It's time. In less than a week, we will have actual college football games to watch for the first time in more than seven months. The longest offseason in the world is coming to an end. We've written and read all the previews and profiles. We've debated all the debates. Now there's only one thing left to do: make some projections!
Below are my final SP+ projections for the 2022 college football season. As mentioned previously, these are based on three primary factors: returning production (final rankings for which you can find at the bottom of this piece), recent recruiting and recent history. How good have you been recently? Who do you have coming back? How good are the players replacing those you don't have coming back? That's loosely what we ask when we're setting expectations for a team subjectively; it's also what these projections attempt to do objectively.
(Note: Some teams' projections have changed a bit compared to where they were in May, and it might not have anything to do with those factors above. I've also made a couple of tweaks to the SP+ formula itself.)
As always: 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.
Here are the full rankings: