ACC lunchtime links

July, 10, 2014
Jul 10
12:00
PM ET
ESPN.com took a look toward the future Wednesday and unveiled the second annual CFB Future Power Rankings, which is more like a pre-era poll rather than a preseason poll. The rankings try to determine which 25 programs will be the best over a three-year period.

It’s an Insider article, but essentially five ESPN experts gave a 1-10 rating on five different categories, punched those numbers into a formula and scaled the schools based on the final grade with 100 being the maximum.

Alabama is still No. 1, but reigning champion Florida State is closing the gap. We’re not going to give all of the numbers and analysis away, but is Florida State poised to be No. 1 this time next season?

The Seminoles’ bevy of 2014 talent earned them a 9.8 out of 10 in roster strength, and they are the odds-on favorite to repeat as national champions. Only Alabama has recruited better recently, and a second championship could put the Noles on a level playing field with the Crimson Tide in the homes of prospects. And many are projecting Alabama and Florida State to play for the national title, and a head-to-head win could shake up the recruiting landscape.

Title path (i.e. strength of schedule/conference) is also taken into account, and Florida State is on a tier all by itself in the ACC. It’s foolish to just assume Florida State will continue to roll through the conference for the next four years, but Clemson is the only team right now with the talent to compete with the Noles for the next few seasons. The rest of the conference is looking to climb into that second tier with Clemson. The non-conference schedule is favorable too if the Gators continue to struggle.

When a program wins three out of the last five national championships and finishes with the No. 1 recruiting class just about every year, it deserves the honor of sitting atop the future rankings. But Florida State made a major jump from last year, and Alabama tumbled a bit in the projections, which could make the Seminoles the team to beat in the present and future.

Here are a few more links to help get you through the day:

Jared Shanker

Florida State/ACC reporter

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