S&P+ offense rankings through seven games

Submitted by Prince_of_Nachos on October 26th, 2017 at 10:10 AM

If you clicked on this link you must really be in the Halloween spirit, because what you're about to see is truely macabre.

Summary of Michigan's S&P+ rakings on offense over the last several years





Success Rate




7 games)






























Note - Success Rate is a measure of efficiency (staying ahead of the chains), and IsoPPP is a measure of explosiveness (big plays)

Nothing too surprising here. The one positive I would take away is that the run offense is already demonstrably better than the last two years. And it probably would be ranked closer to 20th if opposing safeties had any respect for the passing game.

For comparison, in Harbaugh's third year at Stanford, he had the 6th ranked S&P+ offense. He also had two All-American offensive tackles, David Shaw at OC, and Luck under center.




October 26th, 2017 at 10:18 AM ^

Ja’Raymond Hall is the next Larry Allen and Brandon Peters is the next Joe Montana. Next year we are 15-0 and Ja’Raymond Hall wins the heisman. During his national title speech, Harbaugh will run into the stands and punch Paul Finebaum. Best season ever.


October 26th, 2017 at 10:17 AM ^

Wow. This really need to dramatically improve in the next couple of years. With Don Brown and the types of recruits we are getting on D, I expect to always be in the top 10, but our offense needs to crack top 30 to really be a threat. 

Last year with the 40th ranked offense we lost a total of 3 games by by a combined 5 points. You have a slightly better offense, one that can run the clock out in 4th quarters, and you win those games. 

I Like Burgers

October 26th, 2017 at 1:21 PM ^

Depends what your goals are.  Top 30 might be enough to win the Big Ten, but its not enough if winning it all is the goal. S&P+ ranks of the last five national champs (offense/defense)

'16 Clemson 6/6

'15 Alabama 24/1

'14 Ohio State 1/14

'13 FSU 1/1

'12 Alabama  3/1

Alabama in 2015 is the only one in the last 5 years that's had an offense that's been ranked outside of the top 25 in S&P+ on offense and they had a soul crushing defense that year.  Basically if your goal is to compete for and win the CFP, then you pretty much have to have a top 10 offense and defense, and probably more likely a top 5 offense and defense.

I Like Burgers

October 26th, 2017 at 5:49 PM ^

Kinda the same thing though.  Challenging for the Big Ten title is basically the same as challenging for the CFP, because winning the Big Ten is (generally) a ticket to the playoff.  You can't have a goal of winning the Big Ten without also having a goal of making the playoff. They are like muppets. You can't have one without the other.

So while aiming for a top 5 offense and defense is likely the goal beyond the goal, in the Big Ten they are still going to need a top 10'ish offense and defense to win the whole thing because that is what Penn State, Ohio State, and Wisconsin generally have.


October 26th, 2017 at 1:20 PM ^

There are certainly schools that would happily hire Don Brown to be their head coach. Just not any blue blood programs and he's too old to go to, say, UConn for 4 years and then get hired by a top tier program. 

Perfect situation to have him around long-term for Michigan as long as he doesn't want to go coach a UConn. 


October 26th, 2017 at 12:48 PM ^

". With Don Brown and the types of recruits we are getting on D, I expect to always be in the top 10, but our offense needs to crack top 30 to really be a threat. "


Realistically - you almost have to have a top 10 S&P Defense AND a top 10 S&P Offense to win national championships.


October 26th, 2017 at 10:34 AM ^

We are 6th in the B1G, only 1 yard behind PSU.

Total Offense G Rush Pass
Wisconsin 7 1798 1441
Ohio State 7 1754 2287
Minnesota 7 1316 1112
Michigan State 7 1242 1367
Penn State 7 1214 2029
Michigan 7 1213 1314
Maryland 7 1212 1091
Rutgers 7 1174 935
Purdue 7 1026 1676
Northwestern 7 958 1798
Nebraska 7 935 1764
Iowa 7 921 1531
Indiana 7 918 1654
Illinois 7 831 1360



October 26th, 2017 at 4:11 PM ^

It's really not. They're ranked 10 in S&P, and I would say they should be a few spots higher. They gained 1100+ total yards of offense against Iowa and Michigan, which is really quite the accomplishment. Of course they still have to play OSU and MSU so we'll know more very soon...but they're every bit as good as an offense with a Heisman-frontrunner should look. 



October 26th, 2017 at 10:44 AM ^

S&P+ is a measurement of how effective a team is at a particular skill, not a measurement of raw yardage. 

For instance, no one would call Texas Tech a running team (#7 in the Big 12 in rushing yds / game). But they have the 17th ranked S&P+ rush offense becasue when they do run, they run effectively.

This is also why even though Michigan ran all over bad teams last year, their S&P+ rushing rank was only 49th, becasue the did nothing against good defenesive fronts. 


October 26th, 2017 at 10:41 AM ^

The best looking receiver was not allowed to practice with the team for a majority of the offseason.

We have have looked bad on offense in every game this year minus the Purdue revelation.

We make mental errors on offense more than physical. Is it the team isn’t smart or the coaches are overloading the players. Adjust or recruit better.

Youth is an excuse and those who achieve the most in life don’t make excuses.

Losing to MSU counts as three losses in the mind of a born and raised Michigan fan. That was pathetic and inexcusable loss.

Offensive progress since the first game? What can they hang their hat on going to the off-season? We need to get significantly better in everposition group?

Negative recruiting for offensive recruits? If you go there you won’t develop (year 3).

If you want fans to be more relaxed go coach or root for USD. Most people in SD do not know they have a football team.

Go Blue


October 26th, 2017 at 12:19 PM ^

There is more to being a receiver than being handsome.

Indiana wasn’t such a bad performance.

We make both types of errors. The offense, in particular, doesn’t seem smart, which leads to...

Youth is an explanation. Your point about achievement doesn’t ring true, believe me. Poll numbers are down because they’re FAKE NEWS, you see.

Losing to MSU counts as one loss. In reality and in the mind of a born and raised Michigan fan. Even in the minds of Michigan players, past, present, and future.

Statements that end with question marks are confusing.

Seems like you think Michigan coaches want fans to be more relaxed. This is a figment of your imagination. In fact, Michigan coaches don’t give a shit what fans think. And, believe it or not, that’s a good thing.

Go Blue.


October 26th, 2017 at 11:01 AM ^

I know I am not a stat's wiz, but how are we 85th overall when none of our idividual rankings are below 74 and the rest are better than 56?  Something seems off there.


October 26th, 2017 at 12:24 PM ^

Encouraging. Our run O is improving even without any help from the passing O to draw people out of the box. 

Most of the offensive struggles seem attributable to playing our struggling backup QB and having so much youth/injuries at WR/TE.


October 26th, 2017 at 12:59 PM ^

This is a bit misleading, since those season totals included games against your Rutgers's, your Illinois's, your Maryland's.  Yes, they also include games against good to elite defenses as well, but  it's quite possible the offense improves a bit just because the competition these next couple of weeks look a bit easier to move against.  I agree the offense has struggled, but considering some the turmoil and the schedule breakdown we should see an uptick these nexgt couple of weeks.