Top 10 projected CFB programs
Alabama leads list of projected top teams for the next three seasons
In case you missed it, ESPN Insider released its College Football Future Power Rankings on Wednesday. Travis Haney led a panel of Insider experts who voted in five categories to determine the top 25 college football programs during the next three years using this methodology. We wanted to find out if our data projections agreed.
One of the foundational elements of our annual Football Outsiders projections is our weighted five-year program ratings. According to our research, program trajectory helps forecast future performance better than previous-year data -- and not just for the upcoming season, but for seasons beyond. We calculated future winning percentages based on current program ratings data, recent program trajectory and projected schedule strength, then adjusted the FPR methodology to identify the potential for each program to be in the hunt for the four-team College Football Playoff at least once during the next three seasons.
Here are the top 10 projected teams, according to our numbers, for the next three years. Alabama is No. 1, but our experts and the data diverge significantly across the rest of the top 10.
Future Power Rankings Rank: 1
2013 Program Fremeau Efficiency Index Rank: 1
Projected FBS win percentage 2014-2016: 85.4 percent (minus-3.8 percent from 2011-2013 span)
Projected likelihood of at least one playoff appearance 2014-2016: 93.8 percent
Alabama has distanced itself from the pack in our program ratings trajectory analysis, a result of three national championships in the past five seasons and a top-three ranking in our opponent-adjusted drive efficiency ratings in all five. The Crimson Tide send stars to the NFL draft each year, but coach Nick Saban also brings in one of the nation's top recruiting hauls annually. An SEC West division loaded with other national contenders is the only real reason the Tide may trip up on occasion during the next three years, but Alabama has proven it has what it takes to stay on top of the college football world.
To read Brian Fremeau's full story on the top projected college football teams over the next three seasons, sign up for Insider today.
Brian FremeauESPN Insider
• Creator of the Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI), a measure of college football team efficiency
• Contributor to Football Outsiders and his own site, bcftoys.com
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Ohio St. turns to 'meticulous' Barrett at QB
- Auburn's revenge? Updyke into dunk tank
- Volcano threatens Penn State's Ireland opener
- Kent State's Bitsko, 21, found dead in bed
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
College Football on Insider
Travis Haney reveals four underrated teams that should be in ESPN's Power Rankings.