Bill Connelly: ALL 128 FBS COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS RANKED FOR 2016, FROM ALABAMA TO EMU - Houston #21

Actually surprised we’re ranked that high as Connelly is usually purely stats based and his stats aren’t high on Houston.

ALL 128 FBS COLLEGE FOOTBALL TEAMS RANKED FOR 2016, FROM ALABAMA TO EMU

TIER 3: A TOP-10 PERFORMANCE WOULD NOT BE SURPRISING
16. Georgia (15)
17. USC (8)
18. UCLA (12)
19. Louisville (20)
20. Arkansas (17)
21. Houston (53)
22. Oklahoma State (23)
23. Mississippi State (21)
24. Baylor (13)
25. Texas A&M (25)
26. Florida (19)

Now we get into bigger questions and deeper flaws.

Compared to S&P+, I’m pretty low on USC and super high on Houston, but … again, trust. USC’s got plenty to prove, and while Houston was pretty lucky, the Cougars also have a great quarterback and great coach. That will lead you through a lot of tough roads.

I think we would beat Arky. We already beat UL.

Connelly releases his AAC predictions. In a way, I think Connelly has begun questioning his S&P+ matrix when it comes to Houston. It’ll be interesting to see what he’ll say if we outperform our standing again (although, Connelly himself has said that he projects Houston higher than the matrix does):

2016 AAC win projections: What if Houston isn’t great?

Your West division favorites: Houston … and Navy. And here’s one more opportunity to marvel at how much S&P+ disliked the Cougars last year. And while part of that was due to how the Cougars played when Greg Ward was hurt (which wouldn’t necessarily apply to 2016 unless he gets hurt again), part of it wasn’t.

And here’s the follow-up about how the numbers hate certain teams (including Houston):

3 overrated college football teams in 2016 by preseason analytics

Unfortunately for Houston, turnovers in the past have little ability to predict turnovers this upcoming season. My preseason model uses regression to make adjustments for turnovers, and this contributes to their rank of 41st.

Houston could live up to the hype of 15th in the nation. However, they would need QB Greg Ward Jr. to win the Heisman and Tom Herman to become the next Urban Meyer.

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