ESPN’s Football Power Index assigns a win probability for every team and every game played during the college football season.
Week 8 serves up a few potentially lopsided affairs and a couple of closer contests. The computers love South Carolina and Vanderbilt to thump nonconference foes, but have Texas A&M and Arkansas on the wrong end of SEC West encounters.
Here’s a look at what the FPI projects for each game:
UMass at South Carolina (Noon ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: South Carolina to win, 93.8 percent
Overview: The Gamecocks come off a bye week with a home game against the Minutemen. The oddsmakers and the analysts both have South Carolina winning big.
No. 6 Texas A&M at No. 1 Alabama (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
ESPN FPI projection: Alabama to win, 76.7 percent
Overview: The line is Alabama -18.5, which suggests that Las Vegas doesn’t have much faith in the Aggies’ ability to keep this one close. ESPN seems to agree.
Middle Tennessee at Missouri (4 p.m. ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Missouri to win, 78.1 percent
Overview: After a humbling loss at Florida last week, Missouri returns home for a date with Middle Tennessee. The Tigers are a touchdown favorite, which is a little less certain than their win probability.
No. 17 Arkansas at No. 21 Auburn (6 p.m. ET, ESPN)
ESPN FPI projection: Auburn to win, 84.7 percent
Overview: The Razorbacks are 5-2 and fresh off a win over Ole Miss. Yet, ESPN projects their win probability at Auburn at just more than 15 percent. The Tigers are almost a 10-point favorite, which puts the oddsmakers and FPI in agreement.
Mississippi State at Kentucky (7:30 p.m. ET, SECN)
ESPN FPI projection: Mississippi State to win, 59.0 percent
Overview: The Bulldogs fell in overtime at BYU their last time out, but ESPN projects them to get back on track with a win on the road. This is projected to be the closest SEC game of the week, and it also has the closest spread (Mississippi State -3).
Tennessee State at Vanderbilt (7:30 p.m. ET, ESPNU)
ESPN FPI projection: Vanderbilt to win, 96.4 percent
Overview: Anytime the words “no line” appear next to a game, either a key player’s status is in doubt or an FCS school is in town. On Saturday in Nashville, it’s the latter.
No. 23 Ole Miss at No. 25 LSU (9 p.m. ET, ESPN)
ESPN FPI projection: LSU to win, 65.8 percent
Overview: The bookies have LSU as a 6-point favorite, which is a little lower than its win probability would suggest. The Tigers have won three straight against Ole Miss in Baton Rouge and four of the last six overall.