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Florida State leads ESPN’s Strength of Record Rankings

Impressive start.

Boston College v Florida State Photo by Don Juan Moore/Getty Images

While Florida State football just entered the back end of traditional polls for the first time since 2018, another metric for measuring season accomplishment has the Seminoles much higher. In fact, the Garnet and Gold can’t get any higher in ESPN’s Strength of Record, which measures the chance an average Top 25 team could accomplish a specific record with the exact schedule played so far by any given team.

In other words, instead of being a predictive tool (such as SP+) or a subjective opinion (such as the AP Poll), Strength of Record measures what a team has actually accomplished on the field where it matters most—wins and losses. Not only is Florida State a perfect 4-0, it’s one of just two teams (Syracuse Orange) to beat three different Power 5 opponents. Maybe it shouldn’t come as a surprise, then, that the Seminoles’ 4-0 record, when considering the opponents, is the best strength of record in the country. The Alabama Crimson Tide are closely behind and then there’s a sizable gap down to two Big 10 schools, Ohio State and the Penn State Nittany Lions, respectively. The USC Trojans, coming off an impressive road win over the Oregon State Beavers, round out the top 5:

While Strength of Record isn’t an official ranking, it’s a tool referenced by past College Football Playoff committees. It’s sort of today’s version of the old BCS rankings that factored in strength of schedule and gave bonuses for elite wins.

So what do you think? Does FSU have the most impressive quartet of wins in the country? Is Strength of Record a meaningful metric? Can we trust anything that has the Kansas Jayhawks in the top 6?