SP+ rankings after Week 7: Ohio State takes over top spot

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The teams ranked third, seventh, 11th, 17th, 19th, 20th, 23rd and 24th in the AP poll all lost in Week 7, which is going to create a lot of semi-arbitrary movement in said poll. But No. 7 (Florida), No. 11 (Texas), and No. 17 (Iowa) all lost to teams ranked higher than them. There's not an automatic need for them to fall in the rankings, but they probably will.

That's where good computer ratings can add some perspective. The SP+ ratings are not a résumé tool and do not give an automatic bump for wins or drop for losses. How did it react to Week 7's noteworthy results?

Florida did drop two spots after losing to LSU, but that had as much as anything to do with Oregon rising after its pummeling of Colorado. Meanwhile, LSU actually fell one spot too, not because the Tigers performed poorly but because Wisconsin looked amazing against Michigan State and rose to fourth.

Texas mostly held steady after losing to Oklahoma, falling from 20th to 22nd. Again, that had more to do with other teams looking fantastic: Minnesota rose from 26th to 19th after destroying Nebraska, and Washington rose from 23rd to 18th after doing the same to Arizona.

Iowa moved up two spots after a narrow loss to Penn State, which also jumped one spot. Despite shaky offense, the Hawkeyes have proven their bona fides with tight losses to Michigan and PSU and a tight win over Iowa State.

With each week, schedule adjustments begin to play a heavier role in these ratings, which is good news for Big Ten and Big 12 teams, in particular. Those two conferences are now nearly tied with the SEC in terms of average SP+ rating. The average SEC team is at plus-12.6 adjusted points per game, while the Big 12 is at plus-12.3, and the Big Ten is plus-12.2.

Heavier opponent adjustments are also bad for ACC teams like Clemson, which destroyed Florida State but saw its strength of schedule fall. The Tigers closed the gap on some of the teams above them but remained in eighth for now. Meanwhile, the ACC's per-team average is just plus-4.5. It would be tied with the AAC at the moment if not for the existence of UConn, which drags the AAC's average down.

Note: 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.

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. If you're lucky or unimpressive in a win, your rating will probably fall. If you're strong and unlucky in a loss, it will probably rise.