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Every Top 25 Team’s Average Opponent Ranking

Alabama, Clemson and UCF aren’t much further apart than you think.

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NCAA Football: College Football Playoff National Championship-Clemson vs Alabama Adam Hagy-USA TODAY Sports

In addition to the AP Top 25 being released, USA Today also released their rankings of all 130 FBS teams. Since strength of schedule has always been the biggest argument for keeping the UCF Knights out of the playoff, I decided to take a look at each preseason top 25 team’s average opponent rank based on USA Today’s rankings. Here’s the breakdown:

Average FBS Opponent Rank

Team Avg. FBS Opponent Rank
Team Avg. FBS Opponent Rank
(8) Florida 41.0
(16) Auburn 42.1
(3) Georgia 45.9
(6) Louisiana State 46.1
(25) Stanford 48.3
(19) Wisconsin 50.1
(12) Texas A&M 50.4
(21) Iowa State 50.8
(4) Oklahoma 52.5
(5) Ohio State 52.6
(7) Michigan 52.8
(11) Oregon 53.0
(15) Penn State 53.5
(13) Washington 53.9
(10) Texas 54.2
(23) Washington State 54.8
(20) Iowa 55.1
(14) Utah 59.6
(9) Notre Dame 59.8
(2) Alabama 60.3
(1) Clemson 63.5
(18) Michigan State 64.1
(24) Nebraska 66.5
(22) Syracuse 68.9
(17) Central Florida 73.4

Naturally, UCF is at the bottom of the list which is to be expected when you don’t play in a power conference and you’re the only “G5” school in the Top 25. What really surprised me is that #1 Clemson and #2 Alabama are both in the bottom six of the list. Clemson’s average opponent rank is merely a difference of 9.9 from UCF’s. Yet if Clemson goes undefeated, there’s no doubt they will be in the playoff. The same goes for Syracuse, Nebraska and Michigan State who are all within a similar range as UCF.

The facts are the facts and if you’re part of the group that says UCF’s schedule isn’t good enough to make the playoff, what’s the excuse for Alabama? Clemson? Michigan State? Nebraska? Brand names and the belief that a conference like the ACC is that much better than the AAC is the real issue at hand.