The college football season is nearly here. In just a few weeks, Saturdays will be full of football and fans will be seated firmly on the couch as their favorite teams take the field.
Ahead of the upcoming season, ESPN saw fit to rank the divisions of every Power 5 program. The list used ESPN’s FPI, a model which measures each team’s strength and helps predict its performance.
It should be no surprise to see Clemson and Alabama sitting at the top of the FPI. But what about their respective divisions?
Here’s the full list from ESPN:
1. SEC West
It’s difficult to argue with the SEC West as Arkansas is arguably the worst team in the division and would be a favorite against either Indiana or Rutgers. Meanwhile, Alabama is consistently the best team in the nation.
2. Big Ten East
Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Penn State is arguably the best foursome of any division. However the Scarlet Knights and Hoosiers aren’t doing much to help out here.
3. ACC Atlantic
Clemson, Clemson, Clemson. The Tigers have proved they belong in the conversation with the very best and Florida State should be much-improved during the 2018 season.
4. Pac-12 North
The Pac-12 North might not be flashy, but it is consistent. Stanford and Washington enter 2018 with College Football Playoff aspirations, while Oregon fields a potent offensive attack led by quarterback Justin Herbert.
5. Big 12
The entire Big 12 comes in fifth-place thanks to the lack of division within the conference. Oklahoma is the clear heavyweight in this conference, while Kansas isn’t helping the brand.
6. SEC East
Kirby Smart is doing everything possible to get Georgia in the same conversation as Alabama. After bringing in the top recruiting class in 2018, and a trip to the title game, the Bulldogs are right there.
7. ACC Coastal
Miami is on the rise since Mark Richt took over, but the rest of the division is lacking.
8. Big Ten West
Wisconsin and Northwestern are the class of this division. With Scott Frost in the fold, Nebraska is hoping it can join its northern foes at the top of the Big Ten West.
9. Pac-12 South
Last but not least, the Pac-12 South wraps up the list. USC and Utah are doing what they can here, while three teams, Arizona, Arizona State, and UCLA all bring in new coaches this year.
It will be interesting to revisit these rankings at the end of the season after the play has done the talking. The 2018 college football season kicks off in 15 days with four games on the Saturday slate of August 25.