The final 2018 CFN Rankings – based on opinion and what happened on the field.
Unlike the CFN Final Season Rankings – based solely on wins, schedules, and what the teams did on the field – these are the final rankings based partly on opinion, mostly on facts, and trying to piece this whole crazy thing together now that it’s all done.
The CFN 2018 Preseason Rankings was how good we thought the team was before the season.
Based on eye-test, opinions, and on head-to-head matchups as much as possible …
Contact CFN @ColFootballNews
130. Connecticut Huskies (1-11)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 114
The defense was historically bad, giving up 605 points on the season and getting roasted for 49 points or more ten times.
129. Central Michigan Chippewas (1-11)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 100
The Chippewas fell off the map after a bowl season in 2017. The lone win came against an FCS team, beating Maine 17-5. The offense fizzled, scoring 17 points or fewer eight times.
128. New Mexico State Aggies (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 110
All of the good vibes and fun from winning a bowl game in 2017 are long gone. The defense was a disaster, allowing 41 points or more eight times.
127. Rice Owls (2-11)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 126
It was a rough first season for head coach Mike Bloomgren, struggling to beat Prairie View A&M to open things up and not winning again until taking down Old Dominion in the season finale.
126. UTEP Miners (1-11)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 123
At least new head coach Dana Dimel got a win – breaking through after the program went winless in 2017. The team was competitive, but 1-11 is 1-11.
125. South Alabama Jaguars (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 118
New head man Steve Campbell came up with a few wins, but one of the three came against FCSer Alabama State. There were way, way too many blowout losses – eight of the nine defeats were by double digits.
124. Akron Zips (4-8)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 106
A year after playing for the MAC title, Akron dropped off the map. It beat Northwestern, but lost its last five games with little to no offense, and ended up firing head man Terry Bowden.
123. Bowling Green Falcons (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 117
The program underwent a midseason coaching change, and it helped a wee bit. After starting out 1-8 with the only win coming over an FCS team, the Falcons won two of their last three.
122. Kent State Golden Flashes (2-10)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 127
The highlight in the first season under first year head man Sean Lewis might have been almost beating Illinois in the opener. The Flash Fast style of offense sputtered too often, with the lone FBS win coming against Bowling Green.
121. San Jose State Spartans (1-11)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 128
1-11 is 1-11, but they rocked UNLV, That was about it for the fun. Nine of the 11 losses were ugly. There were some close calls against Hawaii and San Diego State, but … yuck.
120. Georgia State Panthers (2-10)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 124
It was a rough second season under Shawn Elliott, barely beating Kennesaw State from the FCS ranks – a great FCS team, though – and with the lone win coming against ULM. Nine of the ten losses were blowouts.
119. Texas State Bobcats (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 120
No offense, no offense, no offense. The Bobcats scored seven points in each of their last three games, but they were able to come up with a few midseason wins to keep the year from being even worse.
118. UMass Minutemen (4-8)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 105
At least it was fun. Good offense, great passing game – at times – and no defense. And now, no more Mark Whipple as the head coach. The D gave up 55 points or more six times.
117. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (5-7)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 130
Just when it seemed like the season was on its way to being interesting, pfffffft. The air went out of the balloon. After starting out 5-3, the Chanticleers lost their last four games including an inexcusable clunker at South Alabama.
116. UTSA Roadrunners (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 79
A surprising disaster, UTSA started out 3-3 and lost its last six games, going a stretch of five games in six scoring a total of 13 points. All three wins were over the weak and sad on the slate.
115. Ball State Cardinals (4-8)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 112
It just didn’t work. The Cardinals had their key offensive parts back, but it didn’t matter. There were just enough wins sprinkled through to offer hope, but there weren’t enough of them with way too many blowouts.
114. Old Dominion Monarchs (4-8)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 108
After a horrible 1-6 start with that one win coming against Virginia Tech, the Monarchs started to get a little bit stronger with a run of three wins in four games. Losing to Rice to close out, though, was unacceptable.
113. New Mexico Lobos (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 104
Just when it seemed like the offense was going to be fun and exciting, the quarterback injuries hit and that was it. After starting out 3-2, the Lobos lost their last seven games, failing to score more than 24 in any of them.
112. Liberty Flames (6-6)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 129
It was a terrific first season in the FBS world, closing out with two wins to go 6-6 under Turner Gill. Gill retired, and now it’s Hugh Freeze’s program to improve. The O was inconsistent, scoring 41 or more six times, and 14 or fewer three times.
111. East Carolina Pirates (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 121
The win over North Carolina early on made it seem like the corner was about to be turned – but that came after a loss to North Carolina A&T. The defense got hit for 35 points or more in seven of the nine games, and the O scored 20 or fewer seven times.
110. Colorado State Rams (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 96
It was a surprising failure. It was supposed to be a rebuilding season, but the offense couldn’t get anything going on a high level, and the defense was hammered throughout. The Rams lost five straight to close.
109. Navy Midshipmen (3-10)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 89
Yuck. The offense couldn’t do what the Navy offense usually does. It all fizzled from there – the defense couldn’t catch any big breaks with the O floundering too often. The team lost nine of its last ten games, including to Army … again.
108. UNLV Rebels (4-8)
An injury to QB Armani Rogers was a big issue in the middle of the season, but when things were right, the program showed glimpses of hope. The Rebels won two of their last three games, beating San Diego State and Nevada.
107. ULM Warhawks (6-6)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 109
The offense was fun at times, and a four-game winning streak was fun over the second half of the season, but losing to Arkansas State and Louisiana to close kept the Warhawks from going bowling.
106. Tulsa Golden Hurricane (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 111
The offense just didn’t get going. The Golden Hurricane started 1-7 with no wins over FBS teams, and the only wins came against UConn and SMU late. The O only got past 30 points against one FBS team – a historically bad UConn.
105. Florida Atlantic Owls (5-7)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 68
It was a strange Second Act under Lane Kiffin. The Owls struggled, but all they needed was one win in the final two games to get bowl eligible, and it lost to North Texas (fine), and … Charlotte?! The O fizzled too much.
104. Charlotte 49ers (5-7)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 122
It actually wasn’t a bad year, winning five games and ruining Florida Atlantic’s season. That wasn’t enough to keep a coaching change from happening for a team that just couldn’t quite get the season going.
103. WKU Hilltoppers (3-9)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 94
Winning the last two games of the season wasn’t enough for head coach Mike Sanford to keep his job, beating Louisiana Tech to close things out. The offense was too miserable throughout the year, scoring 17 or fewer seven times.
102. Louisville Cardinals (2-10)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 32
Really? The ONLY win over an FBS team was against Western Kentucky? After starting out 2-1, the Cardinal season went bye-bye, losing the last nine games – the 28-24 loss to Florida State was the only one that was even close.
101. Southern Miss Golden Eagles (6-5)
CFN 2018 Preseason Ranking: 82
The Golden Eagles won three of their last four games and came up with a winning season, but it wasn’t enough to get a bowl bid. Four games in the last five were decided by three points or fewer.