If ESPN’s Football Power Index is any indication, Texas A&M should be in for a wild ride this fall.
The network’s popular FPI ranking system received an update on Wednesday. The Aggies received a fairly favorable grade, checking in as the No. 27 team in the country in spite of significant personnel losses on both sides of the ball coming out of an up-then-down 2016 season. Texas A&M’s projected regular-season record is 6.6-5.4 and the Aggies are given a 0.5 percent chance of winning the conference. If accurate, those numbers could be hard for some Aggies fans to swallow and still be happy with Kevin Sumlin in charge.
For those who are not familiar, ESPN explains the process of putting the Football Power Index together:
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. Ratings and projections update daily.
The projected results for the Aggies go a little deeper than the No. 27 ranking in college football and roughly eight wins. ESPN explains how its calculations arrived at that conclusion, in part, by also revealing its projected results for each game on the Texas A&M schedule.
|DATE||OPPONENT||ESPN’s PROJECTED RESULT|
|Sept. 3||at UCLA||FPI does not have a projection|
|Sept. 9||vs. Nicholls State||99.5% chance TAMU wins|
|Sept. 16||vs. UL Lafayette||95.7% chance TAMU wins|
|Sept. 23||vs. Arkansas||57.5% chance TAMU wins|
|Sept. 30||vs. South Carolina||67.5% chance TAMU wins|
|Oct. 7||vs. Alabama||81.7% chance ALA wins|
|Oct. 14||at Florida||70.8% chance FLA wins|
|Oct. 28||vs. Mississippi State||70.6% chance TAMU wins|
|Nov. 4||vs. Auburn||74.9% chance AUB wins|
|Nov. 11||vs. New Mexico||94.6% chance TAMU wins|
|Nov. 18||at Ole Miss||52.5% chance TAMU wins|
|Nov. 25||at LSU||80.8% chance LSU wins|
Some takeaways from these numbers:
- In what can only be assumed a glitch in matrix caused by the quarterback situation on both teams, FPI does not currently have a projection for the UCLA-Texas A&M game to open the season. There’s no doubt this will be an important matchup for both teams as it has the potential to set the tone for the rest of the season.
- Another November collapse may be in the cards for the Aggies. FPI leans strongly toward Auburn and LSU in November games, and the Ole Miss game rates out at what should be considered a toss-up.
- Ole Miss and Arkansas appear to be the keys to the season for Texas A&M. Both conference games are scored at nearly a coin-flip, meaning ground is likely to be made or lost in the SEC West based on the outcome of these two games.
- There are three “sure wins” baked into this schedule. FPI sees little to be concerned about with New Mexico, Nicholls State and Louisiana-Lafayette.