CollegeFootballNews.com 20th Anniversary Ranking College Football Playoff & BCS Era 20 National Champions: No. 12, 2006 Florida
How do the 20 national champions in the College Football Playoff & BCS rank based on how good their seasons were?
CFN, College Football Playoff & BCS Era National Champions Ranking: No. 12, 2006 Florida
CollegeFootballNews.com is turning 20 this season, coincidentally starting in 1998 when the Bowl Championship Series era kicked off.
With the BCS, no matter how the teams got there, it was finally No. 1 vs. No. 2 for the national title – that wasn’t a given before – and eventually, it all morphed into the College Football Playoff starting in the 2014 season.
Based on the tried, true, tested and tweaked CFN Historical Season Ranking Formula (criteria breakdown at the bottom of all this), welcome to the ranking of all 20 national champions in the era.
This isn’t about who the most talented or the best national champions were since 1998 – that’s debatable. This is about who had the best and most impressive seasons – the more wins over great teams, the higher the score.
2006 Florida Season
It was the Ohio State coronation.
The 2005 Buckeyes closed out the season with seven straight wins and a dominant Fiesta Bowl win over Notre Dame, and they came into the 2006 season rolling.
Troy Smith cranked out a Heisman run, the defense allowed seven points or fewer seven of the first nine games, and allowed more than 12 just once before, supposedly, winning the national title over a fantastic Michigan squad 42-39 in the biggest and greatest game ever in the historic rivalry.
The BCS Championship in Glendale was a mere formality for the team that went wire-to-wire No. 1.
But Florida showed up, anyway.
The Gators were having a nice season under Urban Meyer, slipping past Tennessee 21-20, getting past Georgia 21-14, and needing two Jarvis Moss blocked kicks to save the day in a 17-16 win over South Carolina.
There was a 27-17 loss to a good Auburn squad, but Florida kept on pushing winning the next six games, highlighted by a 38-28 win over Arkansas for the SEC Championship. Stuck at No. 4 in the BCS, it was supposedly off to the Sugar Bowl.
BCS No. 2 USC was about to bounce back from the loss to Vince Young and Texas to end the 2005 season by playing for the national title for a fourth year in a row, and then the offense went into the tank in a 13-9 loss to UCLA.
Michigan was so good in the road loss to Ohio State that some clamored for a rematch on a neutral field. After all, after the loss, the Wolverines were still ranked ahead of the Gators in the BCS.
But Florida’s SEC Championship win was enough to jump up to the No. 2 spot in the final BCS Standings, and the national title was on.
Whatever. Ohio State was going to roll over a Florida team that backed its way into Glendale, and when Buckeye speedster Ted Ginn Jr. too the opening kickoff for a score, the rout was on.
The other way.
The Gators pitched a perfect game on both sides of the ball, rolling down the field with ease with score after score. Ohio State appeared to right the ship with a second quarter touchdown to pull within seven, and that was it. Florida scored 20 unanswered points for the ugliest national championship of the era.
– Florida looked like it was in warp speed compared to the fat and happy Buckeyes. Ohio State really did seem like it was going to roll without having to turn it on, and the Gators were there looking to make a statement.
The Florida D allowed just 82 yards of total OSU offense and forced three turnovers. Smith’s Heisman-winning season crashed with a thud, completing 4-of-14 passes for 35 yards with a pick.
– It was the season of Tim. Chris Leak got the job done, throwing for 213 yards and a score in the BCS Championship, but Tim Tebow was the shiny new star. He ran for a score, threw for a touchdown, and was one of the key catalysts.
– The nine Quality Wins – victories over teams that finished with a winning record – were the most by anyone in the bottom 13 of these rankings. However, the 416 points scored were the second-fewest in the entire top 20, just six points ahead of 2002 Ohio State.
Opponent Final Record in Parentheses
Sept. 2 Florida 34, Southern Miss 7 (9-5)
Sept. 9 Florida 42, UCF 0 (4-8)
Sept. 16 Florida 21, at Tennessee 20 (9-4)
Sept. 23 Florida 26, Kentucky 7 (8-5)
Sept. 30 Florida 28, Alabama 13 (6-7)
Oct. 7 Florida 23, LSU 10 (11-2)
Oct. 14 at Auburn 27 (11-2), Florida 17
Oct. 28 Florida 21, Georgia 14 (9-4)
Nov. 4 Florida 25, at Vanderbilt 19 (4-8)
Nov. 11 Florida 17, South Carolina 16 (8-5)
Nov. 18 Florida 62, Western Carolina 0 (FCS, 2-9)
Nov. 25 Florida 21, at Florida State 14 (7-6)
Dec. 2 Florida 38, Arkansas 28 (10-4)
Jan. 8 Florida 41, Ohio State 14 (12-1)
CFN Historical Season Rankings Breakdown
Wins: 13 (Southern Miss, UCF, at Tennessee, Kentucky, Alabama, LSU, Georgia, at Vanderbilt, South Carolina, Western Carolina, at Florida State, SEC Championship vs. Arkansas, BCS Championship vs. Ohio State)
Losses: 1 (at Auburn)
Quality Wins: 9 (Southern Miss, at Tennessee, Kentucky, LSU, Georgia, South Carolina, at Florida State, SEC Championship vs. Arkansas, BCS Championship vs. Ohio State)
Elite Wins: 2.5 (LSU, BCS Championship vs. Ohio State)
Bad Wins: 1
Elite Losses: 0
Point Differential: Florida 416, Opponents 189
Winning %: 0.923
TOTAL SCORE: 26.693
The Season Formula’s Components
If you win, everything else falls into place. Each win counts as 1.
If you lose, everything stinks. Each loss counts as -1.
3. Quality Wins
The number of wins over teams that finished with a winning record. Each Quality Win counts as 1.
4. Elite Wins
The number of wins over teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each Elite 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 win over a team that finishes with three losses in a bowl game also gets counts as 1.
5. Bad Loss
The number of losses to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a loss to an FCS (DI-AA) team. Each loss counts as minus-1. Take away an additional 0.5 for a Bad Loss at home.
6. Bad Win
The number of wins to teams that finished with three wins or fewer, or a win over a an FCS (D-IAA) team. Each win counts as -0.25
7. Elite Loss
The number of losses to teams that finished with two losses or fewer. Each loss counts as 0.25.
8. Point Differential
Points for minus points against divided by 100.
9. Winning Percentage
Created as a sort of tie-breaker, the winning % is added to the total score.
CFN 20th Anniversary lists compiled by Rich Cirminiello, Pete Fiutak, Phil Harrison & Russ Mitchell
Photo Credit: Florida Athletic Department