Now that National Signing Day is officially over we can finally put 2015 behind us and look ahead to what the 2016 season has in store for the Owls. And what better way to look ahead than to see who FAU will actually be playing.
The S&P+ rankings are an advanced stats metric that analyzes all 128 FBS teams on a per-play basis while also taking into account of how well your team has been recruiting over the past two years, who will be returning to your team and how your team has been performing relative to rankings over the past five seasons.
FAU is ranked 100th in the preseason projections mostly on the strength of how well Charlie Partridge and his staff has been recruiting but it was not a good enough boost to overset their lack of returning production which ranks 103rd.
According to Connelly's projections it appears FAU has a favorable draw for the second consecutive season as they are projected to be better than at least seven teams that are on their schedule.
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With FAU opening against an FCS school for the first time since 2012 when they took on Wagner, the Owls will be able to ease their way into the season against Southern Illinois before making the drive down I-95 to take on Miami in Mark Richt's debut season with the Hurricanes.
Conference USA did FAU a solid once again as the Owls avoid the two best teams in C-USA West as Southern Miss (72) and Louisiana Tech (84) are both missing from the schedule for the second straight season.
The projections have Western Kentucky as the best team in the conference but without Brandon Doughty engineering their offense I remain skeptical. S&P+ has FAU as the fourth best team in C-USA East behind WKU, Marshall, and MTSU.
So for the third straight season, its not out of the realm of possibility to expect FAU to win six games and go to a bowl game.