This week I would like to introduce the first round of NCAA College Football rankings using a new computer algorithm I’m calling Forward Progress. For information about the history and background of CFB ranking systems check out this article, otherwise on to the rankings!

As mentioned earlier Forward Progress is a CFB computer poll that uses no human ratings or input to predict the results of hypothetical team matchups. By using game data instead of subjective “eye tests” the rankings are theoretically unbiased but are subject to variance caused by unlikely outcomes or flukey games. I have a (slightly) technical rundown of the algorithm here, take a look if you’re at all interested in data analysis or statistics.

Without further ado, here are the Forward Progress rankings for the week of 2017-10-01. The Predicted Wins column shows the total wins predicted against every other FBS team both home and away. 258 Wins would be a perfect score against the field.


  Team Predicted Wins Ranking Date
1 Alabama 245 2017-10-01
2 Clemson 243 2017-10-01
3 Ohio State 238 2017-10-01
4 Oklahoma 238 2017-10-01
5 Penn State 237 2017-10-01
6 USC 237 2017-10-01
7 Washington 235 2017-10-01
8 Auburn 227 2017-10-01
9 Florida State 227 2017-10-01
10 Virginia Tech 227 2017-10-01
11 Wisconsin 227 2017-10-01
12 Michigan 226 2017-10-01
13 Miami (FL) 220 2017-10-01
14 Notre Dame 219 2017-10-01
15 Oklahoma State 219 2017-10-01
16 Georgia 215 2017-10-01
17 West Virginia 210 2017-10-01
18 Washington State 208 2017-10-01
19 Georgia Tech 207 2017-10-01
20 Texas Christian 207 2017-10-01
21 Colorado State 204 2017-10-01
22 LSU 204 2017-10-01
23 Stanford 202 2017-10-01
24 Louisville 198 2017-10-01
25 Kansas State 197 2017-10-01

At the top end there aren’t too many surprises, but because the model gauges performance over a 10 game history it isn’t very responsive to recent wins or losses. All in all, I’m generally happy with the rankings right now and will continue updating them on a weekly basis.