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SP+ Rankings, Despite Concerns Analytics Say OSU Better Than Expected

+9 HS
Spartan13's picture
October 25, 2020 at 12:43pm

First SP+ rankings after an OSU game and to me it is pretty surprising to see OSU actually outperformed SP+'s very high expectations. I was guessing there would be a drop in points and maybe even out of the top spot. I was very wrong, SP+ total score for OSU improved by 1.6 points mostly because of how incredible the passing game was. I thought OSU would drop for a couple reasons, first SP+ started them incredibly high you have to be near perfect to keep that rating. Offensively I thought it was an average performance on the ground without many explosive plays which would be a negative. Defensively it seemed at first there were relatively few havoc plays and Nebraska was able to get multiple first downs each time they had the ball and fumbles ended a few drives. However, the passing game was just so silly that the offense gained so many points and that the overall rating went up despite the defense dropping almost a full point(.9) The offense went up 2.5 points after just one game. Nebraska was projected to have the 17th best offense in the country by SP+ so that really wasnt too poor of a performance for being the first game. OSU has a pretty big 4.6 point lead over 2nd place Clemson. OSU is at 31.8.

Other notes

  • Clemson is 2nd at 27.2 seeing a small drop this week in total points. Bama is at 26.8, they had been reliant on Jaylen Waddle offensively so it will be worth watching to see what kind of drop off they see offensively. OSU should jump them for top offense soon.
  • Wisconsin is legit. They gained almost 4 points mostly from a similar performance as OSU had. They were ok on the ground and the defense was good but Illinois is much worse than Nebraska offensively. The added points from the passing game on offense was just incredible. Wisconsin is clearly the 4th best team with over a 3 point lead on #5 Georgia. The Big Ten could have 2 teams make the playoffs. 
  • PSU dropped 3 points and only from 5th to 8th. SP+ gave them a 95% chance to win the game. They are still a very good team and please dont start saying they suck. They will likely end the year as a top 12 team and are a very good opponent. 
  • Michigan also had a huge rise. They gained almost 5 points and are up to 9th. As expected its almost entirely because of how good the offense was but their defense also improved. I think the Big Ten is pretty loaded this year actually. Wisconsin and Michigan are legit top 10 teams, PSU is top 15 and Minnesota, Nebraska, and Indiana should be very solid as well. 
  • Cincy is coming up to the big boy table after stomping SMU. They are 12th overall but have the 4th best defense(higher than OSU!) They have a lot of good teams left on the schedule but an undefeated season could is on the table. 
  • OSU scheduled team rankings: Nebraska(42) PSU(8th) Rutgers(83) Maryland(99) Indiana(25) Illinois(75) Michigan State(60) Michigan(9) Wisconsin(4). In the next 8 weeks OSU plays 3 top 10 teams and another top 25 team. Thats not an easy schedule. Michigan/Wisconsin back to back could be brutal. 


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