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Dominance Ranking, Week 5

The "Dominance Ranking" is a stat that I maintain as a measure of how strongly teams are beating their opponents. Each team’s "Dominance Score" is the sum of each team’s national rank in scoring offense and in scoring defense. I tally these stats weekly, but don’t put any stock whatsoever into the ranking until about five games into the year.

Last season the final Dominance Ranking showed the Central Michigan (6th) and Air Force (11th) were probably underrated.

Here're the top 25 most dominant teams in college football, through five weeks.

Rank Team
1 Utah
3 Oregon
4 Alabama
5 Boise St.
5 Nebraska
7 Ohio St.
8 San Diego St.
9 Missouri
10 Arizona
11 Iowa
12 Nevada
13 Florida St.
13 Stanford
15 Baylor
16 Wisconsin
17 Miami (FL)
18 California
19 Texas A&M
20 Arkansas
20 Auburn
22 Michigan St.
23 Syracuse
24 South Fla.
25 Air Force

This year’s final ranking is still a few months away, but the early ranking shows a thing or two about over- and under-rated teams. Easy pickings: the Utah Utes may be dynamos this year, and nobody’s talking about them. We won’t know for sure until they play a team with a pulse, but after five weeks it’s the Utes at number one.

The Mountain West looks formidable, indeed, as TCU comes in ranked second, helped by the first conference shutout on the road in Gary Patterson’s tenure at the top of that program. San Diego State is also in the top-ten, after a bye week. Look for another top-ten score for the Aztecs, as they face downward-spiralling BYU next.

Speaking of BYU, the Cougars check in at 108th in the weekly Dominance Ranking, for the second consecutive week. For a program that hadn’t finished a year ranked lower than 24th since 2005, a triple-digit ranking smarts. BYU has jettisoned one coach already; look for more to get pushed overboard if things don’t improve.

The center of gravity in Texas is decidely off its normal course. After TCU, the next highest team from the Lone Star State is: Baylor. A&M is 19th. Texas does still outrank SMU, 61 to 68.