There’s still plenty of conference realignment speculation — thanks to last week’s news about USC and UCLA bolting from the Pac-12 to the Big Ten in 2024 — and conference media days before college football teams return for fall camp.
That won’t stop people from looking ahead to the 2022 season, though.
ESPN explains the FPI 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 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date and the remaining schedule.”
What does ESPN’s FPI project for the Utah Utes?
- Utah ranks No. 13 in ESPN’s power index, and first among Pac-12 Conference teams.
- ESPN’s FPI projects 9.4 wins for the Utes, with a 1.8% chance of winning out.
- The model gives Utah, the defending Pac-12 champions, a 25.2% chance of winning the conference, the best odds in the Pac-12 and ahead of Oregon’s 19.2%.
- The Utes also have the 10th-best odds to make the College Football Playoff, at 6.3%, and an 0.3% chance at winning the national championship.
- Utah is favored in 10 of its 12 games, per FPI, and in eight of its nine Pac-12 games. Only once, at UCLA (58.4%), does that projected win percentage dip below 60%.
- In addition to being a slight favorite in its game at UCLA, Utah is an overwhelming favorite to win these games: vs. Southern Utah (99.4%), vs. San Diego State (90.2%), at Arizona State (67.7%), vs. Oregon State (84.9%), vs. USC (73.1%), at Washington State (81.1%), vs. Arizona (93.3%), vs. Stanford (86%) and at Colorado (83.7%).
- The Utes are slight underdogs in two road games: at Florida (47.9%) to open the season, and at Oregon (47.6%).
What does ESPN’s FPI project for the BYU Cougars?
- BYU, which will join the Big 12 next year, ranks No. 46 in ESPN’s power index, fourth among current non-Power Five programs.
- The three non-P5 teams ranked above them are all scheduled to join the Cougars in the Big 12 in 2023: Cincinnati (at No. 27), UCF (No. 34) and Houston (No. 44).
- ESPN’s FPI projects seven wins for the Cougars, with a 0.1% chance of winning out and 84.3% chance of reaching six wins.
- BYU is projected to be favored slightly in two road games — at Liberty (58.1%) and at Stanford (52.9%) — and decisively favored in five other games: at South Florida (64.8%), vs. Wyoming (86.6%), vs. Utah State (82%), vs. East Carolina (80%) and vs. Utah Tech (99.7%).
- The Cougars are also slight underdogs against opponents — vs. defending Big 12 champion Baylor (42.8%), vs. Arkansas (46.4%) and at Boise State (43%) — and overwhelming underdogs at Oregon (25.9%) and vs. Notre Dame (18.4%) in Las Vegas.
What does ESPN’s FPI project for the Utah State Aggies?
- Utah State ranks No. 88 in ESPN’s power index, and fifth among Mountain West Conference teams.
- ESPN’s FPI projects 6.5 wins for the Aggies, with a 74.5% chance of reaching six wins.
- The model gives Utah State, the defending Mountain West champions, a 4.2% chance of winning the conference and 9.6% chance of winning its division.
- The Aggies are decided favorites in five of their home games — vs. UConn (90.6%), Weber State (81.8%), UNLV (78.9%), New Mexico (86.9%) and San Jose State (70.7%) — and a slight favorite to win at Colorado State (56.8%).
- Utah State is a slight underdog in three conference games — vs. Air Force (49.3%), at Wyoming (45.9%) and at Hawaii (43.8%) — and overwhelming underdogs at Alabama (0.8%), at BYU (18%) and at Boise State (18.3%).