Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2014 NCAA S&P+ RATINGS, DEFENSE

through games of 9/13/14

NOTE: For the first seven weeks of the season, only the overall Defensive S&P+ rating is adjusted for opponent. All other data shared below is raw and unadjusted.

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.
  • IsoPPP: An explosiveness measure derived from determining the equivalent 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. NOTE: IsoPPP is in use for the first time in 2014. It looks at only the per-play value of a team's successful plays (as defined by the Success Rate definition above); its goal is to separate altogether the efficiency component from the explosiveness component. This results in a new equation below. Success Rate now accounts for 80% of S&P below, while IsoPPP accounts for just 20%. For more information about IsoPPP, click here.
  • 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. It is factored in after seven weeks.
  • 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.

Team Def. S&P+ Rk Success Rate Rk IsoPPP Rk S&P Rk Rushing S&P Rk Passing S&P Rk Std. Downs S&P Rk Pass. Downs S&P Rk
Florida State 132.4 1 30.8% 28 0.93 67 0.432 34 0.418 47 0.464 35 0.413 10 0.469 71
LSU 131.8 2 21.7% 4 1.02 95 0.378 8 0.465 73 0.235 2 0.414 12 0.327 11
Stanford 131.5 3 27.9% 11 0.55 2 0.334 4 0.329 13 0.355 7 0.386 7 0.304 6
Alabama 128.7 4 34.6% 52 0.68 9 0.413 19 0.281 1 0.466 36 0.427 20 0.396 29
Penn State 127.8 5 26.0% 7 0.97 86 0.402 13 0.371 25 0.432 24 0.414 11 0.404 34
Ole Miss 127.7 6 33.3% 40 0.56 3 0.378 9 0.422 49 0.338 6 0.384 6 0.361 16
Louisville 124.6 7 20.0% 2 1.33 122 0.426 30 0.348 16 0.510 69 0.363 4 0.564 114
Oklahoma State 121.8 8 28.9% 19 1.04 96 0.439 41 0.373 28 0.485 46 0.449 39 0.438 56
UTSA 121.7 9 29.8% 24 1.04 97 0.446 43 0.399 37 0.494 52 0.477 58 0.400 31
Notre Dame 120.4 10 35.2% 57 0.67 8 0.416 20 0.373 27 0.454 32 0.444 36 0.405 36
Virginia 119.8 11 32.0% 34 0.78 26 0.412 18 0.369 24 0.436 26 0.434 25 0.413 41
Tennessee 119.4 12 33.3% 40 0.83 38 0.432 33 0.402 39 0.458 33 0.425 19 0.449 60
Mississippi State 119.1 13 28.6% 16 0.91 60 0.410 16 0.305 4 0.475 40 0.435 27 0.394 27
Texas 118.7 14 36.6% 72 0.78 24 0.449 46 0.470 75 0.420 21 0.463 52 0.430 52
Iowa 118.6 15 33.0% 38 0.81 35 0.425 29 0.317 9 0.492 51 0.468 54 0.335 13
Virginia Tech 118.5 16 28.4% 15 1.15 113 0.458 51 0.413 46 0.500 60 0.495 71 0.409 40
TCU 117.7 17 24.1% 5 0.60 5 0.313 3 0.324 12 0.303 3 0.333 3 0.277 3
Clemson 117.5 18 33.3% 40 1.05 98 0.476 68 0.561 121 0.360 8 0.541 96 0.423 46
Minnesota 117.0 19 35.5% 61 0.66 7 0.417 21 0.395 34 0.437 27 0.446 38 0.373 18
Nebraska 117.0 20 27.1% 9 0.80 31 0.376 7 0.385 33 0.380 10 0.372 5 0.433 53
Boise State 116.5 21 32.3% 37 1.01 93 0.459 52 0.310 6 0.531 85 0.444 35 0.482 75
Missouri 115.7 22 30.4% 26 0.97 82 0.436 39 0.450 66 0.425 22 0.480 60 0.378 20
Michigan State 115.6 23 29.1% 20 1.51 128 0.535 105 0.486 92 0.588 109 0.589 117 0.421 45
UCLA 115.2 24 31.0% 32 0.97 83 0.441 42 0.405 42 0.479 41 0.431 23 0.459 67
Oklahoma 114.6 25 20.0% 2 0.73 17 0.307 2 0.287 2 0.322 5 0.304 2 0.373 19
Team Def. S&P+ Rk Success Rate Rk IsoPPP Rk S&P Rk Rushing S&P Rk Passing S&P Rk Std. Downs S&P Rk Pass. Downs S&P Rk
Maryland 114.2 26 30.8% 30 0.88 54 0.423 27 0.364 22 0.485 45 0.427 21 0.426 48
USC 114.1 27 39.5% 84 0.99 90 0.515 91 0.542 117 0.470 39 0.569 112 0.396 28
Utah State 113.9 28 28.2% 13 0.81 33 0.387 10 0.341 15 0.407 18 0.441 33 0.307 7
Auburn 113.7 29 33.8% 49 1.09 105 0.488 74 0.411 44 0.593 110 0.543 98 0.436 54
Wake Forest 113.2 30 34.6% 51 0.73 16 0.423 28 0.379 30 0.461 34 0.440 31 0.407 37
BYU 112.3 31 30.8% 29 0.74 18 0.394 12 0.314 8 0.431 23 0.438 29 0.341 14
Hawaii 111.5 32 27.8% 10 1.15 112 0.453 48 0.398 36 0.510 71 0.456 48 0.474 72
California 111.0 33 29.6% 22 0.75 21 0.387 11 0.378 29 0.399 15 0.419 13 0.310 8
Georgia 110.9 34 38.0% 77 0.96 80 0.496 81 0.443 61 0.556 95 0.487 67 0.534 101
Northwestern 110.8 35 35.2% 57 0.93 68 0.468 61 0.403 40 0.551 94 0.450 41 0.510 92
Oregon State 110.3 36 25.7% 6 1.00 91 0.405 14 0.520 106 0.315 4 0.450 40 0.408 39
Indiana 109.9 37 33.8% 47 0.83 39 0.436 38 0.422 52 0.444 30 0.419 14 0.487 81
South Carolina 109.1 38 47.5% 124 0.93 70 0.567 117 0.537 113 0.593 111 0.578 115 0.539 105
Florida 109.0 39 32.0% 34 0.87 49 0.429 32 0.305 5 0.512 76 0.420 16 0.465 70
Wisconsin 108.8 40 29.3% 21 0.94 73 0.422 26 0.330 14 0.547 90 0.437 28 0.423 47
Miami 108.4 41 35.2% 59 0.69 10 0.420 23 0.357 20 0.490 49 0.459 50 0.352 15
Houston 108.3 42 39.6% 86 0.72 14 0.460 54 0.502 101 0.399 16 0.460 51 0.476 73
Ohio State 108.2 43 31.9% 33 0.90 59 0.435 37 0.455 68 0.401 17 0.455 47 0.415 42
Kent State 107.2 44 42.1% 102 0.90 55 0.516 93 0.407 43 0.648 121 0.508 75 0.616 125
Michigan 106.9 45 28.7% 17 0.95 77 0.420 24 0.312 7 0.484 44 0.486 66 0.290 4
Texas A&M 106.3 46 30.3% 25 0.90 57 0.422 25 0.359 21 0.486 48 0.422 17 0.481 74
Connecticut 106.3 47 35.7% 62 0.90 56 0.465 59 0.354 17 0.559 97 0.521 80 0.415 43
Baylor 106.1 48 15.1% 1 0.52 1 0.224 1 0.288 3 0.225 1 0.253 1 0.218 1
North Texas 106.0 49 40.3% 93 0.93 69 0.509 88 0.507 103 0.512 75 0.542 97 0.445 59
Wyoming 105.8 50 39.7% 89 0.86 46 0.489 75 0.482 88 0.496 56 0.549 101 0.318 10
Team Def. S&P+ Rk Success Rate Rk IsoPPP Rk S&P Rk Rushing S&P Rk Passing S&P Rk Std. Downs S&P Rk Pass. Downs S&P Rk
SMU 105.6 51 35.4% 60 1.23 116 0.528 101 0.474 82 0.612 115 0.568 110 0.451 62
Utah 105.1 52 28.7% 18 0.70 11 0.370 6 0.367 23 0.375 9 0.411 9 0.303 5
North Carolina 105.1 53 39.5% 84 0.85 45 0.487 73 0.476 85 0.496 55 0.477 59 0.514 93
Syracuse 104.1 54 35.9% 65 0.61 6 0.410 15 0.382 31 0.443 29 0.428 22 0.387 24
Vanderbilt 104.0 55 36.7% 73 0.94 74 0.482 71 0.372 26 0.561 99 0.474 56 0.532 98
Kansas 103.7 56 28.1% 12 1.25 119 0.475 66 0.432 56 0.510 70 0.393 8 0.563 113
Pittsburgh 103.4 57 28.4% 14 0.95 78 0.418 22 0.404 41 0.442 28 0.454 46 0.366 17
Northern Illinois 103.1 58 29.7% 23 1.06 101 0.450 47 0.355 18 0.507 66 0.425 18 0.489 82
Marshall 102.8 59 26.4% 8 0.75 20 0.362 5 0.317 10 0.409 19 0.419 15 0.272 2
Central Florida 102.7 60 45.1% 120 0.91 62 0.543 110 0.471 78 0.595 113 0.568 109 0.532 99
Navy 102.2 61 40.5% 96 0.76 23 0.477 69 0.471 77 0.504 64 0.481 62 0.484 78
Duke 102.2 62 36.4% 70 0.60 4 0.411 17 0.441 57 0.381 11 0.433 24 0.387 22
Washington 101.7 63 41.0% 98 0.81 34 0.489 76 0.448 64 0.526 82 0.515 78 0.455 65
Cincinnati 101.3 64 35.0% 55 0.97 87 0.474 63 0.488 96 0.468 38 0.457 49 0.516 94
Oregon 101.3 65 38.5% 79 0.78 25 0.465 57 0.424 54 0.494 54 0.493 69 0.455 64
Akron 100.9 66 33.7% 46 0.79 30 0.428 31 0.318 11 0.502 61 0.439 30 0.426 49
West Virginia 100.6 67 36.5% 71 0.95 76 0.482 70 0.471 79 0.494 53 0.528 86 0.393 26
Arizona 100.1 68 38.2% 78 0.78 28 0.463 56 0.400 38 0.517 78 0.483 65 0.449 61
Fresno State 99.8 69 43.0% 105 1.18 115 0.580 120 0.484 90 0.696 127 0.531 89 0.699 128
South Alabama 99.8 70 36.2% 68 1.00 92 0.490 77 0.460 71 0.520 80 0.443 34 0.543 107
East Carolina 99.8 71 37.8% 76 0.78 27 0.459 53 0.398 35 0.503 62 0.493 70 0.419 44
UL-Monroe 99.6 72 33.5% 44 0.83 41 0.435 36 0.425 55 0.444 31 0.435 26 0.443 58
Boston College 99.6 73 35.9% 64 0.94 71 0.474 64 0.413 45 0.530 84 0.451 42 0.551 110
Tulane 99.3 74 38.6% 81 0.93 65 0.494 79 0.493 98 0.498 59 0.526 84 0.430 51
Illinois 99.3 75 34.5% 50 0.96 79 0.467 60 0.422 51 0.518 79 0.464 53 0.486 79
Team Def. S&P+ Rk Success Rate Rk IsoPPP Rk S&P Rk Rushing S&P Rk Passing S&P Rk Std. Downs S&P Rk Pass. Downs S&P Rk
Louisiana Tech 99.2 76 34.8% 53 0.79 29 0.437 40 0.479 86 0.390 12 0.481 61 0.399 30
Kentucky 99.0 77 37.1% 74 0.75 22 0.448 45 0.442 60 0.466 37 0.453 45 0.493 86
Nevada 98.9 78 42.6% 104 0.84 43 0.509 87 0.518 105 0.504 63 0.560 104 0.379 21
Central Michigan 98.7 79 36.3% 69 0.72 13 0.433 35 0.441 58 0.435 25 0.453 44 0.401 32
South Florida 98.4 80 40.7% 97 0.87 50 0.499 83 0.486 94 0.509 68 0.523 83 0.498 88
Ball State 98.3 81 36.0% 66 0.84 42 0.455 49 0.356 19 0.511 73 0.490 68 0.404 33
Kansas State 98.2 82 38.5% 80 0.74 19 0.457 50 0.419 48 0.486 47 0.445 37 0.483 77
Arizona State 97.7 83 35.8% 63 0.87 52 0.461 55 0.451 67 0.481 42 0.451 43 0.492 83
Temple 97.4 84 42.2% 103 0.83 40 0.504 84 0.538 114 0.398 13 0.539 95 0.533 100
Florida International 97.4 85 30.5% 27 1.02 94 0.448 44 0.470 74 0.415 20 0.472 55 0.575 118
Washington State 97.4 86 40.1% 91 0.86 47 0.493 78 0.486 91 0.508 67 0.538 94 0.387 23
Texas Tech 96.2 87 44.5% 118 0.80 32 0.517 95 0.579 122 0.398 14 0.529 87 0.509 91
Colorado 96.1 88 40.5% 95 1.08 104 0.540 107 0.538 115 0.547 89 0.604 121 0.390 25
Miami (Ohio) 93.8 89 35.2% 56 1.17 114 0.516 92 0.476 84 0.557 96 0.557 103 0.438 55
Rice 93.7 90 50.5% 127 1.23 117 0.650 128 0.596 124 0.708 128 0.688 128 0.557 112
Arkansas State 93.6 91 33.5% 45 1.23 118 0.515 90 0.446 63 0.578 107 0.502 72 0.547 108
Iowa State 93.5 92 44.2% 114 0.87 51 0.528 99 0.541 116 0.510 72 0.562 105 0.458 66
Western Kentucky 93.5 93 43.3% 108 0.97 88 0.541 108 0.488 97 0.595 112 0.533 93 0.572 117
Ohio 93.4 94 38.8% 82 0.97 85 0.504 85 0.450 65 0.546 88 0.505 73 0.508 90
Purdue 92.6 95 43.4% 109 0.93 66 0.533 104 0.536 111 0.532 86 0.575 113 0.482 76
Rutgers 91.4 96 32.1% 36 1.06 100 0.469 62 0.385 32 0.511 74 0.440 32 0.535 102
Southern Miss 90.7 97 45.5% 121 1.10 109 0.584 121 0.590 123 0.578 106 0.626 123 0.407 38
Eastern Michigan 89.4 98 34.9% 54 1.10 107 0.499 82 0.503 102 0.497 57 0.483 64 0.540 106
Troy 89.1 99 44.5% 117 0.98 89 0.551 115 0.537 112 0.571 104 0.579 116 0.495 87
Toledo 88.4 100 43.6% 110 1.10 108 0.569 118 0.422 53 0.665 124 0.563 106 0.590 121
Team Def. S&P+ Rk Success Rate Rk IsoPPP Rk S&P Rk Rushing S&P Rk Passing S&P Rk Std. Downs S&P Rk Pass. Downs S&P Rk
Georgia Tech 88.3 101 39.6% 88 1.08 102 0.532 102 0.523 107 0.549 93 0.513 76 0.579 119
Tulsa 88.0 102 44.4% 115 1.35 124 0.626 127 0.622 126 0.631 118 0.663 127 0.569 116
Arkansas 87.9 103 43.1% 107 0.90 58 0.525 98 0.481 87 0.562 101 0.523 82 0.565 115
N.C. State 87.8 104 39.8% 90 0.96 81 0.511 89 0.465 72 0.562 100 0.519 79 0.501 89
Colorado State 87.5 105 43.0% 106 0.86 48 0.517 94 0.476 83 0.560 98 0.532 92 0.492 85
Buffalo 87.2 106 37.8% 75 1.36 125 0.573 119 0.498 100 0.670 125 0.531 90 0.665 127
Bowling Green 86.9 107 50.6% 128 0.92 63 0.589 122 0.516 104 0.638 119 0.620 122 0.523 97
San Diego State 86.8 108 41.6% 101 0.71 12 0.475 67 0.422 50 0.529 83 0.482 63 0.461 68
UNLV 86.5 109 46.1% 122 0.94 72 0.557 116 0.488 95 0.649 123 0.577 114 0.537 104
Western Michigan 86.2 110 33.3% 40 1.14 111 0.495 80 0.473 81 0.514 77 0.505 74 0.492 84
UAB 86.1 111 36.1% 67 0.93 64 0.474 65 0.460 70 0.504 65 0.529 88 0.404 35
Air Force 86.0 112 30.9% 31 1.09 106 0.465 58 0.441 59 0.491 50 0.474 57 0.453 63
Georgia Southern 84.9 113 43.6% 110 0.88 53 0.525 97 0.495 99 0.570 103 0.532 91 0.552 111
Massachusetts 84.5 114 44.5% 116 0.81 36 0.518 96 0.483 89 0.568 102 0.543 99 0.462 69
Middle Tennessee 84.2 115 41.1% 99 1.06 99 0.541 109 0.486 93 0.586 108 0.526 85 0.586 120
Army 83.9 116 48.0% 126 0.72 15 0.528 100 0.551 120 0.520 81 0.543 100 0.612 124
Florida Atlantic 83.2 117 47.9% 125 1.08 103 0.599 125 0.647 128 0.575 105 0.599 120 0.603 122
New Mexico 82.3 118 44.0% 113 1.29 120 0.609 126 0.627 127 0.597 114 0.639 124 0.522 96
Memphis 81.6 119 39.6% 87 0.94 75 0.506 86 0.457 69 0.547 91 0.565 108 0.328 12
UL-Lafayette 81.4 120 33.0% 39 1.42 127 0.547 113 0.470 76 0.615 116 0.563 107 0.549 109
UTEP 81.4 121 40.2% 92 1.12 110 0.546 112 0.547 118 0.548 92 0.640 125 0.313 9
San Jose State 80.8 122 44.6% 119 0.97 84 0.550 114 0.601 125 0.483 43 0.591 118 0.535 103
New Mexico State 79.7 123 46.6% 123 0.82 37 0.537 106 0.534 110 0.543 87 0.553 102 0.519 95
Idaho 79.0 124 40.5% 94 1.35 123 0.594 124 0.549 119 0.648 122 0.596 119 0.605 123
Old Dominion 77.1 125 39.2% 83 0.85 44 0.484 72 0.472 80 0.497 58 0.521 81 0.430 50
Appalachian State 76.5 126 41.3% 100 1.31 121 0.591 123 0.524 109 0.673 126 0.662 126 0.487 80
Georgia State 75.5 127 44.0% 112 0.91 61 0.533 103 0.445 62 0.640 120 0.568 111 0.443 57
Texas State 72.0 128 33.8% 47 1.37 126 0.544 111 0.524 108 0.618 117 0.514 77 0.647 126