CFN Final 2020 College Football Rankings Top 100
100 Colorado State Rams (1-3)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 86
Best Win: Wyoming 34-24
Worst Loss: Fresno State 38-17
Why Ranked Here? The Rams didn’t beat anyone. They got by a decent Wyoming team, lost all three road games and … that was it. It was too short a season for new head coach Steve Addazio to do much of anything. Starting the season with a 21-point loss to Fresno State didn’t help.
99 East Carolina Pirates (3-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 91
Best Win: SMU 52-38
Worst Loss: Navy 27-23
Why Ranked Here? The Pirates closed strong. It was a rough run with the only two wins coming over USF and Temple, but the 52-38 victory over SMU changed the final ranking. That’s the perfect momentum-builder going into Year 3 of the Mike Houston era.
98 Toledo Rockets (4-2)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 104
Best Win: Central Michigan 24-23
Worst Loss: at Western Michigan 41-38
Why Ranked Here? The Rockets probably deserve a little better than this, losing to Western Michigan in an epic finish and to eventual MAC champ Ball State. There weren’t any amazing wins, but the team could argue that it was among the four best in the MAC.
97 Western Michigan Broncos (4-2)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 103
Best Win: Toledo 41-38
Worst Loss: Eastern Michigan 53-42
Why Ranked Here? The Broncos were almost good enough to be in the mix for the MAC Championship, starting 4-0 before inexplicably dropping a home game to Eastern Michigan and losing to Ball State. The offense was fun, though.
96 Fresno State Bulldogs (3-3)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 77
Best Win: at Utah State 35-16
Worst Loss: at New Mexico 49-39
Why Ranked Here? The Bulldogs never got going. The loss at home to Hawaii was bad, the three wins weren’t over anyone that great, and losing to Nevada and New Mexico to close things out hurt. However, the last four games were all on the road, and the offense was fun.
95 New Mexico Lobos (2-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 118
Best Win: Fresno State 49-39
Worst Loss: at Utah State 41-27
Why Ranked Here? The Lobos get graded on a curve. They played every game away from home, they got better late in the season, and first year head man Danny Gonzales got nice wins over Wyoming and Fresno State to close out with momentum.
94 Syracuse Orange (1-10)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 52
Best Win: Georgia Tech 37-20
Worst Loss: Duke 38-24
Why Ranked Here? The Orange got a win over Georgia Tech early in the season, and that was it. Injuries, opt-outs, no blocking, and loss after loss after loss marred the season, but it kept on fighting even in the defeats. The team played a bit better than 1-10, but not much.
93 Miami University RedHawks (2-1)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 111
Best Win: Ball State 38-31
Worst Loss: at Buffalo 42-10
Why Ranked Here? They only played three games and were blown away by Buffalo, but they’re the only team to beat MAC champion Ball State. The other win was against Akron – yippee. The defending MAC champ was going to be interesting, but it didn’t get much of a shot.
92 Duke Blue Devils (2-9)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 51
Best Win: at Syracuse 38-24
Worst Loss: at Georgia Tech 56-33
Why Ranked Here? Yuck. The team was better than the 0-4 record to start the season, then it was just as bad as the stats. It couldn’t stop turning the ball over, the only wins were over bad Syracuse and Charlotte teams, and the defense was non-existent late in the year giving up 56 points in three of the last four games.
91 Vanderbilt Commodores (0-9)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 63
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: South Carolina 41-7
Why Ranked Here? To be fair, the Commodores never got much of a break with the schedule without any non-conference games. It was solid on the road in a 17-12 loss to Texas A&M, and that was about it. Only three of the nine games were decided by fewer than seven points.
90 Arizona Wildcats (0-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 37
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: at UCLA 27-10
Why Ranked Here? The Wildcats didn’t win a game, got rolled by Arizona State 70-7, and fired head coach Kevin Sumlin. Other than that, everything went great. So why not lower? It came this close to beating USC in the opener.
89 Kent State Golden Flashes (3-1)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 106
Best Win: Eastern Michigan 27-23
Worst Loss: at Buffalo 70-41
Why Ranked Here? It was short, it was crazy, and it was a whole lot of fun. The one loss was in a wild offensive fight with Buffalo, and the wins over Bowling Green and Akron where no big deal, but the O averaged 50 points per game in its limited time.
88 Navy Midshipmen (3-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 75
Best Win: at Tulane 27-24
Worst Loss: Houston 37-21
Why Ranked Here? Navy’s offense started bad, finished worse, and in between the Midshipmen managed to come up with one decent win at Tulane that saved the ranking from being much, much worse. They failed to score more than seven points in five of the ten games.
87 Baylor Bears (2-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 42
Best Win: Kansas State 32-21
Worst Loss: at Texas Tech 24-23
Why Ranked Here? Dave Aranda’s first season was a rough one. There was a win over Kansas in the free space date to open the season, a one-point win over Kansas State, and that was it. The team was wildly inconsistent in a rebuilding campaign.
86 Houston Cougars (3-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 69
Best Win: Tulane 49-31
Worst Loss: Hawaii (New Mexico Bowl) 28-14
Why Ranked Here? It wasn’t the season it was supposed to be after gearing up the 2019 campaign for this. The win over Tulane to open things up was nice, but that was it – beating Navy and USF just wasn’t a big deal. Just when there was a chance to prove that the team really was good, it face-planted in the loss to Hawaii in the Frisco Bowl.
85 Wyoming Cowboys (2-4)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 76
Best Win: Hawaii 31-7
Worst Loss: at Colorado State 34-24
Why Ranked Here? It was a strange team in a strange season. It was able to beat Hawaii in a 31-7 rocking early on, but managed to lose on the road to New Mexico and got hit by ten against a mediocre Colorado State. There was enough there to have been more like 4-2 instead of the other way around.
84 Troy Trojans (5-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 105
Best Win: at Arkansas State 38-10
Worst Loss: Middle Tennessee 20-17
Why Ranked Here? The 5-6 record might not seem great, but the Trojans pushed Coastal Carolina in the season finale and didn’t have any truly bad losses other than to Middle Tennessee – it was the second time the two teams played. There wasn’t an amazing win, but it was a good, solid Sun Belt team that plated a slew of tight games.
83 Florida State Seminoles (3-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 33
Best Win: North Carolina 31-28
Worst Loss: Georgia Tech 16-13
Why Ranked Here? It’s as close to a total disaster as it gets, but one shocking win over North Carolina helped pull the first season under Mike Norvell out of the nosedive, and blowing out Duke 56-35 to close things out at least ended things on a high note.
82 Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (3-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 65
Best Win: Louisville 46-27
Worst Loss: Syracuse 37-20
Why Ranked Here? It was an interesting second season under Geoff Collins. The Yellow Jackets seemed like they pulled of a stunner at Florida State to start the season, but that was just Florida State. Beating Louisville was nice, and pushing UCF was okay, but losing by 17 to Syracuse was unacceptable.
81 South Carolina Gamecocks (2-8)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 29
Best Win: Auburn 30-22
Worst Loss: Tennessee 31-27
Why Ranked Here? Easily one of 2020’s biggest disappointments, the Gamecocks weren’t bad in early losses to Tennessee and Florida, beat Auburn, and then … clunk. Six straight losses, a fired head coach, and too many blowouts were all part of the horrible lost year.
80 Air Force Falcons (3-3)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 74
Best Win: Navy 40-7
Worst Loss: Boise State 49-30
Why Ranked Here? There weren’t any truly bad losses, but the Falcons didn’t get a shot to show all it could do in just six games. They lost to San Jose State, Boise State and Army, but there wasn’t any win of note.
79 Texas Tech Red Raiders (4-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 56
Best Win: West Virginia 34-27
Worst Loss: at Kansas State 31-21
Why Ranked Here? The Red Raiders won two of their last three games and almost got Oklahoma State in a 50-44 battle. It took a miracle for Texas to pull off the win in Lubbock, just about every game was at least interesting, and … there were too many losses. This was a 6-6ish team if it had a normal non-conference schedule.
78 Georgia Southern Eagles (8-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 84
Best Win: Louisiana Tech (New Orleans Bowl) 38-3
Worst Loss: at Georgia State 30-24
Why Ranked Here? Coastal Carolina and Louisiana got all the Sun Belt love, but Georgia Southern put together a terrific year with the loss to the Chanticleers the only one by more than a touchdown. There wasn’t a great win, but there weren’t any bad losses, either.
77 Georgia State Panthers (6-4)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 114
Best Win: Georgia Southern 30-24
Worst Loss: at Arkansas State 59-52
Why Ranked Here? The Panthers got rolled by Coastal Carolina, but the close-call fights against Louisiana and Appalachian State showed just how good they really were. The loss at Arkansas State was the clunker, but they came up with a bowl win and they took down their rival, Georgia Southern.
76 Washington State Cougars (1-3)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 46
Best Win: at Oregon State 38-28
Worst Loss: at Utah 45-28
Why Ranked Here? There were only four games and one win, but all three losses – Oregon, at USC and Utah – were acceptable. The season never got off the ground, and the defense needs work, so call it a soft opening to the Nick Rolovich era.
College Football News Rankings 2020 Final
130-101 | 51-75 | 26-50 | 11-25 | Top 10
Final AP Rankings | Final Coaches Poll Rankings
Bowl Grades For Every Team | 2020 Bowl Rankings
2019 CFN Final Rankings