Preseason SP+ college football rankings

For those of you who got your knickers in a twist over Bill Connelly having the temerity to suggest that Georgia Tech’s returning production might mean some improvement in the program, you can relax a little.  Bill has the Jackets sitting at 58th in his first SP+ rankings of 2020.  The only two SEC teams worse than Tech are Arkansas and Vanderbilt.

What about Georgia, you ask?  Well, it ain’t bad.

Screenshot_2020-02-13 Alabama tops preseason SP+ college football rankings

Yeah, the offense isn’t projected as elite, but it’s hard to argue differently until we see what Monken produces.  But that defensive SP+ number is off the charts — Oregon is second, with a defensive SP+ rating nearly double Georgia’s, at 11.8.

Screenshot_2020-02-13 Bill Connelly on Twitter Top 10 projected defenses in 2020, per SP+ 1 UGA (6 4) 2 Oregon (11 8) 3 Aub[...]

Just to give you an idea how crazy that number is, the Dawgs finished last season tops in defensive SP+, at 10.  Maybe there’s something to Bill’s returning production metric after all.

This regular season, the Dawgs face the nos. 1, 7, 11, 19, 28, 35, 44, 49, 58 and 101 from Bill’s list.  No surprise; it looks like a grind.


Filed under Georgia Football, Stats Geek!

31 responses to “Preseason SP+ college football rankings

  1. dawgfan1995

    That tweet about the Top 10 projected defenses should carry a warning of NSFW.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ASEF

    With the game’s rules now, elite defense is a relative measure. Still going to have to win a couple of shootouts.


  3. Russ

    I’m really looking forward to watching our defense play. If our offense can be reliable with an explosive play every now and then, we are in for great things this season.

    That game in Tuscaloosa with #1 vs #1 should be somewhat interesting. 😉


  4. Anonymous

    Don’t sleep on Bama tho, they get all those injured starters back. For Auburn, don’t they lose those terrifying DTs this year?


    • Don’t sleep on ‘Bama… you mean the team Bill ranks #1?

      Good advice. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

      • FisheriesDawg

        Help me understand something…he’s got Alabama ranked #1 on offense in projected SP+, yet last week he ranked them 85th in returning production (55%). How do you mathematically square these two? I get the subjective idea that Alabama is loaded and previous performance is predictive, but I’m just not quite seeing an offense that is led by either Mac Jones or someone who has never played a down of college football and which loses Jeudy and Ruggs being the best in the nation. No doubt they’ll be formidable (getting Devonta Smith back is big), but you’d have to think someone with more returning production is out there with better chances at being #1. I’m just wondering how you make a model work that gets this Alabama team to the top on offense.

        Liked by 1 person

        • He tells you in the post that the preseason projections are based on three things: returning production, recent recruiting and recent history.


          A reminder on SP+: It’s a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. I created the system at Football Outsiders in 2008, and as my experience with both college football and its stats has grown, I have made quite a few tweaks to the system. SP+ is intended to be predictive and forward-facing.

          Last I looked, Alabama’s been pretty good in those last two items on Bill’s list. 😉


        • Will (the other one)

          Most of the oline is back, they also have Waddle and Najee Harris back, and in only a few starts Jones put up 1,500 yards passing.


        • I think returning production is leas heavily weighted than the other 2 components. GTU was #2 in returning production but in the total S&P are only 58th. So is life in the 404, lol.


      • Macallanlover

        That is a great demo for why you choose “Anonymous” as a handle.


        • Anonymous

          The Senator can check the listed email field. That wasn’t me (the guy that regularly post here as Anonymous). I have used the same (fake) email address the entire time I have posted here under multiple names. I’m thinking about changing names again just because people post dumb shit here under the same name.


          • Macallanlover

            That does suck, surprised WordPress doesn’t have a way to block multiple uses of the same ID. I meant my comment in a general sense, not at anyone as an individual anyway.


  5. Kevin

    Still not buying UF. I realize they have an easier schedule, but they will drop a couple before we get to finish them off.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Biggus Rickus

      Dropping a couple before Georgia is a worst case scenario for them. South Carolina and Kentucky aren’t going to be good, and they have to go to Gainesville. Their only potential losses, barring a disaster, are Tennessee on the road and LSU at home. I’m guessing they’ll split those two, though they may win both.


      • Mayor

        I’m not an FU fan either but this is more creative scheduling covering for them. LSU has to fall back to earth this coming season and UT still can’t beat a ranked team. I think FU may very well be undefeated going into Jax and Georgia could be the team with a loss (to Bama). Really, this WLOCP could be the biggest one in years because a loss in that situation effectively ends our season.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Charlottedawg

          Eh disagree that we had more wiggle room in years past. We came into the UF game with a loss in 2019 and 2018, had we lost to Florida it would have effectively ended our chances at winning the east.


  6. ugafidelis

    Woof woof.


  7. Will (the other one)

    Vols having a top 10 SP+ defense is kinda surprising to me. I know they have some returning talent at LB, but don’t recall any lockdown corners or defensive line / pass rush terrors on that roster that could justify the ranking.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. St. Johns Dawg

    Agree with the idea UGA’s defense will be pretty darn good … But I can’t yet buy into the word “TERRIFYING” until I see our front 4 D-line getting more sacks than our linebackers/secondary.


  9. practicaldawg

    But will the media just talk about how great that Auburn Tiger War Eagle Plainsmen defense is every week this year?


  10. TN Dawg

    Basically 3 competitive games.

    Bama, Auburn and Florida.

    Maybe TN.

    Anything worse than 11-1 will be a disappointment.


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