Predicting the Top 25 College Football Programs of the Next 10 Years

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Predicting the Top 25 College Football Programs of the Next 10 Years
Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press
Auburn and Florida State played for the national title in January, but what is the likelihood they'll both remain among the top programs in the nation over the next 10 years?

With all of this talk of autonomy, breaking off into new divisions, paying players and other off-the-field issues, college football is at a crossroads. We don't know what the future holds for this great game, one that continues to rise in popularity but also has pressing issues that need to be addressed.

Even more uncertain is which teams will be part of the future of college football when it comes to who will reign supreme and dominate this increasingly balanced sport. It might seem like the usual suspects are always on top, but only four schools—Alabama, Clemson, LSU and Oregon—have finished in the Associated Press Top 25 each of the past five years. Eight more have been in there in four of the last five seasons.

Predicting future success is a tricky endeavor, but we've come up with a (completely arbitrary) formula that will surely foretell which programs will be the best over the next 10 years.

Using final AP rankings from the past five years (all unranked teams got listed as No. 26), final rankings from the past five recruiting classes, an assessment of coaching stability and a good helping of assumption and speculation, we've come up with our prediction for the top 25 college football programs of the upcoming decade.

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