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They are(n't) who we thought they were - Comparing Pre-Season S&P+ Projections to Actual Results

We all love looking at preseason polls and projections. What I don't do enough of is look at how those projections fleshed out.

I compared Bill Connelly's S&P+ projections from August to the current ratings as of December 3, 2016.

It was a good year for football in Colorado.

On the Money - Closest to Projections

Team Pre-Season S&P+ Pre-Season Rk Actual S&P+ Actual Rk S&P+ Diff. Rk Diff
North Carolina 11.1 30 11.1 22 0.0 +8
UL-Monroe -20.2 127 -20.0 126 0.2 +1
Georgia St. -10.8 104 -10.6 106 0.2 -2
South Florida 7.3 42 7.5 39 0.2 +3
Minnesota 8.3 38 7.8 37 -0.5 +1
Iowa St. -0.2 75 -0.7 67 -0.5 +8
Charlotte -17.5 121 -18.2 124 -0.7 -3
Central Michigan -3.1 80 -3.9 81 -0.8 -1
Kent St. -11.4 106 -12.2 113 -0.8 -7
Utah 8.2 39 7.3 40 -0.9 -1

Hopes-and-Dreams Crushers - Farthest BELOW Projections

Team Pre-Season S&P+ Pre-Season Rk Actual S&P+ Actual Rk S&P+ Diff. Rk Diff
Georgia 17.9 12 -0.6 66 -18.5 -54
Oregon 17.6 14 -0.8 69 -18.4 -55
Texas St. -16.7 120 -34.1 128 -17.4 -8
Baylor 14.9 19 -1.4 73 -16.3 -54
Bowling Green 2.5 61 -12.9 116 -15.4 -55
UCLA 17.4 15 2.2 57 -15.2 -42
Marshall 0.1 73 -14.6 119 -14.7 -46
Arkansas 16.9 17 3.6 53 -13.3 -36
Rutgers -4.0 83 -16.5 120 -12.5 -37
Tennessee 19.2 8 7.1 43 -12.1 -35

Others Breaking Hearts: Ole Miss, Michigan St., Mississippi St., Nevada, Syracuse

Bringers of Joy and Happiness - Farthest ABOVE Projections

Team Pre-Season S&P+ Pre-Season Rk Actual S&P+ Actual Rk S&P+ Diff. Rk Diff
Colorado St. -8.0 96 10.9 23 +18.9 +73
Colorado -4.2 86 13.4 17 +17.6 +69
Army -19.9 124 -4.2 82 +15.7 +42
Wyoming -14.0 110 -0.8 68 +13.2 +42
Eastern Michigan -17.9 122 -4.9 84 +13.0 +38
Tulsa -6.4 92 5.8 47 +12.2 +45
Miami-OH -14.1 111 -2.8 78 +11.3 +33
Tulane -20.0 126 -8.8 102 +11.2 +24
Old Dominion -10.6 103 -0.3 63 +10.3 +40
Temple 2.8 60 12.9 18 +10.1 +42

Others Spreading Delight: Troy, North Texas, New Mexico, Western Kentucky, Ohio St.