Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2011 NCAA FOOTBALL S&P+ RATINGS

through games of 1/9/12

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
LSU 13-1 12.6 (-0.4) 99.3% +28.7 1 37.0 13 8.3 2 1.46 8 +26.3 2
Alabama 12-1 12.2 (0.2) 99.1% +27.5 2 34.4 20 6.9 1 0.68 31 +27.8 1
Oklahoma State 12-1 11.8 (-0.2) 98.5% +25.4 3 46.6 1 21.1 21 1.11 17 +18.9 3
Boise State 12-1 12.1 (0.1) 97.5% +23.0 4 40.4 6 17.4 9 -0.05 64 +16.8 8
Oklahoma 10-3 10.6 (0.6) 96.7% +21.5 5 39.3 9 17.7 10 1.30 10 +9.7 23
Oregon 12-2 12.1 (0.1) 96.5% +21.2 6 44.2 2 23.0 33 0.59 37 +15.2 10
Michigan 11-2 9.7 (-1.3) 94.8% +19.0 7 38.0 12 19.0 12 1.49 7 +6.1 32
Texas A&M 7-6 9.4 (2.4) 92.3% +16.7 8 39.0 10 22.3 27 0.98 21 +7.1 28
Stanford 11-2 10.4 (-0.6) 92.2% +16.6 9 40.4 5 23.8 44 0.30 48 +17.0 5
Wisconsin 11-3 11.4 (0.4) 92.1% +16.5 10 42.1 4 25.6 56 -0.26 72 +11.6 17
Notre Dame 8-5 8.1 (0.1) 92.0% +16.4 11 36.3 14 19.9 17 1.68 4 +5.0 37
Toledo 9-4 9.0 (0.0) 91.6% +16.1 12 39.5 8 23.4 38 1.20 14 +15.1 11
Penn State 9-4 8.3 (-0.7) 90.7% +15.4 13 28.6 51 13.2 3 1.73 3 +3.1 49
Georgia 10-4 10.5 (0.5) 90.3% +15.2 14 30.2 39 15.0 4 0.64 34 +10.9 20
USC 10-2 9.6 (-0.4) 88.3% +13.9 15 38.2 11 24.3 45 0.40 44 +15.9 9
Michigan State 11-3 10.9 (-0.1) 86.4% +12.8 16 30.1 41 17.2 8 0.03 59 +11.1 19
Tulsa 8-5 7.6 (-0.4) 85.9% +12.6 17 35.0 18 22.5 30 1.49 6 +16.8 7
Arkansas 11-2 9.2 (-1.8) 85.3% +12.3 18 35.3 15 23.1 36 0.22 51 +13.3 15
Nebraska 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 84.1% +11.7 19 32.2 28 20.5 19 0.67 32 +10.3 21
TCU 11-2 11.2 (0.2) 83.9% +11.6 20 35.1 17 23.5 39 -0.70 90 +16.9 6
Vanderbilt 5-7 7.2 (2.2) 83.3% +11.3 21 28.0 58 16.7 6 1.13 15 +11.5 18
Texas 8-5 7.6 (-0.4) 83.0% +11.2 22 28.2 55 17.0 7 0.91 24 +3.5 47
Florida State 9-4 9.3 (0.3) 82.5% +10.9 23 27.4 63 16.5 5 -0.65 88 +13.6 14
Missouri 8-5 8.0 (0.0) 82.3% +10.8 24 33.6 22 22.8 31 0.60 36 +5.0 36
Baylor 10-3 9.2 (-0.8) 80.5% +10.0 25 43.7 3 33.7 98 0.56 38 +1.9 55
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
South Carolina 11-2 9.8 (-1.2) 80.0% +9.8 26 29.2 45 19.4 16 0.03 58 +2.4 52
Houston 13-1 11.9 (-1.1) 79.5% +9.6 27 39.6 7 29.9 77 -1.46 109 +17.8 4
Virginia Tech 11-3 10.3 (-0.7) 78.5% +9.2 28 29.3 44 20.0 18 -0.10 66 +1.5 59
West Virginia 10-3 9.0 (-1.0) 73.8% +7.4 29 32.9 24 25.5 53 -0.21 71 +4.4 41
Tennessee 5-7 5.2 (0.2) 73.2% +7.2 30 26.3 72 19.1 14 1.67 5 +0.3 64
Miami 6-6 8.0 (2.0) 72.5% +7.0 31 32.5 27 25.5 54 0.04 57 +6.9 29
Southern Miss 12-2 11.1 (-0.9) 71.6% +6.7 32 29.1 47 22.4 28 -1.06 100 +14.9 12
Florida 7-6 6.3 (-0.7) 70.8% +6.4 33 25.5 78 19.1 13 0.68 30 +5.8 34
California 6-6 5.9 (-0.1) 70.7% +6.4 34 28.5 53 22.1 26 0.76 27 +6.5 30
Ohio State 6-7 6.2 (0.2) 70.3% +6.2 35 27.7 60 21.5 23 0.75 28 -4.1 81
Arizona State 6-7 7.2 (1.2) 69.9% +6.1 36 33.0 23 26.9 64 0.54 40 -4.9 87
Kansas State 10-3 6.2 (-3.8) 69.6% +6.0 37 30.8 36 24.8 47 1.07 19 +1.0 61
North Carolina 7-6 8.1 (1.1) 69.2% +5.9 38 31.0 35 25.2 51 0.21 52 -5.8 91
SMU 8-5 7.7 (-0.3) 68.3% +5.6 39 28.6 50 23.0 35 -0.01 61 +2.1 54
Louisiana Tech 8-5 8.4 (0.4) 68.1% +5.5 40 27.6 62 22.1 25 -0.15 68 +8.0 26
Clemson 10-4 8.5 (-1.5) 68.0% +5.5 41 32.8 25 27.3 65 0.50 42 -4.3 84
South Florida 5-7 7.7 (2.7) 66.6% +5.0 42 28.0 59 23.0 34 -0.35 80 +5.9 33
Auburn 8-5 7.1 (-0.9) 65.3% +4.6 43 30.7 37 26.1 62 1.12 16 -4.2 82
Northern Illinois 11-3 9.9 (-1.1) 64.6% +4.4 44 34.3 21 29.9 76 -0.52 86 +11.8 16
Temple 9-4 9.6 (0.6) 63.9% +4.2 45 27.3 64 23.1 37 -1.80 116 +14.7 13
Cincinnati 10-3 9.2 (-0.8) 62.1% +3.6 46 27.1 66 23.5 40 -1.22 104 +4.6 39
UCLA 6-8 6.0 (0.0) 60.3% +3.0 47 32.2 29 29.1 73 1.30 9 -4.7 86
Illinois 7-6 6.3 (-0.7) 58.3% +2.5 48 23.3 95 20.9 20 0.13 53 -12.2 111
Washington 7-6 6.3 (-0.7) 58.1% +2.4 49 35.2 16 32.8 93 0.64 35 -2.9 75
Nevada 7-6 7.7 (0.7) 58.1% +2.4 50 30.1 40 27.7 67 -0.31 77 +5.0 35
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
Mississippi State 7-6 6.8 (-0.2) 58.0% +2.4 51 24.1 90 21.7 24 -0.13 67 +3.6 46
Central Florida 5-7 7.8 (2.8) 57.5% +2.2 52 25.1 79 22.9 32 -1.47 111 +9.8 22
Rutgers 9-4 7.4 (-1.6) 57.5% +2.2 53 21.1 104 18.9 11 -0.44 84 +1.8 57
BYU 10-3 8.5 (-1.5) 57.2% +2.1 54 25.8 74 23.7 43 -0.98 98 +6.1 31
Iowa 7-6 6.9 (-0.1) 56.3% +1.8 55 27.6 61 25.7 58 -0.31 76 -0.4 66
Pittsburgh 6-7 6.2 (0.2) 55.4% +1.6 56 24.0 91 22.4 29 0.66 33 -1.3 69
Western Michigan 7-6 8.2 (1.2) 54.7% +1.4 57 31.8 31 30.4 81 -1.14 101 +3.6 45
Iowa State 6-7 5.0 (-1.0) 53.0% +0.9 58 25.9 73 25.0 50 0.94 23 -5.5 90
Arizona 4-8 4.3 (0.3) 52.7% +0.8 59 34.4 19 33.6 97 0.86 26 -10.1 104
Utah 8-5 8.4 (0.4) 51.9% +0.6 60 21.7 101 21.1 22 -0.90 95 -3.1 77
Miami (Ohio) 4-8 4.7 (0.7) 50.5% +0.2 61 25.0 80 24.9 49 0.32 47 +3.9 44
Georgia Tech 8-5 7.4 (-0.6) 49.9% 0.0 62 31.3 33 31.3 84 -0.82 93 -3.9 80
Wake Forest 5-7 4.4 (-0.6) 49.9% 0.0 63 28.2 54 28.2 70 0.87 25 -7.5 97
Bowling Green 5-7 6.5 (1.5) 49.8% -0.1 64 28.8 48 28.9 71 -0.33 78 +9.2 25
Louisville 7-6 6.8 (-0.2) 49.5% -0.1 65 23.5 94 23.6 41 -0.27 73 +4.3 42
San Diego State 8-5 8.6 (0.6) 48.4% -0.5 66 30.4 38 30.8 83 -1.04 99 -3.0 76
Marshall 7-6 5.7 (-1.3) 48.2% -0.5 67 24.7 83 25.2 52 0.99 20 +4.0 43
Ball State 6-6 4.6 (-1.4) 47.1% -0.9 68 31.2 34 32.0 91 1.08 18 +4.4 40
East Carolina 5-7 5.4 (0.4) 46.5% -1.0 69 28.1 57 29.1 72 0.30 49 +2.5 50
Oregon State 3-9 3.6 (0.6) 46.4% -1.1 70 27.1 65 28.2 69 1.26 12 -2.0 72
Boston College 4-8 5.0 (1.0) 46.1% -1.1 71 23.3 96 24.4 46 0.51 41 +2.4 51
Virginia 8-5 6.7 (-1.3) 46.0% -1.2 72 24.7 82 25.9 60 -0.38 82 -4.3 83
Arkansas State 9-3 8.1 (-0.9) 45.2% -1.4 73 24.4 89 25.8 59 -1.47 110 +4.7 38
Duke 3-9 4.4 (1.4) 45.0% -1.5 74 28.6 52 30.0 78 0.73 29 -11.3 109
Utah State 7-6 8.4 (1.4) 45.0% -1.5 75 31.8 30 33.3 96 -1.36 106 +1.1 60
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
Ole Miss 2-10 2.3 (0.3) 43.2% -2.0 76 23.6 93 25.6 55 1.89 1 -11.7 110
Syracuse 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 42.6% -2.2 77 24.5 86 26.7 63 0.39 45 -6.7 95
Purdue 7-6 6.5 (-0.5) 42.6% -2.2 78 25.8 75 28.0 68 -0.35 79 -6.6 94
Navy 5-7 5.0 (0.0) 40.4% -2.8 79 31.7 32 34.5 104 0.01 60 -4.4 85
Connecticut 5-7 4.2 (-0.8) 39.8% -3.0 80 20.6 105 23.6 42 0.09 55 -2.0 71
Maryland 2-10 2.9 (0.9) 39.3% -3.2 81 26.6 70 29.8 75 0.95 22 -12.5 112
Ohio 10-4 9.4 (-0.6) 38.7% -3.4 82 26.8 67 30.2 79 -1.80 117 +1.5 58
UTEP 5-7 5.8 (0.8) 38.3% -3.5 83 28.2 56 31.6 87 -0.36 81 +0.1 65
Northwestern 6-7 6.5 (0.5) 38.2% -3.5 84 29.5 43 33.0 95 -0.71 91 -0.6 67
Minnesota 3-9 3.1 (0.1) 38.2% -3.5 85 25.7 76 29.2 74 1.26 11 -3.5 78
Texas Tech 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 37.5% -3.7 86 32.5 26 36.3 110 -0.04 63 -5.9 92
N.C. State 8-5 7.5 (-0.5) 36.2% -4.1 87 21.9 100 26.0 61 -0.96 97 +1.0 62
Kent State 5-7 5.3 (0.3) 35.6% -4.3 88 14.8 117 19.1 15 0.11 54 +3.4 48
Florida International 8-5 7.9 (-0.1) 30.8% -5.9 89 19.8 109 25.7 57 -2.04 118 +0.9 63
North Texas 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 29.6% -6.3 90 24.4 88 30.7 82 -0.02 62 +1.9 56
Army 3-9 3.9 (0.9) 29.6% -6.3 91 26.6 69 32.9 94 -0.27 74 -5.3 89
Air Force 7-6 7.0 (0.0) 29.4% -6.3 92 30.0 42 36.4 111 -1.79 115 +2.1 53
Kentucky 5-7 4.7 (-0.3) 29.1% -6.4 93 18.4 112 24.8 48 0.36 46 -5.0 88
Fresno State 4-9 5.5 (1.5) 27.9% -6.9 94 28.8 49 35.7 108 -0.30 75 -2.6 74
Rice 4-8 2.9 (-1.1) 27.5% -7.0 95 24.5 85 31.5 86 0.54 39 -9.1 103
UL-Monroe 4-8 5.3 (1.3) 27.5% -7.0 96 20.5 107 27.5 66 -0.91 96 -1.4 70
Colorado 3-10 2.9 (-0.1) 27.1% -7.1 97 26.7 68 33.8 99 1.22 13 -10.2 107
San Jose State 5-7 4.0 (-1.0) 26.8% -7.2 98 24.5 87 31.7 88 -0.09 65 -3.9 79
Wyoming 8-5 5.4 (-2.6) 26.1% -7.5 99 26.5 71 34.0 100 -0.42 83 -1.2 68
Kansas 2-10 2.1 (0.1) 25.5% -7.7 100 29.2 46 36.9 114 1.75 2 -18.0 115
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
UL-Lafayette 9-4 6.9 (-2.1) 24.0% -8.3 101 23.7 92 31.9 90 -1.45 108 -2.0 73
Washington State 4-8 4.5 (0.5) 22.0% -9.0 102 25.6 77 34.6 105 -0.88 94 -7.8 98
Hawaii 6-7 7.4 (1.4) 18.9% -10.3 103 24.8 81 35.1 106 -2.38 120 -6.4 93
Western Kentucky 7-5 6.1 (-0.9) 18.0% -10.7 104 19.7 110 30.4 80 -1.52 112 +9.2 24
Central Michigan 3-9 3.6 (0.6) 16.2% -11.5 105 22.9 98 34.4 102 -0.78 92 -10.1 105
New Mexico State 4-9 3.8 (-0.2) 14.9% -12.2 106 24.7 84 36.8 113 -0.55 87 -7.8 99
Eastern Michigan 6-6 6.0 (0.0) 13.7% -12.8 107 19.0 111 31.7 89 -2.13 119 +7.4 27
UNLV 2-10 2.5 (0.5) 12.8% -13.3 108 21.2 103 34.5 103 0.47 43 -10.2 108
Buffalo 3-9 3.9 (0.9) 12.5% -13.4 109 20.5 106 34.0 101 -1.20 103 -8.9 102
Troy 3-9 3.3 (0.3) 11.7% -13.9 110 21.9 99 35.9 109 -1.18 102 -6.8 96
Indiana 1-11 1.7 (0.7) 10.7% -14.5 111 23.2 97 37.7 116 0.26 50 -18.5 118
Idaho 2-10 1.7 (-0.3) 9.3% -15.4 112 17.2 115 32.7 92 -0.15 69 -10.2 106
Colorado State 3-9 3.7 (0.7) 8.9% -15.7 113 19.9 108 35.6 107 -1.34 105 -8.3 101
UAB 3-9 1.7 (-1.3) 5.9% -18.3 114 21.6 102 39.9 118 -0.49 85 -8.0 100
Middle Tennessee 2-10 3.4 (1.4) 4.5% -19.8 115 17.4 114 37.2 115 -1.38 107 -17.7 114
Akron 1-11 2.1 (1.1) 2.9% -22.1 116 14.6 118 36.7 112 -0.16 70 -22.9 120
Tulane 2-11 3.2 (1.2) 2.8% -22.4 117 17.6 113 40.0 119 -1.78 114 -18.1 117
Florida Atlantic 1-11 1.4 (0.4) 2.7% -22.5 118 8.9 120 31.4 85 -0.69 89 -20.2 119
New Mexico 1-11 1.1 (0.1) 2.6% -22.8 119 17.2 116 40.0 120 0.08 56 -18.0 116
Memphis 2-10 2.7 (0.7) 1.0% -27.3 120 12.3 119 39.6 117 -1.76 113 -14.0 113