An update on Oregon's FPI rankings through six weeks – 247Sports

ESPN’s FPI (Football Power Index) has been somewhat of a universal standard in analytical data when debating college football. 

What is FPI? ESPN describes it 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. Ratings and projections update daily.”

Oregon checks in at No. 14 overall for ESPN’s FPI projections following week six, good enough for third in the Pac-12 with No. 9 Utah and No. 10 USC ahead of them. Those two programs will face each other this weekend in Salt Lake City. 

The Ducks projected win-loss sits at 9.6 wins and 2.5 losses, which puts them in third for the conference, behind the aforementioned USC and next week’s opponent UCLA. UCLA’s projected win-loss total is 9.9, barely putting them above Oregon. 

However, Oregon has the second-highest odds of winning the Pac-12 at 26.1-percent, behind only USC’s 40.5-percent. The Trojans, Ducks, and Bruins are all the last three undefeated conference teams, with the Trojans and Bruins both undefeated overall. Oregon’s one loss, to Georgia, is an out-of-conference loss and won’t impact their chances to win the conference. 

Oregon’s odds of making the playoffs have risen in the past few weeks, with a 4.1-percent chance of becoming one of the final four programs in the country to compete for a national championship. That four-percent mark is the 11th highest chance in the country, behind only USC (18.8-percent) in the Pac-12. Ohio State, Georgia, Alabama, and Clemson own the four-highest odds of making the playoffs. 

The Ducks remaining strength of schedule currently nets them at No. 17 overall, the highest in the Pac-12 by a slim margin, with Arizona State checking in at No. 18. 

ESPN’s FPI also measures a team’s offensive and defensive efficiencies. The Pac-12 results were fascinating, as the FPI predictions and formula believe USC and Oregon are nearly identical. 

Both programs are inside the top 10 for overall efficiency, with USC checking in at No. 9 and Oregon one spot behind at No. 10. Offensively, USC is the fourth most efficient unit in the country, and Oregon is fifth. Defensively, USC is the 55th most efficient unit in the country, and Oregon is 53rd. The most significant margin comes in special teams efficiency, as USC is nearly 40 spots higher. 

Just one-tenth of a point separates these programs from No. 9 or No. 10, and in the next two weeks, both teams will face some of their toughest competition in Utah and UCLA. 

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