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CFN 2009 Final Rankings - No. 26-50
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
LSU QB Jordan Jefferson
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. 26-50, and the opinion rankings.

CFN 2009 Final Rankings

No. 26 to No. 50

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.

  26. Navy (10-4)
2009 CFN Score: 14.41 CFN Preseason Rank: 88
Key Stat: Navy was dead last in the nation in tackles for loss.
2008 Score: 11.79 2008 Ranking: 42

Thanks to a record-setting performance from QB Ricky Dobbs, who ran for more touchdowns in a season than any quarterback in college football history (27), Navy came up with one of its best seasons ever beating Air Force, Army, and Notre Dame, completing a trifecta of rivalry wins, but the team truly showed how good it was with a stunningly dominant Texas Bowl win over Missouri. There was a blip at Hawaii, losing 24-17 to a team that couldn’t stop the run, and there was a loss to Temple, but 10-4 with a bowl win showed just how strong the program continues to be.

27. LSU (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 14.06 CFN Preseason Rank: 7
Key Stat: The Tigers were last in the SEC and 112th in the nation in total offense.
2008 Score: 12.25 2008 Ranking: 40

Considering the talent level and the speed and athleticism across the board, LSU wasn’t very good. The record wasn’t bad, finishing with nine wins, and the four losses were all close, losing to Florida, at Alabama, at Ole Miss, and in a battle against Penn State in the Capital One Bowl, but the team didn’t play well with no running game, a bad year from the O line, and a not-up-to-snuff year from the defensive line. On the plus side, if this was a “bad year” and it was still a 9-4 season, watch out over the next few seasons.

28. Arkansas (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 14.04 CFN Preseason Rank: 50
Key Stat: The Hogs led the SEC in scoring.
2008 Score: 6.56 2008 Ranking: 72

QB Ryan Mallett became eligible after his transfer from Michigan, and the Hog offense started to take flight, at least against the mediocre teams, leading the SEC and finishing tenth in the nation in passing. Winning five of the last six games, including an overtime win over East Carolina in the Liberty Bowl, showed that the Bobby Petrino era might really be close to being special. The losses were all acceptable, having to play both Alabama and Florida, losing in a shootout to Georgia, losing at Ole Miss, and dropping an overtime game on the road to LSU.

29. East Carolina (9-5)
2009 CFN Score: 13.85 CFN Preseason Rank: 53
Key Stat: ECU was ninth in the nation in turnover margin.
2008 Score: 34 2008 Ranking: 13.72

A second straight Conference USA title season was marred by the missed field goals in the overtime Liberty Bowl loss to Arkansas, but considering this appeared to be the year of Houston in the league, the championship can’t be ignored. The problem was non-conference play losing to West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Arkansas, while beating Appalachian State, but there was only one gaffe in Conference USA play, a 28-21 loss to SMU.

30. Georgia (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 13.76 CFN Preseason Rank: 6
Key Stat: The Dawgs led the nation in net punting.
2008 Score: 14 2008 Ranking: 16.92

This was almost as disappointing as the program could’ve been, and the season still wasn’t all that bad. The defense wasn’t up to typical Georgia snuff against the pass, while the offense didn’t do nearly enough to overcome the O’s inconsistencies. Even so, the Dawgs won four of their final five games including a nice victory over rival Georgia Tech in Atlanta. Closing out with a dominant 44-20 win over Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl was a nice way to show that this is still Georgia.

31. North Carolina (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 13.49 CFN Preseason Rank: 31
Key Stat: The Tar Heels were 108th in the nation in total offense, and sixth in total defense.
2008 Score: 15.22 2008 Ranking: 26

Great D, no O. Had there been a wee bit more offensive consistency, the Tar Heels would’ve almost certainly have beaten a bad Virginia, would’ve gotten by Florida State, and would’ve probably won the final two games against NC State and Pitt, which they lost by a total of three points. However, the defense was able to come up with takeaway after takeaway, with all the production coming together in wins over Virginia Tech and Miami. With so much talent coming back on defense, this will be one of the hot teams going into 2010.

32. Rutgers (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 13.36 CFN Preseason Rank: 45
Key Stat: The Scarlet Knights led the Big East in total defense and scoring D.

2008 Score: 12.69 2008 Ranking: 38
Rutgers came up with a decent nine win season complete with a St. Petersburg Bowl win over UCF, and no one really paid attention. The best win was over Connecticut and there were only three wins over bowl teams, including the one over the Knights, but the defense played well, the offense got hotshot freshman QB Tom Savage’s feet wet, and even with a strange 31-13 loss to Syracuse in the mix, this was a nice year with the stage set to be in the Big East title chase next year.

33. Auburn (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 13.12 CFN Preseason Rank: 35
Key Stat: The Tigers finished second in the SEC, and 16th in the nation, in total offense.
2008 Score: 5.34 2008 Ranking: 81

The first year of the Gene Chizik era appeared to be humming with a nice 5-0 start, and then reality kicked in with a three-game losing streak sparking a run of five losses in the final seven regular season games. Even so, the Tigers played well in a tough loss to Alabama and got a New Year’s Day bowl bid, beating Northwestern in a classic. But did the program get closer to being better than Bama? Maybe, but just a little.

34. Oklahoma State (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 13.06 CFN Preseason Rank: 8
Key Stat: The Cowboys led the Big 12 in rushing.
2008 Score: 14.34 2008 Ranking: 30

Thanks to a brilliant year from the offensive line, the offense was able to overcome the loss of All-America WR Dez Bryant, an injury to RB Kendall Hunter, and inconsistency at quarterback … sort of. A surprisingly good year from the defense helped the Cowboys get within a game of a likely at-large BCS bid, but they got spanked by Oklahoma in a 27-0 loss. Combine that with a Cotton Bowl loss to Ole Miss, and OSU, a team that was supposed to have one of the nation’s best attacks at the start of the year, finished up losing its last two games by a combined score of 48-7.

35. Oklahoma (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 13.02 CFN Preseason Rank: 3
Key Stat: OU finished seventh in the nation in scoring defense and eighth in total D.
2008 Score: 25.59 2008 Ranking: 2

Things couldn’t have gone more wrong, but it was still an eight-win season with a nice training year for QB Landry Jones. Sam Bradford gave the team roughly a half of work, TE Jermaine Gresham was never a part of the mix, and the O line that needed to overcome the loss of four starters never quite jelled. Predictably, the offense was inconsistent, and it’s not crazy to suggest that at least three of the five losses, probably four, would’ve been wins if Bradford was healthy.

36. Connecticut (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 12.60 CFN Preseason Rank: 49
Key Stat: UConn finished ninth in the nation in kickoff returns.
2008 Score: 10.79 2008 Ranking: 48

No team showed more grit in coming back from heartbreak after heartbreak. The tragic murder of defensive back, Jasper Howard, should’ve sent the team into tank, and three straight losses in stunningly rough fashion should’ve kept it there. But the Huskies ended the year with a four-game winning streak beating Notre Dame, Syracuse, USF and in the Bowl, South Carolina. In all, UConn’s five losses were all by four points or fewer and were by a total of 15 points.

37. Oregon State (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 12.46 CFN Preseason Rank: 28
Key Stat: The Beavers led the Pac 10 in passing offense.
2008 Score: 15.41 2008 Ranking: 23

The Beavers were this close to getting to the Rose Bowl, but for the second year in a row they lost to Oregon in the regular season finale to miss out on all the fun. If that wasn’t bad enough, the good season ended with a stunning clank in a lifeless loss to BYU in the Las Vegas Bowl. There were a few nice wins, but there wasn’t an impressive victory with the three wins over bowl teams coming against UCLA, Stanford, and Cal.

38. Stanford (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 12.28 CFN Preseason Rank: 57
Key Stat: The Cardinal led the Pac 10 in total offense.
2008 Score: 6.28 2008 Ranking: 73

This was supposed to be a good year, but no one could’ve envisioned the impressive campaign with a 55-21 blasting of USC, a 51-42 win over eventual Pac 10 champion, Oregon, and a shootout win over Notre Dame, but the defense struggled throughout the year and Heisman-runner up Toby Gerhart wasn’t enough to get past Oklahoma in the Sun Bowl. Even with the two late losses to the Sooners and Cal, the Cardinal showed that the doormat days are over (at least as long as Jim Harbaugh is the head man).

39. Tennessee (7-6)
2009 CFN Score: 12.21 CFN Preseason Rank: 32
Key Stat: The Vols were 12th in the nation in pass defense.
2008 Score: 6.99 2008 Ranking: 66

Lane Kiffin’s first year wasn’t all that bad considering the rebuilding needing to be done. The successes, though, were defined early on more by the near-misses than the wins. Alabama needed two blocked field goals to pull off a 12-10 win, while Florida got pushed hard in a 23-13 game. The late losses were total clunkers, getting ripped apart by Dexter McCluster and Ole Miss and getting run over by Virginia Tech in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. Even with the big losses, the foundation has been set.

40. Air Force (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 12.19 CFN Preseason Rank: 73
Key Stat: The Falcons were first in the nation in turnover margin.
2008 Score: 11.21 2008 Ranking: 46

Once again, Air Force was firmly entrenched as the fourth best team in the Mountain West, but battle TCU in a three-point loss and lost at Utah in overtime. The Falcons also lost to Navy in overtime and lost to Minnesota in a 20-13 battle, meaning four of the five losses were by seven points or fewer. The offense showed up, as did the secondary, in the blowout win over Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl.

41. Ohio (9-5)
2009 CFN Score: 12.13 CFN Preseason Rank: 92
Key Stat: Ohio was 106th in the nation in total offense, but 28th in scoring defense.
2008 Score: 3.45 2008 Ranking: 95

The offense struggled with its consistency, but one of the MAC’s best defenses made up for it as the Bobcats managed to win seven of eight games, with the lone loss a home gaffe against Kent State, to win the MAC East title. However, for all the good things and all the wins, the season ended with a thud losing to Central Michigan in the MAC Championship and to Marshall in the Little Caesars Bowl.

42. Texas Tech (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 12.09 CFN Preseason Rank: 33
Key Stat: The Red Raiders finished fourth in the nation in sacks.
2008 Score: 19.42 2008 Ranking: 9

The successful season was marred by the ugly and strange end of the Mike Leach era, but even with the drama, the Red Raiders closed out a good run with an Alamo Bowl win over Michigan State. Tech won four of its last five games after the infamous 52-30 loss to Texas A&M, blamed by Leach on the players’ “fat little girlfriends.” The passing game was still great, finishing second in the nation, and the defense was solid, but the consistency wasn’t there.

43. California (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 12.03 CFN Preseason Rank: 10
Key Stat: Cal was 111th in the nation in pass defense.
2008 Score: 15.09 2008 Ranking: 27

The Bears had some impressive highs along with some stunning clunkers. Helped by RB Jahvid Best, they won five of their first seven games, but the two losses were against Oregon and USC by a combined score of 72 to 6. The five losses, including a bottom-dropper of a 42-10 gack against Washington, were all by ten points or more including a Poinsettia Bowl loss to Utah.

44. Florida State (7-6)
2009 CFN Score: 11.80 CFN Preseason Rank: 16
Key Stat: FSU was last in the ACC in total defense, run defense, and pass efficiency defense.
2008 Score: 16.16 2008 Ranking: 20

The athletic and talented Seminoles showed off their speed and skill in a 54-28 blowout of BYU in Provo, but Christian Ponder and the offense couldn’t keep up the pace when the defense kept failing. Ponder got knocked out for the year and the defense stayed bad, but the Noles found a way to get to a bowl winning five of six until getting pasted by Florida. The mediocre season led to Bobby Bowden getting forced out before an inspired Gator Bowl win over West Virginia.

45. Middle Tennessee (10-3)
2009 CFN Score: 11.60 CFN Preseason Rank: 103
Key Stat: MTSU was second in the nation in tackles for loss and sixth in sacks.
2008 Score: 6.67 2008 Ranking: 70

Thanks to a terrific year from QB Dwight Dasher along with an aggressive defense that was great at getting into the backfield, the Blue Raiders came up with its best year since moving up to the FBS level with a seven-game winning streak to close things out complete with a New Orleans Bowl win over Southern Miss. The Blue Raiders beat Maryland, but lost to Clemson, Troy, and Mississippi State by a combined score of 95 to 27.

46. Missouri (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 11.59 CFN Preseason Rank: 20
Key Stat: The Tigers led the Big 12 and were fourth in the nation in punting.
2008 Score: 16.81 2008 Ranking: 16

It was a good season with some strange and bizarre disappointments. It was a transitional year with so many key offensive pieces needing to be replaced, but Blaine Gabbert, Danario Alexander, and the passing game were thrilling in the second half with four wins in the final five games. However, the loss was a 40-32 brain-cramp at home to Baylor. The Big 12 North hopes were dashed with a turnover-plagued second half against Nebraska at home, and the season ended with a disastrous 35-13 Texas Bowl loss to Navy.

47. Northwestern (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 11.56 CFN Preseason Rank: 51
Key Stat: Northwestern led the Big Ten, and was 13th in the nation, in passing.
2008 Score: 10.74 2008 Ranking: 49

The season might have ended with a disappointing loss to Auburn in a classic Outback Bowl, but that didn’t damper an impressive winning season that led to a New Year’s Day game. The Wildcats handed Iowa its first loss of the year and beat Wisconsin as part of a nice run of four wins in the final five games. The rushing attack didn’t show up, but Mike Kafka and the passing game made up for it.

48. Boston College (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 11.52 CFN Preseason Rank: 48
Key Stat: BC was last in the ACC, and 103rd nationally, in sacks.
2008 Score: 15.28 2008 Ranking: 25

It’s all relative. The stars were gone, there wasn’t supposed to be any talent, and this was supposed to be a season of struggling. The offense had problems putting points on the board, but the Eagles still came up with eight wins and managed to push a fired up USC in the Emerald Bowl. However, there were only two wins over bowl teams: Florida State and Central Michigan.

49. Troy (9-4)
2009 CFN Score: 10.95 CFN Preseason Rank: 75
Key Stat: The Trojans finished 118th in the nation in pass defense.
2008 Score: 10.86 2008 Ranking: 47

It wasn’t the typical Troy team. It won the Sun Belt championship easily, but it had nothing to do with the defense that couldn’t stop anyone’s passing game and was a huge disappointment at times. The offense made up for the problems by bombing away, but it wasn’t enough to get by Central Michigan in a classic GMAC Bowl loss. All four losses came on the road, but the three regular season losses (Bowling Green, Florida, and Arkansas) were by a total score of 145 to 40.

50. South Florida (8-5)
2009 CFN Score: 10.72 CFN Preseason Rank: 25
Key Stat: USF led the Big East in pass defense.
2008 Score: 11.36 2008 Ranking: 44

It was a bad second half of the year after a 5-0 start. A win over West Virginia was a mirage with five losses in the final seven regular season games, hurt by the loss of QB Matt Grothe to a knee injury, but the Bulls managed to come up with a 27-3 win over Northern Illinois in the International Bowl. The losing run over the second half of the year was nothing compared to the fireworks in the coaching staff with Jim Leavitt getting fired after physically abusing a player.