinsettia Bowl put a great cap on another great season for Gary Patterson's underappreciated program.

2007 Score: 9.83   2007 Ranking: 53
Quality Wins: 4. Colorado State, BYU, Air Force, Boise State
Elite Win Score: 1. Boise State
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 3. Stephen F. Austin, SMU, San Diego State ... Elite Loss: 2. at Oklahoma, at Utah
Point Differential Score:  2.9 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

9Texas Tech (11-2)   Final Score: 19.42  
All the points and the slew of decent Big 12 wins, along with the season-changing victory over Texas, kept the Red Raiders in the top ten despite the Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss. It's Texas Tech, so there were plenty of non-conference cream-puffs (Eastern Washington, SMU and UMass), but there was a good win over Nevada. In conference play, Tech was able to get by Nebraska and Kansas from the North, and throttled Oklahoma State from the South.

2007 Score: 13.64   2007 Ranking: 29
Quality Wins: 5. Nevada, Nebraska, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma State
Elite Win Score: 1. Texas
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 3. Eastern Washington, SMU, Massachusetts ... Elite Loss: 1. at Oklahoma
Point Differential Score:  2.07 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

10. Penn State (11-2)   Final Score: 19.29
While this might seem sort of low for a team that was an Iowa field goal away from playing for the national title, Penn State only had one really impressive win, Ohio State, and two good wins over Oregon State and Michigan State, and there were several wins over lousy teams. Fattening up on Coastal Carolina, Syracuse, Michigan and Indiana helped the cause.

2007 Score: 15.10   2007 Ranking: 21
Quality Wins: 4. Oregon State, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan State
Elite Win Score: 1. at Ohio State
Bad Loss Score: 0 ... Bad Wins: 4. Coastal Carolina, Syracuse, Michigan, Indiana ... Elite Loss: 1. USC
Point Differential Score:  3.19 ... Winning Percentage: 0.85

- CFN Final 2008 Rankings 11-25 | 26-50 | 51-75 | 76-100 | 101-119