Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2009 NCAA S&P+ RATINGS, DEFENSE

through games of 1/7/10

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 preventing 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 defense allows 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 Offense 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 164.2 178.1 1 132.6 5 151.8 6 128.2 7 145.4 5 155.5 3 -1.830 1
2 Texas 150.8 129.3 10 115.9 16 166.1 3 129.8 6 129.2 13 181.0 1 -1.757 4
3 Oklahoma 159.3 152.1 3 123.7 10 166.2 2 123.8 12 148.4 4 151.1 4 -1.252 15
4 Penn State 155.6 176.6 2 112.8 22 140.7 9 117.1 17 129.3 12 125.6 16 -1.474 7
5 Alabama 142.1 125.4 17 136.9 3 144.7 7 132.7 3 151.2 3 163.2 2 -1.811 2
6 Nebraska 149.4 132.0 7 133.1 4 154.7 4 125.2 11 154.7 1 146.9 5 -1.100 21
7 Virginia Tech 135.3 139.7 5 120.6 11 108.4 38 105.7 44 129.0 14 135.5 10 -1.349 10
8 Air Force 136.3 142.9 4 107.9 37 132.7 12 109.4 33 120.4 20 123.6 19 -1.260 14
9 TCU 136.0 124.1 20 137.8 2 138.9 10 140.7 1 141.1 6 138.8 8 -1.652 6
10 Iowa 134.1 128.7 12 139.0 1 122.8 17 117.6 15 153.2 2 132.9 12 -0.996 25
11 South Carolina 126.5 126.6 16 112.2 24 152.5 5 112.8 28 133.9 8 129.1 14 -0.724 47
12 Oklahoma State 122.8 129.4 9 115.3 18 124.6 16 114.1 22 119.1 22 124.6 18 -0.830 38
13 BYU 124.1 123.0 21 105.6 42 116.3 22 108.5 35 112.0 31 131.0 13 -1.743 5
14 Boise State 128.1 106.9 46 106.1 41 176.0 1 116.7 19 132.3 10 146.6 6 -1.800 3
15 Boston College 122.9 127.0 15 109.9 33 124.9 15 131.9 4 106.1 40 124.7 17 -0.981 27
16 Oregon 118.7 112.9 34 125.7 9 116.0 23 125.8 10 119.7 21 138.7 9 -1.319 11
17 Ohio State 127.2 110.5 39 126.0 8 141.3 8 128.0 8 137.9 7 140.8 7 -1.362 9
18 North Carolina 126.3 128.4 13 116.9 12 134.1 11 117.3 16 128.8 15 120.6 25 -1.027 22
19 Texas Tech 121.7 127.5 14 111.0 26 114.6 25 98.6 66 123.2 19 121.2 24 -1.269 13
20 Texas A&M 118.4 130.9 8 96.1 72 108.3 39 95.8 77 101.5 52 114.3 36 -0.674 51
Rk Offense 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
21 Tennessee 119.2 129.3 11 112.8 21 110.3 34 109.2 34 117.6 23 115.2 35 -0.912 34
22 Arizona State 122.6 137.5 6 116.8 13 108.8 37 113.1 26 116.1 26 105.5 49 -0.494 65
23 LSU 113.4 108.0 41 127.5 7 119.2 21 126.4 9 123.9 18 133.6 11 -0.969 28
24 Arkansas 113.9 115.9 29 99.7 57 113.3 29 109.7 32 99.3 57 123.1 20 -1.279 12
25 USC 118.0 118.0 25 109.6 35 103.5 47 99.7 61 115.8 27 118.1 27 -0.703 50
26 Clemson 115.6 107.5 45 128.4 6 113.9 27 120.5 14 125.0 17 126.7 15 -1.008 23
27 Wisconsin 114.7 110.5 38 115.5 17 109.9 35 130.6 5 107.1 37 121.4 23 -1.157 19
28 Ole Miss 118.4 116.3 28 116.2 15 113.4 28 106.3 40 128.3 16 115.6 34 -1.213 17
29 Auburn 111.2 114.3 32 100.8 52 114.1 26 100.6 57 108.7 34 116.2 32 -0.884 36
30 Oregon State 116.4 125.2 18 109.9 32 91.0 91 105.9 43 102.2 49 103.4 56 -0.653 53
31 Arizona 112.7 114.8 31 114.8 19 95.6 75 98.8 63 116.6 25 112.3 39 -0.648 56
32 South Florida 113.5 115.0 30 108.6 36 109.2 36 106.4 39 111.4 32 111.3 40 -0.961 29
33 Purdue 110.3 106.5 49 110.8 28 120.2 19 98.0 68 132.8 9 119.8 26 -0.808 41
34 Pittsburgh 114.5 104.7 54 102.9 49 120.6 18 103.5 50 115.8 28 121.6 22 -1.181 18
35 Louisiana Tech 111.5 124.8 19 110.5 29 96.6 68 105.2 45 108.4 35 100.5 65 -0.600 59
36 Utah 112.5 102.0 59 116.3 14 129.6 13 113.4 25 130.1 11 123.1 20 -0.917 33
37 Miami 109.4 111.4 36 111.6 25 105.4 41 114.6 21 107.4 36 113.3 38 -0.784 42
38 Mississippi State 110.5 106.7 48 110.4 30 99.9 56 116.6 20 98.0 60 117.7 28 -0.319 77
39 Notre Dame 109.6 109.6 40 101.7 50 94.0 83 106.1 42 94.0 74 114.1 37 -0.589 60
40 Middle Tennessee 112.9 119.4 23 110.3 31 126.8 14 116.9 18 114.8 30 103.9 54 -0.946 31
Rk Offense 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
41 Michigan 109.2 121.0 22 100.1 55 103.5 46 95.5 80 106.0 42 101.5 62 -0.657 52
42 Navy 107.5 103.3 57 96.8 68 97.2 65 103.3 52 91.9 79 116.1 33 -1.229 16
43 Central Michigan 107.9 101.1 61 97.8 64 102.1 52 95.7 78 100.7 54 116.7 31 -1.434 8
44 Maryland 103.2 111.7 35 97.8 65 87.8 95 99.9 59 89.1 90 101.5 63 -0.266 83
45 Georgia 100.8 95.5 79 104.4 45 100.9 54 113.0 27 96.5 66 116.7 30 -1.002 24
46 Troy 106.7 105.5 51 102.9 48 119.8 20 111.4 31 105.8 43 106.5 47 -0.486 67
47 Rutgers 110.5 119.0 24 97.5 66 101.4 53 107.0 38 95.2 70 92.9 81 -0.726 46
48 Georgia Tech 103.1 99.4 66 96.2 71 85.4 103 88.7 101 94.1 73 110.6 42 -0.928 32
49 Washington 102.1 107.6 44 93.1 90 92.9 86 95.6 79 91.9 80 101.9 60 -0.297 81
50 SMU 104.9 113.1 33 94.6 82 96.0 71 98.1 67 91.0 82 94.3 76 -0.581 61
51 Northwestern 103.7 106.7 47 95.2 74 103.2 49 97.9 70 97.2 64 100.5 67 -0.732 44
52 Missouri 100.3 97.1 74 99.2 59 95.9 72 101.7 56 95.2 69 106.2 48 -0.575 62
53 Kansas State 103.1 116.6 27 90.9 101 86.5 97 91.1 93 86.2 100 86.3 101 +0.082 102
54 UCLA 103.2 97.4 71 107.4 39 104.4 45 106.2 41 106.0 41 105.1 50 -0.302 80
55 Illinois 99.3 107.9 42 96.3 70 97.1 66 91.0 94 97.3 62 94.3 75 -0.151 90
56 Colorado 98.5 92.0 85 106.7 40 105.1 42 107.8 36 103.5 47 110.1 44 -0.276 82
57 Syracuse 100.5 105.5 52 103.3 47 97.1 67 120.9 13 89.3 89 96.5 74 -0.372 74
58 Kentucky 99.7 96.8 77 100.2 54 91.8 89 102.2 53 92.5 76 105.1 50 -0.512 64
59 West Virginia 97.9 83.1 103 114.5 20 110.6 33 112.5 29 115.3 29 117.7 29 -0.889 35
60 N.C. State 98.8 104.0 55 79.8 118 95.8 73 81.2 115 86.8 97 96.5 73 -0.826 39
Rk Offense 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
61 Central Florida 103.7 102.4 58 111.0 27 102.5 51 137.5 2 95.6 67 98.1 68 -0.411 73
62 Connecticut 100.6 96.8 76 101.0 51 103.2 48 103.9 49 97.9 61 103.6 55 -0.652 54
63 Arkansas State 102.7 117.9 26 87.7 108 97.2 64 98.7 64 82.5 110 82.1 109 -0.222 87
64 East Carolina 104.4 97.3 72 100.3 53 115.3 24 104.3 48 106.5 38 102.6 59 -0.344 75
65 Wake Forest 96.4 88.9 95 98.5 62 105.1 43 95.0 81 109.3 33 110.8 41 -0.482 68
66 Michigan State 96.3 89.2 93 103.7 46 110.8 32 113.9 23 102.0 50 110.4 43 -0.641 57
67 Virginia 98.5 90.9 86 109.8 34 113.2 30 103.4 51 117.2 24 108.1 46 -0.344 76
68 Kansas 96.7 97.1 73 93.1 91 100.1 55 84.4 111 102.9 48 101.6 61 -0.573 63
69 Cincinnati 98.8 89.3 92 104.5 44 95.2 78 107.5 37 96.9 65 109.0 45 -1.101 20
70 Baylor 94.1 93.4 81 96.8 69 99.4 59 89.2 96 104.1 46 104.2 53 -0.002 97
71 UAB 98.7 104.7 53 92.2 95 86.5 98 99.9 60 84.7 103 92.1 83 -0.236 85
72 Fresno State 98.4 101.8 60 89.9 104 99.5 58 91.8 91 94.2 72 94.2 77 -0.740 43
73 Tulsa 101.0 106.2 50 98.8 61 95.0 79 100.5 58 92.0 78 89.1 89 -0.473 69
74 San Diego State 96.5 110.6 37 99.8 56 80.8 112 99.5 62 85.6 101 84.2 106 -0.200 88
75 Toledo 97.5 107.9 43 88.9 106 76.3 116 83.3 113 82.2 112 85.9 102 -0.490 66
76 Florida State 94.0 90.2 87 89.0 105 98.2 61 88.6 102 94.8 71 102.9 58 -0.231 86
77 Miami (Ohio) 91.7 98.0 70 90.9 100 112.3 31 84.1 112 105.1 44 92.9 82 +0.142 107
78 Nevada 96.2 93.3 82 105.3 43 83.7 108 113.4 24 91.2 81 97.4 70 -0.947 30
79 Vanderbilt 93.2 100.5 64 95.2 75 102.6 50 97.7 72 99.0 59 90.0 88 +0.141 106
80 Marshall 97.8 98.7 67 98.3 63 99.3 60 97.3 73 101.1 53 91.7 85 -0.135 91
Rk Offense 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
81 UL-Monroe 96.7 103.4 56 91.9 96 96.3 69 98.6 65 88.5 92 87.1 98 -0.609 58
82 Bowling Green 94.3 89.0 94 95.0 76 107.0 40 88.2 103 104.6 45 100.5 65 -0.308 79
83 Temple 96.6 95.2 80 94.6 81 84.6 106 101.8 55 83.5 107 93.3 79 -0.811 40
84 Army 96.3 99.6 65 99.0 60 78.6 115 94.4 83 85.5 102 88.2 94 -0.312 78
85 California 92.6 90.0 88 94.7 80 97.5 63 112.3 30 87.7 95 97.5 69 -0.650 55
86 San Jose State 90.9 100.5 63 93.9 88 88.2 94 85.8 107 100.2 55 86.6 100 +0.688 115
87 Duke 93.8 98.6 68 92.8 92 81.6 110 87.3 104 89.8 87 88.3 92 +0.002 98
88 Northern Illinois 97.2 92.8 84 95.8 73 88.6 93 97.0 74 89.9 86 93.1 80 -0.718 48
89 Minnesota 91.3 81.5 108 112.2 23 91.3 90 104.8 46 106.3 39 104.4 52 -0.118 93
90 Washington State 88.0 100.7 62 80.5 117 92.1 88 80.3 117 82.7 109 85.1 105 +0.955 118
91 Buffalo 92.3 88.1 96 90.2 103 104.6 44 84.5 110 97.3 63 96.6 72 -0.862 37
92 Hawaii 91.9 95.8 78 83.5 114 93.1 85 89.2 97 80.1 115 86.9 99 +0.135 105
93 UTEP 91.2 93.0 83 93.7 89 81.1 111 86.8 105 88.4 93 88.3 92 -0.419 72
94 UL-Lafayette 88.8 98.1 69 94.7 78 71.3 119 89.1 99 80.3 114 80.7 112 -0.121 92
95 Wyoming 85.8 76.7 113 94.7 79 99.8 57 92.6 90 99.4 56 101.3 64 +0.089 103
96 Louisville 86.4 85.0 101 92.3 94 92.7 87 94.2 85 87.2 96 91.6 86 +0.006 99
97 Rice 87.9 96.9 75 87.4 110 84.9 105 94.3 84 78.4 116 79.3 116 +0.987 119
98 Iowa State 87.4 84.7 102 82.8 115 86.3 100 88.9 100 76.4 118 91.2 87 -0.184 89
99 Ohio 87.1 69.1 119 107.5 38 96.3 70 104.4 47 101.6 51 103.3 57 -0.726 45
100 Houston 87.6 78.1 112 87.4 109 82.0 109 85.8 108 83.0 108 93.7 78 -0.989 26
Rk Offense 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 Kent State 86.6 85.9 100 94.1 85 90.7 92 94.0 86 90.9 83 85.4 104 -0.451 71
102 New Mexico 82.7 82.3 105 94.5 83 87.2 96 93.7 87 89.9 85 88.6 91 +0.581 114
103 Akron 85.0 86.9 98 97.1 67 80.4 113 89.2 98 90.5 84 83.8 107 -0.094 94
104 North Texas 86.4 89.9 89 84.2 112 85.6 102 82.9 114 83.9 105 80.4 113 -0.063 95
105 Florida International 85.7 82.8 104 90.7 102 94.7 80 89.4 95 92.4 77 87.5 97 +0.296 111
106 Southern Miss 87.7 82.0 107 93.9 87 93.4 84 97.7 71 89.7 88 87.8 95 -0.718 49
107 Tulane 83.4 89.5 91 91.8 98 67.7 120 81.1 116 81.8 113 80.3 114 +0.712 116
108 Indiana 85.0 78.9 110 91.9 97 95.2 77 96.1 76 86.6 98 89.0 90 +0.124 104
109 Western Michigan 86.9 87.7 97 84.3 111 86.3 99 84.9 109 83.5 106 80.0 115 -0.036 96
110 Florida Atlantic 84.6 89.5 90 76.9 119 74.9 117 76.7 119 74.2 120 77.0 119 +0.246 109
111 New Mexico State 82.3 86.8 99 99.5 58 94.4 81 95.0 82 99.0 58 78.5 117 +0.953 117
112 Colorado State 80.4 72.5 115 92.3 93 94.1 82 91.2 92 93.8 75 91.9 84 +0.011 100
113 Stanford 81.7 65.0 120 91.5 99 85.8 101 93.4 89 84.6 104 97.0 71 -0.471 70
114 Utah State 82.5 79.5 109 94.1 86 97.6 62 93.5 88 95.4 68 81.7 111 +0.189 108
115 Memphis 80.7 78.7 111 94.2 84 95.2 76 97.9 69 89.0 91 81.9 110 +0.273 110
116 UNLV 79.4 72.3 117 84.0 113 95.6 74 85.9 106 86.5 99 87.5 96 +0.365 112
117 Ball State 80.3 75.6 114 94.8 77 85.1 104 101.9 54 82.2 111 83.8 107 +0.050 101
118 Idaho 78.6 69.3 118 88.6 107 79.8 114 96.1 75 77.6 117 85.8 103 -0.251 84
119 Eastern Michigan 78.2 82.1 106 76.3 120 84.6 107 70.6 120 88.2 94 72.8 120 +1.073 120
120 Western Kentucky 76.1 72.3 116 81.3 116 74.1 118 79.2 118 75.4 119 77.2 118 +0.561 113