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These 128-team projections suggest Big Ten football will take a step back in 2016

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Sure, sure, Alabama and Clemson are in the top three. But hello, LSU, what are you doing that high up in Bill Connelly's 1-through-128 2016 team projections? This has been your daily reminder that LSU tried really hard to fire Les Miles.

The formula combines projections based on three big factors, two of which are multi-year recruiting (here) and returning production (here). (The other is five-year team quality.)

Considering how much Ohio State in particular is losing to the NFL Draft, how blandly much of the Big Ten recruited again (its West was by far the worst-recruiting Power 5 division), and how unimpressed all the computers were by AP No. 9 Iowa last year (No. 18 in Massey, No. 22 in Sagarin, No. 24 in SRS, No. 38 in F/+, etc.), would a quiet 2016 for the B1G be that surprising?

Now that I've said that, Michigan will win the national title. Congrats, Big Ten.

Bill's numbers project separation in the big second tier of conferences and the AAC making another run:

Projected conference S&P+ averages:

  1. SEC (12.8, up 2.8 from 2015)
  2. ACC (9.2, up 2.5)
  3. Pac-12 (8.3, up 1.4)
  4. Big 12 (7.7, up 2.6)
  5. Big Ten (7.0, down 0.4)
  6. American (-1.4, up 0.7)
  7. Mountain West (-4.5, down 0.3)
  8. MAC (-5.8, down 2.2)
  9. Sun Belt (-8.3, down 0.8)
  10. Conference USA (-8.3, down 0.2)

Bill C.'s 128-team preview series is now underway, starting with the worst team in the country: North Texas. Nowhere to go but up, and it sounds like things will be more fun, at least.

Bill's also doing a Kickstarter for a new book, and the idea is one that you cannot possibly find uninteresting.

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