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). There are three 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. For the drive efficiency portion, the same approach is taken based on net points and starting field position. This is a schedule-based adjustment designed to reward tougher schedules and punish weaker ones.

The S&P+ figures used in the tables below only look at the plays that took place while a game was deemed competitive. Garbage-time plays and possessions have been filtered out of the calculations. The criteria for "garbage time" are as follows: a game is not within 28 points in the first quarter, 24 points in the second quarter, 21 points in the third quarter, or 16 points in the fourth quarter.

Also included below: a team's percentage of total points scored and its Adjusted Record. Based on single-game S&P+ performances, this is the record a team would have had playing a perfectly average team, with a perfectly average number of breaks, in each week of the season. Adj. Record gives you a different way to visualize the impact of both team consistency and schedule strength.

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.

S&P+
Rk
Team Record % of Pts Adj. Rec. S&P+ Off. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk Def. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk
1 USC 12-1 0.803 13-0 311.9 148.2 2 136.0 3 152.4 4 163.6 1 149.9 2 168.6 4
2 Florida 13-1 0.772 14-0 299.4 149.9 1 140.4 1 173.8 2 149.5 3 127.0 4 186.4 2
3 TCU 11-2 0.748 13-0 278.8 120.0 18 102.0 51 128.6 16 158.7 2 159.1 1 145.9 7
4 Oklahoma 12-2 0.675 13-1 278.7 133.6 4 137.1 2 177.5 1 145.2 4 120.9 11 221.1 1
5 Penn State 11-2 0.730 13-0 268.8 136.5 3 132.4 4 145.4 6 132.2 8 121.0 10 148.1 5
6 Texas 12-1 0.693 12-1 268.6 133.4 5 120.3 11 171.5 3 135.2 6 123.2 7 172.7 3
7 Boise State 12-1 0.748 13-0 268.1 127.4 8 117.4 14 127.2 17 140.7 5 131.8 3 138.3 9
8 Alabama 12-2 0.676 12-2 261.8 128.0 7 117.4 15 135.4 11 133.8 7 123.0 8 141.3 8
9 Ohio State 10-3 0.664 13-0 252.6 126.6 11 114.3 19 139.3 9 126.1 10 124.7 5 127.9 15
10 Utah 13-0 0.682 10-3 245.5 119.1 19 111.7 29 125.6 20 126.4 9 118.5 14 133.5 11
11 Missouri 10-4 0.607 12-2 244.9 127.4 9 123.3 7 140.9 7 117.4 18 114.2 22 129.3 13
12 Ole Miss 9-4 0.626 10-3 244.4 126.4 12 117.4 16 137.3 10 118.0 17 108.6 35 129.2 14
13 Iowa 9-4 0.697 12-1 242.1 118.0 21 113.6 20 119.7 25 124.0 11 120.4 12 124.7 17
14 Texas Tech 11-2 0.611 11-2 238.5 124.2 13 120.3 10 148.1 5 114.3 24 100.7 72 146.4 6
15 Georgia 10-3 0.562 12-1 236.7 129.3 6 131.1 5 135.4 11 107.4 41 104.0 50 117.3 25
16 Oklahoma State 9-4 0.592 10-3 236.5 127.1 10 125.7 6 140.5 8 109.4 37 104.3 49 124.8 16
17 Oregon 10-3 0.598 11-2 236.0 120.9 14 122.9 8 135.0 13 115.2 21 111.9 27 133.8 10
18 California 9-4 0.621 10-3 232.9 109.2 40 105.8 43 112.7 38 123.7 12 117.9 15 129.8 12
19 Arizona 8-5 0.631 9-4 230.1 118.9 20 112.6 24 126.5 19 111.2 30 106.0 44 117.7 24
20 Ball State 12-2 0.629 11-3 229.1 115.5 25 112.2 26 115.7 34 113.6 25 106.2 43 118.1 22
S&P+
Rk
Team Record % of Pts Adj. Rec. S&P+ Off. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk Def. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk
21 Clemson 7-6 0.591 7-6 228.0 109.3 39 101.3 56 112.9 36 118.7 14 113.3 24 119.2 21
22 Pittsburgh 9-4 0.557 10-3 227.2 110.8 36 104.1 46 119.4 26 116.5 19 115.1 20 119.8 19
23 Oregon State 9-4 0.569 10-3 226.3 116.5 22 111.9 28 125.2 21 109.8 34 110.0 32 113.5 31
24 Connecticut 8-5 0.558 11-2 226.3 105.1 51 101.7 53 107.7 52 121.2 13 117.8 16 123.5 18
25 Nebraska 9-4 0.554 10-3 226.0 120.4 15 117.9 13 131.9 14 105.6 47 102.4 63 116.8 26
26 LSU 8-5 0.562 10-3 225.7 115.3 26 109.6 33 118.8 28 110.4 33 108.5 36 110.3 39
27 Boston College 9-5 0.571 11-3 222.5 104.4 53 98.3 68 110.2 46 118.2 16 116.3 19 119.8 19
28 Cincinnati 11-3 0.562 13-1 222.2 109.6 38 107.9 37 116.7 30 112.6 26 118.6 13 112.1 35
29 Kansas 8-5 0.536 9-4 222.0 115.5 24 113.3 21 122.6 22 106.5 45 103.6 56 114.0 28
30 Tulsa 12-2 0.644 10-4 221.7 120.1 17 118.2 12 126.6 18 101.7 63 96.0 83 111.3 38
31 Illinois 5-7 0.519 10-2 221.3 111.8 33 111.9 27 115.2 35 109.6 35 108.8 34 113.9 29
32 West Virginia 9-4 0.591 8-5 221.3 113.4 29 111.4 32 112.8 37 107.9 40 103.0 60 110.2 41
33 Rutgers 9-4 0.632 8-5 221.0 114.2 27 111.6 30 117.6 29 106.9 44 101.5 68 113.1 32
34 South Florida 8-5 0.580 12-1 220.8 112.4 32 112.3 25 110.6 44 108.4 39 111.1 28 103.9 57
35 Florida State 9-4 0.623 9-4 219.1 113.7 28 107.3 39 121.4 23 105.4 48 102.7 62 109.4 43
36 BYU 10-3 0.608 11-2 217.8 120.3 16 122.7 9 116.2 31 97.5 76 94.4 86 99.4 70
37 Michigan State 9-4 0.531 7-6 217.3 105.2 50 98.1 70 115.8 32 112.1 28 110.4 29 117.7 23
38 Virginia Tech 10-4 0.569 7-7 217.1 102.1 60 95.2 77 106.1 55 115.0 23 113.2 25 113.5 30
39 Troy 8-5 0.605 10-3 215.9 99.6 68 98.2 69 95.0 84 116.2 20 121.2 9 104.3 56
40 Rice 10-3 0.554 8-5 215.8 116.4 23 115.8 17 119.1 27 99.4 69 91.2 97 109.4 44
S&P+
Rk
Team Record % of Pts Adj. Rec. S&P+ Off. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk Def. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk
41 Wake Forest 8-5 0.533 6-7 214.0 95.6 79 91.5 94 97.7 78 118.3 15 117.5 18 116.5 27
42 Wisconsin 7-6 0.509 11-2 213.8 108.8 42 109.6 34 111.3 42 105.0 49 106.2 42 107.1 50
43 Houston 8-5 0.568 8-5 213.7 113.1 30 115.1 18 112.3 39 100.5 66 99.4 77 102.6 61
44 South Carolina 7-6 0.495 8-5 213.2 100.7 64 96.5 74 105.6 59 112.5 27 113.4 23 112.4 34
45 Baylor 4-8 0.488 7-5 212.8 110.8 35 103.8 47 130.6 15 102.0 61 104.0 51 111.9 36
46 North Carolina 8-5 0.567 9-4 212.5 108.3 44 105.7 44 110.3 45 104.2 54 101.6 67 106.1 52
47 Northwestern 9-4 0.548 7-6 212.4 103.0 55 99.5 64 105.7 58 109.4 36 109.4 33 108.5 45
48 Nevada 7-6 0.538 10-3 212.0 110.8 34 112.6 23 110.0 49 101.1 64 101.9 64 101.2 64
49 Southern Miss 7-6 0.560 8-5 210.8 106.6 47 102.6 50 110.7 43 104.2 53 101.4 69 107.2 49
50 Tennessee 5-7 0.509 7-5 210.6 95.5 80 91.3 95 101.4 68 115.1 22 124.4 6 107.9 48
51 Georgia Tech 9-4 0.545 10-3 209.5 109.1 41 111.6 31 109.8 50 100.4 67 101.7 66 102.0 63
52 Notre Dame 7-6 0.526 8-5 206.9 101.8 62 101.5 54 101.4 68 105.0 50 103.2 59 106.1 53
53 East Carolina 9-5 0.527 5-9 206.7 95.7 77 93.5 84 98.0 77 111.0 31 110.3 30 111.8 37
54 Bowling Green 6-6 0.544 6-6 206.5 102.4 57 100.5 60 105.0 60 104.1 55 105.6 45 103.3 59
55 Stanford 5-7 0.488 5-7 205.9 113.0 31 113.3 22 115.7 33 92.9 87 88.7 104 99.5 69
56 Arkansas 4-8 0.387 6-6 205.1 107.3 45 107.8 38 120.8 24 97.8 74 100.3 74 107.9 46
57 Air Force 8-5 0.546 7-6 204.9 97.6 72 92.4 86 102.6 66 107.3 42 106.4 41 107.9 46
58 Vanderbilt 7-6 0.494 3-10 204.7 97.6 73 88.6 103 110.1 48 107.1 43 105.4 46 112.8 33
59 Maryland 8-5 0.491 8-5 204.6 106.9 46 106.4 42 106.6 54 97.7 75 97.2 80 97.5 73
60 Purdue 4-8 0.496 6-6 202.8 98.4 71 93.0 85 104.9 62 104.4 52 103.2 58 106.6 51
S&P+
Rk
Team Record % of Pts Adj. Rec. S&P+ Off. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk Def. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk
61 New Mexico 4-8 0.480 7-5 201.0 90.4 95 87.6 104 94.1 86 110.6 32 112.2 26 110.2 40
62 Navy 8-5 0.551 6-7 200.6 110.8 37 108.2 35 108.7 51 89.8 100 86.1 111 89.8 96
63 Miami 7-6 0.529 4-9 200.0 102.1 59 96.6 73 111.8 40 97.8 73 98.5 78 101.1 65
64 Arizona State 5-7 0.500 5-7 199.6 94.6 85 89.1 100 100.9 70 105.0 51 110.3 31 100.5 66
65 Western Michigan 9-4 0.535 7-6 199.4 100.1 66 99.9 61 100.0 72 99.2 70 100.8 70 97.4 74
66 Northern Illinois 6-7 0.571 6-7 199.3 97.4 74 92.2 87 94.1 88 101.9 62 101.7 65 93.0 83
67 Virginia 5-7 0.424 5-7 197.9 97.1 75 92.0 89 107.3 53 100.8 65 103.8 54 102.9 60
68 N.C. State 6-7 0.471 3-10 197.8 105.1 52 103.0 49 110.2 46 92.7 89 91.0 98 97.0 75
69 Central Michigan 8-5 0.494 5-8 197.4 105.4 49 103.6 48 103.9 64 92.0 94 93.4 90 87.8 101
70 Florida Atlantic 7-6 0.466 7-6 196.8 100.5 65 101.7 52 95.6 83 96.3 79 94.1 87 95.1 78
71 Colorado State 7-6 0.454 6-7 196.6 108.5 43 108.2 36 111.8 40 88.1 105 87.4 107 91.2 91
72 Auburn 4-8 0.448 5-7 196.4 90.6 94 87.0 105 96.0 82 105.8 46 107.6 39 106.0 54
73 Fresno State 6-7 0.466 5-8 196.1 103.5 54 106.6 41 98.6 76 92.6 91 92.4 93 91.2 89
74 Michigan 3-9 0.412 4-8 195.5 91.9 92 85.9 108 106.0 57 103.6 57 106.6 40 109.8 42
75 Buffalo 8-6 0.518 4-10 195.4 101.0 63 99.8 62 105.0 60 94.4 84 90.7 99 100.5 66
76 Akron 5-7 0.490 6-6 194.6 101.9 61 104.8 45 97.5 79 92.7 88 93.0 91 91.2 91
77 Arkansas State 6-6 0.531 4-8 194.3 95.2 82 95.6 76 91.7 93 99.1 71 102.9 61 92.0 86
78 UTEP 5-7 0.471 5-7 193.8 102.5 56 101.0 58 103.1 65 91.3 96 87.1 108 94.7 80
79 Kentucky 7-6 0.513 5-8 193.5 91.3 93 88.8 102 93.2 90 102.2 60 104.7 47 98.9 71
80 UL-Lafayette 6-6 0.496 5-7 193.1 105.5 48 107.1 40 101.9 67 87.7 107 89.1 103 84.6 108
S&P+
Rk
Team Record % of Pts Adj. Rec. S&P+ Off. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk Def. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk
81 Memphis 6-7 0.500 5-8 192.9 102.2 58 99.7 63 100.5 71 90.7 98 92.4 92 85.1 107
82 UCLA 4-8 0.378 5-7 192.6 89.5 98 85.8 109 98.9 74 103.1 58 107.8 38 105.1 55
83 Temple 5-7 0.504 2-10 191.7 87.7 101 84.7 112 89.1 97 104.0 56 103.8 53 102.1 62
84 Louisville 5-7 0.453 4-8 191.3 95.4 81 98.9 66 91.9 92 95.9 81 100.4 73 91.3 87
85 Minnesota 7-6 0.483 5-8 191.1 96.6 76 97.4 71 98.8 75 94.5 83 96.7 81 95.4 76
86 Marshall 4-8 0.426 4-8 190.3 90.2 96 89.9 97 89.7 96 100.0 68 103.9 52 95.2 77
87 Kansas State 5-7 0.494 4-7 189.3 98.8 70 97.3 72 104.5 63 90.5 99 90.6 100 94.3 81
88 Ohio 4-8 0.469 6-6 189.2 92.7 89 98.5 67 85.4 105 96.4 78 100.0 75 91.3 87
89 Hawaii 7-7 0.460 7-7 188.3 95.6 78 101.3 55 90.0 95 92.7 90 98.0 79 87.4 103
90 Duke 4-8 0.461 3-9 188.0 94.1 87 92.2 88 96.3 81 93.9 85 95.0 84 93.0 83
91 San Jose State 6-6 0.463 4-8 187.6 79.0 114 75.8 116 75.6 116 108.6 38 114.5 21 93.6 82
92 Florida International 5-7 0.465 5-7 187.3 89.3 100 91.8 92 86.3 103 98.0 72 104.5 48 90.8 94
93 UNLV 5-7 0.440 3-9 187.3 100.1 67 101.0 59 99.4 73 87.2 109 86.6 109 88.0 99
94 Toledo 3-9 0.416 3-9 187.0 93.5 88 94.4 80 94.5 85 93.4 86 93.7 89 95.0 79
95 Indiana 3-9 0.368 5-7 185.7 94.8 84 99.1 65 94.1 86 90.9 97 94.1 88 91.2 89
96 Iowa State 2-10 0.414 2-10 183.9 86.8 105 91.6 93 80.4 110 97.0 77 103.5 57 88.6 98
97 Syracuse 3-9 0.356 4-8 183.5 94.3 86 93.8 83 97.4 80 89.2 101 91.9 95 88.9 97
98 Texas A&M 4-8 0.403 1-11 182.9 95.1 83 94.1 81 106.0 56 87.8 106 86.5 110 98.2 72
99 Central Florida 4-8 0.406 1-11 182.3 70.5 119 64.8 120 72.7 118 111.8 29 117.6 17 100.4 68
100 Louisiana Tech 8-5 0.508 4-9 182.3 90.1 97 93.9 82 79.7 112 92.2 93 96.4 82 81.2 111
S&P+
Rk
Team Record % of Pts Adj. Rec. S&P+ Off. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk Def. S&P+ Rk Play Eff. Rk Drive Eff. Rk
101 UAB 4-8 0.421 1-11 181.5 99.1 69 101.3 57 88.5 99 82.4 114 82.0 117 75.9 119
102 Middle Tennessee 5-7 0.478 3-9 181.0 89.4 99 89.3 98 85.1 106 91.6 95 94.8 85 83.8 109
103 Kent State 4-8 0.447 5-7 181.0 92.4 90 96.2 75 88.2 100 88.6 103 90.5 101 86.5 106
104 Utah State 3-9 0.409 3-9 180.9 91.9 91 91.9 91 93.5 89 88.9 102 91.3 96 88.0 100
105 Mississippi State 4-8 0.381 4-8 178.9 86.3 106 85.6 110 93.2 90 92.6 92 100.8 71 91.1 93
106 Wyoming 4-8 0.312 4-8 177.7 83.2 109 85.9 107 86.6 102 94.6 82 103.7 55 92.5 85
107 Colorado 5-7 0.407 3-9 176.8 74.1 118 65.3 119 87.5 101 102.7 59 108.2 37 103.6 58
108 SMU 1-11 0.359 3-9 174.8 87.2 104 95.2 78 79.9 111 87.6 108 88.5 105 87.2 104
109 Army 3-9 0.383 4-8 172.0 75.8 117 72.5 117 77.7 114 96.2 80 100.0 76 90.6 95
110 Tulane 2-10 0.326 3-9 171.0 82.7 110 86.6 106 82.2 108 88.3 104 92.4 94 87.7 102
111 UL-Monroe 4-8 0.430 0-12 170.2 87.6 102 90.8 96 83.8 107 82.6 113 84.1 115 80.5 112
112 New Mexico State 3-9 0.394 2-10 170.1 86.1 107 89.2 99 81.1 109 84.0 110 88.5 106 77.6 116
113 San Diego State 3-9 0.344 1-11 169.0 87.3 103 89.0 101 86.1 104 81.7 115 84.7 113 79.1 113
114 Miami (Ohio) 2-10 0.361 1-11 167.9 84.3 108 85.3 111 79.2 113 83.6 112 84.4 114 78.6 114
115 Western Kentucky 2-10 0.392 1-11 161.1 77.3 116 76.5 115 76.4 115 83.7 111 89.5 102 76.1 118
116 Washington 0-12 0.255 0-12 159.3 78.5 115 78.1 114 88.6 98 80.8 116 84.8 112 86.8 105
117 North Texas 1-11 0.296 0-12 157.4 81.7 111 92.0 90 69.0 119 75.7 118 73.1 120 76.1 117
118 Idaho 2-10 0.314 0-12 153.1 79.6 113 81.5 113 75.2 117 73.6 119 77.5 119 67.3 120
119 Eastern Michigan 3-9 0.419 2-10 152.9 81.1 112 94.9 79 91.7 93 71.8 120 82.0 118 83.1 110
120 Washington State 2-11 0.224 1-12 148.3 68.2 120 71.7 118 65.6 120 80.2 117 83.9 116 77.6 115