All 130 college football programs are ranked in wins, attendance, draft and more in the 2020 CFN Five-Year Program Analysis
Which college football programs are doing the best jobs overall, which once have all the advantages, and most of all, who’s winning?
At the end of the day, if your college football program wins a lot of games, everything else works out from the attendance, the draft picks, and the money that all follows from all of the success.
Created over two decades ago, the CFN Five-Year Program Analysis takes a look at several different factors to rank all 130 programs from all of the difference aspects.
When we first did this, Miami owned the 1990s. Florida and Nebraska had their say for a while, USC took over, and now you know who the big boys are.
How are the rankings determined? Click here for all of the category descriptions.
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 9.48
2019 Ranking: 126
2018 Ranking: 123
2017 Ranking: 117
Biggest Positive: 4 players drafted
Biggest Negative: 8 FBS wins
Analysis: Years of struggles have led to this. UTEP won just eight games over FBS teams over the last five years, and all eight of them were bad wins – wins over FCS teams or teams that finished with three wins or fewer.
– CFN UTEP 2020 Team Preview
129 Texas State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 15.04
2019 Ranking: 124
2018 Ranking: 118
2017 Ranking: 114
Biggest Positive: 2 Quality Wins
Biggest Negative: 2.5 Bad Win Score
Analysis: When you only win eight games over FBS teams and you have a Bad Win Score of 2.5, that’s not good. The Bobcats haven’t won enough, the attendance has struggled, and the APR isn’t good.
– CFN Texas State 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 15.25
2019 Ranking: 129
2018 Ranking: 130
2017 Ranking: 130
Biggest Positive: 5 players drafted
Biggest Negative: 1.12 Attendance Score
Analysis: It’s been tough being an independent. The team doesn’t win enough, the 11.5 Bad Loss score stinks, and there’s not enough of a home attendance to make anything work. The dismal APR score adds insult to injury.
– CFN UMass 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 16.46
2019 Ranking: 128
2018 Ranking: 127
2017 Ranking: 123
Biggest Positive: 2.66 Attendance Score
Biggest Negative: 6 FBS wins
Analysis: Boston College and Texas Tech last season, Central Michigan, Rutgers and TCU in 2018, Texas in 2015. Those are the six wins over FBS wins in the last five seasons. That’s it. There’s nothing else positive – including the attendance – across the board.
– CFN Kansas 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 17.62
2019 Ranking: 117
2018 Ranking: 95
2017 Ranking: 78
Biggest Positive: 9.816 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 0 Quality Wins
Analysis: It’s been a simple issue – the football team doesn’t win enough football games. The Owls have won just 11 over FBS programs in the last five years, and none of them came against teams that finished with a winning record. The players rock in the classroom, though.
– CFN Rice 2020 Team Preview
125 Kent State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 22.52
2019 Ranking: 130
2018 Ranking: 125
2017 Ranking: 106
Biggest Positive: 9.74 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 1.25 Attendance Score
Analysis: The program finally knows what it’s like to win a little bit after going bowling last season, but it still needs to do a whole lot more to move up. The Attendance Score is a huge problem, and winning just 28% of all MAC games doesn’t help.
– CFN Kent State 2020 Team Preview
124 Coastal Carolina
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 23.18
2019 Ranking: 125
2018 Ranking: 128
2017 Ranking: 127
Biggest Positive: 9.69 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 1.16 Attendance Score
Analysis: There aren’t enough wins overall – it only had three years of stats in the mix – but the APR is good and there was enough success packed in the three seasons to start moving up a bit.
– CFN Coastal Carolina 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 24.48
2019 Ranking: 121
2018 Ranking: 117
2017 Ranking: 105
Biggest Positive: 1 Elite Win
Biggest Negative: 9.762 APR Score
Analysis: UConn 20, Houston 17. The Huskies handed the Cougars their only loss of 2015, and that Elite Win is a huge help to the overall cause. Five players were drafted, and the APR Score is great, but there have to be more wins. Fast.
– CFN UConn 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 24.89
2019 Ranking: 122
2018 Ranking: 114
2017 Ranking: 118
Biggest Positive: 16 FBS Wins
Biggest Negative: 8 Bad Loss Score
Analysis: The 16 FBS wins are the most by anyone ranked lower than 115th, but the real boost comes from the eight wins over teams that finished with winning records. That’s a problem, though – the program has been good enough to be able to beat a few nice teams to expect more than this overall.
– CFN UNLV 2020 Team Preview
121 San Jose State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 25.56
2019 Ranking: 120
2018 Ranking: 109
2017 Ranking: 75
Biggest Positive: 6 Draft Score
Biggest Negative: 1.49 Attendance Score
Analysis: Things started to get better last season with a few more wins, but they weren’t enough to come up with any sort of a boost. The Spartans are getting better, but the attendance is always going to be a problem, and winning more Mountain West games is a must.
– CFN San Jose State 2020 Team Preview
120 Ball State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 25.76
2019 Ranking: 119
2018 Ranking: 111
2017 Ranking: 89
Biggest Positive: Put it this way. 13 FBS wins are the most by anyone in the bottom eight. That’s about as nice a thing as can be said for a Cardinal program that struggled, but might just turn a corner with a strong team being built up.
Biggest Negative: 0.95 Attendance Score
Analysis: Put it this way … the 13 FBS wins
– CFN Ball State 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 26.03
2019 Ranking: 123
2018 Ranking: 126
2017 Ranking: Not Ranked
Biggest Positive: 56% winning %
Biggest Negative: 9.488 APR Score
Analysis: The Flames have only been in the FBS world for two years, so there aren’t enough bulk win stats to push out of the ranking doldrums. However, the program is starting to win, it went to a bowl, and it should start to make some noise with a few more decent campaigns.
– CFN Liberty 2020 Team Preview
118 New Mexico State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 26.33
2019 Ranking: 118
2018 Ranking: 121
2017 Ranking: 128
Biggest Positive: 9 Bad Wins
Biggest Negative: 29% winning percentage
Analysis: It’s been rough for New Mexico State to bust through – even with a winning season and a bowl victory a few years ago – without any one category that’s any good. When you “only” have nine bad wins, and that’s a plus, there’s a problem.
– CFN New Mexico State 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 26.37
2019 Ranking: 127
2018 Ranking: 129
2017 Ranking: 129
Biggest Positive: 15 FBS Wins
Biggest Negative: 1.29 Attendance Score
Analysis: This is still a new program that’s getting stronger and stronger, coming off a trip to a bowl game. The fan base – at least the attendance – is still going to need time to build, but the trend is moving up overall.
– CFN Charlotte 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 27.83
2019 Ranking: 109
2018 Ranking: 100
2017 Ranking: 84
Biggest Positive: 9.736 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 10 FBS Wins
Analysis: The program just doesn’t win football games. The Scarlet Knights have won fewer than 10% of their conference games, and ten FBS wins are miniscule. The saving stats are the APR and the attendance – 40,000 people a game is okay no matter how it works.
– CFN Rutgers 2020 Team Preview
115 East Carolina
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 28.18
2019 Ranking: 105
2018 Ranking: 80
2017 Ranking: 72
Biggest Positive: 3.8 Attendance Score
Biggest Negative: 20% Conference Winning %
Analysis: If the Pirates can just start winning on a regular basis, the fan base will be there to start cranking things up. The 14 FBS wins, though, aren’t good, and the 20% clip in AAC play stinks. Just two Quality Wins is a disaster.
– CFN East Carolina 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 20.63
2019 Ranking: 115
2018 Ranking: 113
2017 Ranking: 104
Biggest Positive: 9.664 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 1.32 Attendance Score
Analysis: The Warhawks are sort of winning, and they’ve been competitive, but the program should be better. The APR Score isn’t that great, and the 13 Bad Wins are too many. Winning just 40% of Sun Belt games isn’t good enough.
– CFN ULM 2020 Team Preview
113 Old Dominion
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 30.66
2019 Ranking: 102
2018 Ranking: 103
2017 Ranking: 107
Biggest Positive: 21 FBS Wins
Biggest Negative: 15 Bad Wins
Analysis: The 2019 Monarchs were disappointing, and there haven’t been enough wins overall, but the 21 FBS victories over the last five years aren’t bad for being this low. There’s not a lot to get excited about, though, from the other categories.
– CFN Old Dominion 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 30.75
2019 Ranking: 106
2018 Ranking: 99
2017 Ranking: 115
Biggest Positive: 20 FBS Wins
Biggest Negative: 9.452 APR Score
Analysis: Going 0-12 in 2019 doesn’t help the cause. The 20 FBS wins in the previous four seasons are the saving grace to keep things from sinking any further. There’s just nothing to get interested in across the numbers board, with the 40% winning clip in MAC play one of the few positives.
– CFN Akron 2020 Team Preview
111 Bowling Green
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 30.98
2019 Ranking: 103
2018 Ranking: 78
2017 Ranking: 60
Biggest Positive: 40% Conference Winning Percentage
Biggest Negative: 1.62 Attendance Score
Analysis: The Falcons did just enough winning a few years ago to see the slide in the rankings – 60th in 2017?! – go any further, but this is bad. The Attendance Score is always a problem, and the 12 Bad Wins don’t help.
– CFN Bowling Green 2020 Team Preview
110 Oregon State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 32.09
2019 Ranking: 113
2018 Ranking: 98
2017 Ranking: 73
Biggest Positive: 8 players drafted
Biggest Negative: 18% conference winning percentage
Analysis: The Beavers haven’t won a whole lot of games lately with just nine victories over FBS teams over the last five seasons. The Attendance Score of 3.52 isn’t okay, and getting eight players drafted helps, but they have to be a LOT better in Pac-12 play.
– CFN Oregon State 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 33.53
2019 Ranking: 104
2018 Ranking: 93
2017 Ranking: 94
Biggest Positive: 1 Bad Loss
Biggest Negative: 15 Bad Wins
Analysis: Give UTSA credit for one thing despite the crash in the rankings over the last few years – it doesn’t lose to the miserable teams. The key in Conference USA is to not drop the games to the dregs, and the loss to North Texas – the only win of the Mean Green season – in 2015 is it. In this case, a Bad Win score of 15 isn’t that awful – you’re doing your job.
– CFN UTSA 2020 Team Preview
108 Georgia State
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 34.45
2019 Ranking: 116
2018 Ranking: 124
2017 Ranking: 126
Biggest Positive: 7 Quality Wins
Biggest Negative: 7 Bad Loss Score
Analysis: The Panthers’ run to a bowl game and a 7-6 season – with wins over Tennessee and Arkansas State – helped boost up the the program’s ranking despite the rough Attendance Score of 1.5 and horrible Bad Loss Score. Losing to Texas State last season hurts.
– CFN Georgia State 2020 Team Preview
107 South Alabama
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 34.70
2019 Ranking: 93
2018 Ranking: 87
2017 Ranking: 99
Biggest Positive: 6 Quality Wins
Biggest Negative: 28% conference winning percentage
Analysis: The Jaguars aren’t getting it done in the Sun Belt. They only have 15 FBS wins overall and can’t get enough big performances in conference play, but a win at Troy in 2017 and a victory over San Diego State on the road gave them a 2.5 Elite Win score to put a stop to the ranking freefall.
– CFN South Alabama 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 34.95
2019 Ranking: 101
2018 Ranking: 102
2017 Ranking: 95
Biggest Positive: 9.808 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 23% conference winning percentage
Analysis: The Lovie Smith era isn’t exactly taking off. Yeah, Illinois went to a bowl game last season, but the 17 FBS wins and a mere three Quality Wins aren’t getting it done. Getting almost 40,000 fans per game helps, and the APR Score is great, but the program doesn’t win enough Big Ten games.
– CFN Illinois 2020 Team Preview
105 New Mexico
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 35.00
2019 Ranking: 97
2018 Ranking: 96
2017 Ranking: 93
Biggest Positive: 1 Bad Loss Score
Biggest Negative: 33% conference win percentage
Analysis: The Lobos went to bowl games in 2015 and 2016, and everything fell off the map with with just two wins that weren’t against FCS or teams that finished with three wins or fewer over the last three seasons. The program has just one Mountain West win since late September of 2017.
– CFN New Mexico 2020 Team Preview
104 Eastern Michigan
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 36.64
2019 Ranking: 114
2018 Ranking: 122
2017 Ranking: 124
Biggest Positive: 23 FBS wins
Biggest Negative: 1.41 Attendance Score
Analysis: It’s hard to move up too much when the attendance hovers around 14,000 a game and the team wins about 38% of its MAC games. However, the 23 wins for a program that struggled for so, so long is fantastic.
– CFN Eastern Michigan 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 38.40
2019 Ranking: 112
2018 Ranking: 106
2017 Ranking: 82
Biggest Positive: 23 FBS wins
Biggest Negative: 4.5 Bad Loss Score
Analysis: The Golden Hurricane are struggling to get to 20,000 fans a game in the stands, and the 4.5 Bad Loss Score is crushing, but the 2-10 season of 2014 isn’t on the books anymore so the ranking went up. Improving the 9.4 APR and the 48% conference winning clip would help.
– CFN Tulsa 2020 Team Preview
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 39.51
2019 Ranking: 100
2018 Ranking: 112
2017 Ranking: 101
Biggest Positive: 9.714 APR Score
Biggest Negative: 1.82 Attendance Score
Analysis: It seems like the Wolf Pack should be a whole lot better than this. They have a not-horrible 26 wins over FBS teams and six Quality Wins, the Bad Loss Score of 5 and the mediocre attendance are a drag.
– CFN Nevada 2020 Team Preview
101 North Texas
Five-Year Program Analysis Score: 40.22
2019 Ranking: 94
2018 Ranking: 89
2017 Ranking: 102
Biggest Positive: 8 Quality Wins
Biggest Negative: 2 players drafted
Analysis: The Mean Green won 24 games over FBS teams over the last five years, and the eight wins over teams that finished with a winning record are great, but the 14 bad wins and 3.5 Bad Loss Score brought the ranking down.
– CFN North Texas 2020 Team Preview