Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2010 NCAA S&P+ RATINGS, DEFENSE

through games of 1/10/11

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 Boise State 175.0 144.9 1 150.7 1 126.8 14 132.6 4 152.3 2 232.7 1 -2.769 1
2 Ohio State 144.0 132.6 3 129.7 4 140.0 3 127.2 6 142.7 3 154.2 3 -1.796 8
3 Oregon 131.6 116.4 16 110.1 35 127.2 12 112.2 23 118.8 20 169.2 2 -2.083 4
4 TCU 141.8 137.3 2 130.6 2 139.6 4 113.2 20 165.7 1 144.4 8 -2.264 2
5 Alabama 135.3 121.9 6 115.0 19 143.2 1 119.2 14 128.7 8 149.6 5 -1.824 7
6 Stanford 128.9 113.8 24 119.2 13 101.1 56 111.3 24 112.9 30 151.3 4 -2.088 3
7 Texas A&M 125.2 118.0 13 120.7 10 117.0 26 119.5 13 118.8 19 146.6 6 -1.375 13
8 Oklahoma 124.2 117.4 14 110.2 34 140.1 2 117.5 16 123.6 13 145.8 7 -1.003 29
9 Nebraska 124.7 122.9 5 114.9 20 134.7 5 107.3 37 137.3 4 134.2 13 -1.253 18
10 Notre Dame 123.9 121.6 7 123.4 5 131.4 7 122.0 12 132.6 5 130.1 16 -0.706 54
11 Oklahoma State 121.0 112.5 28 121.0 8 96.6 72 116.3 17 108.6 41 138.8 10 -1.344 14
12 South Carolina 121.0 118.4 11 129.8 3 115.7 28 135.2 3 119.1 18 131.9 15 -0.740 52
13 LSU 123.0 117.0 15 116.0 18 124.4 16 107.4 36 127.4 12 132.4 14 -0.966 34
14 West Virginia 128.5 126.8 4 120.1 12 121.0 20 122.9 10 121.6 14 122.3 23 -1.322 15
15 Arkansas 118.6 110.2 33 114.0 23 109.8 35 108.1 34 118.2 21 137.5 11 -1.254 17
16 Missouri 121.0 113.0 27 117.8 14 101.0 58 95.3 76 129.0 6 134.7 12 -1.078 25
17 Auburn 115.1 106.9 44 107.4 41 116.1 27 115.9 18 110.8 37 139.7 9 -1.432 12
18 Miami 118.3 119.6 9 121.7 7 121.3 19 114.2 19 128.3 10 121.3 24 -0.750 48
19 Utah 116.2 111.7 29 113.2 24 106.9 43 142.2 1 99.2 59 127.9 18 -1.258 16
20 Wisconsin 118.3 113.6 25 112.2 29 113.6 31 105.7 45 119.3 17 125.8 19 -1.872 6
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 Illinois 116.3 114.8 23 111.9 30 132.9 6 123.2 9 115.3 27 122.8 22 -1.078 26
22 Mississippi State 114.2 116.3 18 120.3 11 122.1 17 123.9 8 120.3 16 120.3 27 -0.873 41
23 Virginia Tech 114.0 108.1 40 111.3 32 109.6 37 97.9 65 121.3 15 128.3 17 -1.089 24
24 Iowa 116.1 115.8 19 110.5 33 129.8 11 117.9 15 118.1 22 120.0 28 -0.933 37
25 Arizona 113.5 116.4 17 122.6 6 109.5 38 122.0 11 115.8 26 119.3 29 -0.967 33
26 N.C. State 117.6 108.4 39 105.5 44 111.5 33 110.4 26 107.5 44 125.5 21 -0.899 38
27 Clemson 115.1 118.4 12 117.6 16 119.5 22 127.1 7 109.2 39 113.8 34 -0.636 58
28 Florida 112.8 113.6 26 114.7 21 113.5 32 112.5 22 116.3 25 117.7 30 -0.984 31
29 Michigan State 113.8 109.3 37 117.2 17 97.1 69 108.5 31 113.0 29 121.2 26 -1.216 21
30 Florida State 112.1 108.4 38 109.0 39 103.7 51 103.3 52 111.9 33 121.2 25 -1.218 20
31 Texas 113.7 120.4 8 117.6 15 130.8 8 112.6 21 128.5 9 109.1 45 -0.654 57
32 Hawaii 111.5 103.9 53 106.2 43 91.7 86 107.0 41 96.4 69 125.6 20 -1.714 9
33 Boston College 115.8 119.4 10 120.9 9 110.8 34 136.9 2 108.2 42 110.1 42 -0.226 84
34 BYU 113.0 115.5 22 108.6 40 127.1 13 105.8 44 128.8 7 110.6 38 -0.747 50
35 Pittsburgh 112.8 111.0 30 112.4 26 102.8 53 101.3 56 116.4 24 113.9 33 -1.097 23
36 Maryland 110.7 111.0 31 111.4 31 108.2 40 108.4 32 112.8 31 112.8 36 -1.156 22
37 California 110.3 115.5 21 112.4 28 130.6 9 107.2 38 128.0 11 107.0 49 -0.556 62
38 Georgia 111.8 110.4 32 109.1 38 114.9 29 110.6 25 107.9 43 110.3 41 -0.682 56
39 Oregon State 106.6 106.3 45 113.1 25 109.1 39 108.2 33 111.5 35 114.3 32 -0.165 88
40 North Carolina 107.6 105.5 49 106.8 42 105.0 46 107.2 39 105.3 48 114.8 31 -0.967 32
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 SMU 108.4 109.6 35 100.7 55 130.6 10 106.2 43 111.2 36 110.5 40 -0.746 51
42 Arizona State 108.8 110.0 34 109.4 37 109.8 36 130.0 5 95.3 75 109.5 43 -0.751 47
43 Central Florida 114.3 115.6 20 104.1 46 121.8 18 105.7 46 114.2 28 102.7 57 -0.940 36
44 San Diego State 107.6 104.1 52 101.4 52 93.2 82 101.7 55 99.2 60 112.1 37 -1.451 11
45 USC 104.1 102.4 56 101.1 53 114.6 30 99.6 61 106.8 46 113.6 35 -0.414 72
46 Penn State 106.0 107.4 42 102.8 50 126.7 15 105.2 49 112.6 32 108.2 48 -0.363 74
47 South Florida 107.7 109.6 36 114.2 22 93.6 81 108.7 30 104.1 49 105.3 51 -0.773 46
48 Nevada 104.0 104.2 51 91.6 95 119.5 23 93.8 84 102.1 52 109.4 44 -1.625 10
49 Tennessee 103.4 101.9 58 104.1 47 96.4 75 97.9 66 105.6 47 110.6 38 -0.821 42
50 Air Force 102.8 103.1 55 99.2 61 104.0 50 93.1 85 107.5 45 108.6 46 -1.252 19
51 Fresno State 103.4 105.6 47 112.4 27 96.5 74 94.0 82 117.0 23 105.1 53 -0.468 70
52 Northern Illinois 106.4 100.5 60 93.2 87 98.6 66 100.6 58 92.9 78 108.6 46 -1.897 5
53 Purdue 102.4 108.1 41 109.8 36 105.9 44 109.1 28 109.6 38 100.6 61 -0.030 93
54 Colorado 98.8 97.8 67 99.6 59 99.9 61 109.8 27 91.4 84 106.6 50 -0.276 79
55 Texas Tech 98.7 99.6 64 97.1 68 107.1 42 105.7 47 96.6 68 104.1 55 -0.523 66
56 Syracuse 103.5 106.2 46 100.4 56 105.7 45 103.7 51 100.6 55 96.8 70 -0.951 35
57 Southern Miss 104.8 105.5 48 97.6 65 117.0 25 106.5 42 101.8 53 96.9 69 -0.749 49
58 UCLA 99.2 99.7 63 97.4 66 119.2 24 92.7 89 111.8 34 102.1 58 +0.206 105
59 Ole Miss 98.5 97.5 69 104.4 45 89.9 91 100.9 57 99.6 58 104.0 56 -0.311 78
60 Washington 97.9 96.2 75 95.0 74 103.1 52 97.4 69 96.0 71 105.3 52 +0.039 97
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 Louisville 103.4 104.9 50 96.2 71 120.2 21 96.6 70 108.7 40 96.5 74 -0.713 53
62 Iowa State 96.7 96.6 73 96.2 70 98.6 65 97.6 67 92.4 81 104.7 54 +0.088 99
63 Connecticut 100.3 99.7 62 97.2 67 102.5 54 99.5 62 97.3 64 99.0 63 -0.502 68
64 Toledo 98.4 102.0 57 101.7 51 96.7 71 95.8 72 104.1 50 96.6 72 -0.575 61
65 Marshall 95.8 103.3 54 101.1 54 104.0 49 105.2 50 101.1 54 94.2 79 -0.243 82
66 Navy 96.4 96.7 72 94.0 81 98.8 64 95.4 75 92.7 79 98.3 64 -0.802 43
67 Baylor 95.1 93.3 85 90.5 98 91.4 87 95.5 74 87.4 101 101.6 59 -0.591 60
68 Kentucky 97.0 97.8 68 94.4 78 104.9 47 94.9 79 99.8 56 96.5 73 -0.525 65
69 Arkansas State 96.1 92.7 87 89.8 101 102.3 55 91.1 93 92.4 80 101.4 60 -0.882 40
70 Tulsa 97.5 95.3 79 94.0 80 94.1 79 100.1 60 89.5 91 98.2 65 -0.887 39
71 Cincinnati 95.3 92.9 86 89.7 102 94.3 77 107.0 40 79.5 116 99.2 62 -0.780 45
72 Troy 97.2 94.5 82 88.5 105 101.0 57 86.2 104 96.2 70 97.4 67 -0.791 44
73 Georgia Tech 96.4 93.9 83 94.4 77 91.1 89 95.1 77 91.2 85 98.0 66 -0.402 73
74 Louisiana Tech 93.9 96.4 74 95.8 72 99.5 63 93.9 83 98.6 61 94.9 77 +0.045 98
75 Temple 98.1 98.6 65 94.1 79 89.1 92 94.3 81 88.9 95 92.2 83 -0.995 30
76 Vanderbilt 94.2 98.0 66 100.3 57 99.9 62 101.8 54 97.1 66 92.6 82 +0.111 100
77 Utah State 92.1 96.9 70 96.3 69 100.9 59 86.9 101 102.6 51 92.8 81 +0.237 106
78 Miami (Ohio) 97.1 99.7 61 103.6 48 85.6 103 95.9 71 98.0 63 89.9 91 -0.541 63
79 Houston 95.7 92.7 88 99.4 60 74.0 120 88.8 98 90.3 89 96.7 71 -1.044 28
80 UL-Monroe 92.9 96.1 76 97.8 64 92.0 84 94.9 80 95.8 72 93.2 80 -0.223 85
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 Michigan 92.5 91.6 95 93.8 83 87.1 98 95.7 73 86.5 103 96.4 75 -0.440 71
82 Florida International 95.8 95.5 77 90.1 99 97.6 67 86.0 106 97.0 67 92.2 84 -0.477 69
83 UAB 93.5 96.8 71 99.9 58 86.6 100 92.3 91 97.3 65 90.3 89 -0.349 76
84 Idaho 92.0 92.4 91 93.5 86 87.3 97 84.9 108 95.4 73 94.6 78 -0.604 59
85 Minnesota 91.1 89.5 104 94.9 75 84.8 106 100.1 59 82.5 110 97.1 68 -0.067 91
86 Kansas State 93.2 89.4 105 93.6 84 76.7 117 86.6 103 88.8 96 96.1 76 -0.536 64
87 Kent State 96.1 107.3 43 103.3 49 91.9 85 107.7 35 95.4 74 78.1 115 -0.348 77
88 Rutgers 94.1 92.7 89 91.7 93 97.2 68 103.1 53 82.9 109 92.2 84 -0.025 95
89 Ohio 93.8 93.7 84 93.9 82 76.5 118 90.3 95 84.4 107 89.5 92 -1.047 27
90 Duke 92.2 91.3 97 99.0 62 81.2 113 99.3 63 84.9 106 91.1 86 +0.257 107
91 Wake Forest 89.2 91.9 94 86.0 110 107.2 41 91.2 92 91.7 83 90.2 90 +0.164 103
92 Buffalo 92.3 100.7 59 98.2 63 94.1 78 105.4 48 89.5 93 81.4 110 -0.049 92
93 Army 94.9 94.6 81 95.2 73 88.8 93 92.5 90 93.6 77 87.0 98 -0.183 87
94 Western Michigan 95.2 95.4 78 92.2 89 87.9 95 92.8 88 87.7 99 86.0 101 -0.704 55
95 Northwestern 90.3 92.2 92 88.5 104 96.8 70 83.5 111 98.5 62 88.2 95 -0.068 90
96 East Carolina 91.7 89.7 103 91.6 94 87.5 96 88.9 97 91.2 86 90.4 88 -0.240 83
97 Central Michigan 91.6 91.5 96 88.5 106 91.0 90 90.7 94 88.7 97 87.6 96 -0.351 75
98 UL-Lafayette 89.1 92.2 93 92.1 90 91.3 88 93.0 86 89.1 94 86.3 100 +0.159 102
99 Indiana 88.9 87.3 111 86.7 109 86.7 99 94.9 78 80.7 113 90.7 87 -0.264 81
100 Florida Atlantic 87.9 92.5 90 89.0 103 93.7 80 89.9 96 88.0 98 84.2 105 +0.188 104
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 Tulane 89.9 90.9 98 92.5 88 82.9 108 80.4 116 99.8 57 85.6 103 -0.200 86
102 Western Kentucky 89.2 90.6 100 84.0 112 104.3 48 80.2 117 94.9 76 85.5 104 +0.130 101
103 Virginia 87.7 88.9 106 92.0 91 81.1 114 86.2 105 89.5 92 86.8 99 -0.264 80
104 San Jose State 84.9 87.0 112 90.0 100 85.8 102 85.0 107 90.7 88 88.4 94 +0.682 113
105 Washington State 83.8 85.8 114 86.9 108 96.4 76 84.0 110 92.3 82 88.7 93 +0.619 111
106 Wyoming 84.7 90.5 101 91.9 92 86.6 101 86.6 102 90.7 87 83.6 108 +0.395 110
107 Rice 88.2 89.9 102 94.5 76 85.5 104 108.8 29 80.3 114 83.1 109 +0.330 109
108 Kansas 83.8 88.8 107 91.1 96 81.3 112 92.9 87 82.1 111 83.9 106 +0.699 114
109 Colorado State 83.5 86.3 113 88.2 107 80.8 115 84.2 109 85.1 105 85.8 102 +0.657 112
110 Middle Tennessee 89.6 94.7 80 93.5 85 81.4 111 87.2 100 87.5 100 77.1 116 -0.511 67
111 North Texas 87.9 90.9 99 85.9 111 92.6 83 88.5 99 85.2 104 80.7 112 -0.029 94
112 Bowling Green 84.7 87.7 109 82.6 114 100.4 60 81.3 113 89.7 90 81.2 111 +0.309 108
113 Memphis 84.1 88.0 108 91.0 97 83.6 107 97.5 68 81.1 112 80.5 113 +0.825 117
114 New Mexico 81.7 84.0 117 81.2 116 96.5 73 79.2 118 86.5 102 83.7 107 +0.802 116
115 UNLV 80.2 79.2 119 81.7 115 82.6 109 82.5 112 77.5 117 87.4 97 +0.721 115
116 UTEP 83.3 84.4 116 78.8 119 82.3 110 75.5 120 80.2 115 77.1 116 -0.110 89
117 New Mexico State 79.0 82.2 118 79.0 118 88.7 94 77.9 119 83.0 108 78.2 114 +1.092 120
118 Akron 81.4 87.3 110 84.0 113 85.0 105 98.6 64 74.4 119 72.4 119 +0.833 118
119 Ball State 80.9 85.5 115 80.0 117 80.8 116 81.1 114 77.0 118 70.8 120 +0.014 96
120 Eastern Michigan 77.6 77.8 120 77.1 120 76.2 119 81.0 115 70.8 120 73.1 118 +0.980 119