If you were unaware, Pro Football Focus does college football power rankings. The site attempts to rank teams using advanced analysts but based on some of their results, they may need to go back to the drawing board when it comes to their formula.
The two teams at the top — Clemson and Alabama — are no surprise, but that’s where things get interesting. LSU is ranked No. 3 in the nation. While that’s not totally out of the question, Iowa is No. 10 and Kentucky is No. 19.
The Elo algorithm updates a team’s rating dynamically through using the outcome of a game versus what was expected to happen in a game, assigning bigger bumps to teams that upset great teams than teams that narrowly beat teams for which they are big favorites. The PFF version uses PFF grades for every facet of play to derive what the score of a game should have been based on an ensemble of models that weigh positive and negative plays in said facets.
That breakdown, which is likely very fluid at this time considering there are no games to actually judge these teams entering the 2019 season, resulted in the following preseason rankings for SEC teams: