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2017’s projected 130-team college football rankings, with a new No. 2 team

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The S&P+ numbers are now updated to account for offseason roster developments.

NCAA Football: Florida State Spring Game Logan Bowles-USA TODAY Sports

Back in February, as the massive college football preview series was getting underway, I posted my annual preseason S&P+ projections, which are based on three primary factors: returning production, recruiting, and recent history. I built win projections off of these ratings and used them throughout the preview series.

Now comes the final step in the projections process: changing all the numbers at the end of the offseason! Injuries, suspensions, and other forms of attrition have changed the returning production figures over the course of the spring and summer, as has the return of certain players from injury, and late commitments have slightly changed the recruiting numbers.

So as the final step before we bid adieu to the eight-month college football offseason, let’s take one final stab at preseason S&P+ rankings. Updated win projections will follow on Friday.

(You can find a complete version of these projections, complete with last year’s ranking and the rankings changes since February, here. My own personal power rankings are here, with links to all 130 team previews.)

2017 S&P+ projections

Team Projected 2017 S&P+ Rk Offense Rk Defense Rk
Team Projected 2017 S&P+ Rk Offense Rk Defense Rk
Alabama 33.9 1 41.1 5 7.2 1
Florida State 26 2 41.9 3 15.9 8
Ohio State 25.5 3 38.8 14 13.3 3
LSU 23.1 4 38.8 13 15.7 7
Oklahoma 22.9 5 48.5 1 25.6 40
Clemson 22.5 6 36.5 29 14 6
USC 22 7 41.2 4 19.1 14
Auburn 20.7 8 38.3 17 17.6 11
Penn State 20.2 9 41.1 6 20.8 18
Michigan 20.1 10 33.7 40 13.6 5
Wisconsin 19.5 11 33.1 44 13.6 4
Stanford 19.1 12 35.2 35 16.1 9
Washington 18.2 13 39.9 9 21.7 20
Louisville 18 14 37.7 20 19.7 15
Florida 18 15 30.9 59 12.9 2
Notre Dame 15.3 16 37.1 25 21.8 21
Texas 14.5 17 39.4 11 24.9 37
Miami-FL 14.4 18 32.4 51 18 12
TCU 13.4 19 37.6 22 24.2 33
Oklahoma State 13.3 20 43.1 2 29.8 67
Georgia 13.2 21 31.3 55 18.1 13
Texas A&M 13.1 22 35.5 33 22.4 22
Ole Miss 12.3 23 38.4 16 26.1 43
Virginia Tech 11.1 24 28 76 16.9 10
Tennessee 10.3 25 36.1 31 25.8 42
NC State 10 26 32.6 48 22.6 23
Baylor 9.4 27 34.6 36 25.2 38
Georgia Tech 8.7 28 33.4 43 24.7 36
Arkansas 8.6 29 35.7 32 27 51
Oregon 8.6 30 39.5 10 30.9 76
Boise State 8.2 31 37.3 24 29 62
UCLA 8 32 32.1 52 24.1 32
Mississippi State 7.9 33 38.4 15 30.5 74
Kansas State 7.7 34 35.3 34 27.6 53
Nebraska 7.6 35 28.5 73 20.8 19
Pittsburgh 7.2 36 39.1 12 31.9 80
North Carolina 7.2 37 31.2 56 24 31
Northwestern 6.9 38 29.7 64 22.8 26
South Carolina 6.7 39 29.5 66 22.7 25
Washington State 6.4 40 36.6 28 30.1 70
Indiana 6 41 28.8 70 22.8 27
Houston 5.6 42 29.8 61 24.2 34
Colorado State 5.3 43 38 19 32.7 81
Utah 4.9 44 32.8 46 27.9 54
Kentucky 4.8 45 34.1 38 29.3 64
Colorado 4.5 46 32.8 45 28.3 56
Missouri 4.5 47 37.6 21 33.1 88
BYU 4.1 48 26.8 84 22.7 24
Western Kentucky 4 49 34.4 37 30.4 71
South Florida 3.9 50 40 8 36.1 108
Memphis 3.6 51 36.6 27 33 86
Iowa 3.5 52 23.5 107 20.1 16
California 3.3 53 37 26 33.7 95
Michigan State 3.3 54 27.6 80 24.3 35
Iowa State 3.3 55 36.1 30 32.8 84
Toledo 3.3 56 38.2 18 34.9 100
San Diego State 3.1 57 29.8 62 26.7 48
Vanderbilt 2.9 58 28.7 71 25.8 41
Appalachian State 2.7 59 29.1 68 26.4 45
Syracuse 2.5 60 32.1 53 29.6 65
Minnesota 2.4 61 25.3 98 22.8 28
Temple 2.3 62 25.6 92 23.3 29
Duke 2.1 63 31 58 28.9 59
Oregon State 2.1 64 28.9 69 26.9 49
West Virginia 1.9 65 32.4 50 30.5 72
Arizona State 1.9 66 37.3 23 35.4 102
Wake Forest 1.7 67 25.5 95 23.7 30
Arizona 1.1 68 32.5 49 31.4 77
Texas Tech -0.1 69 40.2 7 40.4 125
Maryland -0.7 70 25.6 90 26.3 44
Virginia -0.7 71 26.5 85 27.3 52
Cincinnati -1.4 72 25.3 97 26.7 46
Central Florida -1.9 73 24.8 100 26.7 47
Troy -2 74 27.9 77 29.8 69
Boston College -2.1 75 18.4 123 20.6 17
Utah State -2.2 76 27.5 81 29.7 66
Navy -2.3 77 32.6 47 34.9 99
Tulsa -2.4 78 27.4 82 29.8 68
Western Michigan -2.5 79 26.5 86 29 60
Wyoming -3.6 80 29.2 67 32.8 82
Louisiana Tech -3.9 81 33.7 41 37.6 114
Northern Illinois -3.9 82 29.6 65 33.6 93
SMU -4.8 83 30.4 60 35.3 101
Arkansas State -4.8 84 23.1 108 28 55
Illinois -4.9 85 23.9 104 28.7 58
Southern Miss -5.8 86 27.4 83 33.1 87
Middle Tennessee -7.2 87 33.9 39 41.1 127
UTSA -7.3 88 25.5 93 32.8 83
Miami-OH -7.3 89 24.2 102 31.5 78
Eastern Michigan -7.5 90 29.7 63 37.2 112
Old Dominion -7.7 91 25.6 91 33.3 89
Purdue -7.7 92 25.7 89 33.4 90
East Carolina -7.7 93 27.8 78 35.5 104
Bowling Green -8 94 27.7 79 35.6 107
Tulane -8.2 95 18.9 120 27 50
Rutgers -8.2 96 17.2 125 25.4 39
Florida Atlantic -8.3 97 31.4 54 39.7 121
Ball State -8.7 98 28 75 36.6 111
Marshall -8.8 99 21.8 114 30.6 75
Central Michigan -8.8 100 24.7 101 33.5 91
Georgia Southern -9.5 101 21 117 30.5 73
Hawaii -9.8 102 28.4 74 38.2 115
Air Force -10.2 103 31.1 57 41.2 128
Georgia State -10.2 104 18.8 121 29 61
San Jose State -10.5 105 23.7 105 34.1 97
Florida International -10.6 106 25.7 88 36.4 109
Army -10.7 107 21.1 116 31.7 79
Ohio -11.5 108 17 126 28.5 57
Fresno State -11.6 109 22 113 33.6 94
UL-Lafayette -11.8 110 17.3 124 29.1 63
New Mexico -12 111 33.7 42 45.7 130
South Alabama -12 112 22.1 112 34.1 96
Coastal Carolina -12.1 113 25.3 96 37.4 113
Massachusetts -12.5 114 23 109 35.5 105
North Texas -12.6 115 20.4 118 33 85
Nevada -13 116 23.6 106 36.6 110
Idaho -13.3 117 25.8 87 39.2 118
Kansas -13.4 118 22.2 111 35.5 106
UNLV -13.4 119 28.7 72 42.1 129
New Mexico State -14.2 120 25.5 94 39.7 120
UL-Monroe -15.2 121 24.9 99 40.1 124
Kent State -15.6 122 18.7 122 34.2 98
Akron -15.8 123 23.9 103 39.8 122
Connecticut -16.6 124 17 127 33.6 92
UTEP -16.6 125 22.9 110 39.5 119
Rice -17.2 126 21.2 115 38.4 116
Charlotte -19.5 127 19.5 119 39 117
Buffalo -20.4 128 15.1 129 35.5 103
Texas State -23.7 129 16.7 128 40.4 126
UAB -27.7 130 12.3 130 40 123

There are a couple of tiny shifts in the top 15.

Thanks to the return of star safety Derwin James, FSU has crept about half a point ahead of Ohio State for the No. 2 spot, which means Week 1 will feature a matchup of the top two projected teams in the country.

When accounting for players returning from major injuries, I wait until August to add in the numbers from their most recent healthy seasons. This is for a couple reasons. One, I don’t have a full accounting of each team’s injuries until I create each team’s preview, which can happen months after the initial S&P+ rankings publish. Two, there’s more certainty about whether these players are returning healthy. FSU has James returning kicks, so it’s safe to say he’s healthy.

Granted, Alabama is starting out more than a touchdown ahead of FSU — the Tide are as far ahead of the Noles as the Noles are of No. 13 Washington. Still, No. 1 vs. No. 2 is always going to be an exciting thing.

Another slight shift: thanks to the addition of transfer quarterback Jarrett Stidham’s Baylor stats to Auburn’s returning production figures, the Tigers now ease ahead of Penn State by half a point, into the No. 8 spot overall.

The biggest shifts up since February

  • Air Force (13 spots, from 116th to 103rd),
  • Memphis (10 spots, from 61st to 51st),
  • Georgia State (nine spots, from 113th to 104th),
  • Nebraska (seven spots, from 42nd to 35th),
  • Houston (seven spots, from 49th to 42nd),
  • and ECU (seven spots, from 100th to 93rd).

Most of these teams either got players back from injury or are welcoming in transfers in key positions.

The biggest shifts down

  • Minnesota (14 spots, from 47th to 61st),
  • Kansas (11 spots, from 107th to 118th),
  • Oregon State (10 spots, from 54th to 64th),
  • Michigan State (10 spots, from 54th to 64th),
  • and North Texas (nine spots, from 106th to 115th).

Most of these teams were either dealt some tough injuries or key transfers.

These numbers will be updated each week.

Check back at SBNation.com after each weekend.