Ohio State falls in the latest preseason edition of ESPN’s SP+ rankings

The latest edition of the ESPN SP+ Rankings just dropped, and there’s a bit of a surprise when it comes to Ohio State. Having routinely sat at No. 2, just behind Alabama throughout the preseason, ESPN analyst Bill Connelly has reportedly tweaked his formula a bit, and the Buckeyes are now down.

Understandably, there’s some secrecy surrounding the special sauce that goes into these rankings, as it’s a proprietary thing developed and managed by Connelly, but we’ll never know why OSU fell.

However, according to ESPN’s website, “SP+ rankings are based on three main factors: returning production (final rankings for which can be found at the bottom of this piece), recent recruiting and recent history.”

The rest of the rankings have some minor changes from the last one we saw as well, but overall, things look good for what you’d expect with a few surprises. Alabama remains No. 1, but now there’s a new No. 2 with Ohio State slipping.

Here’s the latest top 25 ESPN SP+ rankings (subscription required) and where the Buckeyes land now as we prepare to turn things up a notch for the 2022 season.

BYU Cougars (Independent)

October 1, 2021; Logan, Utah, USA A general view of a helmet worn by the Brigham Young Cougars during a game against the Utah State Aggies at Merlin Olsen Field at Maverik Stadium. Credit: Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

13.9

Oregon Ducks (Pac-12)

An “End Racism” sticker joins the American flag on Oregon players’ helmets Saturday, Oct. 30, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Rated SP+

14.3

Pittsburgh Panthers (ACC)

September 25, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA A Pittsburgh Panthers helmet sits on the sideline against the New Hampshire Wildcats during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

14.4

Texas Longhorns (Big 12)

November 10, 2018; Lubbock, Texas, USA A Texas Longhorns helmet on the sideline during the game against the Texas Tech Red Raiders at Jones AT&T Stadium. Source: Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

14.4

Auburn Tigers (SEC)

An Auburn Tigers helmet on the sideline during spring training A-Day at Jordan-Hare Stadium in Auburn, Ala., on Saturday, April 9, 2022. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Rated SP+

14.4

Mississippi State Bulldogs (SEC)

December 26, 2016; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA A Mississippi State Bulldogs helmet on the field before the game between the Miami Redhawks and the Mississippi State Bulldogs at Tropicana Field. Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

14.7

Oklahoma State Cowboys (Big 12)

January 1, 2022; Glendale, Arizona, USA Detail view of an Oklahoma State Cowboys helmet during the 2022 Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium. Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

14.9

NC State Wolfpack (ACC)

November 13, 2021; Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA A North Carolina State Wolfpack helmet is seen on the sideline during the second half against the Wake Forest Demon Deacons at Truist Field. Mandatory credit: William Howard-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

15.4

Wisconsin Badgers (Big Ten)

November 9, 2019; Madison, WI, USA A Wisconsin Badgers helmet during the game against the Iowa Hawkeyes at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

15.6

Cincinnati Bearcats (AAC)

October 3, 2020; Cincinnati, OH, USA Cincinnati Bearcats helmet during the game between the Cincinnati Bearcats and the South Florida Bulls at Nippert Stadium. Credit: Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

16.1

Michigan State Spartans (Big Ten)

November 19, 2011; East Lansing, MI, USA Michigan State Spartan helmet on the sideline during the game against the Indiana Hoosiers at Spartan Stadium. Michigan State went 55-3 to capture the Big Ten’s Legends Division. Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

16.1

Arkansas Razorbacks (SEC)

November 23, 2019; Baton Rouge, LA, USA General view of the Arkansas Razorbacks helmet during the second half of the game against the LSU Tigers at Tiger Stadium. Credit: Stephen Lew-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

16.3

Penn State Nittany Lions (Big Ten)

November 16, 2013; University Park, PA, USA General view of a Penn State Nittany Lions helmet before the game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

16.5

Utah Utes (Pac-12)

Former Ohio State commit Clark Phillips because he went to Utah

Former Ohio State commit Clark Phillips because he went to Utah

September 14, 2019; Salt Lake City, UT, USA A general view of the helmet worn by Utah Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley (1) against the Idaho State Bengals at Rice-Eccles Stadium. Rob Gray-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

16.5

Kentucky Wildcats (SEC)

Oct 27, 2018; Columbia, MO, USA A general view of a Kentucky Wildcats helmet during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Kentucky won 15-14. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

16.8

Tennessee Volunteers (SEC)

November 23, 2019; Columbia, MO, USA A general view of a Tennessee Volunteers helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

17.3

Ole Miss Rebels (SEC)

Oct 12, 2019; Columbia, MO, USA A general view of a Mississippi Rebels helmet during the game against the Missouri Tigers at Memorial Stadium/Faurot Field. Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

17.9

Texas A&M Aggies (SEC)

October 23, 2021. College Station, Texas, USA. Texas A&M Aggies helmet on the sideline during the game against the South Carolina Gamecocks at Kyle Field. Credit: Maria Lysaker-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

19.5

Notre Dame Fighting Irish (Independent)

The IrishCast Twitter account says Notre Dame should

IrishCast’s Twitter account says Notre Dame should ‘intimidate’ Ohio State

ARLINGTON, TX – DECEMBER 29: Detail view of a Notre Dame fielding Irish player’s helmet showing the CFP logo during the College Football Playoff Goodyear Cotton Bowl Classic semifinal against the Clemson Tigers at AT&T Stadium on December 29, 2018 , in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Rated SP+

21.0

Michigan Wolverines (Big Ten)

Michigan coach Ryan Osborne allegedly coached against NCAA rules

Michigan coach Ryan Osborne allegedly coached against NCAA rules

November 18, 2017; Madison, WI, USA A Michigan Wolverines helmet during the game against the Wisconsin Badgers at Camp Randall Stadium. Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

21.4

Clemson Tigers (ACC)

The Clemson football helmet near the Fiesta Bowl trophy at the coaches’ press conference in Scottsdale, Arizona Friday, December 27, 2019. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Rated SP+

21.4

Oklahoma Sooners (Big 12)

Oklahoma helmets are displayed before a college football game between the University of Oklahoma Sooners (OU) and the West Virginia Mountaineers at Gaylord Family-Oklahoma Memorial Stadium in Norman, Okla., Saturday, Sept. 25, 2021. Oklahoma won 16-13 . Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Rated SP+

22.5

Ohio State Buckeyes (Big Ten)

Ohio State Buckeye legend Charles Csuri has died at age 99

Ohio State Buckeye legend Charles Csuri has died at age 99

Sat, Jan 1, 2022. Pasadena, CA, USA. A special pink helmet stripe adorns Thayer Munford’s helmet prior to the start of the 108th Rose Bowl Game between the Ohio State Buckeyes and the Utah Utes at the Rose Bowl. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

Rated SP+

29.7

Georgia Bulldogs (SEC)

December 12, 2020; Columbia, Missouri, USA A detailed view of a Georgia Bulldogs helmet during the second half against the Missouri Tigers at Faurot Field at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

30.5

Alabama Crimson Tide (SEC)

July 18, 2018; Atlanta, GA, USA An Alabama Crimson Tide helmet is displayed center stage during SEC Football Media Day at the College Football Hall of Fame. Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

Rated SP+

32.2

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