Skip to main content

Computer Rankings For Top College Football Programs Entering 2019

Clemson Tigers huddle before the national championship.

SANTA CLARA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 07: Head coach Dabo Swinney of the Clemson Tigers talks with his team prior to the College Football Playoff National Championship against the Alabama Crimson Tide at Levi's Stadium on January 07, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

We're months away from the start of the college football season, which kicks off in late August this season. A pair of computer models are already measuring what the top teams will look like in 2019.

ESPN has its Football Power Index, which it revamped ahead of 2019 back in February. We are still working on FPI 1.0.

FPI weighs in four years of performance, weighed most heavily towards last season, as well as returning quarterback production, head coach, and rolling recruiting rankings.

Over at SB Nation, Bill Connelly has his S&P+ system. The 2019 rankings also came out in February.

S&P+ weighs some of the same factors, including recruiting and returning production, but it more heavily focused on efficiency. Connelly quickly sums up S&P+ with "five factors": explosiveness, field position, finishing drives, and turnovers.

Here are the college football teams that rank in the Top 25 for both FPI and S&P+ ahead of 2019.

22 programs are in the Top 25 of both rankings.

Team

FPI

S&P+

Clemson

1

3

Alabama

2

1

Georgia

3

2

LSU

4

4

Michigan

5

9

Oklahoma

6

5

Notre Dame

7

12

Florida

8

6

Auburn

9

8

Oregon

10

20

Texas A&M

11

13

Penn State

12

14

Ohio State

13

7

Michigan State

14

23

Tennessee

15

21

Mississippi State

16

10

Washington 

17

15

Utah

18

17

South Carolina

19

18

Missouri

20

16

Wisconsin

23

11

Iowa

25

25

Perhaps the most notable exclusion from both lists: Texas. FPI has the Longhorns at No. 26, while S&P+ has them all the way down at 35.

That is just one spot ahead of USC in FPI, not a great sign given how embattled the Trojans have been. S&P+ has USC at No. 29.

Other notable teams including Arkansas (58/48), Florida State (22/28), Louisville (67/87), Miami (32/19), and Nebraska (35/45).