# Fornelli 50 college football rankings: A team other than Alabama is No. 1

Ranking teams is something that is just done in the college football world. For years, polls decided which team won the national title while in recent decades, those same polls were used to help determine which teams would play for the national title.

Even now, in the College Football Playoff era, it's a poll put together by a selection committee that determines the four teams that qualify for the playoff. Not every poll's created the same way. Some are a collection of individual polls, while mathematical formulas determine others.

The Fornelli 50 is one of the latter polls. While it's something I've long tracked on my own, the Fornelli 50 didn't debut on CBS Sports until last season, and now we begin the second year of my rankings. For those of you coming across these rankings for the first time, here's a quick reminder on how they're tabulated.

1. My opinion has absolutely nothing to do with the rankings: They are based on a mathematical formula of my creation. Early in the season, when there's such a limited sample size with which to work, there can be some wonky results. It's a situation that's more drastic this year, as we have some teams that have played three games, and others who have played only one due to cancellations caused by both hurricanes Harvey and Irma. So keep all of this in mind before you call me an idiot, which I know you will.

2. There is true equality to start: The math doesn't play favorites. Before the season begins, defending national champion Clemson is just as good as our defending Bottom 25 champion Texas State. The only factor that matters in the rankings is how you've performed on the field in 2017 to this point.

3. Wins and losses mean more than anything: I have a lot of different statistics involved, and I factor in strength of schedule, but at the end of the day, whether you won or lost is going to mean more than anything else. Also, just because it's too difficult for me to rank FCS teams as well, my formula doesn't have much respect for FCS schools. If you beat one it won't mean much, and if you lose to one, well, you might show up in The Bottom 25.

4. The formula is in no way predictive: It is based on nothing but what has occurred in the season to this point in time. Just because a team is currently ranked No. 15 does not mean it's better or that it's going to beat a team ranked No. 35. It just means that, to this point, it has been the 15th-best team in the country. Think of it as a meritocracy in its purest form.

5. I won't share the formula: I just don't want to. I'm not a mathematician. I know my formula isn't perfect. I don't think a perfect formula can exist, so I don't share it because I don't care what anybody thinks. So don't ask. Just know that, even if you don't agree with it right now, at the end of the season, it has been startlingly accurate.

There, now that we've gotten all of that out of the way, let's find out who the best 50 teams in college football are so far this season.

Fornelli 50 Rankings
CBS Sports Writer

Tom Fornelli has been a college football writer at CBS Sports since 2010. During his time at CBS, Tom has proven time and again that he hates your favorite team and thinks your rival is a paragon of football... Full Bio

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