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Marshall, Memphis Lead Underdog Teams In Final Rankings

The Thundering Herd and the Tigers were on a short list of teams that earned votes in the various end-of-season rankings in college football.

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

I think it seems reasonable, these final rankings. I'll composite them for ease of reading.

#1 Marshall Thundering Herd

They finished 22nd in the final Amway Coaches Poll, 23rd in the final AP Poll, 21st in the Massey composite, and an impressive 14th in Football Outsiders' end of season F/+ rankings. This seems a little high still, considering the weak schedule they played overall (Louisiana Tech was their only opponent in the top 60 in F/+). They finished strong, though, with their demolishing of Northern Illinois down in Boca, so we'll cut them some slack.

#2 Memphis Tigers

The Tigers wound up ranked #25 in both the AP and Coaches polls, which I might argue is a tad low. That's mostly because I think they deserve to be ranked above Marshall when all is said and done, but I don't think the gap between 23rd-ish and 25th is that great.

Other vote-getters

Navy and Louisiana Tech each earned a vote in the Coaches Poll - I consider Louisiana Tech to be much more deserving of that vote than Navy, no matter how fugly their CUSA Championship performance was. Navy had an extremely uneven season, while Louisiana Tech damn near earned a conference championship, which matters I think.

Other points of interest

Did you know that UAB finished 69th in F/+ this season? In the ten year history of the ranking, that's their best finish since F/+'s very first year in 2005 when UAB finished 46th. No doubt this was in large part thanks to the Blazers finishing third in special teams F/+ (I see you, Jamarcus Nelson). Maybe they can improve on that next sea... oh, wait.