College football rankings: ESPN updates FPI Top 25 entering Week 10 – 247Sports

  • October 31, 2022

ESPN’s Football Power Index top 25 rankings stabilizes as college football’s national championship picture comes into focus. Tuesday’s first playoff rankings set the stage for a bevy of important matchups coming out of a Saturday largely free of seismic upsets.
Several unbeatens headline the Week 10 FPI and one-loss Oregon, which makes its way up in the polls with week-to-week consistency following the Ducks’ loss to defending national champion Georgia in September.
Per ESPN, 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 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.”
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Here’s a look at ESPN’s updated FPI and our thoughts on each selection entering Week 10.
25. Oklahoma Sooners: Last week’s FPI ranking — No. 37
24. Illinois Fighting Illini: Last week’s FPI ranking — No. 34
23. Maryland Terrapins: Last week’s FPI ranking — No. 25
22. Wisconsin Badgers: Last week’s FPI ranking — No. 24
21. Florida State Seminoles: Last week’s FPI ranking — No. 22
20. UCLA Bruins: Last week’s FPI ranking — No. 30 — UCLA removed the cobwebs from its first loss of the season at Oregon with an impressive return showing during Saturday night’s win over Stanford. The Bruins jumped 10 spots in this week’s updated ESPN FPI, joining Oklahoma as Week 10’s biggest movers (12 spots). UCLA now has an 11.9% chance to win the Pac-12 after the victory.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 22
After Saturday’s shutout of Rutgers, Minnesota increased its chances of winning out this season to 22%, but nearly all hopes of winning the Big Ten West are over per ESPN’s updated FPI. That distinction goes to Illinois after the Illini’s win at Nebraska. The Golden Gophers had their chance this season, but a midseason stretch of failure ultimately determined how this season is going to end for P.J. Fleck’s crew after a promising start.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 21
Notre Dame replaces Syracuse in this week’s ESPN FPI top 20 after disposing of the Orange inside the Carrier Dome, 41-24. Marcus Freeman’s squad was left for dead this season following its 0-2 start and now has two quality wins under their belt over nationally-ranked competition (UNC being the other) heading into November. The Irish will play Clemson next with a chance to knock the Tigers off of their perch as one of the nation’s last remaining unbeaten national title contenders.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 16
Mike Leach and the Bulldogs moved down a spot during their open week at 5-3 overall. Mississippi State’s 24-point loss at Alabama in Week 8 was a disappointing development for a team that seemed to be hitting their stride heading into the second half of the season, but succumbed to an opponent they haven’t beaten in more than a decade. Mississippi State’s matchup with Ole Miss on Thanksgiving promises to be a fun rivalry game.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 23
Will Howard and Kansas State leaped seven spots this week to No. 16 in the FPI rankings after Week 9’s most notable win, a 48-point beatdown of previously ranked Oklahoma State. Kansas State now has a 19.8% chance to win the Big 12 per the updated simulations model and controls its own destiny in getting to the league title game the rest of the way. All this coming without starting quarterback Adrian Martinez, who missed much of the last two games.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 17
One of the nation’s most unpredictable teams this season, Baylor continues to go up and down after winning the conference last fall. For whatever reason, the Bears remain inside ESPN’s top 15 power rankings per the FPI within one of the nation’s most competitive leagues. They took down a red-hot Texas Tech team away from home in Week 9, which sets up well for Dave Aranda and company moving forward.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 15
At 10.5%, TCU’s chances of reaching the College Football Playoff  is the highest among teams rated outside of the FPI top 10. And with a win out percentage just under 50, the likelihood is high that the Horned Frogs can get to the Big 12 title game as a Power Five unbeaten. Taking this one step further, ESPN’s playoff predictor this week indicated that if TCU finishes 13-0 as a conference champion, the Horned Frogs are a virtual lock to get to the final four.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 12
Lane Kiffin’s one-loss Rebels disposed of Texas A&M, 31-28, with another Herculean performance on the ground from Quinshon Judkins, the SEC’s leading rusher as a true freshman. They needed all of his 200-yard performance to bounce back from their first loss of the season. The SEC West will be decided over the next two weeks at Alabama, LSU and Ole Miss each have equal shot at winning the division, according to ESPN’s updated FPI simulations.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 11
Too many turnovers. Penn State actually led Ohio State in the fourth quarter of Saturday’s two-touchdown loss, but the Buckeyes stepped on the throttle and broke open a title game with four touchdowns over the final nine minutes of action. It was a disheartening loss for James Franklin, whose Nittany Lions responded in a big game, but failed to execute when it mattered most in the national spotlight.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 13
Oregon is the Pac-12’s best team and has a 33.6% chance at winning the conference following Saturday’s win at California, per the updated FPI rankings. Bo Nix added six more touchdowns to his West Coast-leading total and scoring three times on the ground and three times through the air to lead the Ducks. A couple weeks from now, Oregon battles Utah in a game that may decide the conference coming down the stretch.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 10
USC’s playoff hopes are all but over, but the Trojans did improve their chances of winning the Pac-12 to 26.2% with Saturday’s win at Arizona. Caleb Williams threw five touchdown passes and eclipsed 400 yards through the air during the victory and USC needed his best to prevail. The Trojans would likely be creeping up on the top five entering the final month of the campaign had they not loss at Utah a couple weeks ago.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 9
One of college football’s hottest teams, LSU is 6-2 and now preps for Saturday’s showdown against Alabama with frontrunner status in the SEC West on the line. Left for dead weeks ago in the title race, the Tigers now have a 19% shot at winning the division and getting to Atlanta in Brian Kelly’s first season. Josh Heupel might be running away with SEC Coach of the Year honors, but Kelly deserves praise for the job he’s been able to do in Baton Rouge as well.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 8
Without Cameron Rising, Utah beat Washington State on the road Thursday night behind Bryson Barnes, who had 51 yards rushing and a touchdown pass. According to ESPN’s updated FPI, the Utes have a small chance to still win the Pac-12, yet continue to be praised inside the top 15 based on the analytics. ESPN’s FPI is giving the Utes a 27.7% shot at winning the Pac-12 the rest of the way, which is second to Oregon (33.6%) out West.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 7
Clemson has a 50.9% chance at reaching the final four, not as high as one may think when you consider the Tigers’ win out percentage (99). That means, ESPN assumes the selection committee may not respect the ACC as much as other leagues given the conference’s rapid demise in the national rankings. The Tigers need their current quality wins to remain notable, but after Wake Forest and Syracuse lost in Week 9, those are beginning to dissolve.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 6
What is up with ESPN’s love of the Longhorns? With three losses, Texas is easily the FPI’s most respected team despite being out of the national championship picture heading into the final month of the season. The Longhorns were open this week and have a 25.8% chance of winning the Big 12, per the updated simulations model. Quinn Ewers is on again, off again through nine weeks, but when he’s at his best, Texas is a tough team to extinguish.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 5
Tennessee has a 60.7% chance at reaching the final four following Saturday’s beatdown of Kentucky. Instead, one of the nation’s best teams and the most electric offense in the country shook the Wildcats early and never looked back. Tennessee also picked off Kentucky’s Will Levis three times and frustrated the opposing offense throughout.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 4
Despite the win over Michigan State, the Wolverines’ shot at winning the Big Ten dwindled to 20.9% per ESPN’s FPI update and their playoff potential sits a shade under 50%. That’s because the computer rankings favor Ohio State in the conference following the Buckeyes’ 44-31 victory at Penn State. Blake Corum continued to stake his claim in the Heisman race for the Wolverines are another 100-yard, multi-touchdown performance. Michigan’s upcoming game against Illinois in a few weeks is a big one.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 3
The SEC East matchup is finally here — Tennessee at Georgia for all the marbles. In this case, marbles being frontrunner status in the SEC Championship race and playoff picture. The Bulldogs are still considered the likeliest conference champion this season at 45% following Saturday’s win over Florida, but that number has shrunk considerably in recent weeks. Georgia will need to bring its best to take down America’s hottest team.
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 2
Alabama is making the final four in 51% of simulations per ESPN’s projections model and has a 31.4 chance of winning, given the brutality of the remaining schedule. That’s what it will take for a return trip to the playoff for Nick Saban’s crew, who travels to LSU in Week 10 and Ole Miss after that. The Crimson Tide would have to win all of their remaining games and beat Georgia or Tennessee in the conference title game. Could it happen?
Last week’s FPI ranking: No. 1
Ohio State was tested on the road against Penn State, but left a positive impression on the playoff selection committee with a furious rally in the fourth quarter to beat the Nittany Lions. Several key takeaways and big plays on both sides of the football led to the Buckeyes’ eighth straight win to open and now, Ryan Day’s team has a 85.9% chance of reaching the final four, per ESPN’s updated FPI rankings. Ohio State’s toughest game left is Michigan in a few weeks.
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