If ESPN’s Football Power Index is any indication, Alabama may be staring a fourth consecutive College Football Playoff appearance square in the face by the time December rolls around.
The network’s popular FPI ranking system received an update on Wednesday. The Crimson Tide received a favorable grade, checking in as the No. 2 team in the country behind Ohio State. Alabama’s projected regular-season record is 10.6-1.9 and the Crimson Tide is given a 46.6 percent chance of winning the conference.
For those who are not familiar, ESPN explains the process of putting the Football Power Index together:
The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.
The projected results for the Crimson Tide go a little deeper than the No. 2 ranking in college football. ESPN explains how its calculations arrived at that conclusion, in part, by also revealing its projected results for each game on the Alabama schedule.
|DATE||OPPONENT||ESPN’s PROJECTED RESULT|
|Sept. 2||vs. Florida State||54.8% chance ALA wins|
|Sept. 9||vs. Fresno State||99.4% chance ALA wins|
|Sept. 16||vs. Colorado State||97.3% chance ALA wins|
|Sept. 23||at Vanderbilt||91.1% chance ALA wins|
|Sept. 30||vs. Ole Miss||92.3% chance ALA wins|
|Oct. 7||at Texas A&M||81.7% chance ALA wins|
|Oct. 14||vs. Arkansas||93.4% chance ALA wins|
|Oct. 21||vs. Tennessee||86.5% chance ALA wins|
|Nov. 4||vs. LSU||75.0% chance ALA wins|
|Nov. 11||at Mississippi State||87.2% chance ALA wins|
|Nov. 18||vs. Mercer||99.8% chance ALA wins|
|Nov. 25||at Auburn||55.5% chance ALA wins|
Some takeaways from these numbers:
- Alabama is favored in 12 games, in spite of the 10.9 win projection. The discrepancy is in the odds of the victories, with Auburn and Florida State nearing “toss up” status based on the game projections.
- The Crimson Tide has a better than 90 percent chance of beating half of the opponents on the schedule, including three conference opponents.
- The only road game that ESPN projects less than a 81.7 percent chance of winning is the Iron Bowl at Auburn.
- After giving the Crimson Tide fits for three consecutive years, ESPN gives Alabama a 92.3 percent chance of putting away Ole Miss this season. The Rebels are replacing Chad Kelly and have self-imposed sanctions.