CFN 2009 Final Rankings - No. 11-25
Penn State QB Daryll Clark
Penn State QB Daryll Clark
Posted Jan 10, 2010

Which teams had the best seasons? Here's CFN's final ranking based on who earned it on the field. - No. 11 to 25

CFN 2009 Final Rankings

No. 11 to No. 25

CFN 2009 Final Rankings
- The Top Ten | No. 11 to 25 | No. 26 to 50
- No. 51 to 75 | No. 76 to 100 | No. 101 to 120
- CFN 2008 Final Rankings

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.

11. BYU (11-2)
2009 CFN Score: 18.16 CFN Preseason Rank: 37
Key Stat: The Cougars led the Mountain West in passing and was third in the nation in passing efficiency.
2008 Score: 13.87 2008 Ranking: 33

The losses were brutally ugly, but there were only two of them. The Cougars were red hot after opening the season with a win over Oklahoma, but clunked in their home opener getting blown away by a bad Florida State team that didn't stop anyone else all year. There was also a home blowout loss to TCU, but that was it. Yes, it took too much effort to beat a horrible New Mexico, and yes, there was a lot of fattening up on some bad teams, but an impressive 44-20 blasting of Oregon State in the Las Vegas Bowl put a nice cap on a good record.

12. Central Michigan (12-2)
2009 CFN Score: 17.96 CFN Preseason Rank: 72
Key Stat: CNU led the MAC in scoring offense and scoring defense.
2008 Score: 9.03 2008 Ranking: 56

Huh? A MAC team this high? CMU ended up beating five bowl teams, including Michigan State, and won a thriller of a GMAC Bowl over Troy. The two losses were to Arizona and Boston College on the road, but no one came close to the Chippewas in MAC play including Ohio in the championship. QB Dan LeFevour set the record for the most touchdowns accounted for in a career leading the MAC's top scoring offense, while the defense was the best it had been in year. However, LeFevour is gone as is head coach Butch Jones, who bailed before the bowl game for Miami.

13. Georgia Tech (11-3)
2009 CFN Score: 17.55 CFN Preseason Rank: 21
Key Stat: Tech finished first in the ACC in scoring offense and total offense.
2008 Score: 15.72 2008 Ranking: 22

The ACC champion came up with a thrilling season, but it couldn't pull off a late rally in the Orange Bowl loss to Iowa. The Yellow Jackets lost to a Miami team fired up to beat them, and came back to win eight in a row to get to the ACC title game, beating Clemson for the second time. In all, Tech won five games by five points or fewer and only beat four bowl teams (not including beating Clemson twice).

14. Pitt (10-3)
2009 CFN Score: 17.37 CFN Preseason Rank: 23
Key Stat: The Panthers led the nation in sacks.
2008 Score: 17.42 2008 Ranking: 13

Pitt was the most talented team in the Big East, but couldn't seem to come through in the clutch until the Meineke Car Care Bowl beating North Carolina 19-17. However, it wasn't a BCS game, and Pitt was a late stop against Cincinnati away from winning the conference title. The Panthers lost their last two games of the regular season (West Virginia and Cincinnati) by a total of three points after going on a six-game winning streak following a seven-point loss to NC State.

15. Penn State (11-2)
2009 CFN Score: 16.76 CFN Preseason Rank: 9
Key Stat: Penn State was third in the nation in total defense.
2008 Score: 19.29 2008 Ranking: 10

The schedule couldn't have possibly been easier with no Wisconsin to deal with and the two Big Ten big boys, Ohio State and Iowa, at home. The non-conference slate was a joke and the toughest road game, was against Northwestern, but the Nittany Lions ended up showing they could play a little bit with a muddy win over LSU in the Capital One Bowl to finish with a strong 11-win season. However, the season was defined by the missed opportunities at home, losing to the Hawkeyes and the Buckeyes by a combined score of 45 to 17.

16. USC (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 16.55 CFN Preseason Rank: 2
Key Stat: USC led the Pac 10 in scoring defense.
2008 Score: 23.13 2008 Ranking: 5

Uh oh … Joe McKnight, the collateral damage from the O.J. Mayo situation, and the loss of Pete Carroll to gobs and gobs of NFL money. These are not great times for the USC program, and it's not like the team is coming off a near-miss national title season after losing to Washington and getting bombed by Oregon and Stanford. A strange loss to Arizona turned out to be Carroll's final home game, and the Emerald Bowl win over Boston College turned out to be the end of the era. Yeah, the Emerald Bowl. But even with all the problems, the Trojans still beat Ohio State in Columbus, beat Cal and Notre Dame on the road, and beat six bowl teams. It just wasn't a USC year.

17. Nebraska (10-4)
2009 CFN Score: 15.77 CFN Preseason Rank: 38
Key Stat: The Huskers led the nation in scoring defense.
2008 Score: 13.58 2008 Ranking: 35

Anchored by Heisman finalist, Ndamukong Suh, the Huskers won six of their last seven games with the one loss the Big 12 Championship classic against Texas. If the team had any semblance of an offense, it would've beaten Iowa State instead of giving the ball away eight times, and it would've beaten Virginia Tech in Blacksburg instead of kicking five field goals in a one point loss. But with the way the season ended, the needle is pointed up, way up, for the Huskers under head coach Bo Pelini. Nebraska might be the 2010 preseason favorite to win the Big 12.

18. Houston (10-4)
2009 CFN Score: 15.41 CFN Preseason Rank: 69
Key Stat: The Cougars were first in the nation in total offense, scoring, and passing.
2008 Score: 12.13 2008 Ranking: 41

This might seem like a high ranking considering the losses to UTEP, UCF, and the Armed Forces Bowl loss to Air Force, but don't forget the early impressive wins over Oklahoma State, Texas Tech, and Mississippi State, going 3-0 against BCS conference teams. Basically, it was a great first half of the year and a mediocre second half. The defense was awful, especially against the run, but Case Keenum bombed away with points upon points upon points.

19. Wisconsin (10-3)
2009 CFN Score: 15.32 CFN Preseason Rank: 34
Key Stat: The Badgers led the Big Ten, and were tenth in the nation, in sacks.
2008 Score: 8.66 2008 Ranking: 60

The Badgers rebounded from a tremendously disappointing 2008 with a season that ended with a nice Champs Sports Bowl win over Miami, but they failed in the biggest tests. They couldn't stop giving the ball away in a loss to Ohio State, losing in a blowout despite hanging on to the ball for almost 43 minutes, and they failed to get the offense going in the second half against Iowa, and the defense to show up against Northwestern, but ten wins for a young team might be just the start for what could be a tremendous 2010.

20. Miami (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 15.25 CFN Preseason Rank: 22
Key Stat: The Canes were 100th in the nation in sacks allowed.
2008 Score: 9.92 2008 Ranking: 53

It was a year of what-might-have-been. The Canes showed the speed, athleticism, and talent that Randy Shannon had upgraded in his recruiting classes to beat Georgia Tech and Oklahoma, but they were destroyed by Virginia Tech, failed to play a full sixty minutes against Clemson (and ended up losing in overtime), got picked off by North Carolina, and didn't show up against Wisconsin in the Champs Sports Bowl outside of the first two minutes and the last. This was considered a jumping off point season, but outside of the win over the Yellow Jackets and the Sam Bradford-less Sooners, the most impressive victory came against a bad Florida State.

21. West Virginia (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 15.02 CFN Preseason Rank: 18
Key Stat: The Mountaineers led the Big East in rushing.
2008 Score: 14.42 2008 Ranking: 29

Losses to South Florida and Cincinnati, both on the road, ended hopes for the Big East title, but the Mountaineers came up with five wins over bowl bound teams including a win over eventual Conference USA champion, East Carolina. The Mountaineers pushed Cincinnati in a 24-21 loss, but rebounded to beat Pitt and Rutgers by three points each before running into an emotional buzzsaw against Florida State, in Bobby Bowden's last game, in the Gator Bowl.

22. Arizona (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 14.82 CFN Preseason Rank: 29
Key Stat: The Wildcats were fourth in the nation, and led the Pac 10, in punt returns.
2008 Score: 12.86 2008 Ranking: 37

The Wildcats were deep in the hunt for the Rose Bowl throughout the year, and they appeared to be red hot after losing at Oregon in a double-overtime thriller and winning at Arizona State and USC to close out the regular season. And then came the Holiday Bowl and then came Nebraska. One 33-0 domination later, what appeared to be a solid campaign all of a sudden didn't appear to be that great. On the plus side, there were five wins over bowl bound teams and two of the losses (Iowa along with Oregon) were to teams that ended up in the BCS.

23. Utah (10-3)
2009 CFN Score: 14.77 CFN Preseason Rank: 40
Key Stat: The Utes led the Mountain West in tackles for loss.
2008 Score: 23.56 2008 Ranking: 4

Utah might not have been the killer it was in 2008, but considering the turnover on both sides of the ball, the loss of RB Matt Asiata to injury, and a late quarterback change, this was another tremendous year. The three losses came at Oregon, at TCU, and at BYU; two BCS-bound teams and the Las Vegas Bowl winner. The final ranking would've been higher with a few stronger wins, but beating Cal in the Poinsettia Bowl isn't anything to gloss over. However, the win over the Bears, along with an overtime win over Air Force and a win over Wyoming, were the only victories over bowl teams.

24. Clemson (9-5)
2009 CFN Score: 14.64 CFN Preseason Rank: 24
Key Stat: Clemson led the ACC, and was seventh in the nation, in pass defense.
2008 Score: 11.31 2008 Ranking: 45

The Tigers got a big year from C.J. Spiller, who had a Heisman-worthy season but wasn't a finalist, as he and a strong defense led the way to the ACC title game. Good enough to get to the dance but not quite tight enough to get by Georgia Tech, Clemson finally showed it could be among the ACC's elite highlighted by an overtime win over Miami. However, there was a disappointing loss to South Carolina and a bad, bad loss to Maryland, but beating Kentucky in the Music City Bowl ended the season, and the Spiller era, on a high note.

25. Ole Miss (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 14.48 CFN Preseason Rank: 12
Key Stat: The Rebels were 102nd in the nation in turnover margin.
2008 Score: 16.89 2008 Ranking: 15

The hot team coming into 2009 wasn't the disaster many made it out to be. QB Jevan Snead had problems throwing the ball to the guys with the other jerseys, and RB Dexter McCluster wasn't unleashed until late, but closing out with four wins in the final five games, including a Cotton Bowl victory over Oklahoma State, helped make an inconsistent year look not that bad. In the end, Ole Miss wasn't going to beat Alabama, and didn't, so even if it had won the rest of its games, it wasn't going to be in the BCS.