The College Football News 2020 final rankings, based on a mix of opinion and what happened on the field.
And here they are – the final college football rankings for the 2020 season.
We always try to take into account the entirety of the campaign with Week 1 meaning as much to the overall equation as a late season win … sort of.
Of course it makes a difference if teams – like Oklahoma – are far better as the season goes on, but results have to matter or there’s no reason to play the games. If you’re wondering why your team is where it is, look at who it lost to and/or beat.
As always, if you have beef or a question, tweet us @ColFootballNews and we’ll try to explain.
College Football News Rankings: 2020 Final
College Football News Rankings 2020 Final
130-101 | 76-100 | 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
NR New Mexico State (0-0)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 128
Why Ranked Here? The Aggies didn’t play this season
NR Old Dominion Monarchs (0-0)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 121
Why Ranked Here? The Monarchs didn’t play this season.
NR UConn Huskies (0-0)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 130
Why Ranked Here? The Huskies didn’t play this season.
127 UMass Minutemen (0-4)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 126
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: at Florida Atlantic 24-2
Why Ranked Here? The Minutemen gave it a go, but there wasn’t anything that worked. They started late, only played four games – all on the road – and got walloped by a combined score of 161 to 12 against Georgia Southern, Marshall, Florida Atlantic and Liberty.
126 Bowling Green Falcons (0-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 125
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: at Akron 31-3
Why Ranked Here? Not only did the Falcons go winless in their five games, but they weren’t even close. The closest battle was a 28-point loss to an Akron program that broke a massive losing streak.
125 FIU Golden Panthers (0-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 110
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: Jacksonville State 19-10
Why Ranked Here? Not only didn’t the Golden Panthers win a game, but they also suffered the indignity of being the only team to lose to an FCS team – dropping the date to Jacksonville State. However, they did open the season with a 36-34 push of Liberty.
124 ULM Warhawks (0-10)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 124
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: Texas State 38-17
Why Ranked Here? The Warhawks were never able to get the offense going in loss after loss after loss. They pushed Georgia Southern in a 35-30 defeat, and that was the only loss by fewer than 18.
123 Akron Zips (1-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 129
Best Win: Bowling Green 31-3
Worst Loss: Western Michigan 58-13
Why Ranked Here? There was only one win over Bowling Green, but it was the program’s first victory since late November of 2018. They lost by 14 to Ohio and were obliterated by everyone else.
122 Northern Illinois Huskies (0-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 117
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: Eastern Michigan 41-33
Why Ranked Here? The expectations weren’t high, but to still finish winless was a gut-punch for a program that’s normally in the MAC championship mix. On the plus side, three of the six losses were in good battles, including a 31-25 defeat against eventual MAC champion Ball State.
121 UTEP Miners (3-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 127
Best Win: at ULM 31-6
Worst Loss: at Charlotte 38-28
Why Ranked Here? Starting 3-1 is great no matter what for a UTEP that’s known nothing but pain and suffering for so long, but two of those three were against FCS teams, and the other was against a ULM team that went winless. However, unlike past seasons, the team was at least competitive in most of the losses. Give the Miners a little credit; the last five games were on the road.
120 UNLV Rebels (0-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 109
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: Wyoming 45-14
Why Ranked Here? There wasn’t any luck in the first year under Marcus Arroyo, but it’s not like there was a truly embarrassing loss in the bunch other than the home blowout to Wyoming. The Rebels were the underdogs in all six games, but still … it would’ve been nice to get a win.
119 Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (3-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 102
Best Win: at Troy 20-17
Worst Loss: North Texas 52-35
Why Ranked Here? The team started out with an awful 42-0 loss to Army and things didn’t get a whole lot better. The offense was inconsistent, the defense struggled throughout, and there was never any consistency. However, it won three of its last five games.
118 North Texas Mean Green (4-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 108
Best Win: UTEP 45-43
Worst Loss: Charlotte 49-21
Why Ranked Here? The offense was a ton of fun, and the defense was two tons of bad. The team got to a bowl game – and got rolled by Appalachian State 56-28 – and there were just enough wins to keep this from being a total disaster.
117 Southern Miss Golden Eagles (3-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 98
Best Win: Florida Atlantic 45-31
Worst Loss: Rice 30-6
Why Ranked Here? The Golden Eagles struggled in a 1-5 start, but they got a win over North Texas to be ranked just a little bit higher. With the win over Florida Atlantic, they came up with two victories over teams that went to bowls games.
116 Charlotte 49ers (2-4)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 115
Best Win: at North Texas 49-21
Worst Loss: at Florida Atlantic 21-17
Why Ranked Here? The 49ers never got going with just six games, but they were able to beat a bowl bound North Texas on the road. Three of the four losses were to teams that went to bowls, and Duke, but there weren’t enough games to make a statement. Losing to WKU pushed them one spot down here.
115 WKU Hilltoppers (5-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 97
Best Win: Southern Miss 10-7
Worst Loss: at Florida Atlantic 10-6
Why Ranked Here? The Hilltoppers were able to get in 12 games including a bowl, but there wasn’t a good win in the bunch. Beating Middle Tennessee and Charlotte on the road isn’t anything special, but they did push Liberty in a 30-24 loss early on.
114 Utah State Aggies (1-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 80
Best Win: New Mexico 41-27
Worst Loss: Fresno State 35-16
Why Ranked Here? It was a disaster of the season with five blowout losses, an early coaching change, and with the only win over New Mexico. The offense struggled to get going – failing to score more than 16 points in any of the losses – and being outscored 211-93 overall.
113 USF Bulls (1-8)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 101
Best Win: Citadel 27-6
Worst Loss: at Temple 39-37
Why Ranked Here? The Bulls started playing better at the end, and they really did play well enough to be ranked a whole lot higher than this, but they failed to beat an FBS team. They beat Citadel to open the year, but lost every game the rest of the way. On the positive side, they gave UCF and Memphis a tremendous push.
112 Arkansas State Red Wolves (4-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 93
Best Win: Georgia State 59-52
Worst Loss: at Texas State 47-45
Why Ranked Here? The team was supposed to struggle a wee bit, but it’s still Arkansas State – it had the offense to be among the top Sun Belt teams. It shocked Kansas State, got by Georgia State in a wild shootout, and got rocked by everyone else the rest of the way before finally beating a winless ULM.
111 Texas State Bobcats (2-10)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 121
Best Win: Arkansas State 47-45
Worst Loss: at South Alabama 30-20
Why Ranked Here? The Bobcats only won two games, but they were able to get by Arkansas State late in the year and played a whole lot better than a lot of their final scores. They only lost to SMU by seven, to UTSA by three in a wild shootout that could’ve gone either way, and by three at Boston College.
110 Temple Owls (1-6)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 71
Best Win: USF 39-37
Worst Loss: East Carolina 28-3
Why Ranked Here? The Owls didn’t win. They got the one win over a South Florida team that didn’t beat anyone in the FBS, and that was it. The loss at Navy wasn’t okay, and the 28-3 season finale at home against East Carolina was worse.
109 Ohio Bobcats (2-1)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 96
Best Win: Akron 24-10
Worst Loss: at Central Michigan 30-27
Why Ranked Here? It was only a three-game season. The team was good, but it didn’t have the chance to prove it with the wins over Akron and Bowling Green – two of the worst teams in college football.
108 South Alabama Jaguars (4-7)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 123
Best Win: at Arkansas State 38-31
Worst Loss: Troy 29-0
Why Ranked Here? The Jaguars came up with what seemed like a stunning win over Southern Miss to start the season, and they pushed Tulane in a 27-24 loss. The coaching change late mattered, and almost all of the seven losses were to terrific teams.
107 Eastern Michigan Eagles (2-4)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 113
Best Win: at Western Michigan 53-42
Worst Loss: Central Michigan 31-23
Why Ranked Here? It’s Eastern Michigan, so every game seemed like a fight that could’ve gone either way. Just when it seemed like a lost season with an 0-4 start, the fun win over Western Michigan showed just how good the Eagles really were.
106 Rice Owls (2-3)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 116
Best Win: at Marshall 20-0
Worst Loss: Middle Tennessee 40-34
Why Ranked Here? Rice could never get the season going, but it was able to shock Marshall with a 20-0 performance and pushed eventual Conference USA champ UAB 21-16 in the season finale. It got better late.
105 Central Michigan Chippewas (3-3)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 107
Best Win: Ohio 30-27
Worst Loss: Western Michigan 52-44
Why Ranked Here? There weren’t enough games. The Chippewas weren’t bad and got off to a 3-1 start, but the losses to Ball State and Toledo to close out were acceptable, and the loss to Western Michigan was a crazy shootout.
104 Kansas Jayhawks (0-9)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 72
Best Win: None
Worst Loss: at Baylor 47-14
Why Ranked Here? This is giving Kansas a HUGE benefit of the doubt that a winless team that lost by double-digits to everyone but Texas Tech in the season finale was better than the record. Losing to Coastal Carolina was acceptable, but to get rocked that hard by the Big 12 …
103 Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (5-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 89
Best Win: UAB 37-34
Worst Loss: TCU 52-10
Why Ranked Here? It was a disappointing season with an offense that struggled throughout, right up to a 38-3 loss to Georgia Southern in the New Orleans Bowl. There was a win over eventual Conference USA champ UAB, but there were too many blowout losses.
102 UTSA Roadrunners (7-5)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 119
Best Win: Louisiana Tech 27-26
Worst Loss: at Florida Atlanta 24-3
Why Ranked Here? It was a fun first season under head coach Jeff Traylor for program that didn’t have a whole lot of success. It pushed a good Louisiana team in the SERVPRO First Responder Bowl and there weren’t any bad losses. However, there weren’t any amazing wins.
101 Florida Atlantic Owls (5-4)
CFN Preseason Preview Ranking: 7
Best Win: UTSA 24-3
Worst Loss: at Southern Miss 45-31
Why Ranked Here? Willie Taggart’s first season in Boca Raton wasn’t awful, but it was a struggle. The team got to a bowl and had a wining season, but it was all defense, little offense, no great wins, and a three-game losing streak to close things out.
NEXT: CFN Final 2020 College Football Rankings Top 100
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