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How has S&P+ performed, team by team?

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Which teams does S&P+ have a particularly strong read on? Particularly weak?

Army v Oklahoma Photo by Brett Deering/Getty Images

Through nine weeks and change, S&P+ has performed very well, both against the spread (55 percent) and absolute error (about 13 points per game). That would grade out extremely well if S&P+ were part of The Prediction Tracker.

That said, it’s nailed some teams more than others, and two-thirds of the way through the season, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at how S&P+ has performed, team by team. Which ones has it had a read on all year? Which ones have repeatedly defied expectations?

S&P+ results by team

Team Games (vs. FBS) ATS % Avg Pt Diff
Team Games (vs. FBS) ATS % Avg Pt Diff
Air Force 8 (7) 57% 12.1
Akron 8 (7) 100% -1.1
Alabama 8 (8) 63% 12.2
Appalachian State 7 (6) 67% 4.5
Arizona 9 (8) 50% 2.6
Arizona State 8 (8) 50% 3.3
Arkansas 9 (8) 50% -7.2
Arkansas State 8 (7) 71% -2.5
Army 8 (8) 25% 18.0
Auburn 8 (7) 57% -5.1
Ball State 10 (9) 78% -1.8
Baylor 8 (7) 57% -7.3
Boise State 8 (8) 63% -0.9
Boston College 8 (7) 50% 0.5
Bowling Green 9 (8) 63% -4.4
Buffalo 9 (8) 63% -1.6
BYU 8 (7) 57% 5.4
California 8 (7) 79% -1.8
Central Florida 8 (7) 71% 0.2
Central Michigan 9 (8) 63% -0.1
Charlotte 8 (7) 43% 3.9
Cincinnati 8 (7) 57% 4.5
Clemson 8 (7) 71% 8.2
Coastal Carolina 8 (7) 14% 0.1
Colorado 8 (7) 71% 2.9
Colorado State 9 (8) 25% -6.4
Connecticut 8 (7) 79% -1.2
Duke 8 (7) 57% -4.2
East Carolina 7 (6) 67% 3.2
Eastern Michigan 9 (8) 63% -0.2
Florida 8 (7) 43% 3.7
Florida Atlantic 8 (7) 43% -10.8
Florida International 8 (7) 71% 9.9
Florida State 8 (7) 57% -6.4
Fresno State 8 (7) 71% 11.2
Georgia 8 (7) 43% -0.5
Georgia Southern 8 (7) 57% 9.5
Georgia State 8 (7) 57% 0.8
Georgia Tech 8 (7) 71% 3.8
Hawaii 10 (9) 44% 2.0
Houston 8 (7) 71% 2.5
Illinois 8 (7) 29% -2.5
Indiana 9 (9) 67% -4.0
Iowa 8 (7) 57% 7.4
Iowa State 7 (7) 43% 11.0
Kansas 8 (7) 71% 7.1
Kansas State 8 (7) 43% 5.0
Kent State 9 (8) 88% -1.8
Kentucky 8 (7) 43% 6.7
Liberty 7 (6) 33% -0.8
Louisiana Tech 8 (7) 57% 2.3
Louisville 8 (7) 71% -13.8
LSU 8 (7) 57% 6.3
Marshall 7 (6) 50% -3.1
Maryland 8 (8) 50% 5.0
Massachusetts 9 (8) 31% -8.1
Memphis 8 (7) 29% -11.3
Miami-FL 8 (7) 57% -0.9
Miami-OH 9 (9) 89% 0.0
Michigan 8 (8) 63% 3.5
Michigan State 8 (8) 38% -2.9
Middle Tennessee 8 (7) 71% 7.4
Minnesota 8 (8) 38% -2.4
Mississippi State 8 (7) 29% 0.4
Missouri 8 (7) 43% 3.2
Navy 8 (7) 36% -5.2
NC State 7 (6) 42% -0.6
Nebraska 8 (7) 29% -4.0
Nevada 9 (8) 100% 5.3
New Mexico 8 (7) 71% -0.6
New Mexico State 9 (9) 56% -10.5
North Carolina 7 (7) 50% -5.5
North Texas 9 (8) 13% 3.6
Northern Illinois 9 (9) 33% -0.1
Northwestern 8 (8) 50% 4.0
Notre Dame 8 (8) 88% 1.4
Ohio 9 (8) 50% 10.5
Ohio State 8 (8) 75% -3.4
Oklahoma 8 (8) 25% 0.0
Oklahoma State 8 (7) 29% -7.8
Old Dominion 9 (9) 89% -6.0
Ole Miss 8 (7) 71% -4.8
Oregon 8 (7) 43% -7.0
Oregon State 8 (7) 86% -2.3
Penn State 8 (8) 63% 3.6
Pittsburgh 8 (7) 14% 1.9
Purdue 8 (8) 50% 12.3
Rice 9 (8) 75% -5.4
Rutgers 8 (8) 25% -7.3
San Diego State 8 (7) 57% -2.6
San Jose State 8 (7) 14% 5.2
SMU 8 (7) 29% 3.7
South Alabama 8 (7) 43% -4.0
South Carolina 7 (7) 71% 1.9
South Florida 8 (7) 29% -9.4
Southern Miss 7 (6) 33% -5.3
Stanford 8 (7) 57% -3.5
Syracuse 8 (7) 57% 7.2
TCU 8 (7) 86% -4.0
Temple 9 (8) 56% 5.8
Tennessee 8 (7) 43% -3.1
Texas 8 (8) 75% 2.4
Texas A&M 8 (7) 71% 0.4
Texas State 8 (7) 57% -3.0
Texas Tech 8 (7) 57% 12.6
Toledo 9 (8) 50% -0.8
Troy 8 (7) 29% 5.3
Tulane 8 (7) 50% 2.4
Tulsa 8 (7) 57% -2.5
UAB 8 (7) 57% 4.5
UCLA 8 (8) 63% 0.7
UL-Lafayette 8 (7) 57% 6.0
UL-Monroe 8 (7) 57% -2.5
UNLV 8 (7) 57% -9.0
USC 8 (8) 63% -4.0
Utah 8 (7) 57% 7.2
Utah State 8 (7) 29% 12.0
UTEP 8 (7) 57% 5.8
UTSA 8 (8) 50% -2.2
Vanderbilt 9 (8) 50% 2.4
Virginia 8 (7) 100% 3.7
Virginia Tech 7 (6) 50% -3.8
Wake Forest 8 (7) 50% -4.7
Washington 9 (8) 38% -5.8
Washington State 8 (7) 86% 3.7
West Virginia 7 (6) 50% 4.6
Western Kentucky 8 (7) 57% -6.9
Western Michigan 10 (9) 67% -5.9
Wisconsin 8 (8) 50% -7.6
Wyoming 9 (8) 63% -0.8

S&P+’s best performances against the spread:

  • 100%: Akron (7-0), Nevada (8-0), Virginia (7-0)
  • 89%: Miami (Ohio) (8-1), Old Dominion (8-1)
  • 88%: Kent State (7-1), Notre Dame (7-1)
  • 86%: Oregon State (6-1), TCU (6-1), Washington State (6-1)
  • 79%: California (5-1-1), UConn (5-1-1)
  • 78%: Ball State (7-2)
  • 75%: Ohio State (6-2), Rice (6-2), Texas (6-2)

The most interesting team on this list to me, by far: Texas. S&P+ has the Longhorns ranked just 42nd, and I’ve been yelled at more this year by Longhorn fans than by any other fan base because of it. But it’s missed only twice on the Horns this year.

(Also interesting: UVA and Wazzu, two teams that have been pretty surprising this year ... apparently less so on paper.)

S&P+’s worst performances against the spread:

  • 13%: North Texas (1-7)
  • 14%: Coastal Carolina (1-6), Pitt (1-6), San Jose State (1-6)
  • 25%: Army (2-6), Colorado State (2-6), Oklahoma (2-6), Rutgers (2-6)
  • 29%: Illinois (2-5), Memphis (2-5), Mississippi State (2-5), Nebraska (2-5), Oklahoma State (2-5), SMU (2-5), USF (2-5), Troy (2-5), Utah State (2-5)

The least surprising team on this list: Army. S&P+ has been underestimating the hell out of the Black Knights this year (despite the fact that I make adjustments for S&P+ missing by particular margins, they’re still only 78th). It’s probably not a surprise to see Mississippi State and Oklahoma State here, too — both were projected pretty high, and both still rank higher than most eyeballs would put them.

I hadn’t even realized North Texas was that far off, though. The Mean Green have been all over the map, starting at 85th, rising to 32nd, falling back 50th, then surging again to 31st.

Biggest underachievers vs. S&P+ projections:

  1. Louisville (minus-13.8 points per game)
  2. Memphis (minus-11.3)
  3. FAU (minus-10.8)
  4. NMSU (minus-10.5)
  5. USF (minus-9.4)
  6. UNLV (minus-9.0)
  7. UMass (minus-8.1)
  8. Oklahoma State (minus-7.8)
  9. Wisconsin (minus-7.6)
  10. Rutgers (minus-7.3)

You could rename this list the “teams that S&P+ was most wrong about in the preseason” list. Louisville started 26th and is now 99th, FAU was 27th and is now 66th, Rutgers was 94th and is now 124th, etc. Then there’s UNLV, which started the year with promise but has plummeted from 89th to 116th in recent weeks after a QB injury.

Biggest overachievers vs. S&P+ projections:

  1. Army (plus-18.0 PPG)
  2. Texas Tech (plus-12.6)
  3. Purdue (plus-12.3)
  4. Alabama (plus-12.2)
  5. Air Force (plus-12.1)
  6. Utah State (plus-12.0)
  7. Fresno State (plus-11.2)
  8. Iowa State (plus-11.0)
  9. Ohio (plus-10.5)
  10. FIU (plus-9.9)

It’s really hard to project service academies, so it’s not surprising to see Army and Air Force on this list (though Navy has actually underachieved by 5 PPG). Iowa State and Ohio were briefly disappointing to start the season, which dragged them down at first, and they’ve been overachieving drastically since.

The most terrifying name, of course: Alabama. The Crimson Tide have been No. 1 in S&P+ since week 2, and no one’s come particularly close, and they’re still overachieving projections by pretty drastic margins.

S&P+ performance by conference

Here’s how S&P+ has done projecting each conference’s games. The MAC has not lived up to its reputation for unpredictability.

  1. MAC (67.0% ATS, minus-0.6 PPG)
  2. Pac-12 (61.8%, minus-0.3)
  3. ACC (57.1%, minus-1.0)
  4. Conference USA (54.8%, minus-0.2)
  5. MWC (54.3%, plus-2.3)
  6. Big 12 (53.8%, plus-2.4)
  7. AAC (52.5%, minus-0.6)
  8. SEC (52.4%, plus-1.2)
  9. Sun Belt (51.0%, plus-1.4)
  10. Big Ten (48.6%, plus-0.1)
  11. Indies (48.3%, plus-0.9)

If you’re looking for hope for another crazy, unexpected week of games, S&P+ is only 2-3 ATS in MAC games so far in Week 10. CHAOS ABOUND. Or maybe not.