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CFN 2009 Final Rankings - No. 76-100
Michigan QB Tate Forcier
Michigan QB Tate Forcier
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. 76-100

CFN 2009 Final Rankings

No. 76 to No. 100

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.

76. Wake Forest (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 5.93 CFN Preseason Rank: 58
Key Stat: Wake Forest was last in the ACC and 112th in the nation in punt returns.
2008 Score: 13.97 2008 Ranking: 32

The Demon Deacons started off well with a win over Stanford that looked better as the season went on and a 4-2 record, but a five game losing streak ruined the year. QB Riley Skinner was on an ACC Player of the Year track for a while, but the offense fizzled over the second half of the year. There weren’t many breaks losing five games by three points or fewer.

77. Hawaii (6-7)
2009 CFN Score: 5.84 CFN Preseason Rank: 99
Key Stat: The Warriors were 113th in the nation in turnover margin.
2008 Score: 8.66 2008 Ranking: 59

In a year that was supposed to be full of turmoil and transition, it was a year of turmoil and transition with a six-game losing streak followed up by a five-game winning streak to get in the mix for a bowl game. But a 51-10 loss to Wisconsin ended all of that. Considering QB Greg Alexander was knocked out for the year and the offense sputtered at times, rebounding like the Warriors did showed that they never gave up. Of course, the streak coincided with an ease in the schedule, but the win over Navy was nice.

78. ULM (6-6)
2009 CFN Score: 5.54 CFN Preseason Rank: 117
Key Stat: The Warhawks led the Sun Belt in run defense.
2008 Score: 2.93 2008 Ranking: 102

It was a nice year that turned out to be a disappointing one with losses in the final two games against Louisiana-Lafayette and Middle Tennessee when the Warhawks needed just one more win to get to a bowl. However, the only decent win was against Florida Atlantic. Considering this was supposed to be a transition year, 6-6 wasn’t bad.

79. Syracuse (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 5.42 CFN Preseason Rank: 87
Key Stat: The Orange led the Big East and were 13th in the nation against the run.
2008 Score: 2.75 2008 Ranking: 104

Doug Maronne’s first year was defined by his quarterback choice, former Duke point guard Greg Paulus. The team made a few nice strides, but it didn’t have the offensive punch to hang with the better Big East teams. There was the one aberration, a stunning 31-13 win over Rutgers, but the Orange couldn’t get anything out of the defense in early shootouts, and couldn’t get any timely offense, to get more than four wins.

80. UAB (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.96 CFN Preseason Rank: 116
Key Stat: The Blazers finished dead last in the nation in pass defense allowing 312 yards per game.
2008 Score: 3.06 2008 Ranking: 100

Joe Webb, Joe Webb, Joe Webb. Houston’s Case Keenum might have been the Conference USA Player of the Year, but Webb might have been the MVP and he really might have been the best player. He carried the Blazers to within a win over bowl eligibility, but the star quarterback wasn’t enough to overcome an inconsistent defense. All UAB needed was a win over East Carolina or UCF in the final two games to be in the hunt for a bowl, and it couldn’t get it.

81. Buffalo (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.96 CFN Preseason Rank: 97
Key Stat: UB was 109th in the nation in punting, 119th in kickoff returns, and 103rd in punting.
2008 Score: 10.36 2008 Ranking: 52

The Bulls forced lots of turnovers and won almost every close game in 2008 and won the MAC title. They died in the turnover margin and didn’t get the close wins in 2009 and were an also ran. 5-7, considering the history of the program, is still solid, but it wasn’t what the program was hoping for losses to UCF, Central Michigan, Western Michigan, Bowling Green, and Ohio all by less than a touchdown and a total of 17 points. And then to make things worse, Turner Gill left for Kansas.

82. Michigan (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.91 CFN Preseason Rank: 41
Key Stat: The Wolverines were 115th in the nation in turnover margin.
2008 Score: 3.21 2008 Ranking: 97

It’s safe to say that this isn’t exactly where the Maize and Blue die-hards thought Michigan would be in Year Two of the RichRod era. After a promising 4-0 start with a win over Notre Dame, the Wolverines still looked solid after an overtime loss at Michigan State and a tough loss at Iowa before blowing away Delaware State. And then came the five-game losing streak to close out the year, including an embarrassing 38-13 loss at Illinois, and now Rodriguez is on the hottest of hot seats going into 2010.

83. Florida Atlantic (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.66 CFN Preseason Rank: 102
Key Stat: FAU was 15th in the nation in total offense and 112th in total defense.
2008 Score: 6.82 2008 Ranking: 68

Always one of the Sun Belt’s top teams, the Owls took a major step back as the defense didn’t show up and the offense sputtered way too much. Unable to overcome an 0-4 start, the Owls were able to beat the bad Sun Belt teams, but the best win over the year was against Louisiana-Lafayette. FAU mainly beat the dregs but beat rival FIU to close things out.

84. Tulsa (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.65 CFN Preseason Rank: 95
Key Stat: Tulsa gave up the third most sacks in America.
2008 Score: 16.49 2008 Ranking: 17

The Golden Hurricane weren’t the same without offensive coordinator Gus Malzahn, who left to become the OC at Auburn. The attack still put up yards and points, but it wasn’t as potent as past years and the team didn’t have the same success. The high moment was battling Boise State in a nationally televised home loss while the five wins came against four of the worst teams in the nation (Tulane, Rice, New Mexico and Memphis) along with a win over Sam Houston State.

85. Baylor (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 4.55 CFN Preseason Rank: 54
Key Stat: The Bears were 113th in the nation in tackles for loss.
2008 Score: 4.17 2008 Ranking: 92

The Baylor season was Robert Griffin. The Bears were dangerous and in the hunt for a bowl with the speedy quarterback, and once he went down for the year with a knee injury the season went into the tank. The Bears lost six of their last seven games, but came up with a huge performance in the stunning 40-32 win at Missouri.

86. Louisville (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 4.35 CFN Preseason Rank: 67
Key Stat: The Cardinals averaged just 18 points and 371 yards per game.
2008 Score: 3.80 2008 Ranking: 94

Another bad year, another big disappointment, and a new head coach is coming with Charlie Strong taking over for the fired Steve Kragthorpe next year. Louisville didn’t show any offense all season long and only beat three FBS teams, Southern Miss, Arkansas State, and Syracuse, by a total of 11 points. The Cardinals weren’t even close to anyone other than the Orange in Big East play.

87. Kent State (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.29 CFN Preseason Rank: 101
Key Stat: KSU was fourth in the nation in tackles for loss.
2008 Score: 3.36 2008 Ranking: 96

The Golden Flashes lost star RB Eugene Jarvis early, had quarterback questions all year, and struggled with their consistency, but there was a time in late October when they were in the thick of the MAC title hunt. A bad loss at Akron started a three-game losing streak that killed the promising campaign for a winning season.

88. UNLV (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 4.26 CFN Preseason Rank: 79
Key Stat: The Rebels were 115th in the nation in total defense.
2008 Score: 3.83 2008 Ranking: 93

Mike Sanford’s team was supposed to be decent, but not quite good enough to be a player in the Mountain West race. That’s exactly what it was. Three tough losses early, losing to Oregon State, Wyoming, and Nevada by a total of eight points, set the tone, and the Rebels weren’t even close to the big boys, BYU, Utah, TCU and Air Force. Sanford was canned, but the Rebels were able to close out on a plus with a 28-24 win over San Diego State.

89. Louisiana Tech (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 4.24 CFN Preseason Rank: 86
Key Stat: Tech averaged just 4.33 tackles for loss per game.
2008 Score: 7.99 2008 Ranking: 63

This was supposed to be the year that Derek Dooley’s team turned a major corner, but it didn’t happen as the defense never showed up and the offense was surprisingly flat. This was a heartbreak team in WAC play losing by ten to Boise State in a decent battle, and losing to Utah State, Idaho, and Fresno State by a total of seven points. Tech also gave LSU a battle in a 24-16 loss.

90. Arizona State (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 3.98 CFN Preseason Rank: 42
Key Stat: ASU was 13th in the nation in defense and 90th in offense.
2008 Score: 4.94 2008 Ranking: 87

The Arizona State offense was never consistent and it ruined a solid year by the defense. A six-game losing streak to close out the year was made even worse by the disastrous way the team lost to arch-rival Arizona, muffing a punt to lead to a game-winning field goal. The Sun Devils were close, though, losing to Georgia and Arizona by three, USC by five, and Cal by two.

91. Toledo (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 3.96 CFN Preseason Rank: 84
Key Stat: Toledo was last in the nation in punting netting 28.68 yards per punt.
2008 Score: 1.67 2008 Ranking: 107

One of the hottest offensive teams in the nation to start the season, Toledo fizzled when quarterback issues kicked in. The defense was awful and the second half of the season was a disaster as Tim Beckman’s first year was close to being successful, but wasn’t. The Rockets started out 4-3 but lost four of their last five games including an unforgiveable clunker to Miami.

92. Louisiana-Lafayette (6-6)
2009 CFN Score: 3.77 CFN Preseason Rank: 108
Key Stat: ULL was 118th in the nation in kickoff returns.
2008 Score: 6.18 2008 Ranking: 75

The Ragin’ Cajuns had their shot to come up with a winning season and a bowl bid, but a loss to Troy to close out the regular season ended that. Even so, this was a nice year highlighted by a win over Kansas State early. ULL beat the teams it was supposed to, but struggled to get by WKU, North Texas, and Arkansas State and ended up winning four Sun Belt games by a grand total of 18 points.

93. Utah State (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 3.74 CFN Preseason Rank: 114
Key Stat: The Aggies were last in the WAC in 113th in the nation in total defense.
2008 Score: 1.97 2008 Ranking: 106

The Aggies only won four games, but head coach Dave Christensen made the team exciting with QB Diondre Borel and RB Robert Turbin making the rushing attack fly. The defense didn’t stop anyone and there was no pass rush whatsoever, but the Aggies only lost to Fresno State and Nevada by a total of seven points and they beat Idaho in a fun 52-49 shootout. This should be a program on the rise.

94. Western Michigan (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 3.57 CFN Preseason Rank: 89
Key Stat: The Broncos were 101st in the nation in total defense.
2008 Score: 10.42 2008 Ranking: 50

This was a tremendously disappointing season for a team that was supposed to challenge for the MAC title, but instead the defense was awful, the offense was strangely inconsistent, and losses in three of the last four games ended bowl hopes. With bowl eligibility on the line, WMU lost at home to an awful Ball State team to close out the year.

95. Arkansas State (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 3.51 CFN Preseason Rank: 77
Key Stat: ASU was last in the Sun Belt in both rushing and passing offense.
2008 Score: 7.64 2008 Ranking: 64

The Sun Belt’s biggest disappointment, the Red Wolves were supposed to be good but with a tough schedule. Instead, they were bad with a tough schedule. Yes, they closed out with a two-game winning streak, but Western Kentucky and North Texas are two of the worst teams in America and ASU only won those games by four points each.

96. San Diego State (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 2.97 CFN Preseason Rank: 100
Key Stat: The Aztecs were 116th in the nation in rushing.
2008 Score: -0.98 2008 Ranking: 111

Brady Hoke’s first season was interesting, but ended with a resounding thud. Helped by Ryan Lindley and an entertaining passing attack, the Aztecs were 4-4 with an outside hope of getting to six wins and bowl eligibility, but four losses to close out ended the dream. Seven of the eight losses came to bowl teams, with the one other defeat coming in the season finale at UNLV.

97. Duke (5-7)
2009 CFN Score: 2.79 CFN Preseason Rank: 68
Key Stat: The rushing offense was dead last in the nation averaging 63.5 yards per game.
2008 Score: 5.68 2008 Ranking: 79

Led by QB Thaddeus Lewis, the team was entertaining and flirted with a bowl bid needing just one more win in the final four games to get a post-season game. It didn’t happen as the defense got ripped up by Georgia Tech, Miami, and Wake Forest to close. However, a three-game winning streak in the middle of the season showed that the program can compete with the bad teams in the ACC.

98. Illinois (3-9)
2009 CFN Score: 2.78 CFN Preseason Rank: 19
Key Stat: The Illini was last in the Big Ten in total defense, scoring defense, and sacks.
2008 Score: 6.67 2008 Ranking: 69

If this wasn’t the nation’s most disappointing team, it was in the top three. The offense was supposed to explode, and didn’t, while the defense was consistently awful with no pass rush and no production against the pass. Wins over Michigan and Minnesota only showed how much the team failed to live up to expectations.

T99. Indiana (4-8)
2009 CFN Score: 2.61 CFN Preseason Rank: 76
Key Stat: The Hoosiers were second in the Big Ten in turnover margin.
2008 Score: 2.48 2008 Ranking: 105

It might have been a four-win season with three of the wins coming right away against Eastern Kentucky, Western Michigan, and Akron, but the team was competitive and was this close to coming up with a really nice years. Four losses came by three points of fewer with several near-misses that could’ve gone the other way really easily. The Hoosiers won’t be this low next year.

T99. Colorado (3-9)
2009 CFN Score: 2.61 CFN Preseason Rank: 39
Key Stat: The Buffs were 113th in the nation in rushing and 111th in passing efficiency.
2008 Score: 6.08 2008 Ranking: 76

This was supposed to be a do-or-die season for the Dan Hawkins era, but he’s coming back after a miserable 3-9 season. There was a thrilling win over Kansas, a one point win over Texas A&M, and a shut out win over a Wyoming team that went on to win a bowl, but that was it. The offense was awful, the defense couldn’t stop the run in conference that didn’t run, and it was yet another disappointing year.