The College Football Preseason Composite Rankings Top 126 takes into account three important factors in college football: recruiting, returning starters, and end of last season's polls. The composite rankings consist of the recruiting
and returning starters
rankings for 2013 and the final polls
for the 2012-13 season (AP & Coaches); 41 teams received votes in the final polls.
In each of the three categories, teams are rated with a maximum of 126 points and a minimum of zero. For example in the recruiting rankings, Alabama has 472 points at No. 1 and Ohio State has 469 points at No. 2 so when converted to the composite rankings, the Tide receives 126 points and the Buckeyes receives 125.199 points (469/472 times 126). For teams not included in the Coaches Poll due to sanctions, their AP rank was duplicated.
This is another interesting look at ranking teams, but it is not exactly perfect. Some ratings are skewed. Northern Illinois appears drastically underrated, but that is mostly due to their dismal recruiting ranking. NIU did finish in the top 25 last season, but was one of the lowest teams ranked in the polls so not many points were garnered for the composite. Oddly, Indiana is just outside the top 25, but the Hoosiers bring back the most starters in the FBS with 21 and have the 45th rated recruiting class. The highest non-BCS teams are Boise State at No. 38 and Utah State at No. 53.
The CFU preseason rankings will be released sometime in May or early June. The CFU preseason top 126 will be based on which teams I rate as the best.
Preseason Composite Top 126
1. Alabama 336
2. Notre Dame 324.729
3. Ohio State 320.42
4. Georgia 317.642
5. Oregon 311.997
6. Texas A&M 294.155
7. Clemson 270.505
8. Florida 268.644
9. South Carolina 266.99
10. Louisville 265.106
11. LSU 264.224
12. Stanford 263.581
13. Florida State 254.156
14. Oklahoma 232.582
15. Ole Miss 226.525
16. Texas 224.909
17. Miami FL 222.508
18. Washington 220.513
19. Vanderbilt 215.488
20. Auburn 214.653
21. Northwestern 214.026
22. Michigan 210.018
23. Oklahoma State 206.574
24. USC 205.716
25. UCLA 205.089
26. Indiana 201.547
27. Oregon State 201.226
28. Nebraska 194.538
29. Michigan State 193.551
30. Tennessee 188.898
31. Baylor 187.695
32. Virginia Tech 186.369
33. Wisconsin 185.681
34. North Carolina 185.161
35. California 183.559
35. Virginia 183.559
37. Arizona 183.464
38. Boise State 182.716
39. Pittsburgh 182.492
40. TCU 181.401
41. Washington State 180.737
42. Penn State 180.71
43. Mississippi State 179.835
44. Kansas State 178.039
45. Arkansas 174.496
46. Arizona State 173.204
47. Missouri 169.284
48. Wake Forest 168.992
49. Kentucky 168.356
50. Maryland 167.148
51. Colorado 163.119
52. Cincinnati 162.427
53. Utah State 161.07
54. Iowa 157.665
55. Marshall 157.258
56. Illinois 156.343
57. Bowling Green 155.504
58. Texas Tech 153.801
59. Purdue 151.131
60. East Carolina 151.106
61. Houston 150.064
62. Minnesota 149.784
63. Hawaii 149.237
64. Utah 149.542
65. San Diego State 147.114
66. BYU 145.119
67. Duke 144.585
68. West Virginia 144.229
69. Rutgers 144.087
70. Toledo 141.648
71. Connecticut 141.521
72. Rice 141.229
73. Tulane 140.034
74. UTSA 139.081
75. Colorado State 137.237
76. Syracuse 136.843
77. Fresno State 134.581
78. Middle Tennessee 134.428
79. North Carolina State 132.864
80. Southern Miss 132.572
81. Georgia Tech 132.445
82. South Alabama 131.758
83. Memphis 128.161
84. UNLV 126.814
85. Kansas 126.737
86. Boston College 126.432
87. Central Michigan 125.364
88. Northern Illinois 125.135
89. South Florida 124.335
90. Iowa State 123.127
91. Louisiana 118.309
92. Tulsa 117.643
93. Florida Atlantic 116.962
94. Miami OH 116.822
95. San Jose State 116.699
96. Western Kentucky 116.428
97. ULM 116.403
98. Texas State 116.161
99. UCF 115.898
100. Buffalo 115.869
101. Navy 114.419
102. Akron 114.153
103. Temple 112.297
104. Wyoming 111.483
105. SMU 110.314
106. Army 108.674
107. North Texas 107.606
108. Ball State 105.89
109. UAB 105.623
110. Old Dominion 101.072
111. Georgia State 100.805
112. New Mexico State 99.610
113. Eastern Michigan 98.415
114. Arkansas State 93.929
115. Western Michigan 92.021
116. Ohio 87.261
117. Nevada 86.822
118. New Mexico 84.292
119. Air Force 84.025
120. Kent State 82.636
121. Massachusetts 81.75
122. Idaho 74.809
123. UTEP 71.339
124. Troy 70.818
125. Louisiana Tech 70.247
126. FIU 44.809
Follow College Football Universe on Twitter & Like us on Facebook.
Projected Top Five AP & USA Today Coaches
- Florida State
*On the bubble to drop to three or four in both rankings. Other projections:
Oklahoma will fall out of the top 10 in both major polls. Notre Dame will be ranked in the top 10 of the AP poll. Michigan and UCLA will fall out of the top 25 in both rankings. Oregon State will be ranked in the AP Top 25.
There were four match ups between ranked teams Saturday: 21 Arizona at 3 Oregon, 9 Clemson at 4 Florida State,13 Kansas State at 5 Oklahoma, and 17 Michigan at 15 Notre Dame (according to USA Today Coaches Poll). Oklahoma
was the only one unable to defend home turf in the top weekend games and the highest ranked team to lose. The Sooners' loss will open up the five spot for Georgia
in the Coaches Poll while Oklahoma will fall out of the top 10 of both polls. LSU
is the only team in the top four that could move down after only winning by two points over Auburn, but I still have them projected to be ranked second in both polls. However, the Tigers could fall all the way to three or four. Despite Florida State
's big win over Clemson, the Seminoles may not move up any this week with the top four of the rankings at a near stalemate for the moment. However, it depends how voters treat LSU, which is a usual favorite in the polls.
The Notre Dame
Fighting Irish will easily be ranked in the top 10 of the AP Top 25, but probably just outside the top 10 of the USA Today Coaches Poll. Michigan
will fall out of the top 25 in both major polls as a result of the loss to the Irish. Oregon State
will break the AP Top 25 after their win over UCLA,
but may fall shy in the Coaches Poll. The Bruins will also drop out of the top 25 rankings.
Follow College Football Universe late Saturday nights and early Sunday mornings for projections before the official polls are released.
Projected Top 5
*Projected to be same as last week's top five in the AP and Coaches poll.
Other Projections: Arkansas and Wisconsin will still be ranked in the top 25. Michigan State will be ranked in the top 10 in both polls since the loss by the Razorbacks will open the spot.
On the Bubble for the Top 25: Arkansas, Wisconsin, Nebraska, Boise State, Oklahoma State, Arizona,Tennessee, BYU, and UCLA.
There were no major changes in the top five of the rankings, but there were some interesting losses in the rest. Four top 25 teams lost: Arkansas, Wisconsin, Oklahoma State, and Nebraska. They will all drop significantly, but Nebraska and Oklahoma State are the most likely to drop out of the rankings because they were the lowest ranked coming into the week. Arkansas and Wisconsin will still be in the top 25, but the Razorbacks will drop the most spots and could drop out. Michigan State will also move into the top 10 with the loss by the Hogs.
I would have projected UCLA to break the top 25, but they did not receive any votes in either poll last week. Expect the Bruins to get votes this week after their win over Nebraska. Arizona also has a shot at the top 25 after the romping of Oklahoma State; the Wildcats received votes in the Coaches poll last week, but not in the AP.
Nebraska and Boise State are in competition for the last slot in the AP Poll, but the Broncos had a bye week so the inaction may keep them out; Boise State was already ranked 25 in the Coaches poll for week two. Louisiana Monroe will see some love with votes in both rankings, but I doubt they will get enough points to be in the top 25. It will be interesting to see which or if a new team breaks the top 25 this week since there are a lot of teams on the bubble.
Follow College Football Universe late Saturday nights and early Sunday mornings for projections before the official polls are released.
Projected AP Top 10
7. Florida State
8. South Carolina
On the Bubble: West Virginia is the only other team that could make the top 10. Arkansas, Michigan, and South Carolina are teams projected in the top 10 that could drop out. Auburn, Florida, and Notre Dame are all on the bubble for the top 25.
Wisconsin will be ranked at 12.
Kansas State will be in the top 20.
Texas will be in the top 20.
The AP Top 25 Preseason Poll will be released August 18, but here are some projections to give you an idea of what the rankings will be almost two weeks ahead of time.
The number one ranking in the AP Preseason Top 25 will be a close call between USC
. The Trojans have received a good deal of off-season media hype (number one in ESPN poll
) and their recent acquisition of Penn State transfer Silas Redd has kept the program in the news as of late. I previously stated that LSU would most likely be the preseason number one
, but I now believe Redd may have tilted the voters just enough in favor of the Trojans. However, I would not be too surprised to see the Bayou Bengals at the top of the rankings.
LSU is the USA Today Coaches Top 25 Preseason number one team, but barely. The Tigers edged out Alabama
by only four points for the top slot and just 15 ahead of number three USC. The Crimson Tide actually received the most number one votes, but will probably be third in the AP since I expect USC and LSU to receive the most top votes. Of Georgia, Florida State, Oklahoma
, and Oregon
, I am sure that two of the four teams will make up the rest of the AP top five with Oregon the most definitive.
Of the teams projected in the top 10, Arkansas, Michigan,
and South Carolina
are the teams that could fall outside of it. West Virginia could make it, but other than the possibility of them, it should be the same teams as the top 10 of the Coaches Poll just in different order. Mountaineer quarterback Geno Smith is also the Preseason Big 12 Player of the Year according to media that cover the conference. Wisconsin may have a longshot chance to break the top ten, but I doubt they will with the negative publicity recently involving the attack on Montee Ball. They will probably be ranked around 12 like in the Coaches Poll and will definitely be in the top 15.
For other projections, Kansas State
should get slightly more credit in the AP than the Coaches and fall at least in the top 20. Texas
will also be ranked somewhere in the top 20. Florida
and Notre Dame
are both on the bubble for the top 25. They each are very well known programs, but both also loom with uncertainty at quarterback going into the 2012 season. Auburn
is another team on the bubble to break the rankings.
Last season, I did ranking projections on Saturday nights/ Sunday mornings between midnight and 2 a.m. CST for weeks 5 through 14. Most of the time, I projected the top five teams or close to it with other predictions for teams in top 25 rankings (projected BCS weeks 10 through 14). I correctly projected teams to be ranked in the top five 94 percent of the time and was correct 95 percent on other projections. I was also correct 81 percent of the time on the exact team rankings predicted in the top five (projected rankings here
Here is the top 10 for the USA Today Coaches Poll and projections from other sites earlier this year:
| |USA Today Coaches Poll
1. LSU (18)
2. Alabama (20)
3. USC (19)
7. Florida State
9. South Carolina
| |PhilSteele.com AP Projection
9. Florida State
10. South Carolina
Bleacher Report AP Prediction 1. USC
7. Florida State
10. West Virginia
*Select articles on College Football Universe are syndicated with GameDayr.com
. Sign up on Gamedayr.com
to share anything about gameday or college sports.
Projected BCS & AP Top 4: 1. LSU 2. Alabama 3. Arkansas 4. Stanford* Other BCS projections: Notre Dame will be ranked in the top 25. Houston will be ranked in the top 10. Clemson will drop out of the top 10. *On the Bubble: Virginia Tech and Oklahoma State are on the bubble for the BCS top five and have a chance at the four spot over Stanford due to the volatility in the rankings as the result of numerous ranked teams losing.
I wrote a blog during the off season in which I called the SEC West division the Dirty South of college football because it’s just plain nasty. Week 13 will prove my point with LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas
as the top three ranked teams in college football. What makes it nastier is that Arkansas plays at LSU and Alabama at Auburn to finish up the regular season for SEC football.
Number four is up for grabs this week with four losses by top 10 teams leaving the slot open (Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oklahoma, and Clemson). I am projecting Stanford
to fill the slot with Virginia Tech
as the most likely to move up next, but Oklahoma State
may stick around in the top five due to the computer rankings or just outside of it. However, all three have a chance at four. Notre Dame
will be back in the BCS top 25 after appearing in the USA Today Coaches and AP Top 25 polls coming into this week (note AP poll is not part of the BCS). Florida State, Texas
and Southern Mississippi
all may drop out of the BCS top 25 leaving a spot open for the Fighting Irish. Arkansas
trounced Mississippi State ensuring that LSU will have another high hurdle to jump for the SEC championship. In an awkward situation featuring a tiebreaker between Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas, if Arkansas beats LSU and is ranked number one in the nation, then they still may not get into the SEC championship if Alabama is ranked second. Here is the final three team tiebreaker according to the SEC Digital Network: “The tied team with the highest ranking in the Bowl Championship Series Standings following the last weekend of regular-season games shall be the divisional representative in the SEC Championship Game, unless the second of the tied teams is ranked within five-or-fewer places of the highest ranked tied team. In this case, the head-to-head results of the top two ranked tied teams shall determine the representative in the SEC Championship Game.”
Here are the highest to lowest BCS ranking scenarios for Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama to make it to the SEC championship if LSU loses to Arkansas and all three teams are tied in the SEC standings: Arkansas gets in
Arkansas, LSU, and Alabama.
LSU, Arkansas, and Alabama. LSU gets in:
LSU, Alabama, and Arkansas.
Alabama, LSU, and Arkansas. Alabama gets in:
Alabama, Arkansas, and LSU.
Arkansas, Alabama, and LSU.
Note that Arkansas, Alabama, or LSU would not have to qualify for the SEC championship to make it to the BCS National Championship. The probability of an SEC rematch in the BCS is now much more likely unless Alabama is upset by Auburn and there is an upset in the SEC championship.
AP Top 3:1. LSU2. Alabama3. Stanford
Other AP Projections:USC will be ranked in the top 25.Clemson will be in the top six.Boise State will not move to three and will be jumped by another team.
On the AP Bubble:Boise State, Oklahoma State, and Stanford all have a chance at the number three ranking even though I am projecting the Broncos will be jumped. It will most likely be a close call between Stanford and Oklahoma State.
Everyone is waiting for the Big Showdown on November 5, LSU at Alabama
. With two more undefeated teams losing, the SEC powerhouses now completely hold the spotlight for the BCS national championship race. Both teams have next week off before the play.
Chris Fowler showed reflected the media’s anticipation with this tweet to a Twitter follower after LSU’s slow start today, but they went on to pound Auburn: “Tigers don't Need style points. But u know what I meant. Kinda sluggish early. Wasn't worried. 1 vs 2 in 14 days!!”
unexpectedly lost to Texas Tech. Everything seemed to not go the Sooners way in a poor showing ending in a loss to Texas Tech that broke their 39-game home winning streak. A late surge by OU made it close at the end, but Texas Tech had control most of the game led by quarterback Seth Doege (425 yds, 4 TDs). Wisconsin
also lost in dramatic fashion to Michigan State 37-31 via a Hail Mary by Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol. See YouTube video below.
will move to three in the USA Today Coaches Poll
while their nation high win streak extends to 15. The three spot in the AP Poll will be much closer though. Boise State, Oklahoma State,
all have a chance to fill the slot. The Broncos were fifth last week in the AP and would be the next up, but Boise State’s win over Air Force 37-26 was not near the eye popping 65-21 win of Stanford over Washington. I project Stanford will move to three in the AP Top 25, but I may be wrong since Oklahoma State has just as much of a chance at the three spot. Boise State will not move to three and will be jumped in the rankings by one of the teams or both. Clemson
will at least be in the AP top six and may challenge for number five. Clemson was tied last week in the USA Today Coaches poll with Oregon for eighth so they will at least move to six.
will break into the AP Top 25 after their 31-17 win over Notre Dame. Of course, they do not qualify for any of the BCS component rankings, but they were one of the last teams out of the AP rankings last week.
I also included a link to Bleacher Report for the BCS projected standings
even though they are now outdated due to upsets. ESPN reported Brad Edwards projected the BCS top five to be: Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State, Stanford,
. I would say that Alabama/LSU, and Oklahoma State are a lock for the BCS top three since Stanford had such a low computer ranking last week, but that will improve after their win against Washington and as the season progresses. Bleacher Report had LSU projected at number one.
Bleacher Report Projected BCS Rankings 2011: Predicting Whether the Top 25 Will Move Up or Down:http://bleacherreport.com/articles/906360-projected-bcs-rankings-2011-predicting-whether-the-top-25-will-move-up-or-down?utm_medium=referral&utm_campaign=BR_CrimsonTide&utm_source=twitter.com
Projected AP Top 3:
AP Top 25 Bubble Teams:
Wisconsin and Boise State could lose their 4 and 5 ranking respectively to Oklahoma State.
I’m putting all ranked losing teams on the bubble to drop out of the top 25 due to blow-out losses, but Florida State is the only sure one to drop out which is a no brainer. Other losing ranked teams: Texas, Auburn, and Florida.
None of the teams in the AP top 10 lost this week and only four in the whole top 25, but there still may be some shifts. Florida State is the only sure team to drop out of the rankings. ESPN College Gameday was at the Cotton Bowl for the Red River Rivalry 55 to 17 beat-down that the Sooners gave the Longhorns. As a result, Oklahoma will jump Alabama to at least second in the AP poll and will challenge LSU for the top spot, but I don’t think they will be number one. Oklahoma State is the other team most likely to move up that is ranked in the top 10 after their dominating 70-28 win over Kansas, but I’m unsure if they will jump both Boise State and Wisconsin; the Badgers were idle this week.
Projected AP Top 4:1. LSU2. Oklahoma3. Alabama4. Boise State
Other AP Projections:
Clemson in the Top 10.
Auburn back in the Top 25.
TCU out of the Top 25.
SMU will get votes.
AP Top 25 Bubble teams :
Oklahoma State may lose the fifth spot since they are idle. Wisconsin and Stanford are teams still competing on the bubble for a top five AP ranking.
Michigan State and Kansas State may break the rankings, but are close calls.
Florida State may drop out of the Top 25.
Houston may stay just outside the Top 25.
Eight AP Top 25 teams lost in week five so there should be some shake ups in the rankings especially the lower half (Possibly more since Stanford and Arizona State are still playing as this was published).
AP Top 25 teams that lost in week five: Nebraska, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Florida, Texas A&M, Baylor, South Florida, and TCU.
LSU will hold the top spot this week. Oklahoma and Alabama should be a close call once again for second. I believe the Sooners will pull it out, but the Tide and SEC faithful voters may keep that from happening. However, Oklahoma demolished Ball State and next up is the Red River Rivalry versus Texas; the media may keep them ranked at second for that upcoming game. Boise State should hold fourth after their domination over Nevada.
The fifth spot will once again be a toss-up, but Oklahoma State is the most likely to lose their spot since they were idle this week. Wisconsin had a dominating win over Nebraska that left Madison Jumping Around. Stanford was leading UCLA as this was published.
Clemson will be ranked in the top 10 after their win versus 11th ranked Virginia Tech since teams ranked ahead of the Tigers being Nebraska, South Carolina, and Florida all lost.Auburn will make another appearance in the AP Top 25 after the Tigers beat 10th ranked South Carolina today. Jon Solomon, Sports columnist and reporter at The Birmingham News, tweeted, “Bad clock management by Spurrier. Say what you want about Auburn, they are incredibly tough-minded.”
Michigan State may also break the Top 25 after their defensive led win over Ohio State since they were the 26th ranked team in week five. But I’m unsure if they will due to the volatility of this week’s games and Auburn should make it in over them since they beat a higher ranked team. Florida State which was ranked 23rd for week five was idle so they may drop out. Kansas State after their win over ranked Baylor will also be another team that will either break the Top 25 or remain just outside. Houston was another bubble team just outside the rankings for week five, but their close win over large underdog UTEP may hold them just outside.
The TCU Horned Frogs will drop out of the AP Top 25 beginning week six of this college football season after their overtime loss to SMU for the Iron Skillet. After losing to Baylor week one, the Frogs dropped 11 spots in the poll from 14 to 25 so they will easily fall out of the rankings since they were ranked 20th coming into this week. SMU’s contingency in Texas such as former player and commentator Craig James will ensure them some votes in the poll, but I’m unsure if they will break the top 25.
Projected AP Top Four beginning Week Five:1. LSU
4. Boise State
It will be a very close call between LSU
for the top spot in the AP poll. Despite having 23 less top votes, LSU was 47 points away from number one in the week four rankings (OU- 1,471 & LSU-1,424). Many media pundits are now jumping on the Baton Rouge bandwagon and that may be enough to edge them to number one, but the amount of top votes will be very close between Oklahoma and LSU. Kirk Herbstreit said on tonight’s game LSU vs. West Virginia that “no reason they shouldn’t be ranked number one” in regards to LSU and their season’s accomplishments. If LSU is not voted number one beginning week five, then they will trail Oklahoma by an even narrower margin than in week four and Alabama would have taken enough votes from LSU to keep the Sooners in the top slot. Alabama
and Boise State
should both hold at three and four. Other Projections and Notes for Week Five AP Top 25:
will make one of the biggest jumps in the polls this weekend after their win over Florida State and the media recognition of two solid opponents in a row. They should be in the top 17 or higher when the polls come out. AP voter Steve Phillips of WBIR-TV tweeted, “Toughest non-#SEC schedule I've seen is Clemson's 3 game stretch: Auburn, Florida State, Virginia Tech. They're 2-0 so far.” Kansas State
should get some votes for the top 25, but I’m unsure if they will make it in the top 25 since they didn’t get any votes last week. Chris Fowler of ESPN which is also an AP voter noticed their tight win against the Hurricanes and tweeted earlier, “Kudos to K-State, stoning UM on the goal line and thank God for replay, reversing an awful TD call. Big XII making September statements.”
Three teams being Wisconsin
, Oklahoma State
, and Stanford
are vying for the fifth spot which Stanford held coming into week four, but they were idle this week.
We’ll see tomorrow if LSU is really the new number one, but it will be close.