Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2008 NCAA FOOTBALL S&P+ RATINGS

through games of 1/8/09

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
Oklahoma 12-2 12.7 (0.7) 99.6% +30.9 1 48.8 1 17.9 15 1.23 13 +21.8 3
Florida 13-1 12.9 (-0.1) 99.5% +30.6 2 43.3 3 12.7 5 1.23 12 +21.8 2
USC 12-1 12.1 (0.1) 99.2% +28.3 3 38.5 8 10.2 1 0.40 37 +19.4 5
Texas 12-1 10.8 (-1.2) 99.1% +27.8 4 45.6 2 17.8 14 1.57 5 +16.5 11
Penn State 11-2 11.1 (0.1) 97.4% +22.9 5 38.7 7 15.9 9 0.30 44 +17.0 9
Ohio State 10-3 9.8 (-0.2) 96.0% +20.7 6 33.2 17 12.5 4 1.44 7 +17.8 8
Alabama 12-2 10.4 (-1.6) 95.4% +19.8 7 32.3 25 12.5 3 1.15 16 +18.7 7
TCU 11-2 11.3 (0.3) 94.7% +19.1 8 30.8 32 11.6 2 -0.17 65 +23.4 1
Boise State 12-1 12.0 (0.0) 91.8% +16.4 9 32.6 22 16.2 11 -1.03 99 +20.1 4
Missouri 10-4 10.3 (0.3) 90.7% +15.6 10 39.9 6 24.3 56 0.54 34 +3.1 42
Oregon State 9-4 9.0 (0.0) 90.4% +15.4 11 33.5 16 18.1 17 1.28 11 +6.9 27
Oregon 10-3 9.7 (-0.3) 89.0% +14.5 12 37.1 10 22.7 41 0.58 33 +16.8 10
Iowa 9-4 10.0 (1.0) 88.4% +14.1 13 29.3 43 15.2 8 -0.27 69 +16.1 12
Pittsburgh 9-4 7.9 (-1.1) 87.8% +13.8 14 31.7 27 18.0 16 1.60 4 +11.3 18
Utah 13-0 11.3 (-1.7) 86.9% +13.2 15 33.0 19 19.7 25 -0.45 82 +18.8 6
Ole Miss 9-4 8.9 (-0.1) 86.8% +13.2 16 32.4 24 19.2 23 0.31 42 +15.0 13
Nebraska 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 86.0% +12.7 17 37.6 9 24.9 59 1.07 19 +2.2 54
Oklahoma State 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 85.4% +12.4 18 41.2 5 28.8 78 0.43 36 +9.2 22
Texas Tech 11-2 9.9 (-1.1) 84.7% +12.1 19 42.3 4 30.2 84 0.17 55 +11.7 16
Kansas 8-5 8.0 (0.0) 84.3% +11.9 20 36.8 13 24.9 60 1.03 21 +3.7 39
Georgia 10-3 8.8 (-1.2) 82.1% +10.9 21 34.0 15 23.1 45 0.93 24 +2.7 50
California 9-4 9.1 (0.1) 80.5% +10.2 22 28.9 45 18.7 22 -0.06 62 +11.6 17
Michigan State 9-4 7.1 (-1.9) 80.4% +10.1 23 28.5 47 18.5 20 1.33 8 +0.4 63
LSU 8-5 8.5 (0.5) 79.8% +9.9 24 31.6 28 21.7 34 0.13 58 +5.1 32
Georgia Tech 8-4 7.9 (-0.1) 77.3% +8.8 25 30.0 38 21.1 32 0.36 39 +4.1 37
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
Cincinnati 11-3 9.8 (-1.2) 77.1% +8.8 26 29.3 42 20.6 28 0.10 60 +6.6 29
South Carolina 7-6 7.4 (0.4) 76.3% +8.4 27 25.2 70 16.7 13 1.30 9 +3.2 41
Wake Forest 8-5 8.0 (0.0) 76.2% +8.4 28 23.2 84 14.8 7 0.64 30 -2.5 85
Illinois 5-7 5.6 (0.6) 74.9% +7.9 29 31.5 29 23.6 51 1.03 23 +4.5 36
North Carolina 8-5 9.1 (1.1) 74.4% +7.7 30 28.2 50 20.5 26 0.19 54 +3.1 43
South Florida 8-5 8.4 (0.4) 71.8% +6.8 31 28.9 44 22.1 39 -0.39 77 +3.0 45
Rutgers 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 71.2% +6.6 32 29.8 39 23.2 46 -0.49 85 +13.7 14
Wisconsin 7-6 7.6 (0.6) 70.3% +6.3 33 30.3 34 24.0 54 0.77 27 -1.8 80
Virginia Tech 10-4 8.5 (-1.5) 69.8% +6.1 34 22.1 92 16.0 10 0.27 47 +3.0 46
Boston College 9-5 9.1 (0.1) 69.8% +6.1 35 22.3 90 16.2 12 -0.19 67 +2.6 51
Tennessee 5-7 7.0 (2.0) 68.8% +5.8 36 18.8 108 13.0 6 0.31 41 -2.5 84
West Virginia 9-4 8.5 (-0.5) 68.7% +5.7 37 27.5 51 21.7 35 -0.12 64 +6.2 30
Arizona 8-5 8.4 (0.4) 68.2% +5.6 38 31.2 30 25.6 63 -0.54 87 +8.6 25
Clemson 7-6 8.2 (1.2) 67.4% +5.3 39 23.7 79 18.4 19 -0.36 76 +4.8 34
Southern Miss 7-6 7.4 (0.4) 67.2% +5.3 40 31.1 31 25.8 65 0.20 53 +10.1 21
Arkansas 4-8 4.9 (0.9) 65.7% +4.8 41 30.3 35 25.5 62 1.67 3 -1.1 73
Baylor 4-8 5.0 (1.0) 64.2% +4.3 42 33.0 18 28.7 77 1.03 22 -0.4 69
BYU 10-3 9.6 (-0.4) 63.8% +4.2 43 32.4 23 28.3 72 -1.46 110 +4.7 35
Miami 7-6 6.5 (-0.5) 63.3% +4.0 44 26.0 62 22.0 38 0.37 38 -0.4 71
Stanford 5-7 5.2 (0.2) 62.9% +3.9 45 30.2 36 26.3 67 1.04 20 +2.8 49
Virginia 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 62.8% +3.9 46 22.4 89 18.5 21 1.48 6 -2.1 82
Connecticut 8-5 7.5 (-0.5) 61.3% +3.4 47 24.2 74 20.8 29 -0.32 73 +3.5 40
Tulsa 11-2 9.4 (-1.6) 61.2% +3.4 48 37.0 11 33.6 103 -1.38 109 +2.3 52
Vanderbilt 7-6 5.4 (-1.6) 60.6% +3.2 49 21.4 94 18.2 18 1.10 17 -7.7 101
Florida State 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 60.1% +3.0 50 25.8 63 22.8 42 -0.84 93 +10.8 19
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
Maryland 8-5 7.2 (-0.8) 59.6% +2.9 51 26.6 56 23.7 52 0.32 40 +2.2 53
Rice 10-3 8.5 (-1.5) 59.4% +2.8 52 36.9 12 34.1 105 -0.65 90 +10.7 20
Northwestern 9-4 8.5 (-0.5) 59.3% +2.8 53 25.0 72 22.2 40 -0.33 74 +0.8 62
Ball State 12-2 11.8 (-0.2) 56.8% +2.0 54 32.1 26 30.1 83 -2.17 120 +9.1 23
Minnesota 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 56.4% +1.9 55 25.7 64 23.8 53 0.17 56 -5.1 91
Purdue 4-8 4.2 (0.2) 56.2% +1.8 56 23.6 80 21.8 37 0.68 29 -6.1 95
Air Force 8-5 7.3 (-0.7) 55.9% +1.7 57 25.3 69 23.5 50 -0.28 71 -0.2 67
East Carolina 9-5 8.0 (-1.0) 55.1% +1.5 58 23.2 82 21.7 36 -0.18 66 +8.3 26
Nevada 7-6 8.2 (1.2) 55.0% +1.5 59 32.7 21 31.3 90 -0.86 94 +11.7 15
N.C. State 6-7 5.7 (-0.3) 54.9% +1.4 60 26.5 58 25.1 61 0.89 26 +4.8 33
Troy 8-5 9.3 (1.3) 54.4% +1.3 61 25.7 65 24.4 57 -1.59 115 +8.6 24
Houston 8-5 8.1 (0.1) 54.1% +1.2 62 34.8 14 33.6 102 -1.08 101 +2.1 55
Michigan 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 52.5% +0.7 63 24.1 77 23.4 48 1.28 10 -5.6 92
New Mexico 4-8 5.6 (1.6) 51.6% +0.5 64 22.1 91 21.7 33 0.44 35 +1.1 60
Notre Dame 7-6 7.9 (0.9) 49.3% -0.2 65 23.2 83 23.4 49 -0.44 81 -0.3 68
Bowling Green 6-6 7.2 (1.2) 49.2% -0.2 66 26.6 57 26.8 69 -0.90 96 +6.8 28
UCLA 4-8 4.4 (0.4) 47.6% -0.7 67 19.8 104 20.5 27 1.08 18 -1.4 77
Buffalo 8-6 6.0 (-2.0) 46.8% -1.0 68 29.7 40 30.7 87 0.25 48 +2.1 56
Navy 8-5 5.7 (-2.3) 46.4% -1.1 69 27.3 52 28.4 74 -0.41 79 +5.4 31
Kentucky 7-6 6.9 (-0.1) 46.2% -1.1 70 19.8 103 21.0 30 -0.50 86 -6.4 96
Auburn 4-8 4.8 (0.8) 44.8% -1.6 71 17.8 111 19.4 24 0.25 49 -2.0 81
UTEP 5-7 4.6 (-0.4) 41.0% -2.7 72 32.8 20 35.5 111 0.12 59 +1.8 57
Hawaii 7-7 7.1 (0.1) 40.1% -3.0 73 25.7 66 28.6 76 -0.34 75 +1.4 59
Colorado State 7-6 5.9 (-1.1) 39.9% -3.0 74 29.4 41 32.5 97 0.21 51 -1.6 79
Duke 4-8 4.8 (0.8) 39.3% -3.2 75 20.1 102 23.3 47 0.23 50 -6.7 97
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
Marshall 4-8 5.5 (1.5) 38.3% -3.5 76 23.6 81 27.1 71 -0.09 63 +3.0 44
Temple 5-7 6.4 (1.4) 37.9% -3.6 77 20.6 99 24.3 55 -0.47 83 +3.9 38
Utah State 3-9 3.5 (0.5) 37.2% -3.8 78 26.1 61 29.9 82 0.93 25 +2.8 48
Texas A&M 4-8 2.8 (-1.2) 36.8% -4.0 79 28.3 49 32.3 96 1.21 15 -10.3 106
Fresno State 6-7 7.3 (1.3) 35.8% -4.3 80 27.1 53 31.4 91 -0.74 91 -0.4 70
Arizona State 5-7 5.0 (0.0) 35.5% -4.4 81 18.7 110 23.1 43 -0.42 80 -8.3 104
Indiana 3-9 3.7 (0.7) 35.4% -4.4 82 25.0 71 29.4 80 0.69 28 -11.8 111
Colorado 5-7 4.0 (-1.0) 34.9% -4.6 83 21.4 95 26.0 66 0.59 32 -15.4 115
Western Michigan 9-4 7.9 (-1.1) 33.5% -5.0 84 26.8 54 31.8 95 -1.53 113 +1.5 58
Louisville 5-7 5.2 (0.2) 32.6% -5.3 85 24.1 76 29.4 81 -0.39 78 -5.7 93
UNLV 5-7 3.8 (-1.2) 32.5% -5.3 86 28.5 48 33.8 104 0.29 45 -7.2 99
Northern Illinois 6-7 6.3 (0.3) 31.5% -5.7 87 20.8 97 26.5 68 -1.47 111 +2.9 47
Syracuse 3-9 2.8 (-0.2) 31.2% -5.8 88 24.7 73 30.5 86 1.21 14 -11.1 108
Central Michigan 8-5 7.5 (-0.5) 31.0% -5.8 89 28.7 46 34.5 106 -1.31 108 -1.4 75
Kansas State 5-7 5.4 (0.4) 30.9% -5.9 90 30.0 37 35.9 112 -0.54 88 -11.8 110
Florida Atlantic 7-6 5.9 (-1.1) 30.7% -5.9 91 25.6 67 31.6 93 -0.63 89 -1.5 78
Florida International 5-7 5.9 (0.9) 30.6% -6.0 92 21.0 96 27.0 70 -0.47 84 -2.5 86
Akron 5-7 5.6 (0.6) 30.0% -6.2 93 26.6 55 32.8 100 -0.91 97 -1.4 76
UL-Lafayette 6-6 6.3 (0.3) 29.5% -6.4 94 30.6 33 37.0 116 -1.19 103 -0.8 72
Mississippi State 4-8 3.8 (-0.2) 27.3% -7.1 95 16.0 116 23.1 44 0.13 57 -5.1 90
Memphis 6-7 6.4 (0.4) 26.8% -7.3 96 26.2 60 33.5 101 -1.29 106 -3.1 87
Wyoming 4-8 3.8 (-0.2) 25.5% -7.8 97 17.0 115 24.8 58 0.27 46 -2.1 83
Washington 0-12 0.9 (0.9) 24.5% -8.1 98 22.5 88 30.7 88 2.36 2 -19.9 118
Washington State 2-11 1.7 (-0.3) 24.1% -8.3 99 20.8 98 29.1 79 2.37 1 -20.7 120
Central Florida 4-8 3.6 (-0.4) 24.0% -8.3 100 12.7 119 21.0 31 -0.31 72 -3.7 89
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
Louisiana Tech 8-5 7.0 (-1.0) 23.2% -8.6 101 19.7 106 28.4 75 -1.55 114 +0.1 65
Iowa State 2-10 3.4 (1.4) 22.2% -9.0 102 26.3 59 35.3 110 -0.28 70 -20.2 119
Toledo 3-9 3.1 (0.1) 21.9% -9.2 103 22.5 87 31.7 94 -0.04 61 -7.5 100
SMU 1-11 2.5 (1.5) 20.3% -9.8 104 25.3 68 35.1 108 0.61 31 -7.8 102
Tulane 2-10 3.4 (1.4) 20.0% -9.9 105 22.7 86 32.7 98 0.30 43 -18.7 117
Ohio 4-8 4.8 (0.8) 18.6% -10.5 106 19.7 105 30.3 85 -1.30 107 +0.9 61
Arkansas State 6-6 5.9 (-0.1) 18.4% -10.6 107 20.1 101 30.8 89 -2.01 119 -5.9 94
San Jose State 6-6 5.0 (-1.0) 15.9% -11.8 108 13.9 117 25.7 64 -1.68 116 -8.3 103
Middle Tennessee 5-7 4.8 (-0.2) 15.5% -12.0 109 19.5 107 31.4 92 -1.52 112 -9.8 105
Kent State 4-8 4.6 (0.6) 14.9% -12.3 110 22.7 85 35.0 107 -1.03 98 -0.2 66
UAB 4-8 4.9 (0.9) 14.4% -12.6 111 24.1 75 36.7 115 -1.06 100 -3.4 88
Army 3-9 4.2 (1.2) 9.6% -15.4 112 13.0 118 28.3 73 -1.25 104 -1.4 74
San Diego State 3-9 2.8 (-0.2) 9.1% -15.8 113 20.2 100 36.0 113 -0.26 68 -14.2 113
Eastern Michigan 3-9 2.6 (-0.4) 8.3% -16.3 114 21.6 93 38.0 117 -0.89 95 -7.0 98
Miami (Ohio) 2-10 1.8 (-0.2) 6.2% -18.2 115 17.1 114 35.3 109 -0.81 92 -10.5 107
New Mexico State 3-9 3.1 (0.1) 5.5% -18.8 116 17.5 112 36.4 114 -1.29 105 -14.6 114
UL-Monroe 4-8 3.7 (-0.3) 5.0% -19.5 117 18.7 109 38.2 118 -1.98 118 +0.1 64
North Texas 1-11 0.8 (-0.2) 4.4% -20.1 118 23.9 78 44.0 120 0.21 52 -17.9 116
Western Kentucky 2-10 2.8 (0.8) 3.7% -21.1 119 11.7 120 32.8 99 -1.71 117 -11.2 109
Idaho 2-10 2.3 (0.3) 1.9% -24.5 120 17.5 113 42.0 119 -1.18 102 -12.0 112