The college football season began with Manny Diaz losing to Florida on national television.
It was a great way to kick things off.
I’ve been reading a lot about college ball this week, and ESPN has some interesting stories involving a still somewhat new projection model they’ve been using called SP+, which was created by Bill Connelly at Football Outsiders in 2008. He says SP+, in simple terms, is a “tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency,” which is boiled down to these three main factors:
Recent history: I use a weighted five-year history as a way of gauging program health. For most programs, what they have done of late is what they will most likely do moving forward.
Returning production: Instead of using returning starters, I created a formula for returning production based on which units seem to have the most effect on a team’s improvement or regression. As it turns out, continuity at quarterback, receiver and the secondary is far more impactful on SP+ rating the next year than continuity in other units. Accordingly, turnover in those areas takes on heavier weight.
Recent recruiting: Returning production measures what a program lost, and a two-year recruiting average fills in the gaps on what kind of talent and athleticism it has acquired to replace the lost producers.
Ok. I’m sold. I’m interested in SP+.
Connelly and ESPN used this metric to list each Division 1 program from one to 130, and Temple actually ranks pretty admirably, after the jump: