Ranking Michigan State, other Big Ten teams by ESPN SP+ advanced analytics – Sports Illustrated

Michigan State football surpassed all expectations with the season they had in 2021, with an 11-2 record and a Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl victory to cap the year.

Mel Tucker established his foundation in Year 2 with the Spartans, and now it’s time to start competing for an winning conference championships. Can Michigan State take that step in 2022?

The road won’t be easy. Ohio State remains a national juggernaut, and the Big Ten East is the only division in football that rivals the SEC West in terms of strength at the top and depth. What do advanced analytics say about the Spartans chances at moving up the pecking order in the Big Ten heirarchy?

ESPN’s Bill Connelly recently ranked all 131 FBS football teams using SP+, a projective advanced analytics model that balances returning production, recruiting rankings, and recent history. Here’s where all 14 Big Ten teams stack up in these projections:

14. Northwestern Wildcats

Overall ranking: 89

Offense rank: 109

Defense rank: 61

13. Illinois Fighting Illini

Overall ranking: 83

Offense rank: 106

Defense rank: 49

12. Indiana Hoosiers

Overall ranking: 78

Offense rank: 93

Defense rank: 54

11. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Overall ranking: 77

Offense rank: 98

Defense rank: 44

10. Maryland Terrapins

Overall ranking: 41

Offense rank: 10

Defense rank: 77

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Overall ranking: 34

Offense rank: 36

Defense rank: 37

8. Purdue Boilermakers

Overall ranking: 27

Offense rank: 39

Defense rank: 22

7. Iowa Hawkeyes

Overall ranking: 26

Offense rank: 74

Defense rank: 3

6. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Overall ranking: 19

Offense rank: 48

Defense rank: 9

5. Michigan State Spartans

Overall ranking: 17

Offense rank: 35

Defense rank: 17

4. Penn State Nittany Lions

Overall ranking: 16

Offense rank: 56

Defense rank: 7

3. Wisconsin Badgers

Overall ranking: 10

Offense rank: 62

Defense rank: 2

2. Michigan Wolverines

Overall ranking: 4

Offense rank: 5

Defense rank: 19

1. Ohio State Buckeyes

Overall ranking: 1

Offense rank: 1

Defense rank: 11

What Bill Connelly said about the Big Ten

“Ohio State ranking in the top 25 in returning production is pretty unheard of — the bluest of bluebloods tend to lose tons of production to the NFL each year — and clinched the Buckeyes’ February top spot. But Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State and Michigan State are all within reach if Ohio State proves mortal.”


Author: Advanced analytics

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