Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2013 NCAA S&P+ RATINGS, DEFENSE

through games of 1/6/14

The S&P+ Ratings are a college football ratings system derived from the play-by-play 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 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. 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.

Passing Downs are defined as:

  • second down with 8 or more yards to go
  • third or fourth down with 5 or more yards to go

All other downs are Standard Downs.

Please note that in the split of rushing and passing S&P+, sacks are counted as passes, as in NFL data, and not runs as in official NCAA totals.

DNP stands for Difference in Net Points. This is a raw average of the points an offense scores on a given drive compared to the points it would be expected to score based on starting field position.

Use the menu above for pages that give more details on total and defensive S&P+, or our other college football ratings, the drive-based FEI.

Rk Defense Def.
S&P+
Play
Eff.
Rk Std.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Pass.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Rushing
S&P+
Rk Passing
S&P+
Rk Drive
Eff.
Rk DNP
Rk
1 Florida State 161.9 139.0 2 147.2 2 125.3 12 138.1 4 142.4 4 184.9 1 -2.66 1
2 Michigan State 153.2 143.6 1 149.1 1 130.2 7 145.1 2 145.7 1 162.8 2 -1.07 22
3 Virginia Tech 147.7 137.6 3 147.0 3 129.0 8 134.0 5 144.8 2 157.8 5 -0.54 58
4 USC 144.5 128.0 4 132.3 6 123.8 13 115.7 24 140.2 5 161.0 3 -0.89 32
5 Alabama 142.3 125.5 9 124.7 9 132.5 6 143.7 3 115.7 24 159.1 4 -1.59 6
6 Utah State 141.0 126.9 5 127.1 7 127.3 10 147.0 1 113.9 29 155.1 6 -0.95 30
7 Louisville 137.6 122.3 11 116.0 22 133.8 5 113.5 28 128.0 9 152.9 7 -1.74 4
8 Iowa 136.9 124.9 10 126.1 8 126.0 11 132.1 7 122.4 13 148.8 9 -0.72 48
9 Stanford 136.3 125.7 8 135.9 4 120.2 20 132.3 6 129.6 7 146.8 10 -0.87 36
10 Wisconsin 135.2 117.7 16 119.4 14 113.4 36 126.7 9 114.0 28 152.8 8 -1.41 9
11 Oklahoma State 133.2 120.3 13 117.8 20 128.9 9 120.0 17 123.8 12 146.1 11 -1.24 15
12 Clemson 130.7 121.0 12 120.7 13 120.7 18 123.8 12 121.2 17 140.4 13 -1.26 14
13 TCU 129.0 126.3 7 132.8 5 119.5 21 123.5 13 129.4 8 131.8 19 -0.61 55
14 Mississippi State 127.8 118.4 15 109.7 32 154.5 2 124.8 10 119.9 18 137.3 14 -0.57 57
15 Florida 127.3 126.7 6 118.8 16 161.2 1 115.4 25 144.6 3 128.0 22 -0.15 80
16 BYU 126.7 117.0 17 118.4 18 116.6 30 124.1 11 111.9 33 136.4 15 -0.61 56
17 Missouri 126.0 116.4 19 118.8 15 117.8 26 113.6 27 124.6 11 135.5 16 -1.20 16
18 Ole Miss 125.0 116.6 18 118.6 17 118.8 22 122.5 14 114.7 27 133.3 18 -0.88 34
19 North Texas 124.5 108.1 37 102.6 57 114.9 32 114.2 26 100.6 63 140.9 12 -0.96 29
20 Washington 124.4 119.9 14 114.7 26 138.3 4 109.5 39 131.2 6 128.8 21 -1.00 26
21 Baylor 122.2 110.8 30 109.8 31 117.6 28 109.6 38 111.5 34 133.6 17 -1.85 3
22 South Carolina 122.0 113.3 23 122.2 10 103.6 57 110.4 35 122.2 14 130.6 20 -1.42 8
23 Penn State 120.0 116.0 20 117.6 21 111.2 39 130.2 8 105.4 48 124.1 29 -0.88 35
24 Auburn 118.6 110.7 31 104.7 49 140.4 3 110.0 36 118.7 19 126.6 24 -1.02 25
25 Oregon 118.4 108.9 35 107.5 41 113.8 35 105.7 50 108.2 39 127.9 23 -1.87 2
Rk Defense Def.
S&P+
Play
Eff.
Rk Std.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Pass.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Rushing
S&P+
Rk Passing
S&P+
Rk Drive
Eff.
Rk DNP
Rk
26 Arizona State 118.1 115.3 22 121.2 12 114.7 34 112.5 30 121.9 15 120.9 33 -0.84 38
27 UCLA 117.6 110.1 33 108.6 36 121.1 17 106.3 44 117.5 22 125.2 27 -1.02 24
28 Pittsburgh 117.4 115.9 21 118.1 19 117.2 29 122.5 15 113.6 30 119.0 37 -0.34 70
29 Utah 117.1 112.5 27 115.3 24 115.2 31 121.9 16 112.7 31 121.7 32 -0.40 65
30 Tulane 116.6 108.0 38 106.2 42 106.8 46 112.9 29 103.0 56 125.2 26 -0.70 50
31 Arizona 116.3 112.0 28 111.0 29 118.7 23 115.8 23 108.5 37 120.7 35 -0.75 46
32 Virginia 115.8 112.6 26 121.3 11 103.8 55 109.9 37 121.2 16 118.9 38 0.00 92
33 Oklahoma 115.4 106.3 41 105.0 47 114.9 33 97.6 72 117.9 21 124.4 28 -0.86 37
34 Wake Forest 115.1 107.9 39 111.7 27 99.7 70 111.2 34 104.1 51 122.4 30 -0.12 83
35 LSU 113.0 111.9 29 111.1 28 120.5 19 109.0 40 118.4 20 114.2 45 -1.37 11
36 Boise State 112.4 105.3 44 108.3 37 100.6 65 118.4 21 92.6 90 119.4 36 -0.98 27
37 Florida Atlantic 112.3 113.3 24 105.6 45 123.6 14 97.7 71 127.3 10 111.2 53 -0.50 60
38 Bowling Green 111.9 98.3 75 93.9 93 103.0 60 90.8 95 102.3 57 125.5 25 -1.40 10
39 North Carolina 111.4 109.3 34 106.1 43 121.5 16 105.8 49 115.2 25 113.5 46 -0.63 54
40 Houston 111.3 100.4 61 102.6 56 97.7 78 106.2 46 94.4 87 122.3 31 -0.89 33
41 San Diego State 110.6 113.3 25 114.9 25 105.2 50 119.4 19 107.4 40 107.9 66 -0.16 79
42 Ohio State 110.3 99.7 65 97.7 79 108.2 42 103.4 58 101.2 61 120.8 34 -1.47 7
43 Georgia 110.2 110.6 32 115.4 23 107.8 44 118.5 20 108.6 36 109.9 58 -0.96 28
44 Texas 109.9 107.1 40 103.4 53 122.7 15 106.0 48 112.1 32 112.6 49 -0.52 59
45 Buffalo 109.8 103.6 48 107.9 38 89.2 93 106.2 47 98.4 71 116.0 40 -0.77 44
46 Tennessee 109.6 103.8 47 107.9 40 103.1 59 97.4 74 117.5 23 115.4 41 0.36 106
47 Vanderbilt 109.4 104.5 45 103.8 51 105.5 49 94.2 88 115.1 26 114.2 44 -0.78 43
48 Notre Dame 108.6 102.1 53 101.8 59 110.0 40 105.1 55 104.1 50 115.1 43 -0.71 49
49 Memphis 108.5 108.1 36 110.3 30 104.7 52 112.2 31 105.6 45 108.8 65 -0.08 86
50 Michigan 108.3 103.8 46 107.9 39 101.2 64 111.7 33 103.6 54 112.7 48 -0.92 31
Rk Defense Def.
S&P+
Play
Eff.
Rk Std.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Pass.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Rushing
S&P+
Rk Passing
S&P+
Rk Drive
Eff.
Rk DNP
Rk
51 Central Florida 107.6 98.1 76 104.7 50 87.5 101 87.7 106 108.4 38 117.2 39 -1.18 18
52 Rice 107.6 106.2 42 109.5 33 98.5 73 107.6 41 101.2 60 109.1 62 -0.36 68
53 Duke 107.4 99.5 67 96.8 83 111.8 37 95.5 82 103.6 53 115.3 42 -0.68 52
54 Cincinnati 106.7 102.4 52 105.5 46 87.8 98 103.2 60 95.6 80 111.0 54 -1.18 19
55 Nebraska 106.6 100.7 58 96.1 88 117.9 25 95.3 84 106.9 41 112.4 51 -0.73 47
56 Northwestern 106.4 99.6 66 101.2 63 99.0 71 104.1 57 97.8 73 113.3 47 -0.47 62
57 South Florida 106.2 100.7 59 97.0 81 118.2 24 99.2 68 104.0 52 111.6 52 0.30 105
58 Maryland 106.1 102.5 50 108.9 35 94.6 84 106.9 42 99.9 64 109.6 60 -0.35 69
59 East Carolina 105.8 101.5 54 102.7 55 94.9 83 103.3 59 98.3 72 110.1 56 -1.30 12
60 Tulsa 105.4 100.0 64 101.8 60 99.0 72 99.3 67 101.8 58 110.9 55 -0.06 89
61 Kansas State 105.2 100.4 60 99.5 70 105.1 51 95.0 86 106.4 42 110.0 57 -1.19 17
62 Fresno State 105.2 100.9 56 106.0 44 90.7 89 106.3 45 95.2 82 109.5 61 -1.17 20
63 Colorado State 105.2 102.7 49 98.7 74 107.6 45 119.6 18 89.1 101 107.7 67 -0.81 41
64 Washington State 104.7 100.3 62 99.2 73 111.6 38 105.5 51 99.7 65 109.0 63 -0.29 72
65 Minnesota 104.5 100.0 63 98.3 76 104.1 53 96.3 79 105.4 47 109.0 64 -0.37 67
66 Akron 104.5 105.5 43 104.9 48 103.6 56 106.7 43 103.0 55 103.4 74 0.02 95
67 Syracuse 104.1 100.8 57 100.7 66 103.3 58 104.4 56 101.3 59 107.5 68 -0.11 85
68 Georgia Tech 104.0 95.4 87 96.7 84 97.9 76 105.2 54 92.5 93 112.5 50 -1.05 23
69 Hawaii 104.0 101.4 55 109.0 34 88.1 97 103.1 61 95.7 78 106.5 70 0.16 102
70 N.C. State 103.6 97.5 78 99.3 71 102.3 62 89.3 99 109.1 35 109.8 59 0.22 103
71 UTSA 103.0 99.4 68 96.8 82 106.6 47 105.4 52 94.6 86 106.5 69 -0.27 73
72 Connecticut 103.0 102.5 51 100.9 65 105.9 48 111.9 32 95.7 79 103.5 73 0.08 99
73 Toledo 101.6 98.9 72 96.5 86 103.8 54 98.9 69 97.7 74 104.3 71 -0.50 61
74 Oregon State 101.6 99.2 70 97.9 78 108.6 41 94.6 87 106.0 43 103.9 72 -0.19 77
75 Western Kentucky 100.8 99.2 71 103.3 54 83.5 108 99.4 66 90.4 98 102.5 78 -0.82 39
Rk Defense Def.
S&P+
Play
Eff.
Rk Std.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Pass.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Rushing
S&P+
Rk Passing
S&P+
Rk Drive
Eff.
Rk DNP
Rk
76 Texas A&M 100.3 97.4 79 99.9 68 98.0 75 97.0 77 101.1 62 103.2 75 -0.69 51
77 Texas State 99.3 98.6 74 94.1 92 100.4 66 95.1 85 95.0 84 100.1 83 -0.07 87
78 Texas Tech 99.2 96.0 83 99.5 69 91.3 88 87.1 107 105.5 46 102.5 77 -0.79 42
79 Marshall 98.6 96.6 81 95.5 89 93.2 86 92.7 92 95.1 83 100.6 81 -1.67 5
80 Boston College 98.6 97.9 77 100.9 64 97.6 79 100.8 63 99.4 66 99.4 86 -0.25 76
81 Kansas 98.6 95.9 85 94.8 90 99.9 68 93.8 90 97.3 77 101.2 80 0.45 108
82 Arkansas 98.4 99.3 69 101.7 61 101.3 63 97.9 70 104.9 49 97.6 89 0.61 111
83 South Alabama 97.9 95.9 84 98.4 75 85.4 102 93.8 89 93.5 88 99.8 84 -0.46 63
84 SMU 97.6 93.3 92 86.6 107 117.7 27 93.8 91 92.6 91 101.9 79 -0.38 66
85 Navy 97.3 97.3 80 101.3 62 88.2 96 100.0 64 91.9 94 97.4 90 -0.76 45
86 Iowa State 97.2 93.7 91 93.5 94 99.9 69 84.8 110 105.7 44 100.6 82 0.13 101
87 West Virginia 96.7 94.9 90 102.4 58 83.2 110 102.4 62 89.0 102 98.5 87 -0.19 78
88 UNLV 96.2 95.4 88 91.4 98 100.0 67 88.8 101 99.2 67 97.0 91 -0.31 71
89 Miami 95.9 89.1 105 96.5 85 81.1 116 88.9 100 92.5 92 102.8 76 -0.64 53
90 Arkansas State 95.9 95.6 86 90.7 99 108.0 43 90.4 96 98.6 69 96.2 92 -0.25 75
91 Rutgers 95.8 98.7 73 103.7 52 89.8 90 116.9 22 90.4 99 93.0 97 0.04 97
92 Middle Tennessee 95.5 91.6 96 92.2 95 87.8 99 88.5 102 90.5 97 99.4 85 -0.43 64
93 Ball State 95.0 91.8 94 90.2 101 89.0 94 89.6 98 88.3 104 98.2 88 -1.15 21
94 UL-Monroe 94.2 92.7 93 96.1 87 83.1 111 86.3 108 99.1 68 95.8 94 -0.06 90
95 Colorado 93.2 96.0 82 98.1 77 95.4 80 96.2 80 98.6 70 90.4 105 0.11 100
96 Indiana 93.0 91.3 97 94.8 91 89.6 91 97.3 75 89.6 100 94.6 95 -0.12 82
97 Northern Illinois 92.8 89.6 103 82.8 112 102.7 61 91.5 93 85.0 110 95.9 93 -1.30 13
98 Kentucky 92.4 91.0 98 97.1 80 82.8 113 90.2 97 94.6 85 93.7 96 0.57 110
99 Purdue 92.3 95.1 89 100.2 67 92.6 87 97.1 76 97.6 76 89.4 106 1.60 125
100 Wyoming 91.0 90.0 100 86.2 108 97.9 77 95.6 81 80.9 111 91.9 100 -0.07 87
Rk Defense Def.
S&P+
Play
Eff.
Rk Std.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Pass.
Downs
S&P+
Rk Rushing
S&P+
Rk Passing
S&P+
Rk Drive
Eff.
Rk DNP
Rk
101 Ohio 90.8 89.8 101 91.8 96 82.3 114 83.1 112 91.4 95 91.7 101 -0.12 81
102 Kent State 90.6 89.6 102 86.9 105 95.3 81 81.6 114 95.5 81 91.7 102 0.27 104
103 Illinois 90.6 89.1 104 88.7 103 94.4 85 95.4 83 85.9 108 92.1 99 0.02 94
104 California 90.1 91.8 95 99.2 72 84.2 106 105.3 53 87.4 105 88.3 108 0.84 114
105 Nevada 89.4 86.4 108 88.9 102 84.7 103 77.0 120 97.7 75 92.4 98 0.39 107
106 San Jose State 88.2 85.9 111 86.6 106 84.3 105 81.0 115 90.7 96 90.6 103 -0.26 74
107 Idaho 88.0 91.0 99 91.8 97 88.8 95 97.0 78 85.9 109 85.0 110 1.14 122
108 UL-Lafayette 87.9 85.3 114 82.4 115 87.6 100 87.9 104 80.2 112 90.5 104 -0.82 40
109 Western Michigan 87.7 86.9 107 82.6 113 95.2 82 79.5 117 92.7 89 88.5 107 0.50 109
110 Central Michigan 85.2 85.6 113 83.7 111 84.5 104 76.7 121 89.0 103 84.8 111 0.05 98
111 Southern Miss 85.2 89.0 106 90.4 100 83.3 109 99.9 65 76.6 116 81.4 117 0.89 117
112 Troy 84.5 86.3 109 87.4 104 79.4 117 97.5 73 75.8 117 82.8 114 0.02 96
113 Miami (Ohio) 84.1 81.8 117 79.2 121 89.5 92 73.2 123 86.5 107 86.4 109 1.10 120
114 Louisiana Tech 83.4 84.8 115 85.6 110 73.3 121 88.4 103 72.0 121 82.1 116 -0.11 84
115 Temple 83.4 82.7 116 82.5 114 83.7 107 91.4 94 74.8 118 84.1 112 -0.04 91
116 Florida International 83.2 85.7 112 81.7 116 98.0 74 83.0 113 86.7 106 80.8 118 1.31 123
117 Massachusetts 82.4 81.2 119 81.5 117 79.3 118 80.3 116 77.4 115 83.5 113 0.84 115
118 Georgia State 82.2 85.9 110 85.9 109 83.0 112 87.8 105 78.1 114 78.6 119 0.71 112
119 Army 81.2 79.8 120 80.7 119 74.7 120 84.6 111 67.5 125 82.5 115 0.01 93
120 Air Force 78.8 81.6 118 80.7 120 81.5 115 84.8 109 74.0 120 76.0 120 0.96 119
121 New Mexico 76.8 78.1 121 80.8 118 70.9 122 78.9 119 74.4 119 75.6 121 0.71 113
122 UTEP 74.0 75.6 122 77.1 122 69.2 123 79.4 118 69.6 123 72.4 123 1.14 121
123 Eastern Michigan 73.3 74.4 123 76.3 123 67.2 124 67.4 125 78.5 113 72.2 125 1.36 124
124 UAB 73.2 74.1 124 72.8 124 76.2 119 74.6 122 70.9 122 72.4 124 0.85 116
125 New Mexico State 72.2 70.8 125 72.0 125 65.0 125 70.6 124 68.5 124 73.7 122 0.91 118