Andrew Luck, Stanford join the elite

2010 has been wild: top programs falling and new ones rising. Here's a snapshot.

Originally Published: November 11, 2010
By Bill Connelly | Football Outsiders
Getty ImagesAndrew Luck has piloted Stanford into a new tier of college football's hierarchy.

In college football, it's usually true that most of the teams that were good when you were growing up are still good today; that's actually a major reason that recent history -- particularly four and five-year performance -- factor so heavily into Football Outsiders' preseason F/+ projections. The greatest predictor for future success is past success.

Or is it?

The 2010 season has flipped five-year history on its ear. If you look at the cumulative F/+ standings from 2005 to 2009, only three of the top 10 teams from that period are in the top 10 this season -- the Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 4), the Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 5) and the TCU Horned Frogs (No. 2). The two best teams in F/+ standings since 2005, the Florida Gators and USC Trojans, are ranked No. 23 and No. 25, respectively, in that metric this season. The Texas Longhorns, who are No. 4 overall in the 2005-2009 area, are No. 54 this season.

Obviously, as some teams drop from the elite tier, others must rise into it. Here's a breakdown of the changing dynamics in the 2010 college football season. For a broader understanding of the stats we at Football Outsiders focus on, you can read this.