The Maryland football team will be a little better in 2016 than it was in 2015 but still finish near the bottom of the Big Ten, according to a new statistical projection.
SB Nation's Bill Connelly released his S&P+ projection model for next season on Monday. S&P+ is an advanced stat that parses play-by-play and is indexed by teams' strength of schedule to measure their true on-field performance. Maryland finished. No. 65 in S&P+ last season, and Connelly projects the Terps to be No. 62 this time around.
Here's the entire Big Ten:
|Overall Rank||School||Projected S&P+|
S&P+ pegs Maryland as the sixth-place finisher in the Big Ten East, only ahead of Rutgers. There's some good news, though, as Connelly projects Maryland's freshmen to make a more positive impact, at 47th-best out of 128 teams.
This is a statistics-based projections model, analogous to Ken Pomeroy's in college basketball. It certainly won't predict every team's win-loss record, but it's a good starting point for assessing teams based on their actual talent level and recent performance.
This year's S&P+ projections, more than anything, confirm what we've already suspected: Maryland has some encouraging indicators but remains a good way off from competing for a Big Ten title.