Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2015 NCAA FOOTBALL S&P+ RATINGS

through games of 1/11/16

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

The components for S&P+ reflect opponent-adjusted components of four of what Bill Connelly has deemed the Five Factors of college football: efficiency, explosiveness, field position, and finishing drives. (A fifth factor, turnovers, is informed marginally by sack rates, the only quality-based statistic that has a consistent relationship with turnover margins.)

Here are the components of the ratings shared below:

  • Second-Order Wins (2ndO Wins): Defined here and discussed in further detail here and here, second-order wins compare the advanced statistical components of a given game, and the single-game win expectancy they create, to the actual results of the game. This projected win total is a cousin of the Pythagorean record, a concept common in many sports. They are presented below, with the difference between a team's wins and second-order wins in parentheses.
  • S&P+ rating: Using the five-factors concept above, the S&P+ ratings take into account efficiency (Success Rates), explosiveness (IsoPPP), and factors related to field position and finishing drives. It is now presented in two forms: the first is a percentile, and the second is an adjusted scoring margin specific for this specific season's scoring curve.
  • Off. S&P+ rating: A team's offense-specific S&P+ rating, presented in the form of an adjusted scoring average.
  • Def. S&P+ rating: A team's defense-specific S&P+ rating, presented in the form of an adjusted scoring average (and since this is defense, the lower the average, the better).
  • Strength of Schedule rating (SOS): A simple schedule measure based on average S&P+ ratings and normal distributions.
  • Weighted S&P+ rating: This is an attempt to measure how a team was playing at the end of a given season, with extra weight given to the most recent games. It is limited in power by small sample sizes, but it is useful in determining which teams finished strong and which derived most of their good (or bad) final ratings from early-season play.

Use the menu above for pages that give more details on offensive and defensive S&P+, or our other college football ratings, the drive-based FEI.

Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk SOS Rk Wtd. S&P+ Rk
Alabama 14-1 13.1 (-0.9) 99.1% 30.0 1 37.9 24 7.9 1 1.8 4 41.0 1
Clemson 14-1 13.1 (-0.9) 98.4% 27.4 2 42.7 6 15.3 4 1.7 8 29.5 3
Ohio State 12-1 12.1 (0.1) 96.9% 24.0 3 39.9 14 16.0 7 0.4 48 28.6 4
Oklahoma 11-2 10.4 (-0.6) 96.0% 22.6 4 42.4 8 19.8 16 1.0 24 24.4 5
Ole Miss 10-3 10.9 (0.9) 94.9% 21.2 5 41.6 10 20.5 22 0.5 45 31.2 2
Michigan 10-3 10.6 (0.6) 94.8% 21.1 6 34.7 32 13.6 2 0.2 54 14.8 22
Florida State 10-3 10.9 (0.9) 93.8% 20.0 7 38.1 22 18.1 10 0.7 35 21.9 8
Notre Dame 10-3 10.0 (0.0) 92.5% 18.8 8 42.4 7 23.7 35 1.5 10 19.7 10
LSU 9-3 8.6 (-0.4) 92.2% 18.6 9 40.7 12 22.2 27 1.9 3 13.3 27
Stanford 12-2 11.2 (-0.8) 92.1% 18.4 10 43.1 5 24.7 42 0.6 42 22.5 6
Western Kentucky 12-2 11.3 (-0.7) 90.9% 17.5 11 43.5 4 26.0 53 -0.3 71 20.7 9
Washington 7-6 7.7 (0.7) 90.4% 17.1 12 33.9 37 16.8 9 1.4 11 18.8 15
Michigan State 12-2 9.8 (-2.2) 88.6% 15.9 13 35.1 28 19.2 12 1.7 6 16.6 16
Baylor 10-3 10.6 (0.6) 88.0% 15.6 14 43.7 1 28.2 64 -0.5 85 10.7 35
Arkansas 8-5 8.6 (0.6) 87.6% 15.3 15 43.7 2 28.4 67 0.9 27 22.1 7
Mississippi State 9-4 8.4 (-0.6) 87.1% 15.0 16 39.2 16 24.2 40 1.3 12 15.0 20
USC 8-6 7.6 (-0.4) 86.9% 14.9 17 39.6 15 24.7 43 2.0 2 9.9 36
Florida 10-4 9.2 (-0.8) 85.9% 14.3 18 30.1 57 15.7 6 1.6 9 8.0 43
Bowling Green 10-4 10.2 (0.2) 85.6% 14.2 19 41.0 11 26.8 55 0.1 57 18.9 13
Navy 11-2 10.8 (-0.2) 83.1% 13.0 20 38.3 20 25.3 49 -0.6 91 16.5 17
Toledo 10-2 9.2 (-0.8) 83.0% 12.9 21 33.3 39 20.4 21 -0.1 65 13.1 29
Tennessee 9-4 9.0 (0.0) 82.3% 12.5 22 32.8 43 20.2 17 0.2 55 18.9 14
UCLA 8-5 9.3 (1.3) 82.0% 12.4 23 38.1 21 25.7 51 0.3 52 13.4 26
West Virginia 8-5 8.5 (0.5) 81.1% 12.0 24 34.3 35 22.2 28 0.0 61 11.4 32
Oregon 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 80.1% 11.6 25 41.9 9 30.4 82 0.9 28 19.6 11
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk SOS Rk Wtd. S&P+ Rk
TCU 11-2 10.0 (-1.0) 79.8% 11.4 26 38.6 18 27.1 58 -0.6 90 4.0 62
Utah 10-3 8.2 (-1.8) 79.8% 11.4 27 30.8 53 19.4 14 1.0 23 9.0 38
Louisville 8-5 8.2 (0.2) 78.4% 10.9 28 32.0 49 21.1 24 0.7 34 16.2 18
North Carolina 11-3 11.0 (0.0) 77.8% 10.6 29 39.1 17 28.6 70 -0.6 89 15.7 19
Penn State 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 77.2% 10.4 30 29.9 59 19.5 15 1.3 14 5.5 52
Wisconsin 10-3 9.0 (-1.0) 77.2% 10.3 31 26.4 83 16.0 8 -0.5 84 6.0 49
Georgia 10-3 9.5 (-0.5) 76.4% 10.0 32 28.5 71 18.4 11 -0.4 81 11.3 34
Oklahoma State 10-3 8.6 (-1.4) 76.1% 9.9 33 38.1 23 28.1 63 0.4 50 4.7 58
California 8-5 7.9 (-0.1) 76.0% 9.9 34 40.5 13 30.6 84 0.7 37 5.5 51
Auburn 7-6 6.7 (-0.3) 75.6% 9.7 35 32.6 44 22.9 31 1.7 7 14.9 21
NC State 7-6 7.1 (0.1) 75.6% 9.7 36 34.8 30 25.1 45 0.5 46 4.4 59
Minnesota 6-7 6.2 (0.2) 74.1% 9.1 37 30.1 58 20.9 23 1.7 5 14.7 24
BYU 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 73.5% 8.9 38 32.1 48 23.2 34 0.1 58 14.7 23
Georgia Southern 9-4 9.0 (0.0) 72.1% 8.4 39 33.1 40 24.7 44 -0.7 98 6.4 47
Pittsburgh 8-5 7.3 (-0.7) 71.6% 8.2 40 33.9 38 25.6 50 1.1 18 6.5 46
Boise State 9-4 9.2 (0.2) 70.3% 7.8 41 30.9 52 23.2 33 -1.2 111 4.2 61
Texas A&M 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 70.2% 7.7 42 30.4 55 22.7 30 0.6 43 0.1 74
Appalachian State 11-2 10.5 (-0.5) 70.1% 7.7 43 32.3 46 24.6 41 -1.9 125 7.7 44
Houston 13-1 10.2 (-2.8) 69.7% 7.6 44 34.8 29 27.2 59 -1.1 108 7.3 45
San Diego State 11-3 10.6 (-0.4) 69.0% 7.3 45 28.8 68 21.5 25 -1.6 122 19.5 12
Utah State 6-7 6.8 (0.8) 68.9% 7.3 46 29.1 63 21.8 26 0.7 36 3.9 63
Iowa 12-2 10.0 (-2.0) 68.8% 7.3 47 30.3 56 23.0 32 -0.4 82 2.6 70
Nebraska 6-7 6.8 (0.8) 68.3% 7.1 48 34.1 36 27.0 57 0.8 30 5.3 53
Temple 10-4 9.2 (-0.8) 67.7% 6.9 49 27.1 80 20.2 18 -0.3 77 3.1 66
South Florida 8-5 7.9 (-0.1) 66.6% 6.5 50 31.6 50 25.1 46 -0.8 100 14.5 25
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk SOS Rk Wtd. S&P+ Rk
Miami-FL 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 64.9% 6.0 51 32.5 45 26.6 54 0.7 40 4.9 55
Air Force 8-6 8.7 (0.7) 64.8% 5.9 52 34.6 34 28.7 71 -0.5 86 11.7 31
Western Michigan 8-5 7.5 (-0.5) 64.7% 5.9 53 37.5 25 31.6 89 0.1 56 13.3 28
Louisiana Tech 9-4 9.3 (0.3) 64.6% 5.8 54 35.3 26 29.4 76 -1.4 119 11.4 33
Memphis 9-4 7.6 (-1.4) 64.5% 5.8 55 35.1 27 29.3 73 -0.2 68 1.4 72
Northwestern 10-3 7.2 (-2.8) 63.5% 5.5 56 21.0 111 15.5 5 1.1 21 8.1 42
Arizona State 6-7 6.3 (0.3) 62.2% 5.1 57 34.8 31 29.7 77 1.1 17 9.6 37
Southern Miss 9-5 9.3 (0.3) 61.9% 5.0 58 32.9 41 27.9 62 -1.7 123 12.3 30
Virginia Tech 7-6 6.7 (-0.3) 59.3% 4.2 59 28.1 74 23.9 37 0.4 47 5.6 50
Indiana 6-7 6.8 (0.8) 58.5% 3.9 60 38.5 19 34.5 105 0.7 39 8.3 40
Illinois 5-7 4.8 (-0.2) 57.9% 3.7 61 24.0 98 20.3 19 0.8 29 -4.8 86
Texas Tech 7-6 7.0 (0.0) 57.1% 3.5 62 43.6 3 40.2 121 0.5 44 0.1 75
Washington State 9-4 7.6 (-1.4) 55.3% 2.9 63 32.2 47 29.2 72 -0.3 75 4.8 56
Marshall 10-3 9.0 (-1.0) 53.4% 2.4 64 26.0 85 23.7 36 -2.0 127 3.6 65
Maryland 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 51.4% 1.8 65 27.1 81 25.3 48 2.2 1 2.7 68
Ohio 8-5 7.6 (-0.4) 50.8% 1.6 66 28.4 72 26.8 56 -0.3 76 -1.6 80
Boston College 3-9 5.9 (2.9) 50.1% 1.4 67 15.4 124 14.0 3 -0.6 92 -8.5 95
Georgia Tech 3-9 3.2 (0.2) 48.9% 1.0 68 29.2 62 28.2 65 1.0 25 -7.0 91
Northern Illinois 8-6 8.1 (0.1) 48.3% 0.8 69 26.0 86 25.2 47 -0.2 66 1.0 73
Iowa State 3-9 4.8 (1.8) 47.3% 0.5 70 28.8 66 28.3 66 1.1 19 -0.9 78
Syracuse 4-8 4.6 (0.6) 46.4% 0.2 71 28.8 67 28.6 69 0.8 32 -2.9 83
Texas 5-7 5.2 (0.2) 44.8% -0.3 72 28.1 73 28.4 68 1.1 20 6.3 48
Virginia 4-8 4.0 (0.0) 44.6% -0.3 73 30.7 54 31.1 86 1.3 13 4.8 57
Cincinnati 7-6 7.1 (0.1) 44.0% -0.5 74 32.8 42 33.4 98 -0.6 94 4.2 60
Duke 8-5 7.0 (-1.0) 43.7% -0.6 75 25.4 90 26.0 52 -1.3 113 -13.7 106
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk SOS Rk Wtd. S&P+ Rk
East Carolina 5-7 5.9 (0.9) 43.4% -0.7 76 28.7 70 29.4 75 -0.3 73 -2.1 81
Arizona 7-6 6.9 (-0.1) 43.1% -0.8 77 34.6 33 35.4 109 -0.3 72 -2.7 82
Central Michigan 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 42.7% -0.9 78 26.8 82 27.7 60 -0.9 103 2.6 69
Arkansas State 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 42.5% -1.0 79 29.2 61 30.2 81 -1.4 115 8.3 39
Akron 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 40.2% -1.7 80 22.4 108 24.1 39 -1.4 117 5.1 54
Colorado State 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 38.9% -2.1 81 29.5 60 31.6 88 -1.5 120 1.9 71
Middle Tennessee 7-6 7.3 (0.3) 38.5% -2.2 82 29.0 64 31.3 87 -1.0 105 2.9 67
Vanderbilt 4-8 4.2 (0.2) 38.4% -2.3 83 18.1 117 20.4 20 0.6 41 -6.9 89
Kansas State 6-7 4.3 (-1.7) 38.1% -2.4 84 28.0 75 30.4 83 0.8 33 -7.2 93
Missouri 5-7 4.4 (-0.6) 36.5% -2.9 85 16.5 120 19.4 13 0.7 38 -11.2 101
Purdue 2-10 3.4 (1.4) 33.5% -3.9 86 26.1 84 30.0 79 1.2 16 -3.7 84
Connecticut 6-7 5.7 (-0.3) 33.2% -3.9 87 19.9 114 23.9 38 0.1 60 -1.5 79
South Carolina 3-9 4.6 (1.6) 32.8% -4.1 88 28.8 65 32.9 97 0.2 53 -7.2 92
San Jose State 6-7 6.3 (0.3) 31.9% -4.4 89 27.3 78 31.8 90 -0.7 95 -0.1 77
Troy 4-8 5.3 (1.3) 31.6% -4.5 90 25.4 89 29.9 78 -0.7 96 8.2 41
Georgia State 6-7 7.3 (1.3) 30.9% -4.7 91 27.7 76 32.5 96 -1.2 112 3.7 64
Wake Forest 3-9 3.3 (0.3) 30.5% -4.9 92 22.9 107 27.8 61 1.0 22 -8.8 97
Florida Atlantic 3-9 5.0 (2.0) 27.0% -6.1 93 23.2 105 29.3 74 -0.5 87 -6.9 90
Tulsa 6-7 4.8 (-1.2) 25.1% -6.8 94 31.3 51 38.1 117 -0.3 74 -11.0 100
Kentucky 5-7 5.0 (0.0) 25.0% -6.9 95 23.2 104 30.1 80 -0.2 69 -11.8 103
Buffalo 5-7 5.1 (0.1) 24.2% -7.2 96 25.0 92 32.2 91 -1.0 106 -0.1 76
Massachusetts 3-9 4.0 (1.0) 21.9% -8.1 97 24.2 96 32.3 93 -0.4 80 -6.2 88
Colorado 4-9 4.3 (0.3) 20.9% -8.5 98 23.8 99 32.3 92 -0.8 99 -11.7 102
Nevada 7-6 6.1 (-0.9) 20.2% -8.8 99 25.2 91 34.0 100 -1.4 116 -8.6 96
Fresno State 3-9 4.3 (1.3) 18.0% -9.8 100 21.2 110 30.9 85 0.1 59 -4.3 85
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk SOS Rk Wtd. S&P+ Rk
New Mexico 7-6 5.1 (-1.9) 16.3% -10.6 101 24.5 94 35.1 107 -1.7 124 -7.9 94
Oregon State 2-10 2.2 (0.2) 14.7% -11.4 102 24.0 97 35.4 110 1.3 15 -17.2 114
South Alabama 5-7 3.9 (-1.1) 14.6% -11.4 103 23.6 100 35.0 106 0.0 63 -13.9 108
SMU 2-10 2.6 (0.6) 13.6% -12.0 104 27.1 79 39.2 119 0.8 31 -10.6 99
Rutgers 4-8 3.9 (-0.1) 12.8% -12.4 105 25.7 87 38.1 116 -0.2 67 -19.4 120
UNLV 3-9 3.1 (0.1) 12.6% -12.6 106 24.5 93 37.1 113 -0.3 79 -15.9 113
UL-Lafayette 4-8 4.1 (0.1) 11.9% -13.0 107 23.1 106 36.1 111 -1.3 114 -18.7 118
Florida International 5-7 4.7 (-0.3) 11.5% -13.3 108 20.9 112 34.1 101 -1.5 121 -15.5 111
Idaho 4-8 3.6 (-0.4) 11.1% -13.5 109 28.7 69 42.2 127 -0.6 93 -10.2 98
Old Dominion 5-7 4.0 (-1.0) 10.6% -13.8 110 21.4 109 35.2 108 -0.7 97 -14.0 109
Ball State 3-9 3.0 (0.0) 10.0% -14.2 111 23.2 103 37.5 114 -0.2 70 -18.2 117
Texas State 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 9.9% -14.3 112 27.4 77 41.7 126 -0.8 101 -12.4 104
UTSA 3-9 4.4 (1.4) 9.8% -14.4 113 20.1 113 34.5 103 -1.0 104 -13.8 107
Wyoming 2-10 2.0 (0.0) 9.5% -14.6 114 23.5 102 38.1 115 0.3 51 -19.7 121
Kent State 3-9 3.6 (0.6) 8.6% -15.2 115 7.4 128 22.6 29 -0.5 83 -32.7 127
New Mexico State 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 8.0% -15.7 116 25.6 88 41.4 124 -0.3 78 -12.9 105
Miami-OH 3-9 3.5 (0.5) 7.8% -15.9 117 16.5 121 32.4 95 -0.5 88 -6.0 87
Hawaii 3-10 3.8 (0.8) 7.5% -16.1 118 17.8 119 34.0 99 -0.1 64 -18.2 116
Rice 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 5.7% -17.9 119 23.5 101 41.4 125 -1.4 118 -15.6 112
Tulane 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 5.4% -18.2 120 16.2 122 34.4 102 -1.2 110 -14.5 110
Eastern Michigan 1-11 2.1 (1.1) 5.3% -18.3 121 24.4 95 42.8 128 -0.8 102 -33.1 128
UL-Monroe 2-11 2.9 (0.9) 3.9% -20.0 122 14.5 125 34.5 104 -1.0 107 -21.4 122
Army 2-10 3.6 (1.6) 3.3% -20.9 123 18.5 115 39.5 120 -2.1 128 -28.1 124
Charlotte 2-10 2.4 (0.4) 2.9% -21.7 124 10.6 127 32.4 94 -1.1 109 -31.1 125
Central Florida 0-12 1.1 (1.1) 2.6% -22.3 125 14.0 126 36.4 112 0.0 62 -31.7 126
UTEP 5-7 3.6 (-1.4) 2.5% -22.4 126 18.0 118 40.4 122 -2.0 126 -17.4 115
Kansas 0-12 0.7 (0.7) 2.5% -22.5 127 18.4 116 40.9 123 1.0 26 -25.1 123
North Texas 1-11 0.8 (-0.2) 2.3% -23.0 128 16.2 123 39.1 118 0.4 49 -19.3 119