Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2008 OVERALL COLLEGE FOOTBALL RATINGS

through games of 1/8/09

Beginning with the 2009 Football Outsiders Almanac, Brian Fremeau and Bill Connelly, originators of Football Outsiders' two statistical approaches -- FEI and S&P+, respectively -- began to create a combined ranking that would serve as Football Outsiders' 'official' college football rankings.

The Fremeau Efficiency Index (FEI) considers each of the nearly 20,000 possessions every season in major college football. All drives are filtered to eliminate first-half clock-kills and end-of-game garbage drives and scores. A scoring rate analysis of the remaining possessions then determines the baseline possession efficiency expectations against which each team is measured. A team is rewarded for playing well against good teams, win or lose, and is punished more severely for playing poorly against bad teams than it is rewarded for playing well against bad teams.

The S&P+ Ratings are a college football ratings system derived from both play-by-play and drive data from all 800+ of a season's FBS college football games (and 140,000+ plays). There are four key components to the S&P+:

  • Success Rate: A common Football Outsiders tool used to measure efficiency by determining whether every play of a given game was successful or not. The terms of success in college football: 50 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 70 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth down.
  • EqPts Per Play (PPP): An explosiveness measure derived from determining the point value of every yard line (based on the expected number of points an offense could expect to score from that yard line) and, therefore, every play of a given game.
  • Drive Efficiency: As of February 2013, S&P+ also includes a drive-based aspect based on the field position a team creates and its average success at scoring or preventing the points expected based on that field position.
  • Opponent adjustments: Success Rate and PPP combine to form S&P, an OPS-like measure for football. Then each team's S&P output for a given category (Rushing/Passing on either Standard Downs or Passing Downs) is compared to the expected output based upon their opponents and their opponents' opponents. This is a schedule-based adjustment designed to reward tougher schedules and punish weaker ones.

Special Teams F/+ has been added to the overall F/+ formula starting with 2007. It is a direct offshoot of the Special Teams Efficiency rating found on the FEI page. To read about the rationale behind this adjustment, go here. For years before 2007, an even combination of S&P+ and FEI is used.

F/+ Rk Team Record F/+ Off
F/+
Rk Def
F/+
Rk Spec.
Tms
F/+
Rk S&P+ Rk FEI Rk
1 Florida 13-1 +49.4% +22.7% 1 +22.2% 3 +4.5% 2 299.4 2 0.356 1
2 USC 12-1 +47.6% +20.2% 2 +25.9% 1 +1.5% 25 311.9 1 0.282 2
3 Texas 12-1 +36.5% +18.8% 4 +16.0% 6 +1.7% 23 268.6 6 0.272 4
4 Oklahoma 12-2 +35.4% +19.3% 3 +17.4% 5 -1.3% 89 278.7 4 0.277 3
5 Penn State 11-2 +34.0% +18.7% 5 +13.1% 12 +2.2% 15 268.8 5 0.251 5
6 TCU 11-2 +32.4% +7.0% 27 +24.2% 2 +1.2% 29 278.8 3 0.154 19
7 Boise State 12-1 +29.1% +9.1% 17 +17.5% 4 +2.5% 8 268.1 7 0.154 19
8 Alabama 12-2 +27.3% +11.9% 12 +15.2% 7 +0.2% 56 261.8 8 0.210 8
9 Ohio State 10-3 +25.1% +9.4% 16 +11.7% 16 +4.0% 3 252.6 9 0.170 14
10 Ole Miss 9-4 +25.0% +12.6% 10 +10.8% 17 +1.7% 22 244.4 12 0.215 7
11 Utah 13-0 +24.3% +7.9% 22 +14.0% 8 +2.4% 9 245.5 10 0.182 11
12 Iowa 9-4 +21.1% +6.7% 28 +13.5% 9 +1.0% 36 242.1 13 0.163 16
13 Texas Tech 11-2 +20.7% +14.5% 7 +7.4% 25 -1.1% 84 238.5 14 0.168 15
14 Missouri 10-4 +19.7% +12.7% 9 +3.7% 39 +3.3% 4 244.9 11 0.104 28
15 Pittsburgh 9-4 +16.6% +5.3% 37 +9.4% 20 +1.9% 18 227.2 22 0.178 12
16 Oklahoma State 9-4 +16.2% +15.6% 6 -1.7% 68 +2.3% 12 236.5 16 0.088 36
17 Oregon 10-3 +16.0% +9.6% 14 +6.4% 27 +0.0% 62 236.0 17 0.107 27
18 Georgia 10-3 +15.5% +14.1% 8 +2.0% 51 -0.5% 71 236.7 15 0.138 23
19 North Carolina 8-5 +15.2% +4.6% 40 +8.0% 23 +2.6% 7 212.5 46 0.216 6
20 Florida State 9-4 +14.4% +6.0% 34 +5.8% 28 +2.6% 6 219.1 35 0.191 10
F/+ Rk Team Record F/+ Off
F/+
Rk Def
F/+
Rk Spec.
Tms
F/+
Rk S&P+ Rk FEI Rk
21 Arizona 8-5 +14.3% +7.7% 25 +4.4% 33 +2.3% 11 230.1 19 0.083 40
22 Clemson 7-6 +13.9% +0.9% 59 +11.9% 15 +1.1% 33 228.0 21 0.136 24
23 LSU 8-5 +13.9% +5.8% 35 +3.5% 40 +4.6% 1 225.7 26 0.091 33
24 California 9-4 +13.6% +1.9% 52 +12.1% 14 -0.4% 70 232.9 18 0.091 33
25 Ball State 12-2 +13.4% +7.7% 24 +4.4% 32 +1.3% 28 229.1 20 0.100 30
26 Boston College 9-5 +13.1% +1.7% 54 +13.4% 10 -2.0% 100 222.5 27 0.172 13
27 Cincinnati 11-3 +12.2% +2.0% 51 +7.9% 24 +2.3% 13 222.2 28 0.131 25
28 Wake Forest 8-5 +11.9% -2.5% 71 +13.3% 11 +1.2% 32 214.0 41 0.156 18
29 Connecticut 8-5 +11.7% +0.2% 63 +12.6% 13 -1.2% 87 226.3 24 0.112 26
30 Oregon State 9-4 +11.5% +8.3% 21 +2.5% 47 +0.7% 44 226.3 23 0.094 32
31 West Virginia 9-4 +11.0% +6.0% 33 +5.6% 30 -0.7% 74 221.3 32 0.149 21
32 Virginia Tech 10-4 +10.5% +1.4% 56 +10.1% 18 -1.0% 80 217.1 38 0.194 9
33 Tulsa 12-2 +10.1% +12.0% 11 -1.3% 63 -0.6% 73 221.7 30 0.084 38
34 Rutgers 9-4 +10.0% +7.8% 23 +3.5% 41 -1.3% 88 221.0 33 0.148 22
35 South Florida 8-5 +9.4% +4.7% 38 +4.0% 35 +0.7% 43 220.8 34 0.103 29
36 Nebraska 9-4 +8.7% +9.1% 18 -2.2% 71 +1.8% 19 226.0 25 0.002 59
37 Georgia Tech 9-4 +7.8% +6.6% 29 +3.3% 43 -2.0% 101 209.5 51 0.158 17
38 BYU 10-3 +6.7% +8.9% 19 -4.1% 79 +1.9% 17 217.8 36 0.029 52
39 Michigan State 9-4 +6.5% +1.1% 58 +3.8% 38 +1.7% 24 217.3 37 0.050 44
40 South Carolina 7-6 +6.3% -2.9% 73 +8.8% 21 +0.4% 51 213.2 44 0.069 41
F/+ Rk Team Record F/+ Off
F/+
Rk Def
F/+
Rk Spec.
Tms
F/+
Rk S&P+ Rk FEI Rk
41 Kansas 8-5 +5.5% +7.3% 26 -1.8% 69 +0.0% 63 222.0 29 -0.004 61
42 Northwestern 9-4 +5.0% +3.2% 43 +3.0% 45 -1.2% 86 212.4 47 0.037 51
43 Illinois 5-7 +4.1% +3.5% 42 +3.2% 44 -2.6% 107 221.3 31 0.017 55
44 Rice 10-3 +3.8% +11.7% 13 -5.0% 84 -2.9% 110 215.8 40 0.021 54
45 Notre Dame 7-6 +3.7% -1.0% 65 +4.3% 34 +0.4% 49 206.9 52 0.042 50
46 Wisconsin 7-6 +3.7% +0.5% 62 +3.3% 42 -0.1% 66 213.8 42 0.014 56
47 Houston 8-5 +3.6% +9.5% 15 -3.8% 76 -2.1% 103 213.7 43 0.045 47
48 Southern Miss 7-6 +3.6% +3.9% 41 +0.1% 61 -0.3% 69 210.8 49 0.051 43
49 East Carolina 9-5 +3.4% -3.3% 75 +8.1% 22 -1.4% 91 206.7 53 0.085 37
50 N.C. State 6-7 +3.0% +5.5% 36 -3.5% 75 +1.0% 35 197.8 68 0.098 31
51 Maryland 8-5 +2.9% +2.2% 49 -1.5% 66 +2.2% 14 204.6 59 0.043 49
52 Navy 8-5 +2.1% +8.5% 20 -7.6% 93 +1.2% 31 200.6 62 0.084 38
53 Tennessee 5-7 +1.9% -6.6% 88 +9.5% 19 -1.1% 81 210.6 50 0.005 58
54 Vanderbilt 7-6 +1.8% -4.4% 78 +5.6% 29 +0.6% 45 204.7 58 0.060 42
55 Miami 7-6 +1.3% +1.4% 57 -1.5% 65 +1.4% 26 200.0 63 0.091 33
56 Bowling Green 6-6 +1.2% +2.1% 50 +0.1% 59 -1.0% 79 206.5 54 0.047 46
57 Troy 8-5 +1.1% -2.0% 67 +2.3% 48 +0.8% 40 215.9 39 -0.014 65
58 Stanford 5-7 -0.1% +4.7% 39 -5.7% 86 +0.8% 38 205.9 55 -0.017 66
59 Air Force 8-5 -0.9% -3.0% 74 +2.1% 50 +0.0% 59 204.9 57 -0.012 64
60 Virginia 5-7 -1.0% -1.3% 66 +0.1% 58 +0.2% 55 197.9 67 0.049 45
F/+ Rk Team Record F/+ Off
F/+
Rk Def
F/+
Rk Spec.
Tms
F/+
Rk S&P+ Rk FEI Rk
61 Buffalo 8-6 -1.9% +2.6% 48 -3.9% 77 -0.6% 72 195.4 75 0.044 48
62 Auburn 4-8 -2.5% -7.7% 94 +4.0% 36 +1.2% 30 196.4 72 0.023 53
63 Baylor 4-8 -3.1% +6.1% 31 -5.3% 85 -4.0% 114 212.8 45 -0.054 79
64 Nevada 7-6 -3.3% +6.1% 32 -6.1% 87 -3.3% 111 212.0 48 -0.052 77
65 Central Michigan 8-5 -3.6% +6.5% 30 -10.5% 105 +0.4% 52 197.4 69 -0.011 63
66 Northern Illinois 6-7 -4.0% -3.8% 77 +0.6% 56 -0.8% 77 199.3 66 0.000 60
67 Arizona State 5-7 -4.1% -6.8% 89 +2.7% 46 0.0% 64 199.6 64 -0.046 74
68 Western Michigan 9-4 -4.2% -0.2% 64 -4.8% 82 +0.8% 37 199.4 65 -0.041 72
69 Temple 5-7 -4.5% -8.1% 99 +1.9% 52 +1.8% 20 191.7 83 -0.009 62
70 Arkansas 4-8 -4.7% +1.7% 55 -3.0% 73 -3.4% 112 205.1 56 -0.058 81
71 Purdue 4-8 -4.9% -5.5% 82 +2.3% 49 -1.7% 94 202.8 60 -0.026 67
72 Kentucky 7-6 -5.3% -7.5% 93 +0.1% 60 +2.1% 16 193.5 79 -0.029 68
73 Michigan 3-9 -5.8% -5.9% 85 +1.8% 53 -1.7% 97 195.5 74 -0.036 70
74 Akron 5-7 -6.0% +0.6% 60 -7.3% 90 +0.7% 42 194.6 76 -0.036 70
75 New Mexico 4-8 -6.0% -11.4% 108 +5.2% 31 +0.2% 54 201.0 61 -0.082 83
76 Minnesota 7-6 -6.1% -3.7% 76 -2.5% 72 +0.1% 57 191.1 85 -0.043 73
77 Memphis 6-7 -6.2% +3.0% 45 -7.5% 92 -1.7% 95 192.9 81 -0.051 76
78 Duke 4-8 -6.5% -5.8% 84 +0.4% 57 -1.1% 82 188.0 90 0.014 56
79 Marshall 4-8 -6.8% -6.9% 90 -0.1% 62 +0.1% 57 190.3 86 -0.033 69
80 Colorado State 7-6 -7.3% +1.9% 53 -7.8% 94 -1.4% 90 196.6 71 -0.093 85
F/+ Rk Team Record F/+ Off
F/+
Rk Def
F/+
Rk Spec.
Tms
F/+
Rk S&P+ Rk FEI Rk
81 Fresno State 6-7 -8.0% +0.5% 61 -8.8% 99 +0.3% 53 196.1 73 -0.067 82
82 UTEP 5-7 -9.4% +2.9% 46 -14.1% 116 +1.7% 21 193.8 78 -0.055 80
83 Kansas State 5-7 -10.2% -2.4% 68 -10.2% 104 +2.4% 10 189.3 87 -0.112 90
84 UNLV 5-7 -10.7% +2.9% 47 -13.6% 114 +0.0% 61 187.3 93 -0.127 94
85 UCLA 4-8 -10.9% -11.6% 109 +0.8% 55 -0.1% 67 192.6 82 -0.117 91
86 UL-Lafayette 6-6 -10.9% +3.2% 44 -13.3% 112 -0.9% 78 193.1 80 -0.125 93
87 Ohio 4-8 -11.1% -8.0% 98 -1.3% 64 -1.8% 98 189.2 88 -0.052 77
88 Central Florida 4-8 -11.1% -18.5% 119 +6.8% 26 +0.5% 48 182.3 99 -0.047 75
89 Florida Atlantic 7-6 -11.2% -5.1% 80 -4.2% 80 -2.0% 99 196.8 70 -0.132 97
90 Louisville 5-7 -11.6% -4.9% 79 -4.0% 78 -2.7% 108 191.3 84 -0.083 84
91 Arkansas State 6-6 -12.5% -6.9% 91 -3.5% 74 -2.0% 102 194.3 77 -0.129 96
92 San Jose State 6-6 -13.1% -17.0% 118 +3.9% 37 0.0% 65 187.6 91 -0.146 102
93 Louisiana Tech 8-5 -13.2% -9.0% 101 -6.9% 88 +2.7% 5 182.3 100 -0.136 98
94 Syracuse 3-9 -13.4% -6.5% 87 -7.4% 91 +0.5% 47 183.5 97 -0.103 87
95 Colorado 5-7 -14.7% -12.7% 113 +1.6% 54 -3.6% 113 176.8 107 -0.105 88
96 Indiana 3-9 -14.9% -6.1% 86 -9.6% 102 +0.8% 39 185.7 95 -0.168 107
97 Iowa State 2-10 -15.3% -5.8% 83 -9.4% 101 -0.2% 68 183.9 96 -0.173 109
98 UAB 4-8 -15.5% -2.5% 70 -13.6% 113 +0.5% 46 181.5 101 -0.128 95
99 Middle Tennessee 5-7 -15.8% -7.9% 96 -8.4% 97 +0.4% 50 181.0 102 -0.124 92
100 Toledo 3-9 -15.9% -5.3% 81 -8.4% 98 -2.2% 104 187.0 94 -0.148 103
F/+ Rk Team Record F/+ Off
F/+
Rk Def
F/+
Rk Spec.
Tms
F/+
Rk S&P+ Rk FEI Rk
101 Florida International 5-7 -16.0% -12.2% 111 -4.8% 81 +1.0% 34 187.3 92 -0.176 110
102 Mississippi State 4-8 -16.0% -10.2% 105 -1.7% 67 -4.1% 116 178.9 105 -0.108 89
103 Hawaii 7-7 -16.6% -7.9% 97 -7.2% 89 -1.5% 93 188.3 89 -0.163 105
104 Kent State 4-8 -16.6% -2.5% 69 -8.8% 100 -5.3% 119 181.0 103 -0.099 86
105 Utah State 3-9 -17.0% -8.3% 100 -8.0% 95 -0.7% 76 180.9 104 -0.176 110
106 Army 3-9 -18.3% -15.8% 116 -1.8% 70 -0.7% 75 172.0 109 -0.141 100
107 Texas A&M 4-8 -18.4% -2.6% 72 -14.7% 117 -1.1% 83 182.9 98 -0.189 113
108 SMU 1-11 -19.0% -9.0% 102 -11.3% 107 +1.3% 27 174.8 108 -0.165 106
109 UL-Monroe 4-8 -21.0% -7.8% 95 -13.2% 111 +0.0% 60 170.2 111 -0.152 104
110 Wyoming 4-8 -21.6% -11.9% 110 -4.8% 83 -4.9% 117 177.7 106 -0.169 108
111 Miami (Ohio) 2-10 -22.3% -11.3% 107 -11.8% 108 +0.8% 41 167.9 114 -0.145 101
112 New Mexico State 3-9 -23.5% -12.7% 114 -8.3% 96 -2.5% 106 170.1 112 -0.214 115
113 Tulane 2-10 -23.7% -10.1% 104 -10.8% 106 -2.8% 109 171.0 110 -0.210 114
114 Eastern Michigan 3-9 -25.2% -7.2% 92 -12.5% 110 -5.6% 120 152.9 119 -0.137 99
115 San Diego State 3-9 -25.8% -9.4% 103 -15.0% 118 -1.4% 92 169.0 113 -0.231 116
116 Western Kentucky 2-10 -27.2% -16.0% 117 -10.0% 103 -1.1% 85 161.1 115 -0.185 112
117 Washington 0-12 -28.4% -13.1% 115 -13.6% 115 -1.7% 96 159.3 116 -0.256 117
118 Idaho 2-10 -32.5% -11.0% 106 -19.3% 120 -2.3% 105 153.1 118 -0.307 118
119 North Texas 1-11 -36.0% -12.4% 112 -18.5% 119 -5.1% 118 157.4 117 -0.338 120
120 Washington State 2-11 -37.2% -20.6% 120 -12.5% 109 -4.1% 115 148.3 120 -0.308 119