Five-Year F/+ Rankings (2007-11)

Let the winter of data continue! With 2011 in the bag, that means we've got five-year F/+ rankings to update. Five-year history is the single best way to gauge a program's overall health at a glance, and even a weighted five-year history is typically a better predictor of the future than a simple look at last year.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
10 Virginia Tech ACC (Coastal)
16 Florida State ACC (Atlantic)
18 Clemson ACC (Atlantic)
31 Miami ACC (Coastal)
36 Boston College ACC (Atlantic)
37 Georgia Tech ACC (Coastal)
38 North Carolina ACC (Coastal)
57 Wake Forest ACC (Atlantic)
58 N.C. State ACC (Atlantic)
61 Maryland ACC (Atlantic)
62 Virginia ACC (Coastal)
83 Duke ACC (Coastal)

Longtime Football Outsiders readers know that our numbers tend to like the ACC more than eyeballs do. This is made evident by three teams finding position in the Top 18. Virginia Tech has slipped a little bit, while strong seasons in 2007-08 have kept Boston College propped up a bit, at least for now. And for what it's worth, future conference mates Pittsburgh (No. 27) and Syracuse (No. 85 -- don't forget how bad they were not too long ago) would rank fourth and 14th in the conference, respectively.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
2 Oklahoma Big 12 22.0%
6 TCU Big 12 20.5%
11 Texas Big 12 14.8%
12 West Virginia Big 12 14.5%
13 Oklahoma State Big 12 14.0%
34 Texas Tech Big 12 6.3%
63 Kansas State Big 12 -1.0%
74 Baylor Big 12 -3.8%
77 Kansas Big 12 -4.4%
92 Iowa State Big 12 -9.1%

Say what you will about the Big 12's stability (or lack thereof), but they're putting both a fun and high-quality product on the field right now. And the addition of TCU (great from 2008-10) and West Virginia (No. 2 in 2007) does them quite a few favors with these numbers. Throw in Oklahoma State's surge, and you've got an incredible six teams in the top 13. Granted, it falls apart pretty quickly after that, but that's a mighty top half to a conference. (For what it's worth, while we always hear about potential expansion back to 12 teams, there are no programs that would really add too terribly much from a five-year health perspective. Then again, BYU is sitting there at No. 30 ... not that an arrangement will ever work out with BYU.)

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
23 Cincinnati Big East 10.5%
27 Pittsburgh Big East 9.5%
32 South Florida Big East 7.7%
42 Connecticut Big East 5.1%
44 Rutgers Big East 3.6%
59 Louisville Big East 0.1%
85 Syracuse Big East -7.4%

I almost put Boise State here, but we'll see if they can get things pulled together quickly enough to get to the Big East in 2012 as rumored. The No. 4 Broncos give this table a different look, that's for sure. For what it's worth, here's what the 'future' Big East looks like:

1. Boise State (No. 4 overall)
2. Cincinnati (No. 23)
3. South Florida (No. 32)
4. Connecticut (No. 42)
5. Rutgers (No. 44)
6. Houston (No. 49)
7 .Central Florida (No. 52)
8. Air Force (No. 54)
9. Navy (No. 56)
10. Louisville (No. 59)
11. SMU (No. 81)
12. San Diego State (No. 91)

Five-year history gives us a reminder that some of the more exciting, up-and-coming programs in this future conference (Louisville, SMU, maybe San Diego State) haven't been "up-and-coming" for very long. "Moribund" would have applied not very long ago.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
9 Ohio State Big Ten (Leaders)
14 Wisconsin Big Ten (Leaders) 13.7%
15 Penn State Big Ten (Leaders) 13.4%
24 Iowa Big Ten (Legends)
28 Nebraska Big Ten (Legends) 9.3%
29 Michigan State Big Ten (Legends) 9.1%
39 Michigan Big Ten (Legends) 5.5%
46 Illinois Big Ten (Leaders) 3.2%
66 Northwestern Big Ten (Legends) -1.8%
67 Purdue Big Ten (Leaders) -2.2%
82 Minnesota Big Ten (Legends) -6.4%
94 Indiana Big Ten (Leaders) -9.8%

I love the Brady Hoke hire, and I think he'll take Michigan pretty far, but until he does ... well, the intended "balance" created when the conference ignored geography in creating their divisions is looking pretty silly. The Leaders Division has what have pretty easily been the three best teams in recent years. (Though I guess the "balance" here could be that the Leaders also has two of the three worst teams as well.)

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
48 Southern Miss C-USA (East)
49 Houston C-USA (West) 2.5%
50 Tulsa C-USA (West) 2.4%
52 Central Florida C-USA (East) 2.1%
64 East Carolina C-USA (East) -1.1%
81 SMU C-USA (West) -5.8%
89 Marshall C-USA (East) -8.1%
93 UTEP C-USA (West) -9.5%
103 Rice C-USA (West) -13.1%
105 UAB C-USA (East) -13.2%
117 Memphis C-USA (East) -17.7%
119 Tulane C-USA (West)

Alright, let's sketch out the future Mountain-USA arrangement here.

1. Southern Miss (No. 48)
2. Tulsa (No. 50)
3. Nevada (No. 60)
4. East Carolina (No. 64)
5. Fresno State (No. 71)
6. Hawaii (No. 72)
7. Marshall (No. 89)
8. UTEP (No. 93)
9. Colorado State (No. 101)
10. Rice (No. 103)
11. Wyoming (No. 104)
12. UAB (No. 105)
13. UNLV (No. 112)
14. Memphis (No. 117)
15. New Mexico (No. 118)
16. Tulane (No. 119)

That is, basically, one decent eight-team conference and one absolutely dreadful eight-team conference.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
30 BYU Independent 8.4%
35 Notre Dame Independent 6.3%
56 Navy Independent 0.6%
106 Army Independent -13.4%

Notre Dame is trending in the right direction, but wow, were they mediocre at the end of the Charlie Weis era. And by "end," I mean "final 60 percent."

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
69 Northern Illinois MAC (West)
70 Temple MAC (East)
76 Western Michigan MAC (West) -4.4%
78 Central Michigan MAC (West) -4.8%
79 Ohio MAC (East) -5.1%
84 Bowling Green MAC (East) -7.0%
88 Ball State MAC (West) -8.0%
90 Toledo MAC (West) -8.5%
97 Kent State MAC (East) -11.3%
98 Buffalo MAC (East) -11.5%
107 Miami-OH MAC (East) -13.6%
115 Akron MAC (East) -17.5%
116 Eastern Michigan MAC (West) -17.6%
NR Massachusetts MAC (East) N/A

I still say that UMass' inclusion here opens the geographic door for the re-emergence of 1930s power Fordham. COME ON, RAMS.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
4 Boise State MWC 21.3%
54 Air Force MWC 1.6%
60 Nevada MWC -0.2%
71 Fresno State MWC -3.4%
72 Hawaii MWC -3.7%
91 San Diego State MWC -9.0%
101 Colorado State MWC -12.6%
104 Wyoming MWC -13.1%
112 UNLV MWC -16.9%
118 New Mexico MWC -17.9%

A year and a half ago, it looked like the Mountain West might end up with the No. 4 (Boise State), No. 6 (TCU), No. 26 (Utah) and No. 30 (BYU) programs in the country. Now, they're having to merge with Conference USA to survive.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
7 Oregon Pac-12 (North)
8 USC Pac-12 (South) 19.4%
21 Stanford Pac-12 (North) 11.2%
26 Utah Pac-12 (South) 9.6%
33 Oregon State Pac-12 (North) 6.3%
41 Arizona Pac-12 (South) 5.2%
43 California Pac-12 (North) 4.7%
45 Arizona State Pac-12 (South) 3.5%
65 UCLA Pac-12 (South) -1.4%
75 Washington Pac-12 (North) -4.1%
87 Colorado Pac-12 (South)
114 Washington State Pac-12 (North) -17.3%

Five-year history includes two incredibly mediocre seasons for Stanford (65th in 2007, 59th in 2008), but they have been so good recently that they still find their way into the Top 25. And with the recruiting class they have put together ... yeah. Fortunes have turned. (Meanwhile, goodness gracious have Colorado and Washington State been awful.)

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
1 Alabama SEC (West) 25.1%
3 Florida SEC (East) 21.7%
5 LSU SEC (West) 20.8%
17 Georgia SEC (East) 12.8%
19 Arkansas SEC (West) 11.7%
20 Missouri SEC (East) 11.6%
22 Auburn SEC (West) 10.8%
25 South Carolina SEC (East) 10.0%
40 Tennessee SEC (East) 5.3%
47 Mississippi State SEC (West) 2.9%
51 Texas A&M SEC (West) 2.2%
53 Ole Miss SEC (West)
55 Kentucky SEC (East) 0.9%
73 Vanderbilt SEC (East) -3.8%

It is difficult to compare the Big 12 and SEC now, since one now has 10 teams and the other has 14. In that sense, of course the SEC's depth is going to be better. That said ... it's an interesting contrast between the two. The SEC has three of the top five, the Big 12 has six of the top 13, and the SEC has eight of the Top 25. And, of course, the two conferences have a ridiculous 14 of the Top 25. The Big Ten and Pac-12 are making some nice moves and putting plenty of money in the collective coffers, but they have a ways to go in the Quality department.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
68 Troy Sun Belt -2.4%
86 Arkansas State Sun Belt -7.4%
95 Florida International Sun Belt -9.9%
96 Middle Tennessee Sun Belt -10.8%
99 UL-Lafayette Sun Belt -12.3%
102 UL-Monroe Sun Belt -12.9%
108 Florida Atlantic Sun Belt -14.1%
110 Western Kentucky Sun Belt -15.7%
111 North Texas Sun Belt -16.5%
NR South Alabama Sun Belt N/A

It is difficult to match the MAC when it comes to pure parity, but the Sun Belt is trying. From a five-year perspective, Troy is still the class of the league, but teams No. 3-9 are only 16 spots apart overall.

5Yr Rk Team Conference 5Yr F/+
80 Louisiana Tech WAC -5.5%
100 Utah State WAC -12.3%
109 San Jose State WAC -15.4%
113 Idaho WAC -17.2%
120 New Mexico State WAC -21.8%
NR UT-Arlington WAC N/A
NR Texas State WAC N/A

Is it too late to get Louisiana Tech involved in the Mountain-USA arrangement?

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