Welcome to the 2018 Drive’s College Football Hour Glass

Welcome to the 2018 Drive’s College Football Hour Glass

It’s April 3rd 2018, which means spring is here, we are in the second quarter of 2018 and it’s time for the Drive’s College Football Hour Glass – our analytical system dedicated to picking and projecting college football games.

If you are just hearing about our system, it is a numbers based system used to pick every college football game in Division One, and do so five months before we ever play a snap or spring game. We use three basic criteria on the Hour Glass and those are a three year recruiting evaluation stamp or ranking, a three year coaching stamp or ranking and a returning quarterback rank or stamp. All those numbers give us a team identifier that allows us to rank teams, coaches, recruiting, quarterback play and ultimately decide the fate of college football teams.

Last year was a monumental year for the Hour Glass as we picked 526 college football games and pegged 432 of them, which is good for 83%. That prediction rate is higher than almost all the big boys in college football or your main stream media outlets. We also were 66% ATS (Against the Spread), on in game action in 2017.

The Graph below also shows you how good we were on all Power Five win totals, pegging 72% of all teams within TWO games or less of their final win totals.


We pegged seven of 10 participants in Conference Championship Weekend, four of five conference winners and the National Champion in Alabama and did it all at this time last year.

This year we are expanding our coverage to all 130 teams, which means we have already predicted the outcome of every game in the Group of Five, Power Five and Independents. To be exact, we had every game finished on March 3, 2018, almost SIX Months to the day, from the start of college football.

Over the next several months we will roll out team previews, conference previews, rankings of all kinds and who we think ends up in the College Football Playoff and more.

Before we go any further I want to thank John Luke McCord with SES Mississippi for joining our Hour Glass team and contributing to a ton of content. We could not do this alone so we appreciate the work John Luke has done and his contributions.

We would also like to thank Wint Mcgee with Supreme Lending for helping make this project possible. Make sure for all your mortgage needs you give Wint a call at 601 906 7074 or head over to mortgagemanms.com today.


So without further ado, let’s start diving into the data.

Talent, Talent and more Talent – It Matters

We will get more into talent as the year progresses, but regardless of what the bull headed Bob Meat fan says; talent matters. Since 1998 we have seen the average four year recruiting composite of the National Champion in College Football settle out at a national ranking of 6th in the country. Conversely, we have seen the runner up settle out around 10th in the country in recruiting.

We saw this yet again prove to be true a year ago, where the four teams in the 2018 College Football Playoff had a combined four year recruiting average of 6.5 in the country.

In terms of talent, we rank all 130 teams on a three year composite average and identify a realistic National Championship Contender Line – meaning, there is an extreme possibility one of these teams in this group will win the National Title in 2018-19 based on their talent profile.


Alabama is no longer the dominate force in recruiting as we have seen Ohio State and Georgia make a push the last couple of years. All three teams are dead even or separated by only hundredths of a percent.

USC, Florida and Michigan continue to recruit at a nice rate, and Miami under Mark Richt has moved officially inside our Realistic NCC Contender Line.

Our second tier of recruiters are teams that have enough talent to get to the College Football Playoff, but those odds drop drastically. These teams need superb quarterback play, high end coaching and a schedule conducive to navigating to the CFB Playoff. We have seen Washington and Michigan State accomplish this feat over the last several years and both fall again in this class of recruiters.

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Our Top Fifteen Coaches:
We know the importance of a great coach and while the country is full of really good ones, only four active coaches have won National Championships in Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Dabo Swinney and Jimbo Fisher. We will look at each conference and dedicate specific time to our coaches, but here is our top 15 for 2018. Our average coaching rank or stamp for 2018 on coaches sets at 3.75. We will look at all 130 coaches in the coming months as we head towards the season and via team previews. 


Group of Five top 15 coaches:

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Quarterback is the great equalizer:

Quarterback play is our final criteria we look at in our analytics and it can make or break a team. Take Auburn in 2010; they were a recruiter at the time that was in our realistic BCS contender line, but Cam Newton’s play propelled them to a National Championship. Or – Virginia Tech in 1999 as they had mid-level talent, but Michael Vick propelled them to the National Title Game. Just recently we saw what Tua Tagovailoa was able to accomplish for Alabama in one half of football. 

We will look specifically at all 130 programs and their quarterbacks, but here are our 2018 top 20 quarterbacks. Our average quarterback rating for 2018 is set and defined by a value of 8.3.

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2018 Power Rankings:

Finally – our Power Rankings are established off these three criteria and are different than our final rankings. This is NOT how we think the season will play out - just how we initially rank all teams. We then apply schedules, games and conference championships to determine our College Football Playoff participants and New Year's Day Six teams. 

Here is our overall Power Rankings for all 130 teams in Division One.

Coming tomorrow - our Final Rankings, National Champion and More. 

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2018 College Football Year End Rankings on the Hour Glass

2018 College Football Year End Rankings on the Hour Glass