With summer fully underway and the 2013 season a mere two months in the future, it's time to start taking some in-depth looks at the lineup of potential national champions. The BCS-AQ conferences are as good a place as any to begin.
Each of the 76 teams were graded on the following six criteria:
1. Returning Starters/Quarterback (12 possible points)
2. Coaching (10 possible points)
3. Average Recruiting Class Ranking from 2010-2013 (Five possible points)
4. Average AP Final Poll Ranking (10 possible points)
5. Strength of Schedule (Five possible points)
6. Team Momentum (Five possible points)
(Maximum possible score is 47 points.)
Before we get to the list, here is a full breakdown of each of the criteria.
To get the single score here, the total number of returning starters was divided by two. After that, if the quarterback was one of the returning players, a bonus point was awarded.
(Max score is 22 returning starters, including the quarterback. That would yield a score of 11 + 1 = 12.)
Each coaching staff was evaluated based on its past performances and potential for success. For flow and ease of reading, the head coaches are the only ones listed, but offensive and defensive coordinators were also factored into the evaluation.
Average Recruiting Class Ranking from 2010-2013
The reason those years were chosen is that those classes provided the majority of the players who will take the field this fall.
Points were awarded for finishing with the following average position:
1-3.9 = Five points
4-6.9 = 4.5 points
7-9.9 = Four points
10-12.9 = 3.5 points
13-15.9 = Three points
16-18.9 = 2.5 points
19-21.9 = Two points
22-24.9 = 1.5 points
25 = 1.1 points
Outside top 25 yielded one point.
Average AP Final Poll Ranking from 2009-2012
To keep things consistent, a four-year period was considered here. That allowed any long-term coaches to establish themselves statistically, and it shows what these teams are capable of for more than just a year. It also eliminates the inconsistencies from season-to-season.
All teams were arranged by average finishing place. The highest average was awarded 10 points. Second place was awarded 9.8. Third was awarded 9.6, and so on. All unranked teams were awarded one point.
The AP Poll was chosen, because it looks at all teams without ignoring sanctioned programs.
Strength of Schedule
The chart on Phil Steele's blog was used to determine each team's strength of schedule. The five-point scale was simply the chart's ranking divided by 20, with an upper and lower limit of five and one.
The harder the schedule, the lower the score. The odds of making it through an extremely difficult schedule unscathed are lower than against an easier slate.
Each team was awarded anywhere from one to five points based on its recent trajectory. For instance, Texas A&M, Ohio State and Alabama were awarded five points. On the other hand, teams like Kansas and Iowa were awarded just one point.
This is a power ranking of which teams have the best shot at finishing the season ranked the highest in the polls. While they may or may not perform to their potential, the ingredients for success are all in the cupboard.
From a statistical standpoint, multiply your team's score by two to get a good idea of which teams you can compete with on a good day. On a great day, anyone can beat anyone else.
Enjoy the read, and feel free to agree or disagree in the comment section.