Bill Connelly, of SB Nation and Football Outsiders, has published his initial 2015 football season projections based on his trusty S&P+ formula. BYU appears at no. 45 on the projection, sandwiched between ACC schools North Carolina and Virginia.
The formula is based on recent history, returning players, and recent recruiting with the most-recent years weighed most heavily in a way that has been fairly successful in the past.
S&P+ places BYU's five-year performance at no. 38.
The projection gives us something tangible to preview about BYU's opponents, and agrees in the expectations that the Cougars' slate will be tough. UCLA checks in at no. 7 as part of five teams appearing in the top 35.
Those five teams are:
UCLA - 7
Missouri - 23
Boise State - 27
Nebraska - 30
Michigan - 35
Additionally, Cincinnati checks in at 47 and Utah State is at 59, giving BYU seven of 12 opponents appearing in the upper half of the projections. The slate becomes even tougher when considering five of those top seven opponents will be played on the road.