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Ohio State Jumps Michigan in S&P+ Rankings

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The computers love these two Big Ten rivals, but they love the Buckeyes a bit more.

NCAA Football: Ohio State at Michigan Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Michigan’s hold of No. 1 in the S&P+ rankings lasted for only one week.

And it was a familiar foe that knocked the Wolverines off of their perch.

Despite being on a bye, Ohio State jumped four places to claim the top spot in the updated S&P+ rankings that SB Nation’s Bill Connelly released on Sunday morning, knocking Michigan down to No. 2 after its 49-10 pummeling of Penn State on Saturday. The rest of top five consists of No. 3 Alabama, No. 4 Louisville, and No. 5 Clemson.

The S&P+ rankings are a college football ratings system that is derived from play-by-play data, eliminates garbage-time drives, and adjust for the quality of opponents. For the first six weeks, Connelly uses preseason projections to evaluate each team, slowly phasing them out each week until he has sufficient data from this season. This week, the preseason projections dropped from about 50 percent to about 30 percent, which is why the Buckeyes made such a leap despite watching football on their couches.

Connelly noted that Michigan would be No. 3 if there were no preseason projections.

Here is where the Big Ten stands in the new S&P+ rankings, with Wisconsin at No. 16: