21 Feb 2014
It's no secret that the preseason college football top-25 rankings every year feature many of the same names. That's partly due to reputation, but over the course of many seasons the best programs secure the best recruits and generally perform up to expectations.
Program continuity and consistency aren't just a feature of the teams at the top either. Some programs aren't built to be conference and national contenders, but have found a groove at or just outside the top 25 that has produced regular bowl appearances and just enough victories to keep coaches in place for long periods of time. Program FEI is one way to measure program strength, a function of five years of performance efficiency data weighted for more recent seasons.
We've recently developed visualizations of these program ratings, rolling five-year data sets that smooth out the sometimes volatile year-to-year performances in order to isolate on the overall health of a given program at each point in the last 25 years.
For ESPN Insider, we highlighted five programs that have been the most stable in the last quarter century. Each has an opportunity to elevate its program status this fall, and a strong and consistent foundation from which to build.