2015 College Football Season Rankings: No. 11-20

    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

    September 24, 2016

    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. 11-20

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    – Explanation of the College Football Season Rankings and the components

    20. Utah Utes, Pac-12

    There was a time over the first half of the season when Utah had to be thought of as the No. 1 team in the country, beating Michigan and destroting Oregon 62-20 on the way to a 6-0 start. USC put an end to that, and Arizona and UCLA came up with wins, but beating archrival BYU in the Royal Purple Las Vegas Bowl eased the pain of not winning the Pac-12 South.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 16.35
    2015 Record 10-3
    2015 Preseason Prediction 7-5
    2015 Preseason Ranking 25
    2014 Final Season Ranking 28

    19. Northwestern Wildcats, Big Ten

    It was a special season – at least the regular season. The Wildcats started out with a win over Stanford that didn’t seem special at the time, but ended up being one of the biggest wins on a national scale. The offense struggled way too much, and went bye-bye in losses to Michigan and Iowa, but the defense came through time and again allowing 14 points or fewer seven times including a key 13-7 win over Wisconsin. And then reality set in against Tennessee, losing 45-6 in the Outback Bowl.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 16.39
    2015 Record 10-3
    2015 Preseason Prediction 7-5
    2015 Preseason Ranking 50
    2014 Final Season Ranking 86

    18. Bowling Green Falcons, MAC

    The MAC champs crashed in the GoDaddy Bowl loss to Georgia Southern, but the other three losses weren’t that bad, losing the opener to Tennessee, losing in a 44-41 shootout to Memphis, and not getting by Toledo at home 44-28. Five of the ten victories were Bad Wins, but one of them came against Purdue on the road, and the other five were Quality Wins highlighted by a 34-14 blowout of NIU for the program’s second MAC title in three years.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 16.57
    2015 Record 10-4
    2015 Preseason Prediction 6-6
    2015 Preseason Ranking 84
    2014 Final Season Ranking 71

    17. San Diego State Aztecs, Mountain West

    The Mountain West champion went on a roll after starting the season 1-3. It didn’t look like it had big things coming after losing at home to South Alabama and with blowout losses to Cal and Penn State, and then came the easy wins to ease the way into the ten-win run. The defense was dominant in the wins allowing 17 points or fewer in ten games, and the team ended up only ended up playing two games decided by seven points or fewer.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 16.74
    2015 Record 11-3
    2015 Preseason Prediction 8-4
    2015 Preseason Ranking 49
    2014 Final Season Ranking 66

    16. Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Independent

    It would’ve been nice to have seen what the team could’ve done if it was 100% healthy. It came within two plays of going 12-0 and going off to the playoff, and it might have gotten in if it got by Stanford. As good as the season was – highlighted by wins over USC and Navy – it lost a heartbreaker to Clemson, lost a gut-puncher to the Cardinal, and then got hit by an Ohio State team that decided to play in the Fiesta Bowl.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 16.84
    2015 Record 10-3
    2015 Preseason Prediction 7-5
    2015 Preseason Ranking 13
    2014 Final Season Ranking 35

    15. TCU Horned Frogs, Big 12

    It wasn’t the playoff season it might have been if the defense was healthy all year and if QB Trevone Boykin didn’t go down, but ending the year with an all-timer of a comeback win over Oregon in the Alamo Bowl was an outstanding way to close things out. The loss to Oklahoma came down to a final pass, and the road win over Oklahoma State got away from the Horned Frogs, but it was a second straight special year, even if there weren’t any Elite Wins along the way.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 17.03
    2015 Record 11-2
    2015 Preseason Prediction 9-3
    2015 Preseason Ranking 2
    2014 Final Season Ranking 6

    14. Navy Midshipmen, American Athletic

    The win over Pitt in the Military Bowl after slipping by Army finished off one of the best years in Navy football history. The only two losses came to a loaded Houston on the road and at Notre Dame – that’s not that bad. The 33-11 win over an Air Force team that played for the Mountain West championship got overlooked, and running over Memphis 45-20 was terrific. Oddly enough, the only close game the Midshipmen played was the 21-17 win over Army – it was the only game decided by fewer than ten points.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 17.04
    2015 Record 11-2
    2015 Preseason Prediction 9-3
    2015 Preseason Ranking 83
    2014 Final Season Ranking 42

    13. North Carolina Tar Heels, ACC

    It’s impressive that UNC finished this high without really beating any superstar teams. There were five Quality Wins, but the Tar Heels suffered a Bad Loss to South Carolina to open up the season to bring down the score a bit. The offense rocked and rolled cranking out 11 straight wins to get to the ACC championship, but the close loss to Clemson and getting run over by Baylor in the Russell Athletic Bowl ended the season with a thud.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 17.31
    2015 Record 11-3
    2015 Preseason Prediction 6-6
    2015 Preseason Ranking 44
    2014 Final Season Ranking 65

    12. LSU Tigers, SEC

    The season wasn’t all that bad considering the school wanted to ditch its head coach. There was an awful three game stretch losing to Alabama, Arkansas and Ole Miss – the national champion and two other very good teams – but other than that there were lots and lots of good wins. LSU is the lowest-ranked team with the most Quality Wins, coming up with six highlighted by the blowout over WKU and handing Florida its first loss of the season. Finishing up with wins over Texas A&M and Texas Tech calmed down the tension.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 17.53
    2015 Record 9-3
    2015 Preseason Prediction 9-3
    2015 Preseason Ranking 17
    2014 Final Season Ranking 30

    11. Iowa Hawkeyes, Big Ten

    The Hawkeyes were one late stop against Michigan State away from going off to the playoff, but instead they went to the Rose Bowl to close out the great season with a colossal downer in the epic Stanford blowout. There were a slew of layups along the way, but beating Wisconsin and Northwestern on the road gave the team better wins than it got credit for. However, there was only one other Quality Win, beating Pitt early in the season.

    2015 Season Ranking Score 18.59
    2015 Record 11-2
    2015 Preseason Prediction 7-5
    2015 Preseason Ranking 48
    2014 Final Season Ranking 85


    – Explanation of the College Football Season Rankings and the components

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