Georgia Tech Ranked 58th In Latest SP+ Rankings

Matthew McGavic

Last week, ESPN writer and college football statistics guru Bill Connelly released the rankings of all 130 FBS team by returning production. With as many returning underclass man for the 2020 season, it was no surprise that the Jackets ranked 2nd with 84% returning production, trailing only the Northwestern Wildcats.

With the assistance of the data he released last week, Connolly has now unveiled the latest update to his SP+ rankings. For the inaugural 2020 edition, Georgia Tech is ranked at 58th overall with an SP+ rating of 1.3.

For those unfamiliar with SP+, here is the definition from Connelly himself:

"It's a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. I created the system at Football Outsiders in 2008, and as my experience with both college football and its stats has grown, I have made quite a few tweaks to the system. SP+ is intended to be predictive and forward-facing. That is important to remember. It is not a résumé ranking that gives credit for big wins or particularly brave scheduling -- no good predictive system is. It is simply a measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football. If you're lucky or unimpressive in a win, your rating will probably fall. If you're strong and unlucky in a loss, it will probably rise."

The metric is based one three main factors: Returning production, recent recruiting and recent history. While Tech did not have the greatest season in 2019, retuning as much as they did on top of netting a Top 25 recruiting class prevented them from receiving a lower grade.

For further context, here is how the opponent's on Georgia Tech's 2020 schedule rank:

- Clemson: 3rd (27.0)

- Gardner-Webb: NR

- UCF: 18th (14.8)

- North Carolina: 17th (16.0)

- Virginia Tech: 44th (10.2)

- Pitt: 42nd (6.0)

- Syracuse: 95th (-6.4)

- Duke: 69th (-1.7)

- Notre Dame: 12th 

- Miami: 23rd (12.6)

- Georgia: 4th (25.8)

Notes and observations:

- At 58th with an SP+ rating of 1.3, Tech has a higher SP+ now than it did at any point in 2019. Last season it debuted at -1.7, and sunk as low as -10.2.

- Many know how unforgiving of a schedule that Tech has in 2020, and SP+ certainly reflects it. The Jackets play six Top 25 SP+ teams, and on a neutral field would be favored in just 3 games (Gardner-Webb, Syracuse, Duke)

- Aside from the FCS matchup against Gardner-Webb, Georgia Tech has an absolutely brutal opening to the season. They play 4 top 25 teams, including opening with #3 Clemson.

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