ESPN’s Football Power Index loves Alabama — just like anyone whose watched the Crimson Tide this season — but not so much that it gives the Tide the best chance at winning out.
That’s likely because left on the Crimson Tide’s schedule is the team ranked seventh by FPI, Auburn. In all, SEC teams make up nearly half the top 10 in the updated FPI rankings, with LSU and Texas A&M remaining in the top 10, despite losses this weekend.
The Tigers, who lost 10-0 to Alabama, rank just behind Auburn, checking in at No. 8. The Aggies, whose lost to Mississippi State all but ended their College Football Playoff hopes, round out the top 10, dropping only one spot after their upset defeat.
Arkansas’ dominating upset win over Florida caused the biggest SEC shakeup in the rankings, shooting the Razorbacks up nine spots, while dropping the Gators eight. Only Missouri’s nine-spot drop eclipses the Gators’ fall.
Although Alabama doesn’t have the best chance at winning out — that’s Clemson — its odds improved significantly after it triumphed over LSU. Last week, FPI gave the Crimson Tide just a 41.5 percent chance to do so, while this week, their odds sit at 66.3 percent.
The Crimson Tide’s hold on the top spot in the FPI rankings also appears less sturdy than its No. 1 ranking in other polls. It doesn’t appear Alabama will drop from the top spot in the AP, coaches or College Football Playoff rankings without a loss, FPI gives the Crimson Tide only a 0.2-point advantage over the No. 2 Michigan Wolverines. For context, the No. 3 team in FPI, Louisville, is a full 3.2 points behind Michigan.
Here’s how the whole SEC fairs in the latest Football Power Index, with last week’s rank in parantheses:
1. Alabama (1)
7. Auburn (6)
8. LSU (8)
10. Texas A&M (9)
17. Tennessee (19)
18. Ole Miss (14)
23. Florida (15)
38. Arkansas (47)
43. Georgia (42)
44. Mississippi State (49)
59. Vanderbilt (60)
65. South Carolina (69)
68. Missouri (59)
70. Kentucky (68)