With a month remaining until college football is officially back in our lives (as if it wasn’t already with the constant barrage of realignment moves, rumors, and drama), which means it's time for all the preseason hype and speculation to begin, and there’s no finer way to do so than with a top 25.
The Block U Power Index (or BUPI for short) is a ranking system that initially factors in various metrics including last season’s performance (both regular season and bowl games), returning production, recruiting information over the last three recruiting cycles, current transfer additions or losses, coaching staff changes, etc. As the season unfolds, rankings are updated weekly based on actual wins, losses, injuries, etc, and is used to generate point spreads for predicting matchup outcomes. This is a metric I have been using privately for some time and am now sharing with the Block U community, so without further adieu, the inaugural BUPI for the 2022 season:
2. Ohio State
6. Penn State
11. Mississippi State
13. Florida State
17. Michigan State
19. South Carolina
The surprise of the poll is undoubtedly #3 Miami, but the algorithm likes the Hurricanes in regards to strength of schedule, the addition of Mario Cristobal, and the fact that they were a mere 8 points from being undefeated in conference play last season. Many early season polls are looking at Clemson to reclaim their place at the top of the ACC, but my money is on a very capable Miami program that looks to be on the rise after decades of false starts. Additionally, a 20th-ranked Washington team looks perhaps even more perplexing than Miami, however, Washington was pegged to be a top 25 team last season before face planting in week one to FCS Montana and stumbling their way to a measly four-win season. Thankfully for the Huskies, the Jimmy Lake era is a thing of the past, and Kalen DeBoer brings a winning pedigree to a team that returns 77% of last season’s production while plugging some holes via the transfer portal (though some experienced lineman would have been beneficial). With all that said, this is a University of Utah blog, and the BUPI really likes the Utes, so let's get to the fun stuff.
Running the numbers, BUPI has the Utes favored in all matchups with their closest games coming against Florida (+3.5) and UCLA (+1), eventually moving up the rankings in a simulated season to claim the four seed in the CFP, facing #1 Alabama, while Ohio State takes on Miami (for what it's worth, a theoretical Alabama (-17) vs Utah (+17) wouldn’t end well for the Utes, according to the algorithm). Running a simulated season, the most likely final PAC-12 rankings could look something like this:
10. Arizona State
11. Washington State
12. Oregon State
While the full 131 team ranking will not be released at this time, other notable preseason rankings include UCF (27, the highest ranked G5 program) Oregon (29), Nebraska (31), Notre Dame (46), Boise State (47), Cincinnati (49), BYU (53), USC (66), San Diego State (102) and Hawaii (131).