June 24, 2024

Looking ahead to the 2024 college football season, projections from Bill Connelly of ESPN provide insight into Michigan’s anticipated performance. Connelly’s post-spring SP+ rankings offer a comprehensive assessment of team efficiency, encompassing offense, defense, and special teams to forecast the margin of victory against an average opponent.

Michigan’s current SP+ rating stands at 27.5, indicating their expected superiority over the average college football team by 27.5 points. In the 2023 season, the Wolverines consistently held the top spot in these rankings, reflecting their dominance on a neutral field.

While in-season rankings benefit from ongoing game data, offseason projections rely on returning production, recent recruiting, and team history. Connelly’s preseason rankings in February initially positioned Michigan as the fifth-ranked team nationally. However, adjustments have been made since then, considering events like the spring transfer window, which saw player movements across the country.

In the latest post-spring rankings, Michigan holds the sixth position with a rating of 27.5. This represents a slight decrease from their previous fifth ranking, but it also reflects a modest 0.5 point increase in their SP+ rating.

Alabama surpassed Michigan in the rankings, moving from sixth place with a 26.6 rating to fifth place with a 29.1 rating over the course of three months. Meanwhile, the top four teams remained unchanged, with Georgia leading the pack, followed by Ohio State, Oregon, and Texas.

Michigan v Penn State

According to Connelly, one of the primary reasons for Michigan’s decline from the previous season is the team’s limited return of total production, standing at only 40 percent. This includes 27 percent of offensive production and 53 percent of defensive production, placing Michigan among the teams with the ninth-lowest percentage of returning production nationwide.

This decline in returning production is largely expected, given Michigan’s significant losses to the NFL Draft, including 10 of 11 offensive starters. However, Michigan’s strong performance over the past three seasons and solid recruiting efforts have helped maintain its competitive position.

Michigan’s SP+ rating saw a slight improvement, attributed in part to recent successes in the transfer portal. The addition of a group of defensive backs, including Aamir Hill, Wesley Walker, Jaden Mangham, and Ricky Johnson, has bolstered the team’s depth in the secondary.

While there may still be concerns about the roster as the season approaches, Michigan fans can take solace in the team’s favorable standing in the SP+ rankings heading into the summer months.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *