South Carolina football wants to make a big leap forward from last year, but ESPN’s FPI projects the Gamecocks will look pretty similar – or maybe a little worse – in 2017.
The Gamecocks rank No. 32 overall in the latest FPI rankings after a 6-7 campaign and a bowl berth in 2016, and they’re projected to win 6.1 regular season games this season. However, FPI favors South Carolina in just five of its 12 games, which would mean missing a bowl game this season.
Here is ESPN’s full explanation of 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.
Take a look at the game-by-game projections for the 2017 South Carolina football schedule:
|DATE||OPPONENT||ESPN FPI PROJECTION|
|Sept. 2||vs N.C. State||37.6% chance South Carolina wins|
|Sept. 9||at Missouri||47.6% chance South Carolina wins|
|Sept. 16||vs Kentucky||60.0% chance South Carolina wins|
|Sept. 23||vs Louisiana Tech||89.6% chance South Carolina wins|
|Sept. 30||at Texas A&M||32.5% chance South Carolina wins|
|Oct. 7||vs Arkansas||62.6% chance South Carolina wins|
|Oct. 14||at Tennessee||24.3% chance South Carolina wins|
|Oct. 28||vs Vanderbilt||69.5% chance South Carolina wins|
|Nov. 4||at Georgia||22.4% chance South Carolina wins|
|Nov. 11||vs Florida||38.8% chance South Carolina wins|
|Nov. 18||vs Wofford||96.4% chance South Carolina wins|
|Nov. 25||vs Clemson||25.0% chance South Carolina wins|
The Gamecocks have a win probability of greater than 50 percent in four games on their schedule, all at home (Kentucky, Louisiana Tech, Vanderbilt and Wofford). They have one other “toss-up” game at Missouri, where FPI gives them a 47.6 percent chance of victory.
They have three games with a win probability of less than 30 percent: at Tennessee, at Georgia and Clemson. South Carolin’s toughest game, according to FPI, will be at Georgia, where the Gamecocks have a 22.4 percent chance of victory.
These projections aren’t optimistic about the Gamecocks improving their record from last season. So South Carolina will once again try to exceed expectations in Will Muschamp’s second season as head coach.