Bill Connelly’s SP+ rating system is the gold standard in college football. His comprehensive advanced metrics help look beyond the basic numbers to better understand how good (or bad) a team truly is. The idea here is to isolate the metrics that hold the most predictive value going forward.
Connelly has been going through the college football landscape and releasing his projections for the upcoming season. Earlier this week he released his numbers for the Big Ten East, which rank Michigan third behind the usual suspects. His expected 7.3 wins seem uninspiring, but an SP+ rank of 23 is higher than what some might have guessed.
The article has some good nuggets, but here is how he sees the schedule playing out:
Likely wins: NIU (97%), Rutgers (92%), WMU (89%), Northwestern (86%), at Michigan State (68%)
Relative toss-ups: Indiana (58%), at Maryland (51%), at Nebraska (47%), Washington (42%)
Likely losses: Ohio State (34%), at Penn State (33%), at Wisconsin (29%)
Solid long-term results and recruiting mean that SP+ gives the Wolverines the benefit of the doubt despite a 2-4 campaign. But with four opponents projected 14th or better, even a top-25 performance might only produce a 7-5 record or so.
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