SB Nation's resident college football stats guru, Bill Connelly, enjoys a three-week off-season each year. That ended today, as Bill began his 128-team profile series with North Texas and also released his 2016 S&P+ Projections. These ratings include recruiting impact, returning production, and five-year recent history. Florida State's Seminoles will begin the season at 5th after finishing 7th by that metric in 2015. Of note to FSU fans is the projected improvement of the ACC, which Bill discusses at greater length in the full article.
Clemson and FSU both project as top-five teams, and five teams project between 20th and 32nd. More importantly, only one projects worse than 70th (Wake Forest, a decent 74th!). The ACC's strength has been its depth, and next year it could have especially impressive depth and two national title contenders.
The Seminoles will battle four teams projected in Bill C's top 25 in 2016 and six in the top 30. It's a challenging schedule right out of the gate, as the 'Noles will battle 7th-rated Ole Miss in Orlando on Labor Day, and then proceed to play road games at #20 Louisville, #30 Miami, and #41 USF, as well as a home contest against #27 UNC, all within the first six weeks of the season. Florida State will follow a home showdown with #3 Clemson with a trip to Raleigh to face #40 North Carolina State, and Thanksgiving weekend will see the #20 Gators visiting Doak Campbell.
Make sure to read the article in full and let us know in the comments which rankings surprise or otherwise befuddle you. Take heart, the 2016 football season has basically now begun!