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NC State football No. 40 in early preseason S&P+ projections

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

SB Nation's Bill Connelly has released his early projections for the 2016 college football season, and he has NC State making a minor decline from 2015. The Wolfpack finished last season ranked 36th in S&P+ but is projected at 40th for 2016. S&P+ is a schedule-adjusted metric that takes into account several different performance-based factors.

The preseason projections weigh several factors--recruiting impact, returning production, and the weighted five-year performance of each team. NC State ranks pretty average-ish in those categories, at 45th, 37th, and 63rd, respectively.

Here's how NC State stacks up within the ACC (projected ranking in parentheses):

1.) Clemson (3rd)
2. Florida State (5th)
3.) Louisville (20th)
4.) North Carolina (27th)

5. Pittsburgh (29th)
6. Miami (30th)
7. Virginia Tech (32nd)
8. NC State (40th)
9. Syrause (44th)
10. Boston College (50th)

11. Duke (51st)
12. Georgia Tech (54th)
13. Virginia (68th)
14. Wake Forest (74th)

(The Wolfpack's 2016 ACC opponents are in bold. Notre Dame is No. 11, ECU No. 78, and Old Dominion is No. 111.)

So that puts NC State in familiar ol' fourth place within the ACC Atlantic. FSU's and Clemson's places in the pecking order are indisputable until proven otherwise, so there isn't much to quibble over here.