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 ST S&P+ Rk
Alabama 14-1 13.1 (-0.9) 98.9% 27.8 1 36.6 24 9.0 1 0.1 61
Clemson 14-1 13.1 (-0.9) 98.6% 26.8 2 42.2 6 16.0 6 0.5 50
Oklahoma 11-2 10.4 (-0.6) 96.2% 21.8 3 41.9 7 21.3 22 1.2 20
Ohio State 12-1 12.1 (0.1) 96.1% 21.7 4 38.0 20 16.7 9 0.3 56
Michigan 10-3 10.6 (0.6) 95.2% 20.5 5 33.1 38 13.6 3 1.0 30
Ole Miss 10-3 10.9 (0.9) 94.9% 20.2 6 41.6 8 21.4 23 0.0 66
Notre Dame 10-3 10.0 (0.0) 93.5% 18.7 7 41.2 11 23.3 34 0.8 35
Florida State 10-3 10.9 (0.9) 92.7% 18.0 8 35.9 25 19.4 14 1.5 1
Stanford 12-2 11.2 (-0.8) 92.0% 17.5 9 41.2 12 25.2 43 1.4 5
Washington 7-6 7.7 (0.7) 91.9% 17.4 10 33.5 37 16.6 8 0.5 52
LSU 9-3 8.6 (-0.4) 91.7% 17.3 11 39.7 14 22.5 28 0.1 63
Western Kentucky 12-2 11.3 (-0.7) 89.9% 15.9 12 42.5 5 28.0 60 1.4 11
Mississippi State 9-4 8.4 (-0.6) 89.5% 15.7 13 39.1 16 24.2 38 0.9 34
Michigan State 12-2 9.8 (-2.2) 86.7% 14.0 14 34.4 31 19.3 13 -1.1 102
Baylor 10-3 10.6 (0.6) 86.3% 13.8 15 44.8 2 29.8 75 -1.3 112
USC 8-6 7.6 (-0.4) 86.0% 13.6 16 38.7 18 25.0 41 -0.1 69
Arkansas 8-5 8.6 (0.6) 85.7% 13.5 17 43.0 4 28.3 65 -1.2 108
TCU 11-2 10.0 (-1.0) 85.2% 13.2 18 39.7 13 27.9 59 1.4 6
UCLA 8-5 9.3 (1.3) 84.7% 13.0 19 37.7 21 25.7 48 1.0 31
Tennessee 9-4 9.0 (0.0) 82.5% 11.9 20 32.0 45 21.1 20 1.0 28
West Virginia 8-5 8.5 (0.5) 82.4% 11.9 21 34.1 32 22.9 30 0.7 44
Oregon 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 82.4% 11.9 22 43.0 3 32.3 94 1.2 21
Bowling Green 10-4 10.2 (0.2) 82.1% 11.7 23 41.4 9 28.1 61 -1.6 125
Auburn 7-6 6.7 (-0.3) 80.8% 11.2 24 32.6 42 22.7 29 1.3 17
Navy 11-2 10.8 (-0.2) 80.6% 11.1 25 36.7 23 26.3 51 0.7 45
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk ST S&P+ Rk
Minnesota 6-7 6.2 (0.2) 80.6% 11.1 26 29.7 57 20.1 17 1.5 3
Louisville 8-5 8.2 (0.2) 80.1% 10.9 27 31.8 48 21.2 21 0.3 58
North Carolina 11-3 11.0 (0.0) 79.7% 10.7 28 38.9 17 29.5 72 1.3 13
Utah 10-3 8.2 (-1.8) 79.6% 10.7 29 29.5 60 20.2 18 1.4 9
Florida 10-4 9.2 (-0.8) 78.8% 10.4 30 27.7 73 16.5 7 -0.9 95
BYU 9-4 8.6 (-0.4) 77.6% 9.9 31 32.3 43 23.1 31 0.7 43
California 8-5 7.9 (-0.1) 77.3% 9.8 32 41.3 10 31.0 84 -0.6 83
Toledo 10-2 9.2 (-0.8) 77.3% 9.8 33 32.8 41 21.8 25 -1.2 111
Wisconsin 10-3 9.0 (-1.0) 76.0% 9.2 34 25.4 87 15.4 5 -0.7 90
Penn State 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 75.1% 8.9 35 29.0 62 19.7 16 -0.3 75
Nebraska 6-7 6.8 (0.8) 74.7% 8.8 36 34.9 29 26.6 54 0.6 49
Texas A&M 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 74.0% 8.5 37 29.9 55 22.4 27 1.0 29
Boise State 9-4 9.2 (0.2) 73.3% 8.3 38 30.6 53 23.7 36 1.3 15
Oklahoma State 10-3 8.6 (-1.4) 73.0% 8.1 39 38.1 19 29.4 70 -0.6 85
Appalachian State 11-2 10.5 (-0.5) 72.7% 8.1 40 31.6 50 24.7 40 1.1 22
NC State 7-6 7.1 (0.1) 72.5% 8.0 41 34.0 35 25.3 44 -0.7 88
Iowa 12-2 10.0 (-2.0) 70.9% 7.4 42 29.4 61 23.3 33 1.3 14
Georgia Southern 9-4 9.0 (0.0) 69.3% 6.9 43 31.8 47 25.7 47 0.8 38
Memphis 9-4 7.6 (-1.4) 68.7% 6.7 44 35.2 27 30.0 79 1.5 4
Georgia 10-3 9.5 (-0.5) 68.4% 6.6 45 26.4 81 18.7 11 -1.1 103
Houston 13-1 10.2 (-2.8) 67.5% 6.3 46 34.1 33 28.2 63 0.4 55
Miami-FL 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 67.0% 6.1 47 31.8 49 26.5 52 0.8 37
Pittsburgh 8-5 7.3 (-0.7) 66.0% 5.8 48 31.9 46 26.0 50 0.0 67
Arizona State 6-7 6.3 (0.3) 65.5% 5.6 49 35.5 26 30.8 81 0.9 33
Texas Tech 7-6 7.0 (0.0) 65.4% 5.6 50 45.5 1 41.2 124 1.4 12
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk ST S&P+ Rk
Air Force 8-6 8.7 (0.7) 64.5% 5.3 51 33.5 36 29.0 67 0.8 36
San Diego State 11-3 10.6 (-0.4) 64.0% 5.2 52 27.1 79 21.9 26 0.0 64
Western Michigan 8-5 7.5 (-0.5) 64.0% 5.2 53 37.2 22 32.2 93 0.2 59
Louisiana Tech 9-4 9.3 (0.3) 63.6% 5.0 54 34.5 30 30.2 80 0.7 40
Temple 10-4 9.2 (-0.8) 63.4% 5.0 55 25.5 86 21.7 24 1.1 23
South Florida 8-5 7.9 (-0.1) 63.3% 4.9 56 31.5 51 25.9 49 -0.6 86
Northwestern 10-3 7.2 (-2.8) 62.4% 4.7 57 20.7 111 14.6 4 -1.5 121
Indiana 6-7 6.8 (0.8) 61.5% 4.4 58 39.5 15 35.5 108 0.4 54
Virginia Tech 7-6 6.7 (-0.3) 61.4% 4.3 59 27.7 72 24.4 39 1.1 24
Georgia Tech 3-9 3.2 (0.2) 59.6% 3.8 60 29.9 56 26.7 55 0.6 47
Illinois 5-7 4.8 (-0.2) 59.3% 3.7 61 24.4 96 19.4 15 -1.3 114
Utah State 6-7 6.8 (0.8) 58.4% 3.5 62 27.6 76 23.4 35 -0.8 92
Cincinnati 7-6 7.1 (0.1) 55.6% 2.6 63 34.0 34 32.6 97 1.2 18
Southern Miss 9-5 9.3 (0.3) 54.9% 2.4 64 33.0 39 29.4 71 -1.2 104
Maryland 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 52.5% 1.7 65 28.3 68 25.3 45 -1.3 113
Boston College 3-9 5.9 (2.9) 52.2% 1.6 66 15.0 125 12.4 2 -1.0 100
Washington State 9-4 7.6 (-1.4) 51.6% 1.4 67 32.1 44 29.7 74 -1.0 99
Virginia 4-8 4.0 (0.0) 51.0% 1.3 68 30.9 52 29.9 77 0.3 57
Texas 5-7 5.2 (0.2) 50.6% 1.1 69 28.6 64 28.2 62 0.6 46
Iowa State 3-9 4.8 (1.8) 49.3% 0.7 70 29.6 59 28.3 64 -0.5 79
Ohio 8-5 7.6 (-0.4) 47.5% 0.2 71 27.6 74 27.0 57 -0.4 76
Marshall 10-3 9.0 (-1.0) 47.2% 0.1 72 24.1 100 25.1 42 1.1 25
East Carolina 5-7 5.9 (0.9) 46.3% -0.1 73 28.3 67 29.2 69 0.7 41
Syracuse 4-8 4.6 (0.6) 46.2% -0.2 74 27.9 70 29.0 66 0.9 32
Duke 8-5 7.0 (-1.0) 46.1% -0.2 75 25.2 89 26.9 56 1.5 2
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk ST S&P+ Rk
Northern Illinois 8-6 8.1 (0.1) 45.8% -0.3 76 26.4 83 26.6 53 -0.1 68
Arizona 7-6 6.9 (-0.1) 44.8% -0.6 77 35.1 28 36.7 112 1.0 26
Central Michigan 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 42.3% -1.3 78 26.4 82 27.3 58 -0.4 77
Vanderbilt 4-8 4.2 (0.2) 41.5% -1.6 79 18.7 116 18.8 12 -1.5 119
Kansas State 6-7 4.3 (-1.7) 40.0% -2.0 80 27.6 75 30.9 83 1.3 16
Middle Tennessee 7-6 7.3 (0.3) 40.0% -2.0 81 30.1 54 30.9 82 -1.2 110
Arkansas State 9-4 8.8 (-0.2) 39.7% -2.1 82 28.6 65 31.9 91 1.2 19
Missouri 5-7 4.4 (-0.6) 39.5% -2.2 83 15.8 123 17.6 10 -0.3 73
Akron 8-5 7.8 (-0.2) 36.8% -3.0 84 21.7 109 24.2 37 -0.5 80
South Carolina 3-9 4.6 (1.6) 36.4% -3.1 85 28.2 69 32.4 95 1.0 27
Purdue 2-10 3.4 (1.4) 36.1% -3.2 86 27.9 71 29.5 73 -1.6 124
Colorado State 7-6 7.2 (0.2) 35.6% -3.4 87 28.3 66 31.9 90 0.2 60
Wake Forest 3-9 3.3 (0.3) 34.0% -3.9 88 22.4 105 25.7 46 -0.7 87
Connecticut 6-7 5.7 (-0.3) 32.6% -4.3 89 19.0 115 23.2 32 -0.2 70
Kentucky 5-7 5.0 (0.0) 30.8% -4.9 90 23.6 103 29.2 68 0.6 48
San Jose State 6-7 6.3 (0.3) 30.2% -5.1 91 27.2 77 31.5 87 -0.8 93
Troy 4-8 5.3 (1.3) 27.9% -5.9 92 24.8 93 29.9 78 -0.7 91
Georgia State 6-7 7.3 (1.3) 25.6% -6.7 93 26.9 80 32.5 96 -1.2 105
Florida Atlantic 3-9 5.0 (2.0) 24.3% -7.2 94 22.1 108 29.8 76 0.5 51
Nevada 7-6 6.1 (-0.9) 23.9% -7.4 95 24.8 92 33.6 99 1.4 8
Buffalo 5-7 5.1 (0.1) 22.6% -7.9 96 25.2 88 31.6 88 -1.5 122
Colorado 4-9 4.3 (0.3) 21.3% -8.4 97 24.5 95 31.8 89 -1.2 107
Tulsa 6-7 4.8 (-1.2) 20.7% -8.6 98 32.8 40 40.1 122 -1.4 117
South Alabama 5-7 3.9 (-1.1) 17.7% -9.9 99 24.3 98 34.7 106 0.5 53
Oregon State 2-10 2.2 (0.2) 17.3% -10.1 100 24.5 94 34.4 103 -0.3 72
Team Rec. 2ndO Wins
(Diff)
S&P+
(Percentile)
S&P+
(Margin)
Rk Off. S&P+ Rk Def. S&P+ Rk ST S&P+ Rk
Massachusetts 3-9 4.0 (1.0) 16.9% -10.3 101 23.9 102 33.0 98 -1.2 106
Fresno State 3-9 4.3 (1.3) 16.1% -10.7 102 21.2 110 31.4 86 -0.5 78
SMU 2-10 2.6 (0.6) 15.8% -10.8 103 28.7 63 39.2 119 -0.3 74
New Mexico 7-6 5.1 (-1.9) 15.1% -11.2 104 24.4 97 35.0 107 -0.5 81
Idaho 4-8 3.6 (-0.4) 13.6% -11.9 105 29.6 58 42.2 125 0.7 42
Rutgers 4-8 3.9 (-0.1) 13.2% -12.2 106 26.0 84 37.3 115 -0.8 94
UNLV 3-9 3.1 (0.1) 12.9% -12.3 107 25.1 90 37.3 114 -0.2 71
Ball State 3-9 3.0 (0.0) 11.4% -13.2 108 24.2 99 37.4 116 0.1 62
Kent State 3-9 3.6 (0.6) 10.2% -14.0 109 8.3 128 21.0 19 -1.2 109
Florida International 5-7 4.7 (-0.3) 9.9% -14.2 110 20.5 112 34.0 102 -0.7 89
Old Dominion 5-7 4.0 (-1.0) 9.2% -14.6 111 22.4 106 35.6 109 -1.5 118
UL-Lafayette 4-8 4.1 (0.1) 9.0% -14.8 112 22.3 107 36.5 111 -0.5 82
Hawaii 3-10 3.8 (0.8) 8.9% -14.8 113 17.5 119 33.8 100 1.4 7
Wyoming 2-10 2.0 (0.0) 8.6% -15.0 114 23.4 104 37.1 113 -1.4 116
Miami-OH 3-9 3.5 (0.5) 8.2% -15.4 115 17.2 120 31.2 85 -1.3 115
UTSA 3-9 4.4 (1.4) 7.5% -15.9 116 20.0 114 34.5 104 -1.5 120
Texas State 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 6.7% -16.7 117 27.1 78 42.8 127 -0.9 98
Rice 5-7 4.9 (-0.1) 5.5% -17.8 118 23.9 101 40.9 123 -0.9 97
Eastern Michigan 1-11 2.1 (1.1) 5.4% -17.9 119 25.0 91 42.9 128 0.0 65
Tulane 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 5.4% -17.9 120 17.0 121 33.9 101 -1.1 101
New Mexico State 3-9 3.8 (0.8) 5.0% -18.3 121 25.8 85 42.6 126 -1.6 123
Army 2-10 3.6 (1.6) 3.8% -19.9 122 18.7 117 38.0 117 -0.6 84
Central Florida 0-12 1.1 (1.1) 3.7% -20.0 123 14.4 126 35.8 110 1.4 10
UTEP 5-7 3.6 (-1.4) 3.6% -20.2 124 18.0 118 38.9 118 0.8 39
UL-Monroe 2-11 2.9 (0.9) 3.1% -20.9 125 15.3 124 34.6 105 -1.6 127
Kansas 0-12 0.7 (0.7) 3.0% -21.1 126 20.3 113 39.9 121 -1.6 126
Charlotte 2-10 1.1 (-0.9) 2.7% -21.6 127 12.1 127 32.1 92 -1.6 128
North Texas 1-11 0.8 (-0.2) 1.6% -24.1 128 16.1 122 39.3 120 -0.9 96