According to SB Nation's own Bill Connelly, the Georgia Southern Eagles are projected to be the third best team in the Group of Five according to his S&P+ rankings, and are projected at 52nd overall in the country.
Only South Florida (41st) and Western Kentucky (45th) sit ahead of the Eagles. Shockingly, GS is even slotted one spot ahead of Houston, who is coming off a monster of a signing day in which they became the first G5 program to sign a top 10 recruit.
A big part of these rankings is recruiting, and Southern has had its best recruiting cycle in school history this offseason, signing talents like Darion Anderson, Traver Vliem, and Monquavion Brinson.
Obviously these rankings mean nothing if the Eagles don't show it on the field next season. Traveling to take on P5 programs like Ole Miss (7th) and Georgia Tech (54th) loom large in 2016, as well as tough conference matchups with Appalachian State (59th) and reigning conference champion Arkansas State (89th). Another Sun Belt title and perhaps a victory over a P5 opponent would help the Eagles receive more national attention as a program, and attract better recruits to Statesboro as well.
Ever since the victory over Florida in 2013, the Eagles have been searching for another victory against a Power 5 team that would let the entire country know the program has arrived. Southern came within one yard of making that statement in its first FBS game ever against NC State, and have had close losses to P5 teams (like Georgia Tech) since then. Hopefully with a great recruiting class and a new coaching staff with an emphasis on the defensive side of the ball, GS can bring more of that national attention upon itself.