Step aside coaches, writers, analysts and would-be football experts. The ESPN Football Power Index has apparently proven you all wrong.
Ohio State may be the leader of the Amway Coaches Poll and The Associated Press Top 25 Poll. However, the Buckeyes barely cracked the top five in ESPN’s FPI. Baylor held down the top spot in the FPI.
There’s more wackiness the farther you scroll down. LSU sits at No. 7 in the poll. That’s one spot behind Alabama at No. 6, which has a loss and was nearly upset by unranked Tennessee on Saturday. Well, that would be No. 12 Tennessee if one chooses to follow the FPI.
Yes, Tennessee is ranked No. 12 in the FPI. The 3-4 Vols deserve congratulations for being No. 12 with a losing record. They were also ranked in front of Florida and Arkansas. Tennessee lost to both of those teams. If the Vols can’t beat them, the computers will.
There’s plenty of Big 12 admiration at the top of the poll besides Baylor being No. 1. The Bears, Oklahoma and TCU rounded out the top three before the Buckeyes were mentioned – at No. 4. Then Southern California came in at No. 5. Yes, that’s the same USC that is 4-3 and showcasing an interim coach. The coaches and writers weren’t so kind. The Trojans are nowhere to be found in their polls.
The FPI is described on ESPN’s website as “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.”