In 2019, Bill Connelly’s metric-based rankings have a new name. What were the S&P+ rankings are now SP+ rankings with Connelly being at ESPN.

For those unfamiliar with Connelly’s rankings, here’s his explanation:

What is SP+? In a single sentence, it’s a tempo- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football efficiency. I created the system at Football Outsiders in 2008, and as my experience with both college football and its stats has grown, I have made quite a few tweaks to the system.

Media members, fans and bettors – especially bettors – paid close attention to the S&P+ rankings over the years because of their “52 to 54 percent success over a full season” against the Las Vegas point spread.

Connelly has shared his SP+ rankings after Week 1, and it’s a quite different top 25 than the Associated Press poll:

  1. Alabama
  2. Clemson
  3. LSU
  4. Georgia
  5. Wisconsin
  6. Penn State
  7. Ohio State
  8. Oklahoma
  9. Texas A&M
  10. Washington
  11. Auburn
  12. Florida
  13. UCF
  14. Michigan
  15. Utah
  16. Mississippi State
  17. Notre Dame
  18. Washington State
  19. Iowa
  20. Appalachian State
  21. Miami
  22. Missouri
  23. Texas
  24. Oregon
  25. Virginia

The differences start right at the top with Alabama being rated higher than Clemson. SP+ also puts LSU higher than the AP voters did on Tuesday and even ranks Missouri after the Tigers lost to Wyoming in Week 1. If you follow the SP+ rankings, they will differ from the AP throughout the season because SP+ is not concerned with resume, but measures the most predictable aspects of play, according to Connelly:

SP+ is intended to be predictive and forward-facing. That is important to remember. It is not a résumé ranking that gives credit for big wins or particularly brave scheduling — no good predictive system is. It is simply a measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football.

Connelly’s full SP+ rankings of all 130 FBS teams can be found in the article here.