College Football Program Ranking Methodology
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Methodology for ranking FBS teams (July 09, 2022)
The goal of the college football program rankings is to create a transparent, unbiased, and defensible process that takes in key variables to rank the overall health of the program.
The variables used to rank the FBS are broken down into three categories. 1) Performance, and 2) Brand/Stability. Performance accounts for 60% of the ranking per season, or 600 points per year. There are also bonus points available for achievements such as winning the conference or other postseason success. We only look at the past 25 years and the weight on the performance ranking decreases gradually as you move from the most recent year to 25 years ago. We also provide performance rankings for the past 50 years and for the past 10 years.
Brand/Stability Criteria looks at other factors such as TV ratings, attendance, recruiting, enrollment, and coaching stability within the program. This accounts for 40% of the ranking, or 400 eligible points per year.
Wins are broken down and weighted by Power 5, Group of 5, and FCS. Discrepancy between Power 5 and Group of 5 only applies during the BCS era which is from 1998 to present. Before 1998, all FBS wins are considered equal. However, wins over Division II teams (equivalent to today’s FCS) are still discounted throughout the past 50 years. Further, any win versus a ranked opponent, regardless of conference status or year played, is not discounted.
Beyond the regular season, there are performance bonus points available. Bonus points eligible per year are as follows:
Bonus Point Breakdown
We will most likely release more details on the methodology soon. This may even include breakdown by teams. Our goal is to make a transparent rating system with constant adjustment as more data becomes available or more data is found relevant. Please contribute any thoughts you have below.