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CFN 2008 Final Rankings - No. 51-75
South Carolina LB Eric Norwood
South Carolina LB Eric Norwood
Posted Jan 11, 2009

Which teams had the best seasons? Here's CFN's final ranking based on who earned it on the field. - No. 51-75

CFN 2008 Final Rankings

No. 51 to 75

CFN Final 2008 Rankings 1-10 | 11-25 | 26-50 | 76-100 | 101-119
51. Southern Miss (7-6) 
CFN Score: 10.39
2007 Score: 7.01     2007 Ranking: 67
The first year of the Larry Fedora era appeared to be a disaster with a 2-6  start with loses to mediocre teams like Marshall and UTEP along way. And then came a 70-14 win over UAB and everything turned around. USM won its final five games including a 21-3 beating of eventual Conference USA champ East Carolina, and in the New Orleans Bowl, a good Troy team in overtime.

52. Buffalo (8-6)   
CFN Score: 10.36
2007 Score: 3.27     2007 Ranking: 93
With a nice mix of miracles, like a Hail Mary to beat Temple and a slew of takeaways to beat Ball State, and veteran play, Buffalo pulled off one of the greatest turnarounds in college football history to win the MAC title. A five game winning streak, complete with three overtime victories, helped pave the way to the title, but the season ended by getting run over by Donald Brown and Connecticut in the International Bowl.

53. Miami (7-6)  
CFN Score: 9.92
2007 Score: 6.02     2007 Ranking: 75
While the Canes lost three games to close things out and finished with a mediocre 7-6 record, the needle is pointed up for a young team with a world of athleticism and potential. A five-game wining streak, highlighted by a 16-14 win over eventual ACC champ, Virginia Tech, helped keep the turnaround going under Randy Shannon.

54. NC State (6-7)
  CFN Score: 9.84
2007 Score: 6.27     2007 Ranking: 73
The season was going nowhere in a big hurry with a 2-6 start and several nasty ACC games ahead, but freshman QB Russell Wilson energized the offense, and the defense started taking the ball away, on a four-game wining streak to earn a bowl spot. In a fantastic game, the Wolfpack lost to Rutgers 29-23 to close out a successful, but losing season.

55. Colorado State (7-6)
 CFN Score: 9.03
2007 Score: 2.35    2007 Ranking: 97
Steve Fairchild's first season wasn't going poorly, the team had improved, but it hardly looked like a bowl year with a 4-6 start. And then came wins over New Mexico and Wyoming to earn a spot in the Poinsettia Bowl, where Gartrell Johnson ran all over Fresno State for the win.

56. Central Michigan (8-5)
    CFN Score: 9.03
2007 Score: 7.27   2007 Ranking: 64
With a third straight MAC title in range, the Chippewas lost a thriller to Ball State to blow the division race, got ripped up by Eastern Michigan in a record-setting 56-52 loss, and closed out with a Motor City Bowl loss to Florida Atlantic. The end ruined a good first part of  8-2 start with one of the losses coming on a last second play by Purdue.

57. Kentucky (7-6) 
CFN Score: 8.94
2007 Score: 14.27     2007 Ranking: 27
Considering this was supposed to be a rebuilding season on offense, the Wildcats came up with a nice year thanks to a good defense that was dominant when healthy. And that was the problem ... it was never healthy over the second half of the season as the Cats lost four games in the final five with the one win a 14-13 snoozer over Mississippi State. However, a thrilling Liberty Bowl win over East Carolina was a nice capper.

58. Virginia (5-7) 
CFN Score: 8.75
2007 Score: 13.05     2007 Ranking: 31
In a truly bizarre year, Virginia went from being a disaster, losing to Duke 31-3 on the way to a 1-3 start, to the favorite to win the ACC title with four straight wins including victories over North Carolina and Georgia Tech. And then, things went right back into the tank with four losses to close things out, making the Cavilers one of two ACC teams to now go bowling.

T59. Hawaii (7-7)
   CFN Score: 8.66
2007 Score: 13.01     2007 Ranking: 32
It wasn't a BCS season, but considering all the turnover and the new personnel, 7-7 and a mid-level finish isn't bad at all. The Warriors did a great job of holding serve at home and they even came up with a road win over Fresno State. However, they lost on the road to Utah State and got ripped up by Notre Dame in the Hawaii Bowl.

T59. Wisconsin (7-6)  CFN Score: 8.66
2007 Score: 8.44     2007 Ranking: 60
If this wasn't the most disappointing team in America, it was close. This was supposed to be the year the Badgers got over the hump and back into the BCS, but it suffered a rough four-game losing streak in the middle of the year with a stunning collapse against Michigan and a lifeless effort with losses to Penn State and Iowa. It took three missed extra points from Cal Poly to pull out the regular season finale.

61. South Carolina (7-6)
    CFN Score: 8.50
2007 Score: 11.31     2007 Ranking: 43
The Steve Spurrier era just can't get going. This was supposed to be the year everything came together. but while the defense was fantastic, there was no running game and the quarterbacks couldn't stop giving the ball to the other team. The one good win came against Ole Miss, while losses to Florida, Clemson and Iowa by a combined score of 118 to 30 ended things with a clunk.

62. Nevada (7-6)
  CFN Score: 8.48
2007 Score: 5.88     2007 Ranking: 76
It was a good year, but not a great one with the Wolf Pack finishing fifth in the nation in offense and third in rushing offense, but the defense couldn't stop anyone and was last in the nation against the pass. The inexcusable loss to New Mexico State killed WAC title hopes, but the Pack gave Texas Tech and Boise State two of their tougher tests of the year.  Four of the six losses were by seven points or fewer.

63. Louisiana Tech (8-5) 
CFN Score: 7.99
2007 Score: 2.98     2007 Ranking: 94
Derek Dooley came up with a big second season, taking his Bulldogs to the Independence Bowl and an 8-5 season. They were just out of the WAC title mix thanks to losses to Boise State and Hawaii for an 0-2 conference start, but they won six of their final eight games. The O was limited by the passing game.

64. Arkansas State (6-6)
  CFN Score: 7.64
2007 Score: 5.02     2007 Ranking: 82
The Red Wolves started out with a big win over Texas A&M and a 3-1 start, but a mid-season three game losing streak, hurt mostly by a 22-21 loss to FIU, killed Sun Belt title dreams. They needed a win over Troy in the season finale to go bowling, but they lost 35-9. The offense was great, the run defense was the best in the Sun Belt, and the special teams, especially PK Josh Arauco, were great. The tea simply didn't win enough.
65. Fresno State (7-6)
   CFN Score: 7.60
2007 Score: 10.70     2007 Ranking: 49
This was supposed to be the BCS buster season, but instead, the Bulldogs had yet another disappointing season with a put-in-their-place 61-10 loss to Boise State and a New Mexico Bowl loss to Colorado State to close things out. The run defense was abysmal and the offense never played up to its expectations.

66. Tennessee (5-7)
  CFN Score: 6.99
2007 Score: 18.44     2007 Ranking: 12
The defense was fantastic. S Eric Berry led a group that led the SEC and was third in the nation in yards allowed, which was even more impressive than it appears considering the offense was among the worst in America. The tone was set for the season with a loss to an awful UCLA team, and although the last two wins over Vandy and Kentucky were nice, the inexcusable home loss to Wyoming cost the Vols a bowl bid and Phil Fulmer his job. 

67. Notre Dame (7-6) 
 CFN Score: 6.87
2007 Score: 1.77     2007 Ranking: 98
It might have been another disappointing season for the Irish, but it was a banner year compared to 2007. The win over Hawaii in the bowl game helped set the tone for 2009, but the loss to Syracuse, the abysmal performance against USC, and the mediocre record have put Charlie Weis on the hottest of hot seats.

68. Florida Atlantic (7-6) 
CFN Score: 6.82
2007 Score: 9.35     2007 Ranking: 57
The first half of the season was awful, ducking out of the Sun Belt title race with losses to Middle Tennessee and Troy on the way to a 15 start. And then the Owls caught fire winning six of their last seven games including a Motor City bowl win over Central Michigan..

T69. Illinois (5-7)  
CFN Score: 6.67
2007 Score: 16.73     2007 Ranking: 15
After a breakthrough Rose Bowl campaign, the team took a huge step back as it failed to beat anyone with a pulse outside of a late season win over Iowa. The Illinois lost four of its last five games, and while it was a bit of a hard-luck team, it didn't create too many breaks for itself.

T69. Middle Tennessee (5-7)  
CFN Score: 6.67
2007 Score: 2.86    2007 Ranking: 95
The Blue Raiders finishing stunningly high in the rankings thanks to wins over Florida Atlantic and Maryland. The big plus was not losing to any truly lousy teams. The passing game wasn't bad, leading the team a decent finishing kick with three wins in the final four games.

71. Minnesota (7-6)  
CFN Score: 6.59
2007 Score: -1.42     2007 Ranking: 114
Considering Minnesota was one of the worst teams in America in 2007, this was a night-and-day improvement. However, 2008 ended with a resounding thud after staring out 7-1. The Gophers last their final five games and weren't even close in embarrassing losses to Michigan and Iowa.

72. Arkansas (5-7)  
CFN Score: 6.56
2007 Score: 12.77     2007 Ranking: 35
5-7 isn't bad considering the team and the offense went a total overhaul. It was ugly early with nail-biting wins over Western Illinois and UL Monroe before getting blasted by Alabama, Texas and Florida in the ugliest three-game stretch anyone had to face all year. All five of the wins came by a touchdown or less and the five wins were by a total of 16 points.

73. Stanford (5-7)  
CFN Score: 6.28
2007 Score: 4.29     2007 Ranking: 86
The Cardinal had a decent season, but it should've been a bowl year and it wasn't. If the program couldn't have a big year in a dismal season for the Pac 10, when's it going to happen? It los four of the final five games once the killer part of the schedule kicked in. The 23-20 loss to UCLA was a killer.

74. Northern Illinois (6-7)  
CFN Score: 6.26
2007 Score: -1.24     2007 Ranking: 113
New head coach Jerry Kill turned around the program that struggled to come up with a close win in 2007. The defense was the best in the MAC, but the offense died down the stretch. After a 5-3 start, the Huskies lost four of the final five games even though the defense didn't allow more than 17 points in any of the final three games.

75. UL Lafayette (6-6)  
CFN Score: 6.18
2007 Score: -0.20     2007 Ranking: 109
The Ragin' Cajuns had a nice year, but it fizzled in crunch time. They were 5-3 and appeared destined for a bowl game before losing three straight including Sun Belt showdowns against Florida Atlantic and Troy. The rushing offense, as expected, was fantastic, but the defense was awful all year long.

CFN Final 2008 Rankings 1-10 | 11-25 | 26-50 | 76-100 | 101-119