Preseason college football rankings for 2019

My preseason model uses linear regression based on past team performance, turnovers and returning starters to rank teams. To check out my primer on regression through pictures, click here.

The full results for 2019 are listed below, but first some thoughts on these preseason rankings.

  • Note how far ahead #1 Clemson and #2 Alabama are from any other team. With two elite QBs returning, this seems justified.
  • LSU at #3 seems way too high for me. The defense will be fine, but QB Joe Burrow seems to have limited upside. And when does Coach O revert to Ole Miss Coach O?
  • Ohio State (7th) edges out Michigan (8th), although the margin is small enough that Michigan would be favored at home later this season.
  • Texas A&M is 10th, a strong rank yet only the 4th highest among SEC West teams. Jimbo Fisher got QB Kellen Mond to lead the 19th best pass offense by my adjusted yards per attempt last season.
  • Oregon at 20th might seem low with NFL caliber QB Justin Herbert. However, Oregon has ranked 47th and 49th the past two years under Cristobal and Taggert. The model doesn’t like that program history.

The number after each team is a rating that gives an expected margin of victory against an average FBS team.

1. Clemson, 27.58
2. Alabama, 24.87
3. LSU, 17.82
4. Oklahoma, 16.55
5. Georgia, 16.38
6. Notre Dame, 15.34
7. Ohio State, 15.28
8. Michigan, 14.02
9. Auburn, 12.17
10. Texas A&M, 11.88
11. Florida, 11.25
12. Syracuse, 10.72
13. Michigan State, 10.26
14. Iowa State, 10.06
15. Penn State, 9.93
16. Mississippi State, 9.18
17. Missouri, 9.03
18. Washington State, 8.63
19. Utah, 8.58
20. Oregon, 8.10
21. Oklahoma State, 7.86
22. UCF, 7.77
23. Minnesota, 7.04
24. Baylor, 7.02
25. Wisconsin, 6.86
26. Appalachian State, 6.82
27. Iowa, 6.77
28. South Carolina, 6.77
29. Tennessee, 6.74
30. Washington, 6.61
31. Kentucky, 6.58
32. West Virginia, 6.45
33. Virginia, 6.44
34. Duke, 5.85
35. Boise State, 5.79
36. Florida State, 5.69
37. Virginia Tech, 5.49
38. Pittsburgh, 5.26
39. Northwestern, 5.14
40. UCLA, 5.02
41. TCU, 5.01
42. Texas, 5.01
43. Texas Tech, 4.89
44. Arizona State, 4.83
45. Brigham Young, 4.81
46. Purdue, 4.69
47. Stanford, 4.39
48. Miami (FL), 4.35
49. North Carolina State, 4.21
50. North Carolina, 4.15
51. Mississippi, 3.97
52. Nebraska, 3.77
53. Temple, 3.38
54. Cincinnati, 3.38
55. USC, 3.12
56. Vanderbilt, 3.08
57. Kansas State, 3.04
58. Memphis, 2.63
59. Indiana, 2.31
60. Army, 1.18
61. Arizona, 0.59
62. Houston, 0.51
63. Air Force, 0.24
64. Georgia Tech, 0.23
65. Utah State, 0.20
66. Wake Forest, -0.08
67. Georgia Southern, -0.41
68. California, -0.61
69. Boston College, -0.62
70. Southern Miss, -0.74
71. Fresno State, -0.75
72. UAB, -1.04
73. Troy, -1.24
74. Ohio, -1.27
75. Louisville, -1.44
76. Maryland, -1.53
77. Western Michigan, -1.56
78. Arkansas, -1.58
79. South Florida, -1.84
80. Northern Illinois, -2.18
81. Toledo, -2.29
82. Marshall, -2.71
83. Colorado, -2.80
84. San Diego State, -3.06
85. Illinois, -3.34
86. Hawaii, -3.34
87. SMU, -4.38
88. Middle Tennessee, -4.49
89. Florida International, -4.54
90. Tulsa, -4.68
91. Arkansas State, -4.71
92. Ball State, -5.48
93. Western Kentucky, -5.54
94. North Texas, -5.66
95. Florida Atlantic, -6.10
96. Eastern Michigan, -6.58
97. Louisiana Monroe, -6.62
98. Louisiana, -6.66
99. Louisiana Tech, -6.71
100. Tulane, -6.73
101. Oregon State, -7.10
102. Navy, -7.35
103. Miami (OH), -7.40
104. Kansas, -7.61
105. Rutgers, -7.79
106. Buffalo, -7.94
107. East Carolina, -8.08
108. Nevada, -8.22
109. Wyoming, -8.92
110. Texas State, -9.00
111. Central Michigan, -9.49
112. Coastal Carolina, -9.64
113. Colorado State, -10.23
114. Akron, -11.15
115. San Jose State, -11.21
116. Liberty, -11.39
117. Georgia State, -11.58
118. UNLV, -12.49
119. Connecticut, -13.25
120. Kent State, -13.38
121. Bowling Green, -13.46
122. New Mexico, -14.90
123. Charlotte, -14.95
124. South Alabama, -15.60
125. UTSA, -16.58
126. Massachusetts, -17.21
127. Old Dominion, -17.38
128. Rice, -18.24
129. New Mexico State, -18.27
130. UTEP, -20.46

Comments

  1. Scott Pierce says

    Washington State is your highest ranked Pac 12 team? You are the only one I have seen with them that high. I am curious why? Most of the reading I have done have them fourth in the north.

    • It’s probably due the weakness of the rest of the conference. Oregon hasn’t been great of late, Stanford doesn’t return much from last season, etc.

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