Updated Preseason College Football Rankings

We’ve updated our Elo Ratings since the last time we wrote about them. Specifically, we’ve recalculated the expected wins and win probabilities of all the teams based on their updated schedules. This resulted in lower overall win totals given the shortened season, but some teams have a higher win probability for the season as a result of the easier conference-only schedule (looking at you Notre Dame).

We’ll update these every week or so as the games are played, and the expected wins will update accordingly based on the actual result of the games. So we’ll have a clearer picture as the season goes on of exactly where each team will end up. But for now, this will give us a good idea of what we should expect.

Updated Top 25 rankings in Elo Rating.

What’s interesting/sad is that there are several teams in the top 25 that are projected to lose nearly half their games. In a normal season, that would never happen, but it’s a real possibility this year with only six conferences playing in the Fall. That’s very good news for teams like Appalachian State, UCF, and Memphis. These non-power-5 schools would be a long shot to make any sort of playoff in a normal year, but the door is wide open if they were able to win out and one or two of the top four lose a game or two.

Of those three, Appalachian State has the best chance to win out according to our simulation. We’ll post the full results of the season sim in the coming days.

Full Rankings For All Teams

The entire rankings based on Elo Rating for all 77 teams.

BYU is also in a good position after their win against Navy. The rankings and expected wins reflect the fact that BYU has already won a game, essentially giving them a 100% win probability for any games that have been won already, or a 0% for any games already lost. They’re now projected to win 84% of their scheduled games. However, they are only scheduled for 8 games so they won’t be factored in to any playoff discussion in all likelihood.


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