ESPN’s Football Power Index assigns a win probability for every team and every game played during the college football season.
The numbers really like SEC schools this week. Only Arkansas (at No. 15 TCU), Kentucky (at Florida) and South Carolina (at Mississippi State) are not projected to win. Here’s a look at the SEC Week 2 schedule, and what the FPI projects:
Nicholls State at No. 9 Georgia (Noon ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Georgia to win, 99.9 percent
Overview: To say the folks at ESPN like the Bulldogs in this spot would be a mild understatement. Good luck finding a Vegas line on this game, but it is reported to be north of 50. Expect a healthy participation rate — and a Jacob Eason start — for Kirby Smart’s squad and a easy win between the hedges.
Prairie View A&M at No. 20 Texas A&M (Noon ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Texas A&M to win, 99.8 percent
Overview: This contest at Kyle Field is also a slam dunk, according to the number crunchers. Feel free to take Prairie View A&M and the 48.5 points, but you may well be throwing money away. The Aggies likely cruise to a big halftime lead before emptying the bench in the last two quarters.
Western Kentucky at No. 1 Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
ESPN FPI projection: Alabama to win, 94.7 percent
Overview: The Crimson Tide are a four-touchdown favorite over the Hilltoppers, but that doesn’t mean this game isn’t important. Will QB Jalen Hurts tighten his grip on the starting job? Can Bo Scarbrough surge back into the running back rotation? Will the defense finally allow a touchdown? Those are three things to watch.
Kentucky at Florida (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
ESPN FPI projection: Florida to win, 85.9 percent
Overview: The FPI leans heavily to Florida, as does the 16-point spread. But the important number for this one is 29, as in the number of consecutive wins for the Gators in this series. After last week’s come-from-ahead loss to Southern Miss, Kentucky will be desperate to avoid an 0-2 start. The numbers, however, suggest an uphill climb for the Wildcats.
Wofford at No. 19 Ole Miss (4 p.m. ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Ole Miss to win, 99.2 percent
Overview: The parade of projected Week 2 blowouts continues in Oxford. Ole Miss will be angry after blowing an early lead against Florida State on Labor Day night. So it might be a long afternoon for the FCS Terriers.
Middle Tennessee State at Vanderbilt (4 p.m. ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Vanderbilt to win, 75.1 percent
Overview: This game features a bit of a split between the FPI and the oddsmakers. Vanderbilt is only a 5-point favorite for this in-state contest, and despite a win over the Blue Raiders on the road last year, the Commodores actually have lost three of the last four games in this series. Still, with a healthy dose of Ralph Webb, Vanderbilt should have the edge.
Arkansas at No. 15 TCU (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
ESPN FPI projection: TCU to win, 69.4 percent
Overview: Arkansas faces its biggest out-of-conference challenge this week as it makes the trip to Fort Worth, Texas. Both schools sputtered in Week 1 but won. TCU is a little more than a touchdown favorite in this renewal of an old Southwest Conference rivalry.
South Carolina at Mississippi State (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)
ESPN FPI projection: Mississippi State to win, 58.8 percent
Overview: This is the closest game of the week, according to the FPI. The Bulldogs are a 7-point home favorite and will be trying to bounce back from last week’s stunning loss to South Alabama. South Carolina, on the other hand, will be trying to make it two SEC road wins in as many tries to start the season.
Jacksonville State at No. 21 LSU (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
ESPN FPI projection: LSU to win, 99.0 percent
Overview: As far as FCS schools go, Jacksonville State is pretty good. But the Gamecocks are still a team that LSU should handle in Death Valley on Saturday. On paper, this is the type of game that Leonard Fournette can use to bolster his Heisman Trophy credentials. But, as we learned in the opening weekend, things don’t always go as projected.
Eastern Michigan at Missouri (7:30 p.m. ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Missouri to win, 91.4 percent
Overview: Eastern Michigan isn’t a FCS school, but with only eight wins in its last 43 games, it’s the next-best thing for the Tigers. Don’t be surprised if Mizzou’s starters on offense play deep into the second half, regardless of the score. Building some confidence for that unit should be a top priority in this one.
Arkansas State at Auburn (7:30 p.m. ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Auburn to win, 95.7 percent
Overview: Both the oddsmakers, who have the Tigers as a 19-point favorite, and the FPI like Auburn to rebound in a big way from last week’s loss to Clemson. The Red Wolves were trounced by Toledo in the opener, 31-10, and have been dealing with a virus outbreak this week. So they aren’t exactly flying high at the moment.
Virginia Tech vs. No. 17 Tennessee (8 p.m. ET, ABC)
ESPN FPI projection: Tennessee to win, 87.2 percent
Overview: The pollsters weren’t happy with Tennessee’s overtime win over Appalachian State last week, but the FPI is still confident the Volunteers will beat the Hokies. Las Vegas isn’t worried either, pegging Tennessee as an 11 1/2-point favorite. Perhaps a win over Virginia Tech in front of the largest crowd ever to watch a college football game at Bristol (Tenn.) Motor Speedway will get everyone back on the same page.