Andrew Luck, Stanford join the elite

Andrew Luck has piloted Stanford into a new tier of college football's hierarchy. Getty Images

In college football, it's usually true that most of the teams that were good when you were growing up are still good today; that's actually a major reason that recent history -- particularly four and five-year performance -- factor so heavily into Football Outsiders' preseason F/+ projections. The greatest predictor for future success is past success.

Or is it?

The 2010 season has flipped five-year history on its ear. If you look at the cumulative F/+ standings from 2005 to 2009, only three of the top 10 teams from that period are in the top 10 this season -- the Ohio State Buckeyes (No. 4), the Alabama Crimson Tide (No. 5) and the TCU Horned Frogs (No. 2). The two best teams in F/+ standings since 2005, the Florida Gators and USC Trojans, are ranked No. 23 and No. 25, respectively, in that metric this season. The Texas Longhorns, who are No. 4 overall in the 2005-2009 area, are No. 54 this season.

Obviously, as some teams drop from the elite tier, others must rise into it. Here's a breakdown of the changing dynamics in the 2010 college football season. For a broader understanding of the stats we at Football Outsiders focus on, you can read this.