S&P+ is typically quite volatile at this time of year (my own ratings are why Ole Miss is so damn high, too) and one team benefiting from that is Louisville, which has had, from a raw data standpoint, one of the most successful defenses in the country so far. The Cardinals rank fourth in Defensive S&P+, and while that wouldn’t be the biggest reach in the world — they ranked 10th in Defensive F/+ last year, after all, and new defensive coordinator Todd Grantham did have some success at Georgia before a 2013 fade — they have gotten what are probably a couple of artificial boosts.
First, Louisville has played Wake Forest. As long as raw data plays any role, even a minor one, in the ratings, playing Wake Forest is going to be good for you. The Ville held the Deacs to 100 total yards (1.8 per play) last Saturday, and while that’s certainly not bad … well, UL-Monroe held Wake to 94 yards (1.9 per play) in the season opener.
Maybe that just means Richt should have hired UL-Monroe’s defensive coordinator instead of Pruitt.