Preliminary 2016 Power Ratings Forecasts

Today we begin my preliminary draft of the 2016 numbers. I have made multiple adjustments to my methodology from last year which I won’t go into too much detail on but made some tweaks to the teams historical means, adjusting team them to weight previous seasons more than before. I also added more granular detail into the value of each position and marginal value of each player, but these will be incorporated at a later draft when that information is available. For now, these numbers are based on the revised mean method and the standard adjustments for returning starters that I had previously used – looking solely at number of players on offense and defense returning, and of course assigning more value to the quarterback than the other positions. Once more granular data is posted to each position returning I will publish revised numbers.

I think I’m at peace with having Alabama #1 at a 96 power rating…despite returning 11 starters. They finished at a 101, so ding -3.5 for returning starters and -2.5 regression and I can justify it.

LSU at #2 is…wow. But then again they do return 18 starters, 9 on both side of the ball, plus their QB Brandon Harris (whatever that’s worth). These are going to be extremely talented juniors who were mostly 4 and 5 star recruits, playing for their third straight year. Intuitively the only team I can really justify at #2 besides LSU is Clemson, which I think would be fair as well.

Oklahoma is probably fair. Florida State seems a bit high – I know they return all these starters on offense, I just really don’t trust Sean Maguire as the pilot of this offense to make FSU a Top 4 team.

Why is Clemson at #5? Because they return only 4 starters on defense. So statistically, that is the big question mark. If Clemson can reload on defense again, they certainly have the potential to be the best team in the nation. But until they do so we can’t ignore those losses.

I’m leaving Michigan in a group by themselves because my numbers have them at 81.66, barely cracking the Top 25. We all know that’s not how Harbaugh’s teams operate, and applying last year’s article about how his teams improve on average in the 90th percentile of improvement, we can expect them to easily be a Top 10 team.

A lot of people have been trashing Ohio State for only returning 6 starters, so I’m going to be the contrarian here and say Ohio State will not be that bad.¬†They return JT Barrett at QB. They have an extremely solid recruiting base to rebuild with. They were a 92 which is around their recent average, they probably lose about 5 points for losing so many starters, but that’s about it.

Tennessee I still don’t know what to do with. These are what the numbers say, and Tennessee looked great for most of last year. So sure, why not. If there’s any year for Tennessee it’s this one. Seems like a stretch to put them in Top 10, but not as much as some others.

Speaking of which, many other people have Washington in their top 15, or even top 10. I do not. They return 15 starters including Jake Browning, and finished #25 last year at an 82 power rating. I think people are making it overblown how they were 6-6 but actually very good. Yes that’s true. In fact they finished ahead of a 10-2 Oklahoma State team. But all of their blowout wins are already factored into that power rating. So yes, they will undoubtedly improve their record above 6 wins. And they will probably ruin someone’s plans for a Pac-12 championship. But I don’t think they win the conference and I don’t see any way to justify them as a Top 10 team.

Alabama: 95.88
LSU: 92.98
Oklahoma: 91.44
Florida State: 91.43
Clemson: 90.63

Michigan 90.51 **
Ohio State: 87.05
Tennessee: 87.01
Georgia: 86.76
Stanford: 86.61
Oklahoma State: 86.04
USC: 85.9
Oregon: 84.23
Louisville: 84.08
Ole Miss: 83.65
TCU: 83.48
Baylor: 83.33
Notre Dame: 83.12
Washington: 82.76
Arkansas: 82.42
Florida: 82.36
Wisconsin: 82.27
Auburn: 81.63
West Virginia: 81.48
Boise State: 81.05
Mississippi State: 80.8
Utah: 80.77
Iowa: 80.7
BYU: 80.51
Nebraska: 80.43
Michigan State: 80.19
Miami (FL): 79.66
Texas A&M: 79.51
North Carolina: 79.46
Texas: 79.34
UCLA: 79.31
Virginia Tech: 79.2
Pittsburgh: 79.05
Arizona: 78.87
Missouri: 77.42
Houston: 77.23
South Carolina: 76.88
Kansas State: 76.62
Texas Tech: 76.47
Penn State: 76.1
Georgia Tech: 75.5
Washington State: 74.75
Arizona State: 74.56
Northwestern: 74.28
California: 73.06
North Carolina State: 72.8
Minnesota: 71.98
South Florida: 71.96
Cincinnati: 71.78
Boston College: 71.66
Iowa State: 71.1
San Diego State: 71.06
Vanderbilt: 70.7
Duke: 70.68
Navy: 70.53
Syracuse: 70.52
Temple: 70.39
Air Force: 70.16
Appalachian State: 69.99
Marshall: 69.65
Toledo: 69.44
Virginia: 69.42
Georgia Southern: 69.39
Oregon State: 69.29
Colorado: 68.98
Rutgers: 68.89
Illinois: 68.82
Utah State: 68.33
Wake Forest: 68.32
Northern Illinois: 68.2
Western Michigan: 68.14
Maryland: 68.13
Western Kentucky: 67.57
Connecticut: 67.41
Kentucky: 67.4
East Carolina: 67.06
Bowling Green: 66.96
Memphis: 66.6
Tulsa: 66.58
Nevada: 66.52
Southern Miss: 66.39
Indiana: 66.24
Purdue: 66.11
Central Michigan: 65.4
San Jose St: 65.14
Arkansas State: 64.69
Louisiana Tech: 63.96
Middle Tennessee: 63.37
Troy: 62
Colorado State: 61.94
UCF: 61.28
Fresno State: 60.29
New Mexico: 59.96
SMU: 59.73
Louisiana-Lafayette: 59.44
Ohio: 59.31
Hawaii: 58.42
Ball State: 58.31
Rice: 57.88
Kent State: 57.72
Kansas: 57.22
Wyoming: 57.01
Army: 56.76
Tulane: 55.87
Old Dominion: 55.4
Akron: 55.04
UNLV: 54.24
UTEP: 54.21
Florida Atlantic: 54.12
Fla. International: 54.04
Buffalo: 53.88
Miami (OH): 53.6
Idaho: 52.76
Louisiana-Monroe: 52.16
Georgia State: 51.58
South Alabama: 51.09
Texas-San Antonio: 50.79
New Mexico State: 49.43
North Texas: 49.4
Massachusetts: 47.93
Texas State: 47.82
Eastern Michigan: 47.41
Charlotte: 44.45