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Ohio State creeps ahead of Alabama in final preseason S&P+ projections

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All is right with the world.

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

In May at SB Nation, I posted preseason S&P+ projections based on certain factors.

Below you'll find my initial S&P+ projections for 2015 (initial, because there will be an update right before the season with updated starter numbers and whatnot).

The process is to come up with three sets of projections based on five-year performance (weighted to make 2014 more important than 2013, and so on), the likely changes associated with each team's returning starter figures, and the likely changes associated with each team's two-year recruiting averages (recruiting rankings are relatively solid predictive stats).

I blend them together based on what has produced the best results in the past. That means recent history carrying the most weight and recruiting carrying the least.

After fussing with factor weights a bit more and adjusting teams' returning starter figures, it's time to post updated projections. And the new No. 1 team is probably the right team to be starting the season No. 1.

Team Conference Percentile Proj. S&P+ Rk Proj. Off Rk Proj. Def Rk May Rk Change
Ohio State Big Ten 99.0% 27.1 1 46.7 1 19.6 14 2 1
Alabama SEC 98.2% 24.5 2 39.3 11 14.8 5 1 -1
Ole Miss SEC 96.3% 20.9 3 34.5 32 13.6 1 6 3
Oregon Pac-12 96.3% 20.9 4 45.7 2 24.8 39 4 0
Georgia SEC 96.2% 20.8 5 41.8 4 21.1 17 3 -2
UCLA Pac-12 95.3% 19.6 6 41.6 5 22.0 21 7 1
Auburn SEC 95.3% 19.6 7 40.8 7 21.2 18 5 -2
Arkansas SEC 95.2% 19.4 8 38.3 15 18.9 12 12 4
LSU SEC 94.0% 18.2 9 35.2 28 17.0 7 8 -1
Michigan State Big Ten 93.6% 17.8 10 39.8 9 22.0 23 9 -1
Oklahoma Big 12 92.8% 17.1 11 39.3 12 22.2 26 10 -1
USC Pac-12 92.1% 16.5 12 38.9 13 22.5 28 13 1
Baylor Big 12 91.8% 16.2 13 41.0 6 24.7 38 14 1
Tennessee SEC 91.4% 16.0 14 33.7 35 17.7 9 20 6
TCU Big 12 90.7% 15.5 15 37.7 17 22.3 27 18 3
Notre Dame Ind 90.4% 15.3 16 37.8 16 22.5 29 16 0
Clemson ACC 89.8% 14.9 17 28.9 59 14.1 3 15 -2
Stanford Pac-12 89.6% 14.7 18 35.2 27 20.5 16 11 -7
Georgia Tech ACC 89.1% 14.4 19 41.9 3 27.5 57 19 0
Florida State ACC 88.9% 14.3 20 36.3 23 22.0 25 17 -3
Texas A&M SEC 88.7% 14.1 21 39.8 8 25.7 44 22 1
Mississippi State SEC 88.4% 14.0 22 37.0 20 23.1 32 21 -1
Arizona State Pac-12 86.2% 12.7 23 36.3 24 23.5 33 24 1
Missouri SEC 85.1% 12.1 24 31.9 39 19.8 15 23 -1
Boise State MWC 85.0% 12.1 25 37.7 18 25.6 43 27 2
Team Conference Percentile Proj. S&P+ Rk Proj. Off Rk Proj. Def Rk May Rk Change
Miami ACC 84.1% 11.7 26 33.7 36 22.0 24 28 2
Virginia Tech ACC 84.0% 11.6 27 27.4 74 15.8 6 26 -1
Wisconsin Big Ten 83.8% 11.5 28 34.3 33 22.8 30 25 -3
Texas Big 12 81.4% 10.4 29 27.6 72 17.1 8 36 7
Michigan Big Ten 81.2% 10.4 30 28.8 61 18.4 11 35 5
Penn State Big Ten 80.0% 9.8 31 23.8 94 13.9 2 37 6
Nebraska Big Ten 79.2% 9.5 32 35.0 30 25.5 41 30 -2
South Carolina SEC 79.0% 9.4 33 35.4 26 26.0 47 31 -2
Louisville ACC 76.8% 8.6 34 27.9 70 19.4 13 32 -2
Pittsburgh ACC 76.5% 8.4 35 37.0 21 28.6 65 38 3
Arizona Pac-12 76.2% 8.3 36 34.2 34 25.9 46 34 -2
Florida SEC 75.2% 7.9 37 22.0 108 14.1 4 29 -8
Kansas State Big 12 74.7% 7.8 38 35.2 29 27.4 56 33 -5
West Virginia Big 12 74.7% 7.8 39 31.5 43 23.7 35 40 1
North Carolina ACC 73.1% 7.2 40 39.7 10 32.5 83 44 4
Utah Pac-12 71.1% 6.5 41 29.6 54 23.1 31 39 -2
Virginia ACC 69.9% 6.1 42 27.5 73 21.4 19 46 4
Marshall CUSA 69.5% 5.9 43 36.0 25 30.0 71 41 -2
NC State ACC 67.7% 5.4 44 32.6 38 27.2 53 48 4
Minnesota Big Ten 66.4% 4.9 45 28.9 58 24.0 36 42 -3
Kentucky SEC 63.8% 4.1 46 29.2 56 25.0 40 52 6
Oklahoma State Big 12 63.8% 4.1 47 29.9 51 25.8 45 43 -4
Cincinnati American 63.5% 4.0 48 34.8 31 30.8 74 47 -1
BYU Ind 63.5% 4.0 49 31.6 42 27.6 59 45 -4
California Pac-12 62.0% 3.6 50 36.6 22 33.0 89 51 1
Team Conference Percentile Proj. S&P+ Rk Proj. Off Rk Proj. Def Rk May Rk Change
Texas Tech Big 12 61.7% 3.5 51 38.5 14 35.0 106 53 2
Boston College ACC 59.5% 2.8 52 26.5 79 23.7 34 49 -3
Maryland Big Ten 59.1% 2.7 53 28.1 67 25.5 42 56 3
Louisiana Tech CUSA 58.2% 2.4 54 28.9 60 26.5 49 50 -4
Duke ACC 56.1% 1.8 55 28.2 66 26.4 48 54 -1
Washington State Pac-12 53.2% 0.9 56 33.5 37 32.6 84 66 10
Illinois Big Ten 50.5% 0.1 57 28.7 62 28.5 64 63 6
Temple American 50.2% 0.1 58 18.5 118 18.4 10 64 6
Iowa Big Ten 49.1% -0.3 59 27.0 77 27.3 54 57 -2
Navy AAC 48.6% -0.4 60 31.7 41 32.1 81 58 -2
Western Kentucky CUSA 47.8% -0.6 61 37.4 19 38.1 114 61 0
Northwestern Big Ten 47.8% -0.7 62 21.3 111 22.0 22 62 0
Western Michigan MAC 46.2% -1.1 63 31.9 40 33.1 90 65 2
Washington Pac-12 46.1% -1.2 64 25.5 84 26.7 51 55 -9
Utah State MWC 45.6% -1.3 65 25.3 86 26.6 50 59 -6
Central Florida American 45.1% -1.4 66 22.6 105 24.0 37 60 -6
Purdue Big Ten 44.9% -1.5 67 25.9 81 27.4 55 74 7
Memphis American 42.5% -2.2 68 25.7 82 27.9 62 68 0
Colorado Pac-12 41.7% -2.5 69 31.1 46 33.6 92 75 6
Rutgers Big Ten 41.2% -2.6 70 29.6 52 32.2 82 79 9
Arkansas State Sun Belt 40.6% -2.8 71 31.5 44 34.2 99 71 0
Georgia Southern Sun Belt 39.7% -3.0 72 30.9 48 34.0 96 67 -5
Colorado State MWC 39.4% -3.1 73 31.4 45 34.5 102 72 -1
Indiana Big Ten 38.4% -3.4 74 28.3 64 31.8 77 81 7
Toledo MAC 37.7% -3.7 75 31.0 47 34.6 104 69 -6
Team Conference Percentile Proj. S&P+ Rk Proj. Off Rk Proj. Def Rk May Rk Change
San Diego State MWC 37.1% -3.8 76 25.1 88 28.9 66 77 1
Vanderbilt SEC 37.0% -3.9 77 23.0 101 26.8 52 83 6
East Carolina American 35.5% -4.3 78 28.3 65 32.6 85 80 2
Syracuse ACC 35.4% -4.4 79 23.3 97 27.7 60 73 -6
Oregon State Pac-12 35.1% -4.5 80 29.6 53 34.0 98 70 -10
Air Force MWC 33.3% -5.0 81 27.7 71 32.7 86 76 -5
Northern Illinois MAC 31.8% -5.5 82 25.3 85 30.9 75 78 -4
Nevada MWC 30.3% -6.0 83 26.8 78 32.8 88 82 -1
Middle Tennessee CUSA 29.4% -6.3 84 28.5 63 34.8 105 87 3
UL-Lafayette Sun Belt 28.8% -6.5 85 28.1 68 34.6 103 84 -1
Iowa State Big 12 28.5% -6.6 86 29.1 57 35.7 109 86 0
Rice CUSA 26.4% -7.4 87 27.1 76 34.5 101 88 1
Houston American 24.6% -8.0 88 21.7 109 29.7 70 85 -3
Tulane American 24.2% -8.2 89 19.6 115 27.8 61 92 3
Wake Forest ACC 22.5% -8.8 90 13.1 127 21.9 20 89 -1
Central Michigan MAC 21.9% -9.1 91 23.1 100 32.1 80 91 0
Ohio MAC 20.3% -9.7 92 22.1 107 31.8 79 96 4
South Florida American 19.8% -9.9 93 19.2 116 29.1 68 90 -3
Florida Atlantic CUSA 19.7% -10.0 94 25.5 83 35.5 108 101 7
Kent State MAC 19.5% -10.0 95 20.1 113 30.1 73 97 2
Fresno State MWC 19.3% -10.1 96 23.9 92 34.0 97 93 -3
Appalachian State Sun Belt 19.3% -10.1 97 23.5 95 33.7 93 103 6
New Mexico MWC 19.3% -10.1 98 30.1 50 40.2 123 104 6
Bowling Green MAC 19.1% -10.2 99 28.0 69 38.3 116 94 -5
UTEP CUSA 18.8% -10.3 100 22.5 106 32.8 87 99 -1
Team Conference Percentile Proj. S&P+ Rk Proj. Off Rk Proj. Def Rk May Rk Change
UL-Monroe Sun Belt 17.8% -10.8 101 17.7 122 28.5 63 102 1
Kansas Big 12 17.7% -10.8 102 20.0 114 30.9 76 95 -7
San Jose State MWC 17.4% -10.9 103 22.8 102 33.8 94 105 2
Ball State MAC 16.8% -11.3 104 24.6 89 35.9 110 100 -4
Old Dominion CUSA 16.2% -11.5 105 30.9 49 42.4 127 110 5
Florida International CUSA 16.2% -11.5 106 16.0 123 27.6 58 107 1
Southern Miss CUSA 16.1% -11.6 107 24.4 91 35.9 111 108 1
Tulsa American 16.0% -11.6 108 27.4 75 39.0 120 106 -2
South Alabama Sun Belt 16.0% -11.6 109 18.5 119 30.1 72 98 -11
Texas State Sun Belt 15.6% -11.8 110 26.4 80 38.2 115 109 -1
Georgia State Sun Belt 14.5% -12.4 111 25.2 87 37.5 113 111 0
Akron MAC 13.5% -12.9 112 18.9 117 31.8 78 112 0
Miami (Ohio) MAC 12.4% -13.5 113 20.4 112 33.9 95 113 0
Wyoming MWC 11.8% -13.8 114 23.2 99 37.0 112 115 1
Connecticut American 10.9% -14.4 115 14.6 126 29.0 67 114 -1
Idaho Sun Belt 10.7% -14.5 116 24.5 90 39.0 119 116 0
Massachusetts MAC 10.2% -14.8 117 23.8 93 38.7 118 119 2
Charlotte CUSA 9.5% -15.3 118 29.2 55 44.5 128 120 2
SMU American 9.0% -15.7 119 17.9 121 33.6 91 117 -2
UNLV MWC 8.1% -16.4 120 23.2 98 39.6 121 123 3
Hawaii MWC 7.2% -17.1 121 17.9 120 35.0 107 118 -3
Troy Sun Belt 6.7% -17.5 122 22.6 104 40.1 122 124 2
Buffalo MAC 6.2% -17.9 123 23.3 96 41.3 125 122 -1
New Mexico State Sun Belt 5.1% -19.1 124 22.7 103 41.8 126 127 3
North Texas CUSA 4.6% -19.7 125 14.8 125 34.5 100 125 0
Army Ind 4.6% -19.7 126 21.6 110 41.2 124 126 0
UTSA CUSA 4.3% -20.1 127 9.0 128 29.1 69 121 -6
Eastern Michigan MAC 2.3% -23.2 128 15.2 124 38.5 117 128 0

Your top 10 projected offenses: Ohio State, Oregon, Georgia Tech, Georgia, UCLA (!), Baylor, Auburn, Texas A&M, Michigan State, North Carolina.

Your top 10 projected defenses: Ole Miss, Penn State, Clemson, Florida, Alabama, Virginia Tech, LSU, Texas, Tennessee, Temple (!).

We'll start discussing win projections in the days to come, but I figured you'd just want the meat in this post.