ESPN Editor Bill Connelly’s SP+ ranking model is a data-driven system that uses logical inputs — and is therefore unbiased. That’s why we like it and check back every year to see what its predictions say about the state of IU football.
This is generally a good time of year to take a look at SP+ as the roster frenzy generated by the transfer portal has mostly subsided.
A year ago, it could be argued that SP+ was accurately claiming Indiana was overrated by the human rankings when it ranked the Hoosiers 28th nationally ahead of the season. That was significantly worse than their preseason AP Top 25 ranking of 17, or pretty much any other prediction.
Connelly’s SP+ preseason predictions are based on three factors.
1. Returning production. The recurring production figures are based on transfers and roster wear. The combination of last year’s SP+ ratings and adjustments based on the return of production account for just over two-thirds of the forecast formula.
Indiana ranks #53 (of 131) in total recurring production, according to Connelly.
(See a full summary of Indiana’s position turnover HERE)
2. Recent recruitment. This component takes into account both recent high school recruiting results and performance on landing transfers. High school recruiting rankings are considered for the past four years, with more weight being given to the older grades.
Indiana ranked 26th, 54th, 57th, and 37th in the 247Sports Composite Team Rankings in 2022, 2021, 2020, and 2019, respectively. 247Sports gives Indiana the 28th best transfer portal haul.
3. Recent history. A small part of the formula takes into account how well the program has performed on the field in recent years.
Indiana finished the 2021 bowl season ranked #100 on Connelly’s SP+ system, but they rank much higher in terms of return to production, have done relatively well in recruiting, and have had at least two successful seasons recently (2019 and 2019). 2020) to balance their dismal 2021 campaign.
Overall, Indiana moved up from the end-of-season rankings to 72nd in the pre-season SP+ rankings.
Here’s how the Hoosiers compare to the rest of the Big Ten, along with the programs on their 2022 schedule:
- State of Ohio – #1
- Michigan – No. 4
- Wisconsin – No. 10
- Penn State – No. 13
- State of Michigan – No. 16
- Minnesota – No. 21
- Rutgers – No. 78
- Illinois – No. 82
- Northwest – No. 85
2 Sep – Illinois (82)
10 Sep – Idaho (N/A, FCS)
17 September – Western Kentucky (62)
September 24 – in Cincinnati (11)
Oct 1 – in Nebraska (29)
Oct 8 – Michigan (4)
15 Oct – Maryland (47)
Oct 22 – at Rutgers (78)
Nov 5 – Penn State (13)
November 12 – in the state of Ohio (1)
Nov. 19 – in the state of Michigan (16)
November 26 – Purdue (35)
The Daily Hoosier -“Where Indiana fans gather when they’re not at the gathering”