ESPN+ Bill Connelly Preseason SP+ projections: Ranking all 130 FBS teams

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  1. Alabama 30.7 44.2 (4) 13.5 (4)
  2. Clemson 28.6 40.9 (9) 12.2 (3)
  3. Oklahoma 28.0 46.6 (1) 18.6 (16)
  4. Ohio St. 25.0 46.5 (2) 21.5 (38)
  5. Oregon 24.2 41.0 (8) 16.9 (9)
  6. Georgia 24.1 39.7 (15) 15.6 (5)
  7. Iowa St. 23.1 41.5 (6) 18.4 (15)
  8. Miami 22.7 40.5 (11) 17.8 (13)
  9. Wisconsin 22.4 34.7 (36) 12.2 (2)
  10. N. Carolina 21.7 44.8 (3) 23.1 (43)
  11. Washington 21.2 39.8 (14) 18.6 (17)
  12. Florida 21.2 41.5 (5) 20.4 (29)
  13. Texas A&M 20.9 37.3 (21) 16.4 (8)
  14. Penn St. 20.5 36.2 (29) 15.7 (6)
  15. Cincinnati 20.0 36.0 (30) 15.9 (7)
  16. Iowa 19.7 31.4 (51) 11.7 (1)
  17. USC 19.6 39.9 (13) 20.3 (28)
  18. Arizona St. 18.0 37.1 (23) 19.1 (21)
  19. Utah 17.7 34.7 (35) 17.0 (10)
  20. Texas 17.6 38.5 (18) 20.9 (34)
  21. UCLA 15.6 41.2 (7) 25.6 (58)
  22. Louisiana 15.3 36.2 (26) 21.0 (35)
  23. Michigan 15.3 35.3 (32) 20.1 (27)
  24. Ole Miss 14.9 40.6 (10) 25.7 (59)
  25. Notre Dame 14.8 34.8 (34) 20.1 (26)
  26. LSU 14.6 38.0 (19) 23.3 (45)
  27. Indiana 14.4 34.8 (33) 20.4 (31)
  28. Auburn 14.2 33.5 (38) 19.3 (22)
  29. Oklahoma St. 14.1 31.4 (49) 17.4 (12)
  30. Nebraska 14.0 32.7 (43) 18.7 (19)
  31. Minnesota 13.6 37.4 (20) 23.8 (48)
  32. Maryland 12.3 32.3 (45) 20.0 (25)
  33. TCU 12.1 31.1 (53) 19.0 (20)
  34. W. Virginia 12.0 29.1 (67) 17.1 (11)
  35. App. St. 11.2 30.9 (54) 19.7 (24)
  36. Va. Tech 11.0 36.2 (27) 25.2 (57)
  37. Coastal Caro. 10.4 36.2 (28) 25.8 (60)
  38. UCF 10.0 38.7 (17) 28.7 (74)
  39. Boise St. 9.3 33.4 (39) 24.0 (50)
  40. Purdue 8.9 35.7 (31) 26.9 (63)
  41. Arkansas 8.8 31.4 (50) 22.6 (41)
  42. Liberty 8.3 36.3 (25) 28.0 (68)
  43. Pittsburgh 8.3 29.2 (65) 21.0 (36)
  44. Miss. St. 8.1 28.8 (69) 20.6 (32)
  45. NC St. 8.1 29.0 (68) 21.0 (37)
  46. Wash. St. 7.8 40.4 (12) 32.6 (102)
  47. Louisville 7.6 38.9 (16) 31.3 (93)
  48. Ga. Tech 6.3 29.8 (61) 23.5 (47)
  49. Tennessee 6.1 28.3 (73) 22.2 (40)
  50. Colorado 6.0 30.6 (57) 24.6 (54)
  51. Baylor 5.8 25.2 (90) 19.5 (23)
  52. BYU 5.7 36.8 (24) 31.1 (90)
  53. Memphis 5.2 29.8 (60) 24.6 (55)
  54. California 5.2 29.7 (62) 24.5 (53)
  55. Tulsa 5.0 25.4 (89) 20.4 (30)
  56. Virginia 4.9 31.6 (47) 26.7 (62)
  57. Kentucky 4.8 28.1 (75) 23.3 (44)
  58. Missouri 4.7 29.6 (63) 24.9 (56)
  59. Michigan St. 4.6 23.3 (94) 18.7 (18)
  60. Oregon St. 4.5 37.2 (22) 32.7 (104)
  61. Florida St. 4.4 32.8 (41) 28.5 (70)
  62. Boston Coll. 2.9 34.4 (37) 31.5 (95)
  63. Kansas St. 2.6 29.9 (59) 27.4 (65)
  64. Wake Forest 2.5 30.7 (56) 28.2 (69)
  65. SMU 2.5 32.5 (44) 30.1 (85)
  66. Troy 2.0 26.1 (86) 24.1 (51)
  67. Tulane 1.9 33.3 (40) 31.4 (94)
  68. Stanford 1.6 31.9 (46) 30.2 (87)
  69. Houston 1.4 29.4 (64) 28.0 (67)
  70. Texas Tech 1.2 29.1 (66) 27.9 (66)
  71. Ball St. -0.4 31.1 (52) 31.6 (96)
  72. Army -0.6 23.4 (93) 24.0 (49)
  73. UAB -0.9 20.7 (106) 21.6 (39)
  74. Nevada -1.1 28.7 (70) 29.8 (83)
  75. Northwestern-1.1 17.2 (124) 18.3 (14)
  76. Georgia St.-1.9 30.3 (58) 32.2 (101)
  77. Buffalo -2.0 27.0 (80) 29.0 (79)
  78. Fresno St.-2.1 30.8 (55) 32.9 (105)
  79. Toledo -2.1 26.7 (83) 28.8 (76)
  80. Wyoming-2.1 20.7 (107) 22.8 (42)
  81. SJSU -2.3 26.6 (84) 28.9 (78)
  82. CMU -2.4 27.3 (78) 29.7 (82)
  83. Illinois -2.6 28.7 (72) 31.2 (91)
  84. SDSU -3.0 17.7 (123) 20.8 (33)
  85. WMU -3.1 32.8 (42) 35.9 (114)
  86. Marshall -3.3 20.2 (110) 23.5 (46)
  87. UTSA -4.4 27.3 (77) 31.8 (97)
  88. Ga. Southern -4.7 22.5 (98) 27.2 (64)
  89. Ohio -5.2 26.8 (81) 32.0 (100)
  90. S. Carolina -5.3 26.0 (87) 31.3 (92)
  91. ECU -5.6 26.3 (85) 31.9 (98)
  92. Arizona -5.7 27.8 (76) 33.5 (106)
  93. Air Force -6.3 23.9 (92) 30.1 (86)
  94. Rutgers -6.9 22.5 (97) 29.4 (81)
  95. Syracuse -7.0 21.7 (99) 28.7 (73)
  96. Colorado St. -7.2 21.5 (102) 28.6 (72)
  97. FAU -8.0 20.7 (105) 28.7 (75)
  98. WKU -8.1 17.8 (121) 25.9 (61)
  99. Arkansas St. -8.6 28.2 (74) 36.7 (117)
  100. Navy -9.2 20.1 (112) 29.4 (80)
  101. So. Miss -9.3 21.2 (103) 30.5 (88)
  102. Duke -9.3 19.3 (113) 28.6 (71)
  103. Rice -9.4 14.9 (127) 24.3 (52)
  104. USF -9.9 18.9 (115) 28.8 (77)
  105. Hawaii -10.2 24.9 (91) 35.1 (111)
  106. N. Texas -10.5 27.2 (79) 37.8 (119)
  107. EMU -11.2 31.5 (48) 42.7 (127)
  108. Vanderbilt -12.7 21.1 (104) 33.7 (107)
  109. Texas St. -13.1 25.5 (88) 38.5 (120)
  110. Miami-OH -13.2 23.3 (95) 36.5 (116)
  111. Kent St. -13.2 28.7 (71) 41.9 (123)
  112. NIU -13.7 18.2 (119) 31.9 (99)
  113. Kansas -13.9 18.7 (116) 32.7 (103)
  114. FIU -14.0 16.8 (125) 30.7 (89)
  115. MTSU -14.1 21.7 (100) 35.8 (113)
  116. S. Alabama -14.5 21.6 (101) 36.2 (115)
  117. Charlotte -15.2 26.7 (82) 42.0 (124)
  118. La. Tech -15.4 18.5 (118) 33.9 (108)
  119. Temple -15.9 18.7 (117) 34.6 (110)
  120. ODU -15.9 14.0 (128) 29.9 (84)
  121. Utah St. -17.5 20.1 (111) 37.6 (118)
  122. Akron -18.7 16.6 (126) 35.3 (112)
  123. UNLV -19.5 19.2 (114) 38.7 (121)
  124. New Mexico -20.0 22.8 (96) 42.8 (128)
  125. BGSU -20.9 13.1 (129) 34.0 (109)
  126. UL-Monroe -21.6 20.5 (109) 42.1 (125)
  127. UConn -22.3 17.7 (122) 40.0 (122)
  128. UTEP -24.5 17.9 (120) 42.4 (126)
  129. UMass -24.9 20.6 (108) 45.6 (130)
  130. NMSU -31.5 12.2 (130) 43.8 (129)
 

MplsGopher

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Iowa State #7.

Matt Campbell is doing something right. And his recruiting classes are really nothing much to look at.

2021 is ranked #8, 2020 and 2019 were #6, 2018 #7, in the Big XII.
 

MNVCGUY

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Iowa State #7.

Matt Campbell is doing something right. And his recruiting classes are really nothing much to look at.

2021 is ranked #8, 2020 and 2019 were #6, 2018 #7, in the Big XII.

Big 12 recruiting looks a lot like Big 10 recruiting. Oklahoma and Texas seem to be recruiting at one level and the rest are a pretty jumbled group all in roughly the same vicinity. Looks like Iowa State is recruiting at a level that pretty closely matches much of their conference.

Will be interesting to see if 2020 was a blip or a sign of better things to come for them. Prior to 2020 looks like they have been in that 7-8 win area that we are all too familiar with around here. Good but not great.
 

MaxyJR1

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8th in the B1G. Right where you want to be early. Keep those boys motivated.
 

gopherjay

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Our rivals expected at 7 and 9. Some things never change.
 

gophernut1

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When your best players transfer out all the time you get to recruit more players , your going to get higher recruiting rankings. If the goal is higher recruiting rankings than Frost's formula is working. Since they can't beat anyone on the field at this time it is good they at least have the offseason and recruiting rankings to point to.
 

swingman

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Thanks for posting this. I like the idea of a top 20 offense. Need a much better defense. Connelly has MN at 48 here.

Iowa State and Nebraska are interesting.

Maryland ranked even with us is interesting. Need to beat those guys. Most disappointing loss last year.

Indiana ranked just slightly ahead of us is disappointing. Felt we had passed them up. They may take a step back this year. Lost a lot of good pieces.

Northwestern at 75 is interesting....#14 defense and #124 offense.

Purdue at 40 needs to be a win.

Colorado at 50. Needs to be a win.

BGSU st 125, Miami at 110.

With returning all staff; getting Faalele, Dunlap, and Oliver back; retaining Schlueter, Olson, Kieft, Witham, Green, MDT, Schad, Durr, Howard, Geary, Swenson, McDonald, and Harris for bonus year; adding the MAC kicker, the ULM punter, the Clemson and NCSU dlinemen, the A&M rcvr, the two-year starting olineman from Utah State, and the FCS linebacker; and mixing in the two best recruiting classes in history, and looking at what WI, IA are losing, 10-2 is baseline goal.
 
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MinnGopher

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Thanks for posting this. I like the idea of a top 20 offense. Need a much better defense. Connelly has MN at 48 here.

Iowa State and Nebraska are interesting.

Maryland ranked even with us is interesting. Need to beat those guys. Most disappointing loss last year.

Indiana ranked just slightly ahead of us is disappointing. Felt we had passed them up. They may take a step back this year. Lost a lot of good pieces.

Northwestern at 75 is interesting....#14 defense and #124 offense.

Purdue at 40 needs to be a win.

Colorado at 50. Needs to be a win.

BGSU st 125, Miami at 110.

With returning all staff; getting Faalele, Dunlap, and Oliver back; retaining Schlueter, Olson, Kieft, Witham, Green, MDT, Schad, Durr, Howard and Harris for bonus year; adding the MAC kicker, the Clemson and NCSU dlinemen, the A&M rcvr, and the FCS linebacker; and mixing in the two best recruiting classes in history,
and looking at what WI, IA are losing, 10-2 is baseline goal.
With you 100 percent on the bold, and really makes me optimistic when you think of it that way. The biggest question mark for me is the DB's and LB's. I think we will be fine across the board on O, and will have great depth on the DL, but we cannot get beat over the top and take terrible angles like we did last year. I would say 9-3 though, I'm not sure we should expect to beat IA and WI quite yet. They do return some solid pieces as well.
 

swingman

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Iowa loses ol coach and rb coach recently...lost one of best s and c guys last summer.

Iowa loses defensive player of year in Nixon, and Golston, also a 1st team all big dlineman. The Northern Illinois grad transfer, Heflin, who started every game at def tackle, is done.

Iowa loses AllBig 1st team olineman Jackson, 2nd team olineman Banwart, HM all big olineman Kallenberger.

top tackler Niemann will look to join his brother in NFL. Fellow linebacker Colbert choosing not to return.

Mekhi Sargent was a very solid running back option.

Te Beyer opts for NFL with PFF ranking him #4 TE in draft.

Two of the best WRs they have had leave in SmithMarsette and Brandon Smith...both will get NFL chance.

Duncan, best kicker in BigTen last two years, leaves.

cornerback Brents transferring to KSU.
 
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Pompous Elitist

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I‘d say the (objective) ranking is accurate to slightly generous given the difficulties and some uncertainty but seems like MN is poised to make some noise if some players return and mature.
 

Gladeskat

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Northwestern at #75? Perfect locker room material for another run to the West title.
 

btowngopher

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Gopher fans expecting to beat these teams is laughable. They own the Gophers until further notice.
I dunno, the last three years have been pretty competitive with Wisconsin. Each with a convincing win and Wisconsin with the close win last year. They aren’t at all scary offensively, neither is Iowa.
 

hungan1

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Can't wait to see live fans stadium back!
 

RememberMurray

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I dunno, the last three years have been pretty competitive with Wisconsin. Each with a convincing win and Wisconsin with the close win last year. They aren’t at all scary offensively, neither is Iowa.

Yeah, exactly.
Gophers blow out Badgers in Madison in 2018.
Badgers blow out Gophers at The Bank in 2019.
Badgers squeak by in Madison in overtime thanks to a missed FG in 2020.

Losing in overtime, at Madison, because of a missed shortish field goal... ugh.

I'm looking forward to playing Wisconsin, with at least some fans present, in 2021. Should be very interesting.
 

hungan1

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LOL! These prognosticators are as clear as mud!
 

Boomtime

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Thanks for posting this. I like the idea of a top 20 offense. Need a much better defense. Connelly has MN at 48 here.

Iowa State and Nebraska are interesting.

Maryland ranked even with us is interesting. Need to beat those guys. Most disappointing loss last year.

Indiana ranked just slightly ahead of us is disappointing. Felt we had passed them up. They may take a step back this year. Lost a lot of good pieces.

Northwestern at 75 is interesting....#14 defense and #124 offense.

Purdue at 40 needs to be a win.

Colorado at 50. Needs to be a win.

BGSU st 125, Miami at 110.

With returning all staff; getting Faalele, Dunlap, and Oliver back; retaining Schlueter, Olson, Kieft, Witham, Green, MDT, Schad, Durr, Howard, Geary, Swenson, McDonald, and Harris for bonus year; adding the MAC kicker, the ULM punter, the Clemson and NCSU dlinemen, the A&M rcvr, the two-year starting olineman from Utah State, and the FCS linebacker; and mixing in the two best recruiting classes in history, and looking at what WI, IA are losing, 10-2 is baseline goal.
Looking at the schedule with road games at NW and Iowa, and expecting losses to tOSU and Wisky... I think the baseline is 8-4. Still good, by Gopher standards. The other hiccup could be the game at Colorado. 7-5 would be VERY disappointing.
 

gophernut1

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7-5 will be what most prognosticators will predict for the Gophers. However, even with the down year last year I still see reason for optimism. Our offense will be very good to potentially great (Morgan returns to form or other QB steps up big) and defense will be much improved (transfer talent and experience will be big).

The good thing is that there are pieces in place for another special year. Bad thing is we play in the competitive Big Ten West where if you are consistently showing up you will lose games. Can't wait for 2021.
 

RememberMurray

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Looking at the schedule with road games at NW and Iowa, and expecting losses to tOSU and Wisky... I think the baseline is 8-4. Still good, by Gopher standards. The other hiccup could be the game at Colorado. 7-5 would be VERY disappointing.

Honest question, to you and everyone else here: How good do we think Wisconsin is, right now?

I just watched "highlights" of our overtime loss to them in Madison. We should have won that game; and the 2020 Gophers were not a great team.

Is Wisconsin worthy of being feared these days?
 

A_Slab_of_Bacon

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Looking at the schedule with road games at NW and Iowa, and expecting losses to tOSU and Wisky... I think the baseline is 8-4. Still good, by Gopher standards. The other hiccup could be the game at Colorado. 7-5 would be VERY disappointing.
Outside of 2019 I don't think we've had a season without at least one 'derp' game where we lost when we 'shouldn't have'... so yeah 8-4 still could be pretty good.

Hopefully we can offset a derp with some wins or just not derp... but that's really a tall order for most ANY team.
 
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Honest question, to you and everyone else here: How good do we think Wisconsin is, right now?

I just watched "highlights" of our overtime loss to them in Madison. We should have won that game; and the 2020 Gophers were not a great team.

Is Wisconsin worthy of being feared these days?
They should not be "feared", but that will always be one of the toughest games on our schedule.
 

RememberMurray

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They should not be "feared", but that will always be one of the toughest games on our schedule.

I agree. Well said.

I'll know we've really turned a corner when we start beating Iowa and Wisconsin more often; 50% of the time would be great.

If we had won that game last year, it would have meant a lot. And we should have. We have to beat them when they have one of their rare "off" years. We must take advantage of those opportunities.
 
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