2015 College Football Season Rankings: No. 51-60

How good were the seasons? Based on schedules, wins, and how hard the victories were – and how bad the losses were – the 2015 College Football Season Rankings

2015 College Football Season Rankings: No. 51-60

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– Explanation of the College Football Season Rankings and the components

60. Central Michigan Chippewas, MAC

The Chippewas got through a coaching change and still came up with a great season getting to a bowl game and working hard in a tough 21-14 loss to Minnesota. Throw in the losses to Oklahoma State and Michigan State, and CMU played its share of solid teams. The win over Northern Illinois was the high point, but getting past a strong Akron team on the road was good, too. The difference this year? The defense wasn’t all that bad while the offense was just good enough against the bad teams to get by.

2015 Season Ranking Score 9.54

2015 Record 7-6
2015 Preseason Prediction 5-7
2015 Preseason Ranking 96
2014 Final Season Ranking 84

59. South Florida Bulls, American Athletic

Head coach Willie Taggart had to come up with a big season, and he did just that with a team that overcame a rocky 1-3 start by cranking out seven wins in its next eight games to get to the Miami Beach Bowl. There’s no shame in losing to WKU, Navy, Florida State and Memphis, but the Bad Loss to Maryland brought down the Season Score. The Bulls made up for it with a terrific, program-changing win – at least that’s the hope – over Temple in a blowout, followed up by a 65-27 win over Cincinnati.

2015 Season Ranking Score 9.72

2015 Record 8-5
2015 Preseason Prediction 5-7
2015 Preseason Ranking 104
2014 Final Season Ranking 107

58. Air Force Falcons, Mountain West

The Falcons took the Mountain division title with a huge 37-30 win at Boise State, but that was the high point – they couldn’t do anything with the momentum losing their final three games including the Mountain West championship to San Diego State and the Armed Forces Bowl to Jared Goff and Cal. There were plenty of lousy teams on the schedule, and Air Force did what it was supposed to against them on the way to an impressive year.

2015 Season Ranking Score 9.73

2015 Record 8-6
2015 Preseason Prediction 8-4
2015 Preseason Ranking 77
2014 Final Season Ranking 18

57. Arizona Wildcats, Pac-12

It was a rough run after starting out 3-0 including a nice win over Nevada on the road. The difference after going to the Pac-12 title game in 2014 was lack of a big performance against a top team until it was too late, getting blown away by UCLA and Stanford and losing three straight before coming up with the key victory over Utah to get bowl eligible. Getting blown out by Arizona State hurt, but winning the New Mexico Bowl helped ease the pain in the Season Score a bit.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.25

2015 Record 7-6
2015 Preseason Prediction 6-6
2015 Preseason Ranking 26
2014 Final Season Ranking 13

56. West Virginia Mountaineers, Big 12

The Mountaineers couldn’t get by any of the great teams in the Big 12, but they did enough to be one of the top five teams in the conference. They overcame a rough four-game losing streak to Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor and TCU – with three of the games on the road – to go on a nice run winning four of the last five games including an epic 43-42 shootout over Arizona State in the Cactus Bowl. However, for all the good things, the Mountaineers are the lowest-ranked team with a positive point differential of over 120 points.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.34

2015 Record 8-5
2015 Preseason Prediction 8-4
2015 Preseason Ranking 22
2014 Final Season Ranking 48

55. Nebraska Cornhuskers, Big Ten

Call the season a successful failure. The Huskers found creative ways to lose to BYU, Miami, Illinois, Wisconsin and Northwestern – losing all five games by a total of 11 points – but not being able to get by Purdue on the road was a disaster. Just when it seemed all was lost, they shocked Michigan State. Just when it seemed all was lost again in a loss to Iowa to finish with a losing season, they caught a break, got to the Foster Farms Bowl, and beat UCLA to close strong. The team just never stopped trying.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.36

2015 Record 6-7
2015 Preseason Prediction 10-2
2015 Preseason Ranking 43
2014 Final Season Ranking 37

54. Northern Illinois Huskies, MAC

The Huskies got to the MAC title game, but it wasn’t a pretty way to end the season with three straight rough losses. Five of the eight wins were Bad Wins, but the road win over Toledo on the road boosted up the team’s season and ended up being one of the keys – along with the win over Western Michigan – to getting to the conference championship. That win over the Rockets was the difference between being in the 70s and being this high up.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.56

2015 Record 8-6
2015 Preseason Prediction 9-3
2015 Preseason Ranking 76
2014 Final Season Ranking 23

53. Auburn Tigers, SEC

It was hardly the season Auburn fans were hoping for after being considered by some as the front-runner for the SEC championship. Beating Memphis in the Birmingham Bowl turned out to be the big highlight considering the offense was stunningly stagnant and the lone good SEC win came against Texas A&M. There weren’t any truly awful losses – Jacksonville State was very, very close – and there were close calls in losses to Arkansas, Ole Miss and Georgia, but it was a major disappointment.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.73

2015 Record 7-6
2015 Preseason Prediction 9-3
2015 Preseason Ranking 19
2014 Final Season Ranking 31

52. Miami Hurricanes, ACC

The Hurricanes lost their head coach halfway through the season after getting destroyed by Clemson, but they turned out to be okay winning four of their last five regular season games before dropping a fight to Washington State in the Sun Bowl. The loss to Cincinnati didn’t sit well, and the win over Duke was epic, but even with all the problems and drama this was still a decent season – all things considered.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.82

2015 Record 8-5
2015 Preseason Prediction 6-6
2015 Preseason Ranking 33
2014 Final Season Ranking 55

51. Louisville Cardinals, ACC

The season started out rough, but there was a reason for that dropping a tight battle with Auburn before losing to Houston and Clemson at home – those last two losses turned out to be more than just okay. The loss to Pitt was the only one the Cardinals might have liked to have had back as part of a run of six wins in the final seven games. The Music City Bowl win over Texas A&M turned out to be the highlight of the season.

2015 Season Ranking Score 10.97

2015 Record 8-5
2015 Preseason Prediction 9-3
2015 Preseason Ranking 28
2014 Final Season Ranking 32

– Explanation of the College Football Season Rankings and the components