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130-team S&P+ rankings now have LSU No. 2, but don’t freak out about that just yet

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The advanced stat shows a little change at the top, and the shuffling in the middle has begun.

Chattanooga v LSU Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images

The S&P+ rating had another torrid week of projections. It has hit 62 percent of its picks against the spread so far, an average all but certain to regress toward the mean at some point.

Week 3 S&P+ ratings have been updated below. As you’ll see, most teams are still only moving up and down a bit with some rare exceptions. And with opponent adjustments at a minimum (and preseason projections still counting for the vast majority of the formula), you’ll find plenty of “How is Team A ahead of Team B when Team B won yesterday?” opportunities if you want to. That’s fine. S&P+ is dialed in right now; we’ll see if another week of data strengthens or loosens its grip on reality.

You can find full S&P+ rankings (with offense, defense, and special teams), from 2005 to present, at Football Outsiders, but below are this week’s updated rankings. (Also, if the chart below isn’t loading friendly on your mobile device, that Football Outsiders link should work.)

You can worry about the order of the top 10 if you want, but just note that Alabama is as far ahead of No. 2 LSU as LSU is ahead of No. 15 Miami. The teams are all pretty close together, and aside from Bama, the top tier has plenty of sorting out to do. If Oklahoma plays every game like it did Saturday’s, the Sooners will be ahead of the Buckeyes soon enough.

Week 3 S&P+

Team Rec. S&P+ (Margin) Rk Last Wk Change
Team Rec. S&P+ (Margin) Rk Last Wk Change
Alabama 2-0 31.5 1 1 0
LSU 2-0 23.8 2 4 2
Florida State 0-1 23.5 3 5 2
Ohio State 1-1 23.4 4 2 -2
Clemson 2-0 22.4 5 3 -2
Oklahoma 2-0 21.4 6 6 0
USC 2-0 21.1 7 7 0
Penn State 2-0 20.9 8 10 2
Michigan 2-0 19.5 9 9 0
Auburn 1-1 19.2 10 8 -2
Stanford 1-1 19.0 11 11 0
Wisconsin 2-0 18.4 12 12 0
Washington 2-0 18.1 13 13 0
Louisville 2-0 16.5 14 14 0
Miami-FL 1-0 16.1 15 16 1
Florida 0-1 16.0 16 15 -1
Oklahoma State 2-0 15.5 17 19 2
Notre Dame 1-1 14.6 18 17 -1
TCU 2-0 14.1 19 18 -1
Georgia 2-0 13.6 20 21 1
Texas 1-1 13.0 21 23 2
Ole Miss 2-0 12.3 22 22 0
Mississippi State 2-0 11.5 23 25 2
Texas A&M 1-1 11.4 24 20 -4
Tennessee 2-0 10.8 25 24 -1
Virginia Tech 2-0 10.3 26 26 0
Oregon 2-0 9.3 27 30 3
Kansas State 2-0 8.9 28 32 4
Boise State 1-1 8.9 29 28 -1
NC State 1-1 8.8 30 33 3
Washington State 2-0 8.5 31 31 0
UCLA 2-0 8.3 32 35 3
Georgia Tech 1-1 8.1 33 36 3
Arkansas 1-1 7.8 34 27 -7
Baylor 0-2 7.8 35 29 -6
Nebraska 1-1 6.9 36 34 -2
Michigan State 2-0 6.7 37 54 17
Utah 2-0 6.5 38 39 1
Houston 1-0 6.3 39 44 5
Colorado 2-0 6.3 40 46 6
South Carolina 2-0 6.3 41 37 -4
Colorado State 2-1 6.0 42 41 -1
Vanderbilt 2-0 5.8 43 60 17
North Carolina 0-2 5.5 44 38 -6
Iowa 2-0 5.5 45 45 0
South Florida 2-0 5.4 46 49 3
Missouri 1-1 5.0 47 40 -7
Duke 2-0 4.9 48 57 9
Indiana 1-1 4.7 49 48 -1
Wake Forest 2-0 4.6 50 55 5
Toledo 2-0 4.5 51 52 1
Northwestern 1-1 4.5 52 42 -10
Kentucky 2-0 4.3 53 47 -6
Memphis 1-0 4.2 54 56 2
Appalachian State 1-1 4.1 55 65 10
San Diego State 2-0 3.9 56 50 -6
Pittsburgh 1-1 3.8 57 43 -14
California 2-0 3.7 58 61 3
Syracuse 1-1 3.6 59 53 -6
Minnesota 2-0 3.5 60 63 3
Western Kentucky 1-1 3.3 61 51 -10
Iowa State 1-1 3.2 62 58 -4
West Virginia 1-1 2.8 63 67 4
Texas Tech 1-0 2.2 64 66 2
Arizona 1-1 2.0 65 62 -3
Arizona State 1-1 1.9 66 64 -2
Maryland 2-0 1.9 67 71 4
Central Florida 1-0 0.4 68 70 2
Temple 1-1 0.2 69 69 0
BYU 1-2 -0.2 70 59 -11
Troy 1-1 -1.1 71 77 6
SMU 2-0 -1.2 72 75 3
Utah State 1-1 -1.4 73 79 6
Virginia 1-1 -1.4 74 72 -2
Oregon State 1-2 -1.8 75 68 -7
Boston College 1-1 -2.1 76 74 -2
Northern Illinois 1-1 -2.2 77 83 6
Navy 2-0 -2.2 78 76 -2
Cincinnati 1-1 -2.4 79 73 -6
Southern Miss 1-1 -2.6 80 86 6
Wyoming 1-1 -3.0 81 85 4
Tulsa 1-1 -3.4 82 82 0
Arkansas State 0-1 -3.9 83 81 -2
Illinois 2-0 -4.1 84 84 0
Purdue 1-1 -4.2 85 97 12
Louisiana Tech 1-1 -4.8 86 80 -6
Western Michigan 0-2 -5.0 87 78 -9
Old Dominion 2-0 -5.0 88 87 -1
Miami-OH 1-1 -5.3 89 89 0
UTSA 1-0 -5.6 90 88 -2
Air Force 1-0 -5.7 91 91 0
Tulane 1-1 -5.8 92 92 0
Army 2-0 -6.4 93 90 -3
Eastern Michigan 2-0 -6.5 94 93 -1
Central Michigan 2-0 -6.9 95 101 6
Middle Tennessee 1-1 -6.9 96 100 4
Rutgers 0-2 -7.5 97 102 5
Florida Atlantic 0-2 -7.7 98 95 -3
Ohio 1-1 -8.0 99 94 -5
Marshall 1-1 -8.4 100 99 -1
Ball State 1-1 -8.5 101 104 3
Bowling Green 0-2 -8.5 102 98 -4
New Mexico 1-1 -8.6 103 106 3
Fresno State 1-1 -8.6 104 96 -8
North Texas 1-1 -8.9 105 109 4
Hawaii 2-1 -9.5 106 108 2
San Jose State 1-2 -9.5 107 103 -4
UNLV 1-1 -9.9 108 115 7
Coastal Carolina 1-0 -10.1 109 110 1
Georgia State 0-1 -10.6 110 107 -3
Kansas 1-1 -11.3 111 112 1
Nevada 0-2 -11.4 112 116 4
New Mexico State 1-1 -11.7 113 119 6
East Carolina 0-2 -11.8 114 105 -9
Massachusetts 0-3 -11.8 115 120 5
UL-Lafayette 1-1 -12.0 116 118 2
Idaho 1-1 -12.2 117 111 -6
Georgia Southern 0-2 -12.4 118 114 -4
South Alabama 0-2 -12.8 119 117 -2
Florida International 0-1 -13.5 120 113 -7
Connecticut 1-0 -14.5 121 121 0
Akron 1-1 -14.6 122 125 3
UL-Monroe 0-1 -14.9 123 122 -1
Rice 1-1 -16.6 124 126 2
Kent State 1-1 -16.9 125 123 -2
UTEP 0-2 -17.1 126 124 -2
Buffalo 0-2 -18.3 127 128 1
Charlotte 0-2 -19.7 128 127 -1
Texas State 1-1 -21.6 129 129 0
UAB 1-1 -22.1 130 130 0

There wasn’t much change at the top, with Alabama remaining Alabama and the seven or so teams beneath the Crimson Tide all shuffling only slightly. Ohio State sank a couple of spots after a thumping from Oklahoma, but preseason numbers are still propping the Buckeyes up (historically, this has helped stabilize the early-season numbers until more data is collected). Meanwhile, LSU’s early untouchable play allowed the Tigers to eke ahead of the field.

Top movers (good)

NCAA Football: Alabama A&M at Vanderbilt
Vandy’s defense has been downright mean thus far.
Andrew Nelles -USA TODAY Sports

We have had a few big movers in the middle, though, where the teams are tightly bunched together.

  1. Michigan State (up 17 spots, from 54th to 37th)
  2. Vanderbilt (up 17 spots, from 60th to 43rd)
  3. Purdue (up 12 spots, from 97th to 85th)
  4. Appalachian State (up 10 spots, from 65th to 55th)
  5. Duke (up nine spots, from 57th to 48th)
  6. UNLV (up seven spots, from 115th to 108th)

Vanderbilt has allowed six points in two games and is up to 24th in Def. S&P+. The offense is untested, but the Commodores’ 28-6 win over Middle Tennessee State will likely continue to resonate as the Blue Raiders begin to pick up steam offensively.

Top movers (bad)

NCAA Football: East Carolina at West Virginia
ECU got roughed up again on Saturday.
Ben Queen-USA TODAY Sports
  1. Pitt (down 14 spots, from 43rd to 57th)
  2. BYU (down 11 spots, from 59th to 70th)
  3. WKU (down 10 spots, from 51st to 61st)
  4. Northwestern (down 10 spots, from 42nd to 52nd)
  5. ECU (down nine spots, from 105th to 114th)
  6. WMU (down nine spots, from 78th to 87th)
  7. Fresno State (down eight spots, from 96th to 104th)
  8. FIU (down seven spots, from 113th to 120th)
  9. Oregon State (down seven spots, from 68th to 75th)
  10. Missouri (down seven spots, from 40th to 47th)
  11. Arkansas (down seven spots, from 27th to 34th)

I long ago coined the term “Glen Mason Territory” to describe when a school gets tired of only being good, fires a good coach (instead of figuring out how to give him more support), and plummets out of existence because of its impatience.

If Scottie Montgomery and ECU don’t turn things around quickly, I might have to rename it Ruffin McNeill Territory.