9 SEC teams among ESPN’s 2016 preseason Top 25

It’s never too early to make football predictions for next year. Although with National Signing Day passed, this may be a good time to come out with more accurate rankings than the day after the National Championship.

That said, ESPN came out with its first Football Power Index, one of the most referenced in college football.

ESPN characterizes the rankings as so: Preseason FPI is designed to take the guesswork out of preseason ratings. It is an automated ranking intended to measure team strength going forward. It is not a ranking of who will have the highest win total (which is dependent on schedule) or who is most likely to make the College Football Playoff.

The first rankings were released this week, weighing offensive performance, defense and special teams for the past four seasons, returning starters, recruiting results from the last four years and head coaching tenure.

With all that counted, the rankings came out as follows:

  1. LSU
  2. Florida State
  3. Oklahoma
  4. Clemson
  5. Tennessee
  6. Alabama
  7. Ole Miss
  8. USC
  9. Georgia
  10. Oklahoma State
  11. Michigan
  12. Louisville
  13. Washington
  14. Texas A&M
  15. Notre Dame
  16. Baylor
  17. Ohio State
  18. Stanford
  19. UCLA
  20. North Carolina
  21. Auburn
  22. Mississippi State
  23. Florida
  24. West Virginia
  25. Nebraska

Those teams in bold signify SEC schools, and with nine within the top 25, it looks like their dominance will last at least another year.

The big surprise is LSU atop the rankings even with coach Les Miles and Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette coming back, and National Champion Alabama not even in the top five ranked number six.

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*Featured Photo (above) credit to USA TODAY Sports

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