Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2012 NCAA FOOTBALL S&P+ RATINGS

through games of 1/7/13

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 13-1 12.8 (-0.2) 99.3% +28.5 1 40.4 7 11.9 3 0.55 37 +20.7 1
Texas A&M 11-2 10.5 (-0.5) 97.5% +23.0 2 43.1 2 20.1 17 0.73 31 +20.2 2
Florida 11-2 10.2 (-0.8) 97.2% +22.4 3 31.8 39 9.4 1 1.80 3 +13.4 15
Oregon 12-1 12.1 (0.1) 97.1% +22.1 4 43.1 1 21.0 23 0.29 47 +15.7 8
Notre Dame 12-1 10.1 (-1.9) 96.8% +21.7 5 35.2 21 13.5 4 1.79 4 +14.8 11
Kansas State 11-2 10.3 (-0.7) 94.7% +18.9 6 39.2 9 20.3 19 0.87 25 +15.6 10
Georgia 12-2 11.9 (-0.1) 94.3% +18.5 7 40.7 6 22.2 28 0.28 48 +19.2 3
Oklahoma 10-3 9.3 (-0.7) 93.2% +17.5 8 40.8 5 23.3 30 0.93 23 +7.5 32
Stanford 12-2 10.6 (-1.4) 92.6% +17.0 9 31.8 40 14.8 5 1.04 21 +10.7 21
South Carolina 10-2 8.5 (-1.5) 91.2% +15.8 10 33.5 30 17.7 9 1.23 13 +4.5 45
LSU 10-3 9.3 (-0.7) 90.6% +15.4 11 32.2 36 16.8 7 1.11 16 +15.7 9
Utah State 11-2 11.9 (0.9) 89.9% +14.9 12 33.9 27 19.0 12 -1.02 105 +13.4 14
Oklahoma State 8-5 9.5 (1.5) 89.0% +14.4 13 39.6 8 25.3 43 0.16 52 +10.4 24
Wisconsin 8-6 9.0 (1.0) 88.6% +14.1 14 34.2 25 20.1 16 1.06 20 +14.0 13
Michigan State 7-6 8.3 (1.3) 88.3% +13.9 15 25.0 89 11.1 2 1.42 9 +9.5 26
Florida State 12-2 12.2 (0.2) 88.1% +13.8 16 31.8 41 18.0 10 -1.38 115 +17.0 5
Texas 9-4 8.3 (-0.7) 87.3% +13.3 17 38.0 12 24.7 40 1.24 12 +4.9 43
Oregon State 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 87.0% +13.2 18 34.4 24 21.2 24 0.75 30 +6.2 39
Ole Miss 6-6 6.9 (0.9) 86.8% +13.1 19 34.9 22 21.8 25 1.70 6 +10.5 23
BYU 8-5 9.2 (1.2) 86.2% +12.8 20 28.2 63 15.4 6 -0.08 65 +10.5 22
USC 7-6 7.7 (0.7) 86.2% +12.8 21 35.4 20 22.7 29 0.83 27 +3.9 50
Ohio State 12-0 10.0 (-2.0) 86.0% +12.7 22 36.4 17 23.8 33 0.14 53 +9.5 27
Nebraska 10-4 8.6 (-1.4) 84.8% +12.0 23 36.0 18 24.0 36 0.81 29 +7.5 31
Baylor 8-5 7.7 (-0.3) 83.7% +11.5 24 43.0 3 31.5 86 1.09 18 +6.1 40
Michigan 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 83.5% +11.4 25 32.0 37 20.6 22 0.87 24 +2.3 59
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
San Jose State 11-2 10.1 (-0.9) 83.4% +11.3 26 34.9 23 23.5 32 -0.23 71 +12.1 18
Boise State 11-2 10.5 (-0.5) 83.3% +11.3 27 30.0 55 18.7 11 -0.78 97 +16.6 6
Georgia Tech 6-7 6.9 (0.9) 82.7% +11.0 28 36.6 16 25.6 45 1.69 7 +4.8 44
Penn State 8-4 8.0 (0.0) 79.9% +9.8 29 29.8 56 20.0 15 0.04 59 +6.5 33
Clemson 11-2 9.7 (-1.3) 79.5% +9.6 30 37.6 14 27.9 62 -0.34 76 +7.6 30
Fresno State 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 77.8% +9.0 31 33.3 33 24.3 38 -0.54 87 +11.1 20
UCLA 9-5 9.0 (0.0) 77.7% +8.9 32 34.0 26 25.1 42 0.45 42 +7.9 29
Arizona 8-5 7.1 (-0.9) 76.4% +8.4 33 37.5 15 29.1 69 1.08 19 -1.0 69
Texas Tech 8-5 8.1 (0.1) 75.7% +8.1 34 37.6 13 29.5 72 0.19 49 -2.7 75
Central Florida 10-4 10.2 (0.2) 75.2% +8.0 35 33.7 29 25.7 47 -0.56 89 +17.5 4
Virginia Tech 7-6 7.3 (0.3) 74.5% +7.7 36 25.3 87 17.6 8 0.57 35 +6.3 38
Missouri 5-7 4.4 (-0.6) 74.0% +7.5 37 27.9 65 20.4 20 2.25 1 +3.6 53
Tennessee 5-7 6.6 (1.6) 73.6% +7.4 38 38.1 10 30.8 77 0.66 33 +6.3 37
Arkansas 4-8 5.8 (1.8) 73.6% +7.4 39 33.9 28 26.5 55 1.23 14 -1.5 72
Syracuse 8-5 8.6 (0.6) 72.5% +7.0 40 33.4 32 26.4 54 0.13 54 +6.5 34
TCU 7-6 7.0 (0.0) 72.2% +6.9 41 26.7 72 19.9 14 0.36 43 +2.2 60
West Virginia 7-6 7.0 (0.0) 71.4% +6.6 42 38.1 11 31.5 85 0.86 26 -2.4 74
Mississippi State 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 70.9% +6.4 43 30.8 49 24.4 39 0.19 51 +4.1 48
Northwestern 10-3 8.6 (-1.4) 70.5% +6.3 44 31.2 48 24.9 41 -0.03 63 +1.1 62
Washington 7-6 7.5 (0.5) 69.3% +5.9 45 26.5 74 20.6 21 0.63 34 +0.4 64
Pittsburgh 5-7 6.0 (1.0) 67.8% +5.4 46 27.4 68 22.0 26 0.45 41 +4.3 47
Arizona State 8-5 8.5 (0.5) 66.6% +5.0 47 31.4 45 26.4 53 -0.94 102 +5.7 41
Iowa State 6-7 5.8 (-0.2) 66.6% +5.0 48 29.2 59 24.2 37 1.10 17 -6.9 101
Cincinnati 9-3 9.6 (0.6) 65.9% +4.8 49 30.4 52 25.6 46 -1.23 112 +5.0 42
Arkansas State 10-3 8.9 (-1.1) 65.4% +4.6 50 32.9 35 28.3 64 -0.43 79 +15.7 7
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 7-5 7.2 (0.2) 65.0% +4.5 51 33.4 31 28.9 68 0.34 45 +6.4 36
Louisiana Tech 9-3 8.4 (-0.6) 63.9% +4.2 52 41.2 4 37.0 115 -0.78 96 +2.4 58
Northern Illinois 12-2 12.0 (0.0) 63.6% +4.1 53 31.5 42 27.5 59 -2.04 122 +12.2 16
San Diego State 9-4 7.5 (-1.5) 63.4% +4.0 54 30.3 53 26.3 52 -0.18 67 +4.5 46
Vanderbilt 8-4 7.5 (-0.5) 61.1% +3.3 55 25.5 85 22.2 27 -0.30 73 +8.0 28
Ball State 9-4 8.3 (-0.7) 61.0% +3.3 56 35.7 19 32.4 88 0.08 58 +6.5 35
Louisville 11-2 9.2 (-1.8) 61.0% +3.3 57 30.8 50 27.5 60 -0.66 93 +3.4 54
Tulsa 11-3 9.6 (-1.4) 60.4% +3.1 58 29.2 58 26.1 51 -1.02 104 +11.5 19
California 3-9 3.7 (0.7) 59.9% +2.9 59 28.8 61 25.8 48 1.75 5 -5.8 92
North Carolina 7-4 6.9 (-0.1) 56.5% +1.9 60 31.9 38 30.0 76 -1.17 108 -3.7 83
SMU 7-6 7.6 (0.6) 55.6% +1.6 61 25.6 84 23.9 35 -0.01 61 +14.3 12
Kent State 11-3 9.7 (-1.3) 54.9% +1.4 62 28.9 60 27.5 58 -0.85 99 +12.2 17
Iowa 4-8 4.5 (0.5) 52.0% +0.6 63 24.5 94 23.9 34 0.82 28 -13.0 117
Rutgers 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 49.6% -0.1 64 18.9 119 19.0 13 -1.04 106 +4.1 49
South Florida 3-9 3.4 (0.4) 47.7% -0.7 65 26.6 73 27.3 57 1.27 11 -8.3 105
Utah 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 47.0% -0.9 66 24.4 95 25.3 44 -0.15 66 -6.7 98
Toledo 9-4 6.4 (-2.6) 46.9% -0.9 67 30.1 54 31.0 79 -0.07 64 +3.7 51
Purdue 6-7 5.9 (-0.1) 45.7% -1.3 68 27.2 69 28.4 66 0.32 46 -8.5 107
UL-Lafayette 9-4 8.4 (-0.6) 45.4% -1.4 69 31.4 46 32.7 90 -1.24 113 +3.7 52
Duke 6-7 5.7 (-0.3) 44.1% -1.7 70 31.5 43 33.3 94 0.50 40 -2.9 76
Minnesota 6-7 5.8 (-0.2) 43.3% -2.0 71 23.9 98 25.9 49 0.10 57 -6.7 97
Troy 5-7 6.1 (1.1) 42.8% -2.1 72 31.2 47 33.3 96 -0.50 85 +3.3 55
Auburn 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 41.3% -2.6 73 24.5 93 27.1 56 1.37 10 -6.4 95
Western Kentucky 7-6 7.7 (0.7) 40.6% -2.8 74 25.8 81 28.5 67 -1.22 110 -0.9 68
Kentucky 2-10 2.5 (0.5) 39.0% -3.3 75 24.9 91 28.2 63 1.49 8 -9.2 109
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
N.C. State 7-6 5.9 (-1.1) 38.5% -3.4 76 25.0 90 28.4 65 -0.44 81 -4.2 87
Connecticut 5-7 6.0 (1.0) 37.4% -3.7 77 16.4 120 20.1 18 -0.67 94 -4.0 86
Nevada 7-6 7.9 (0.9) 37.3% -3.8 78 33.2 34 37.0 114 -1.23 111 +2.9 57
Kansas 1-11 2.1 (1.1) 36.7% -4.0 79 27.1 70 31.0 80 1.86 2 -20.0 124
Bowling Green 8-5 8.3 (0.3) 36.5% -4.0 80 19.4 118 23.4 31 -1.86 119 +10.4 25
Houston 5-7 5.6 (0.6) 34.7% -4.6 81 26.9 71 31.4 84 -0.61 92 -0.2 65
Indiana 4-8 5.2 (1.2) 34.1% -4.8 82 31.5 44 36.3 110 -0.43 80 -9.5 110
UL-Monroe 8-5 6.0 (-2.0) 32.8% -5.2 83 28.4 62 33.6 99 -0.86 101 -3.9 84
Florida International 3-9 4.7 (1.7) 32.7% -5.2 84 25.7 82 31.0 78 -0.02 62 -2.9 80
Memphis 4-8 5.0 (1.0) 31.5% -5.6 85 22.2 108 27.8 61 -0.56 90 +3.2 56
East Carolina 8-5 6.8 (-1.2) 30.7% -5.9 86 27.5 67 33.4 97 -1.01 103 -1.7 73
Navy 8-5 6.3 (-1.7) 30.4% -6.0 87 27.9 66 33.9 101 -0.56 88 -1.5 71
Virginia 4-8 4.2 (0.2) 29.6% -6.3 88 22.9 100 29.1 70 -0.30 74 -3.6 82
Texas State 4-8 5.0 (1.0) 29.1% -6.4 89 29.6 57 36.0 109 -0.45 82 -2.9 77
Boston College 2-10 2.5 (0.5) 28.2% -6.7 90 22.6 103 29.4 71 0.50 39 -16.0 121
Middle Tennessee 9-3 6.4 (-2.6) 27.2% -7.1 91 25.9 80 32.9 91 -1.19 109 -5.8 91
North Texas 4-8 4.9 (0.9) 26.3% -7.4 92 25.9 79 33.3 95 -0.53 86 -6.9 100
Ohio 9-4 8.1 (-0.9) 25.4% -7.8 93 24.8 92 32.5 89 -2.21 123 -0.4 67
Marshall 5-7 5.9 (0.9) 24.4% -8.1 94 30.6 51 38.7 119 -1.25 114 -1.1 70
Wake Forest 5-7 4.8 (-0.2) 23.4% -8.5 95 22.7 101 31.1 82 0.12 55 -7.2 104
Illinois 2-10 2.5 (0.5) 21.4% -9.3 96 21.8 110 31.1 81 0.55 36 -15.7 120
Buffalo 4-8 3.8 (-0.2) 21.2% -9.4 97 20.2 117 29.5 73 -0.48 83 -5.5 90
Eastern Michigan 2-10 2.8 (0.8) 21.1% -9.4 98 26.1 76 35.4 106 0.35 44 -5.2 88
Temple 4-7 3.4 (-0.6) 20.9% -9.5 99 24.2 96 33.7 100 -0.34 77 -6.9 102
Wyoming 4-8 4.5 (0.5) 20.7% -9.6 100 28.2 64 37.7 116 -0.58 91 -2.9 78
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
Washington State 3-9 3.0 (0.0) 20.5% -9.7 101 20.3 116 29.9 75 0.54 38 -6.8 99
Florida Atlantic 3-9 4.2 (1.2) 20.0% -9.8 102 22.3 107 32.2 87 -0.22 69 -0.3 66
Rice 7-6 5.3 (-1.7) 19.8% -9.9 103 25.1 88 35.1 104 -1.10 107 +1.6 61
Colorado State 4-8 3.8 (-0.2) 19.5% -10.1 104 21.2 113 31.3 83 -0.19 68 -2.9 79
UTEP 3-9 3.2 (0.2) 18.6% -10.4 105 22.6 104 33.0 92 -0.22 70 -4.0 85
Miami (Ohio) 4-8 3.0 (-1.0) 18.6% -10.5 106 26.0 77 36.5 111 0.11 56 -5.9 93
Southern Miss 0-12 2.1 (2.1) 18.0% -10.7 107 22.4 106 33.1 93 0.71 32 -13.1 118
Maryland 4-8 4.1 (0.1) 17.6% -10.9 108 15.1 122 26.0 50 -0.31 75 -12.6 116
Western Michigan 4-8 4.9 (0.9) 17.0% -11.2 109 23.7 99 34.9 103 -1.81 118 +0.8 63
UNLV 2-11 3.3 (1.3) 15.2% -12.0 110 21.5 112 33.6 98 -0.37 78 -11.4 113
UAB 3-9 3.5 (0.5) 14.1% -12.6 111 23.9 97 36.5 112 -0.86 100 -8.4 106
Air Force 6-7 6.2 (0.2) 13.3% -13.0 112 25.5 86 38.5 118 -1.92 120 -6.5 96
Central Michigan 7-6 6.1 (-0.9) 12.9% -13.3 113 26.1 75 39.4 121 -1.95 121 -3.4 81
New Mexico 4-9 5.2 (1.2) 12.2% -13.6 114 25.6 83 39.2 120 -1.45 116 -11.7 114
Akron 1-11 3.0 (2.0) 11.1% -14.3 115 22.6 102 36.9 113 -0.84 98 -11.9 115
Army 2-10 2.5 (0.5) 10.7% -14.5 116 26.0 78 40.6 124 -0.71 95 -10.1 111
Idaho 1-11 1.5 (0.5) 10.3% -14.8 117 20.5 115 35.3 105 1.02 22 -8.8 108
Tulane 2-10 2.5 (0.5) 10.1% -14.9 118 20.6 114 35.5 107 0.03 60 -7.1 103
Hawaii 3-9 3.2 (0.2) 10.0% -15.0 119 14.8 123 29.8 74 -0.49 84 -5.2 89
Colorado 1-11 1.4 (0.4) 8.1% -16.4 120 21.9 109 38.3 117 1.11 15 -19.9 123
UTSA 6-4 4.9 (-1.1) 7.0% -17.3 121 22.4 105 39.7 122 -2.43 124 -6.3 94
New Mexico State 1-11 1.6 (0.6) 5.4% -18.8 122 21.7 111 40.5 123 -0.28 72 -14.0 119
Massachusetts 1-11 1.4 (0.4) 3.8% -20.8 123 15.1 121 35.9 108 0.19 50 -11.4 112
South Alabama 2-11 2.1 (0.1) 3.4% -21.4 124 12.7 124 34.0 102 -1.47 117 -17.3 122