Not even a week ago, ESPN released the latest version of its Football Power Index (FPI) for an early look at how teams stack up across the country. Three of the top six hail from the SEC.
Alabama is No. 2, Auburn is pegged at No. 5 and LSU checks in right after that at No. 6. No team from the conference ranked lower than No. 46 (Vanderbilt).
On Tuesday, four SEC writers for the company revisited that formula and singled out the one SEC team was placed on too high a pedestal.
Three of the four agreed it was Auburn, which had a projected win-loss record of 9.5-2.8 and was given about a 20 percent chance of winning the SEC, second only to Alabama. The exception was Greg Ostendorf, who picked Florida (ranked No. 15).
Edward Aschoff believes Auburn will be better, but not among the top handful of teams in the nation.
Edward Aschoff: “Trying to get to 9.5 wins with a new offensive coordinator and some major defensive line losses seems awfully optimistic.”
Outside of Alabama, David Ching doesn’t think much of the SEC at this point.
David Ching: “… But this is a program that has lost three of its last four games, with new faces in several key positions.”
Ostendorf believes the attrition on Florida’s defense will prevent the unit from carrying the team.
Greg Ostendorf: “With both Michigan and Florida State on the nonconference slate, I think it will be difficult for this team to reach the FPI’s eight projected wins.”
A tough schedule and the loss of key figures has Alex Scarborough skeptical of Auburn.
Alex Scarborough: “With a new offensive coordinator, a new quarterback and no Carl Lawson or Montravious Adams on defense, I want to see a couple of games before I jump aboard the hype train.”
The Football Power Index is meant to serve as a projection of a team’s future performance based upon simulations using various factors. Here’s how ESPN defines the index, followed by a chart of how it currently views SEC teams.
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.
|SEC team||Projected record||FPI ranking among FBS|
|Alabama||10.6 – 1.9||2|
|Arkansas||6.1 – 5.9||36|
|Auburn||9.5 – 2.8||5|
|Florida||7.9 – 4.4||15|
|Georgia||8.4 – 4.0||13|
|Kentucky||6.7 – 5.4||34|
|LSU||9.0 – 3.1||6|
|Mississippi State||6.1 – 6.0||33|
|Mizzou||6.5 – 5.5||41|
|Ole Miss||6.4 – 5.6||38|
|South Carolina||6.1 – 6.0||32|
|Tennessee||7.9 – 4.3||19|
|Texas A&M||6.6 – 5.4||27|
|Vanderbilt||5.4 – 6.6||46|