LSU football has a good chance at a double-digit win season in 2017, according to ESPN’s FPI projections.
The network released its new FPI rankings Wednesday, and the Tigers came in at No. 6 overall. ESPN also used FPI to calculate win probabilities for every game of the upcoming season. FPI projects LSU to win 9.0 games this season, but the Tigers have a greater than 50 percent chance to win 11 of their 12 games.
If the Tigers hit that 11-win mark, it would be their best record since going 13-1 and going to the national championship game in 2011.
Here’s ESPN’s explanation for the metric, also known as the Football Power Index:
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.
Here are the full schedule projections for LSU:
|DATE||OPPONENT||ESPN’S PROJECTED RESULT|
|Sept. 2||vs BYU (in Houston)||90.4% chance LSU wins|
|Sept. 9||vs Chattanooga||98.4% chance LSU wins|
|Sept. 16||at Mississippi State||75.6% chance LSU wins|
|Sept. 23||vs Syracuse||91.2% chance LSU wins|
|Sept. 30||vs Troy||95.9% chance LSU wins|
|Oct. 7||at Florida||56.3% chance LSU wins|
|Oct. 14||vs Auburn||53.0% chance LSU wins|
|Oct. 21||at Ole Miss||77.2% chance LSU wins|
|Nov. 4||at Alabama||25.0% chance LSU wins|
|Nov. 11||vs Arkansas||86.9% chance LSU wins|
|Nov. 18||at Tennessee||59.5% chance LSU wins|
|Nov. 25||vs Texas A&M||80.8% chance LSU wins|
The only game in which FPI doesn’t favor LSU is the game at Alabama on Nov. 4. The Tigers have lost six straight to the Crimson Tide since a 9-6 overtime win during the 2011 regular season.
LSU’s next lowest win probability is against Auburn at 53 percent, followed by the game at Florida (56.3 percent). The Tigers have a 59.5 percent chance to beat Tennessee.
The schedule opens with a pretty easy slate. The Tigers have 90 percent chance to win in four of their first five games.
The season may be defined by how LSU performs in close games. If they win those closer matchups, they’ll have a great chance at an 11-win season. But an upset over Alabama, which is favored to win every game on its schedule, will likely be necessary to get to the SEC championship game.