football Edit

ESPN's SP+ ranks Michigan football fourth

Michigan will be a top-five team in college football this fall, according to ESPN's SP+ rankings.

S&P+ is ESPN college football analyst Bill Connelly's projection model, widely popular as the most reliable non-human poll, ranks every FBS team.

Connelly lists returning production, recent recruiting, and recent history as the three factors considered for the rankings.

SP+ is a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. It is a predictive measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football, not a résumé ranking, and, along those same lines, these projections aren't intended to be a guess at what the AP Top 25 will look like at the end of the year. These are simply early offseason power rankings based on the information we have been able to gather to date.

After releasing an initial list of preseason rankings in February, an updated version of SP+ was released on Monday morning.

The Wolverines ranked No. 4 overall and second in the Big Ten in the original rankings. That placement didn't change, as Michigan remains the fourth team in the country and second in the conference, behind No. 1 Ohio State.

Here is a list of Big Ten teams in the rankings:

No. 1 Ohio State

No. 4 Michigan

No. 10 Wisconsin

No. 13 Penn State

No. 16 Michigan State

No. 21 Minnesota

No. 27 Iowa

No. 29 Nebraska

No. 35 Purdue

No. 47 Maryland

No. 72 Indiana

No. 78 Rutgers

No. 82 Illinois

Michigan's non-conference schedule includes Colorado State (No. 87), Hawaii (No. 121), and UCONN (No. 129).

Among the biggest movers from the initial preseason rankings' top 50 teams to the updated list includes Penn State (+3), Miami FL (+6), Ole Miss (+5), Pitt (-6), Florida (-5), Oregon (+8), Purdue (-8), LSU (+9), Arizona State (-11), and Houston (-9).

For the complete list, click here.

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