College Football News 2019 Final Season Rankings: Who Had The Best Seasons?

College Football News 2019 Final Season Rankings: Who Had The Best Seasons?

CFN Rankings

College Football News 2019 Final Season Rankings: Who Had The Best Seasons?

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2019 Top Ten College Football Seasons

10 Boise State (12-2)

2019 Season Score: 21.16
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 60
2018 Final Season Ranking: 8
2017 Final Season Ranking: 10
Key Season Score Element: 6 Quality Wins in the 12 victories
Best Win: Air Force 30-19
Worst Loss: at BYU 28-25

The Broncos might have fizzled in the Las Vegas Bowl loss to Washington, but the Mountain West Championship win and the six wins over teams that finished with winning records got them in the top ten. The lone regular season loss to BYU came when the quarterback situation was in flux – and it was still just a three-point defeat.

9 Memphis (12-2)

2019 Season Score: 21.57
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 66
2018 Final Season Ranking: 66
2017 Final Season Ranking: 24
Key Season Score Element: 566 points scored
Best Win: Cincinnati 29-24 (AAC Championship)
Worst Loss: at Temple 30-28

The Tigers only loss twice. They dropped a two-point game on the road to Temple on the way to the American Athletic Conference title, but got rocked by Penn State – giving up 53 points – in the Cotton Bowl win. They came up with two Elite Wins – handing Navy one of its two wins, and taking out Cincinnati in the AAC title game. (Note, Memphis gets credit for the UC win in the championship being on a neutral site.)

8 Oklahoma (12-2)

2019 Season Score: 21.69
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 5
2018 Final Season Ranking: 5
2017 Final Season Ranking: 4
Key Season Score Element: 382 points scored
Best Win: Baylor 30-23 (Big 12 Championship)
Worst Loss: at Kansas State 48-41

The Sooners had 5 Quality Wins – victories over teams that finished with winning seasons – but that wasn’t enough. There might not have been a slew of amazing victories, but OU gets credit for two Elite Wins by taking out Baylor both on the road and on a neutral site for the Big 12 Championship.

7 Oregon (12-2)

2019 Season Score: 22.25
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 10
2018 Final Season Ranking: 31
2017 Final Season Ranking: 53
Key Season Score Element: 231 points allowed
Best Win: Wisconsin 28-27 (Rose Bowl)
Worst Loss: at Arizona State 31-28

Oh that Arizona State loss … that dragged down a what was this close to being a truly amazing season. That, and not being able to hang on against Auburn – the Ducks were two passes away from being unbeaten. The only Elite Win, though, came over Utah in the Pac-12 Championship, even though taking out Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl was bigger.

6 Appalachian State (13-1)

2019 Season Score: 22.81
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 74
2018 Final Season Ranking: 21
2017 Final Season Ranking: 33
Key Season Score Element: 543 points scored
Best Win: Louisiana 45-38 (Sun Belt Championship)
Worst Loss: Georgia Southern 24-21

24-21 to Georgia Southern on a Thursday night. That was the only mistake for a team and offense that rolled through everyone else. The Mountaineers beat two Power Five programs – North Carolina and South Carolina – but was the lowest-ranked team with 13 wins or more, even with a Sun Belt title.

5 Penn State (11-2)

2019 Season Score: 23.17
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 17
2018 Final Season Ranking: 26
2017 Final Season Ranking: 8
Key Season Score Element: Only team with fewer than 12 wins ranked in top 12
Best Win: Memphis 53-39 (Cotton Bowl)
Worst Loss: at Minnesota 31-26

The Nittany Lions were able to come up with seven Quality Wins, and both losses – to Minnesota and to Ohio State – were Elite. There might have been three Bad Wins, but the point differential, and the two Elite Wins – Memphis and the win at Iowa – were enough to boost them into the top five.


2019 College Football News Season Rankings 
Top 10 | 11-25 | 26-50 | 51-100101-130
CFN Season Rankings Formula


4 Georgia (12-2)

2019 Season Score: 24.91
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 3
2018 Final Season Ranking: 4
2017 Final Season Ranking: 3
Key Season Score Element: 176 points allowed
Best Win: Florida 24-17
Worst Loss: South Carolina 20-17

The Bulldogs came up with 7 Quality Wins out of their 12, and the Elite Win score of 3 (Notre Dame, Florida and Baylor) ended up boosting the Dawgs into the top four. The loss to South Carolina was an aberration, and the defeat to LSU in the SEC Championship was forgivable. The 176 total points were the second-fewest allowed by anyone behind San Diego State.

3 Clemson (14-0)

2019 Season Score: 27.23
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 2
2018 Final Season Ranking: 1
2017 Final Season Ranking: 7
Key Season Score Element: 14 wins the second-most in the country
Best Win: Ohio State 29-23 (Fiesta Bowl)
Worst Loss: LSU 42-25 (CFP National Championship)

Wait … didn’t Clemson beat Ohio State? Yeah, but that’s how mediocre the overall schedule was. There might have been 7 Quality Wins, but that wasn’t enough for the elite of the elite status – remember, this is about the full season. The Elite Win was over Ohio State, but there just weren’t as many wins over teams that finished with winning records.

2 Ohio State (13-1)

2019 Season Score: 28.32
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 6
2018 Final Season Ranking: 3
2017 Final Season Ranking: 5
Key Season Score Element: 9 Quality Wins
Best Win: Wisconsin 34-21 (Big Ten Championship)
Worst Loss: Clemson 29-23 (Fiesta Bowl)

The Buckeyes came up with nine wins over teams that finished with winning records, got by Wisconsin twice, and took over Michigan, Cincinnati and Florida Atlantic – all were wins over teams that finished with double-digit victories. Throw in the 76-5 win over Miami University, and OSU beat two conference championships, and that doesn’t include winning the Big Ten title.

1 LSU (14-0)

2019 Season Score: 31.56
2019 CFN Preseason Ranking: 7
2018 Final Season Ranking: 10
2017 Final Season Ranking: 37
Key Season Score Element: 726 points scored
Best Win: Clemson (CFP National Championship)
Worst Game: Auburn 23-20

It’s simple … according to the CFN Historical Season Rankings Formula, it was the greatest year by any national champion in the history of college football.

At Texas, Florida, Auburn, at Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia, Oklahoma, Clemson … the Tigers beat the preseason top four teams and took down most of the top 16. The 726 points per game were awe-inspiring, the came through time and again, and the 15-0 mark was nearly impossible considering the slate.

NEXT: CFN Historical Rankings Formula

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