Preseason SP+ projections: Rating all 130 FBS groups

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The 2020 school soccer season might need been the oddest we have ever seen, however that does not imply my offseason calendar has to alter! Final week, I shared my returning production rankings for 2021, and now that the 2020-21 recruiting cycle is (principally) full, it is time to share my annual SP+ projections.

As a reminder, I base these projections based mostly on three main components, weighted by their predictiveness:

1. Returning manufacturing. As I wrote final week, I’ve up to date rosters as a lot as attainable to account for transfers, commencement and the introduced return of many 2020 seniors. The mix of last year’s SP+ ratings and changes based mostly on returning manufacturing now make up greater than two-thirds of the projections components.

2. Latest recruiting. Returning manufacturing goals to inform us what sort of expertise and expertise a staff is returning. Recruiting rankings inform us of the caliber of the staff’s potential replacements (and/or new stars) within the lineup. They make up about one-quarter of the projections components. This piece is decided not solely by the newest recruiting class but additionally, in diminishing trend, the final three lessons as properly.

3. Latest historical past. Final yr’s scores are an enormous piece of the puzzle, however utilizing a sliver of data from earlier seasons (two to 4 years in the past) offers us an excellent measure of total program well being. It stands to cause {that a} staff that has performed properly for one yr is much less prone to duplicate that effort than a staff that has been good for years on finish (and vice versa), proper? It is a minor piece of the puzzle, however the projections are higher with it than with out.

We’ll see what affect final season’s uniqueness has on this method. Some FBS groups performed as few as 4 or 5 video games, which suggests their year-end SP+ scores nonetheless closely concerned final yr’s preseason projections. However I am plugging forward all the identical.

I’ll replace these numbers in August, as soon as additional transfers, accidents and extra may be taken into consideration. However listed here are the estimates so far.