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Wake Forest Moves up to 36th in S&P Ratings

Another solid weekend for the Deacs leads to a top 40 ranking according to Football Outsiders.

NCAA Football: Utah State at Wake Forest Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Following yet another impressive week of football, Wake Forest moved up 14 spots in the S&P Ratings from 50th to 36th in the nation. For some context, Arkansas is 35th, while Utah is 37th. Pretty good company to be around.

A brief reminder of what the S&P Ratings are is below:

The S&P+ Ratings are a college football ratings system derived from the play-by-play and drive data of all 800+ of a season's FBS college football games (and 140,000+ plays).

The components for S&P+ reflect opponent-adjusted components of four of what Bill Connelly has deemed the Five Factors of college football: efficiency, explosiveness, field position, and finishing drives. (A fifth factor, turnovers, is informed marginally by sack rates, the only quality-based statistic that has a consistent relationship with turnover margins.)

Interestingly enough, if you took out the preseason anchoring bias then Wake Forest would actually rank 5th in the nation through three weeks. Even without getting into all the stats, it is obvious that the Demon Deacons have gotten off to a fantastic start, covering the spread in all three weeks en route to blowout victories.

It’s the first time since 1946-47 that Wake Forest has started 3-0 in back-to-back years, and the Deacs have done so in style this year, defeating Presbyterian, Boston College, and Utah State by a combined score of 131-27.

Appalachian State, a team Wake Forest will visit next weekend, is ranked 51st in S&P.

There will be a deeper statistical dive into these numbers at some point this week once the Five Factors for the Wake-Utah State game comes out, but I will guess that the explosive plays from Wake yesterday contributed heavily towards the improved ratings.