ESPN “Franchise” Rankings of ACC Football Programs

This week’s ESPN The Magazine is out, and while we’re not big fans of The Mag here at ITA, they do undergo an interesting exercise in this month’s issue. It’s their “Franchise” issue, and they rank the franchises in all major sports.

We homed in on the college football franchise rankings, to see where the ACC schools land.

The franchise rankings are a numbers-based exercise, but yes, there’s some subjectivity involved. It’s very important to note that the rankings cover the 14 years of the BCS. For the most part, the data involved do not go back earlier than 1998.

In The Mag‘s words:

[We] created three major categories of FBS success, then split them into nine factors: on-field performance (title track, head coach, schedule strength), off-field success (academics, recruiting, and NCAA violations), and traditions of success (NFL draft picks, stadium edge, and football revenue). For each factor [we] used data since 1998 (unless otherwise noted) to rank every team against its 119 FBS competitors, then weighted those results with emphasis on title track and player success the categories that most reflect a winning program.

The nine factors are broken down even further:

  • Title Track (25%): National titles since 1936 (emphasizing BCS era); BCS bowl bids and wins; league titles; years in final AP Top 25 Poll and AP Top Ten.
  • Head Coach (10%): Tenure (CFB and NFL); winning percentage; average turnover margin; average penalties per game (all since 2001).
  • Strength of Schedule (10%): Average SOS since 2003.
  • Academics (10%): US News and World Report ranking in 2012; Academic Progress Rate (APR) in 2010-11.
  • Recruiting (10%): Total ESPN 150 signees since 2007.
  • Player Success (15%): NFL draft picks (weighted by round); Heisman winners (all)
  • Stadium Edge (10%): SportsNation poll results for game day experience; home win percentage; differential between home and road win percentages.
  • Football Revenue (10%): 2010 figures, per US Dept. of Education.
  • NCAA Violations: Grade based on severity of sanctions since 1998.

Here are the top ten college football franchises, per those rankings … (drum roll please) …

  1. Oklahoma
  2. Ohio State
  3. Alabama
  4. LSU
  5. Texas
  6. Florida
  7. USC
  8. Georgia
  9. Michigan
  10. Auburn

Note the dearth of ACC programs. This is no surprise, though we will reveal that four ACC programs rank between #11 and #18.

Which leads us to where the ACC programs ranked. Another drum roll, please … please excuse the abbreviations, but space is tight.

[table id=82 /]

We’ll leave it to you to argue over the details, and trust us, we did the best we could transferring the numbers. Hopefully, no mistakes were made.

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