Get excited. Friday will debut the F/+ ratings for 2010 and for the first time this year the the pre-season projection data has been removed. Both components of the combined rating are already out: FEI is one half of the F/+ ratings (S&P+ being the other). Let's take a look at what these sets say about FSU.
In FEI, created by our friend Brian Fremeau, Florida State rates as the 44th-best team in the country. That probably puzzles many of you, as it did me, so let's take a look. The schedule is the obvious factor here.
The "system rewards playing well against good teams, win or lose, and punishes losing to poor teams more harshly than it rewards defeating poor teams. In the formula, the relevance factor is partly a function of the relative ratings of the two teams. The least relevant results receive about one-eighth as much weight as the most relevant results."
Florida State has faced the 35th-most difficult schedule to date. Last year it faced the 5th. FSU's schedule definitely gets tougher from here on out as 5 of FSU's 7 toughest games have yet to be played.
Here are the Game Efficiency scores (and significance), Per Brian, made specifically for TN. Be sure to check out Brian's article, linked above.
|FSU Game Efficiency Chart|
Florida State checks in with the #28 offense in the country.
- FSU has avoided a 3-&-out on 64% of its drives, good for 68th in the country
- gained 49% of possible yards, good for 39th in the country
- has had an explosive drive 15% of the time, good for 39th in the country
- had 17% of its drives exceed 10 plays, good for 26th in the country and
- has faced the 32nd-best set of defenses in the country, to date.
That last factor is very important. Oklahoma-18th best defense, BYU-66th best defense, Wake Forest-104th best defense, Virginia-86th best defense, Miami-9th best defense and Boston College-44th best defense. Almost all of the teams FSU has faced have a defense that is a lot better than its offense. Wake Forest is the exception.
Inside, I'll go into much more detail.
Here is a chart comparing FSU's defense to the other defenses FSU's offense has faced. DFEI= defensive score, adjusted for opponent.
|DFEI||DFEI Rk||Team||DE||DE Rk||FD||FD Rk||AY||AY Rk||Ex||Ex Rk||Me||Me Rk||DSOS||DSOS Rk|
As you can see, the meat of FSU's schedule is still very much coming up, but as you will see below, the defenses FSU's offense has faced are much, much more impressive than the offenses FSU's defense has faced. Elsewhere, Clemson and Florida get big bumps for having played very tough sets of defenses (#1 and #6, respectively).
On the flip side, FSU's defense checks in at 61st in the country. Yes, 61st. Some believe that FSU's defense is better than its offense, but that is where taking the opponent into account is so important.
- FSU has forced 38% 3-&-outs, good for 36th in the country.
- The Noles have allowed 35% of possible yards, good for 16th in the country.
- FSU has allowed an explosive drive 8% of the time, 29th in the country.
- Florida State has allowed a 10-play drive 15% of the time, 79th in the country. (FSU is still learning to play this defense and will probably force more turnovers next year, preventing 10-play drives. For now, the 'Noles keep everything in front.)
- Those are impressive numbers but you have to consider that FSU has faced the 79th-best set of offenses in the country so far.
Oklahoma checks in with the 8th-best offense, BYU the 90th offense, Wake Forest the 74th, Virginia the 92nd, Miami the 55th (wow), and Boston College the 115th offense. FSU's defense is clearly better than it was last year, but only playing one offense in the top 50 in the country, and getting horribly drubbed by that offense, hurts FSU. 5 of the 7 best offenses FSU's defense will play are yet to come. Compared to what other teams have done to these offenses, FSU's defense has not stood out.
Here is a chart comparing FSU's offense to the other offenses FSU's defense has faced.
|OFEI||OFEI RK||Team||OE||OrRk||FD||FD RK||AY||AY RK||Ex||EX RK||Me||Me RK||OSOS||Rk|
Notice how the offenses of Clemson, UNC, and Florida get big bumps for having played very tough sets of defenses (#1, #3, and #6, respectively).
Thanks to poor return teams overall (though improving), FSU doesn't place all that well in the field position ratings (though turnovers yielded and forced also play here and FSU has not lucked into many turnovers yet and has given away a few).
How The Other Half Lives
Here is the other half of the F/+ rankings, the S&P+ system of Bill Connelly. This set calls FSU the 19th best team so far, with the #22 offense and the #34 defense. Apparently this set is more forgiving of the Oklahoma debacle, and it absolutely loves Miami's and BC's defenses (Miami's defense has torn up everyone except for Fisher's Noles). I have included FSU and the other teams on the 'Noles schedule, in order.
|Overall S&P+||RK||TEAM||OFF S&P+||RK||DEF S&P+||RK|
When the combined ratings debut Friday, FSU will likely be around #25. While I certainly do not believe there are 25 better teams than Florida State right now, it's perfectly reasonable to say that FSU's body of work, accounting for opponent quality (or lack thereof) is around the 25th-best so far. I think the designers of these two systems would agree that FSU is trending upward quite a bit. If FSU can finish 9-3 or 10-2 against this final slate, it will move up considerably, as the data is quite flexible right now with most teams playing only 5-7 D1 games so far.. But for now, FSU is winning the games against bad teams that it should win. There is still much to learn about this team in what is still very much a re-tooling year under first-year head coach Jimbo Fisher.