FPI takeaways: Who is too high? Who is too low?

9:30 AM ET ESPN staff It’s mid-April, which means it’s time for the very first college football FPI rankings.With the FPI rankings officially out, our writers tackled what the offseason is suggested for: dispute and speculation.Which groups are over-and underranked by the FPI? Outside the top 25, which teams have the very best opportunity at showing the preseason rankings wrong?

And, what did the FPI get absolutely right despite the season being months away?We have actually got you covered on all of these subjects as we forecast the 2023 season.A quick tip on how the FPI works from ESPN’s Seth Walder: The Football Power Index is our season-long ratings and projections system. In the preseason it relies on previous efficiency on offense and defense, returning and transfer production and past recruiting information for players on the lineup to form a score. We then use those scores to imitate the season 20,000 times, leading to our projections.Which top-25 group do you think the FPI is most undervaluing?Alex Scarborough: Last I inspected, USC has the ruling Heisman Trophy winner at quarterback in Caleb Williams. And I know things alter in the transfer portal rapidly, but coach Lincoln Riley continues to pack up on proven talent by generating Dorian Vocalist from Arizona, MarShawn Lloyd from South Carolina and Anthony Lucas from Texas A&M. While the Pac-12 is going to be a challenge this season, I think the Trojans have a team on paper that should be in the leading 3 nationally.Top teams in the Football Power Index Rank Team Ranking 1 Ohio State 31.5 2 Alabama 28.2 3 Georgia 27.4 4 LSU 22.1 5 Texas 21.9 6 Michigan 21.4 7 USC 19.9 8 Clemson 19.4 9 Notre Dame 18.4 10 Penn State 17.5 11 Oklahoma 16.9 12 Tennessee 15.2 T-13 Oregon 15.0 T-13 Florida State 15.0 15 Utah 14.9 16 Ole Miss 13.4 17 TCU 13.0 T-18 Florida 12.7 T-18 Texas A&M 12.7 20 Wisconsin 12.3 21 Washington 11.8 22 Texas Tech 10.8 23 Baylor

10.7 24 Oregon State 10.5 25
North Carolina 10.2 Chris Low : Jim
Harbaugh has possibly his most talented team with an experienced quarterback and offending line, dynamic running backs and an influx of key transfers, specifically on defense. So why is Michigan not someplace in the leading four(and easily predicted to be in the College Football Playoff) after winning the past two Huge 10 champions and appearing in the playoff each of the previous
2 seasons? That’s not to say landing at

No. 6 is a total slap in the
face, however this is a group that has all the pieces
in place to win all of it in 2023. A
case might be made that the Wolverines need to be No. 1, or at least No. 2
, entering into the season . Despite the fact that it took a few years, Harbaugh has the program right where everybody thought he would have it when
he went back to his university in 2015. David Hale: Washington won seven straight to end up the 2022 season at 11-2, and the Huskies return among the most respected QBs in the nation in Michael Penix Jr. (together with two 1,000-yard receivers). So why are they ranked 21st in the FPI, behind teams like Ole Miss, Texas A&M and Florida?

(Don’t address that. We understand the response is S-E-C). Sure, the Pac-12

seems especially deep this year, however the schedule establishes well for the Huskies to be 5-0 entering their face-off with Oregon(at home, coming off an open date). Dillon Johnson(Mississippi State )and Daniyel Ngata( Arizona State )get here by means of the website to reinforce the ground game, and the defense could actually take a step forward from last season. The FPI has USC and Oregon ranked ahead of the Huskies in the Pac-12, however I’m a buyer on Kalen DeBoer’s team.Harry Lyles Jr.: My associates have pointed out teams that are more underestimated than the team I’m going to mention: the No. 3 Georgia Bulldogs. After winning the national title in 2021– their very first since 1980– they lost 15 men to the NFL draft. Then they headed out and won the SEC and another championship game in 2022. They’re going to lose essential players once again, such as

DT Jalen Carter, LB Nolan Smith, TE Darnell Washington and others. They’re also going to include essential players like transfer wideouts Rara Thomas(Mississippi State)and Dominic Lovett (Missouri), who ought to be strong targets for Carson Beck(who appears, at the minimum, to be the man who gets the first fracture at the starting quarterback spot ), in addition to Mackey Award winner Brock Bowers. They had five freshmen and sophomores start on defense in 2022, and offered how we saw them replace a historically fantastic defense from 2021, the expectation will be that they bring in more future NFL talent in the upcoming season. We’ve reached a point with the Bulldogs that, till someone knocks them off, they need to be atop any list entering into 2023 as college football’s dominant force.Which top-25 group do you think FPI is most overvaluing?Adam Rittenberg: I traditionally go with Texas here, however I

actually like the Longhorns to win the Huge 12 and maybe even smell the CFP (words I’m sure to regret ). LSU seems a little high at No. 4. The Tigers’protective workers jumps out, however will they have enough offense and total consistency to navigate the SEC schedule? I do not get the Ole Miss thing, either. Quinshon Judkins is excellent, but how many elite teams have the Rebels in fact beaten recently? Even the 2021 season was light on signature wins. Putting Ole Miss ahead of a Utah group that has successive Pac-12 titles and returns its quarterback is a head-scratcher. The FPI has both Texas and Oklahoma in the top 11 in the initial rankings despite both teams having 5 or more losses last season. Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports Hale: Every year, the FPI loves Texas the way Texans like a 96-ounce ribeye, and every year, Texas creates more gristle than beef. Despite the Longhorns’ 8-5 record, the FPI still had them ranked seventh at year’s end– ahead of TCU and Washington, among others. So should we be surprised that Texas checks in at No. 5 in the preseason? Naturally not. However that does not mean we ought to expect Texas to make a real push for the playoff this year, either. The Longhorns lost a super star in

Bijan Robinson, and while there stays ample advantage with QB Quinn Ewers, it’s likewise worth bearing in mind that, after he returned from injury last season, he finished just 56.5%of his tosses and had an Overall QBR of 61.0, great for 64th nationally. Maybe this is the year Texas lastly puts all of it together prior to departing for the SEC, however the Longhorns need to prove it on the field before we buy into this year’s FPI ranking.Paolo Uggetti: The Big 12 is no longer Oklahoma’s conference to rule, and after a 6-7 season in which the Sooners ended up seventh in the conference, the leap to simply outside the leading 10 in the FPI feels generous, to say the least. There’s certainly an affordable line of idea

that the Sooners will recuperate in Brent Venables ‘second year with more familiarity and some included talent through the recruiting trail and the transfer portal. Yet even if that

holds true, it will not be simple for an improved Oklahoma to take the express lane back to the top of the conference, let alone the sport’s upper echelon.Low: Numerous excellent prospects here. Texas at No. 5? The Longhorns will be much better, but we have to see it to think it. Even with Garrett Riley being available in as offending organizer, is Clemson actually a top-10 team? Oklahoma at No. 11 likewise raises some eyebrows. But the so-called nod goes to Florida. The Gators at No. 18 seems high, specifically with the concerns at quarterback. The defense was among the worst in school history a year earlier, and while Florida hit the transfer website hard this offseason on that side of the ball, there requires to be major enhancement on defense for the Gators to be a top-20 team in 2023. It’s only Year 2 under Billy Napier, and the 2024 finalizing class is looking better day by day. So it’s early to state the Gators aren’t going to return to national importance under Napier. However doing so next year may be a stretch.Which group outside the leading 25 has the best opportunity to make a NY6 run?Scarborough: I believed I missed something when I first went through the FPI. I kept scrolling and scrolling and scrolling and there it was: Tulane at No. 55. Yes, this is the same Green Wave that won 12 games last season and beat USC in the Cotton Bowl. And yes, it’s the same Green Wave that returns both their beginning quarterback(Michael Pratt )and their top offensive lineman (Sincere Haynesworth). It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Willie Fritz fields the top Group of 5 program as soon as again and end up in another New Year’s 6 Bowl.Editor’s Picks 2 Related Lyles: I attempt to look at schedules and Group of 5 programs when it comes

to these. I feel like the groups in the Sun Belt will knock each other out of this formula and it’s between two teams in the American: Tulane and SMU. Despite some of their key losses in people like Tyjae Spears, Nick Anderson and Dorian Williams, I like Tulane’s opportunities over SMU, provided the returning players that Alex pointed out, along with the fact that the Mustangs have roadway games at Oklahoma and TCU. The Green Wave’s schedule isn’t necessarily easy, but they do get their most difficult games at home. With Cincinnati, Houston and UCF leaving for the Huge 12, I like Tulane’s opportunities here more than I otherwise would have.Uggetti: I’m not prepared to count out Kansas State, which not just made it to the conference title game last year however was the only group to beat TCU(besides Georgia) last season on its way to the Sugar Bowl. The FPI has the Wildcats 27th, ranked behind 6 Big 12 teams, including newbie UCF. After losing quarterback Adrian Martinez and running back Deuce Vaughn, who hurried for more than 3,500 lawns over his profession, also

as a number of defensive starters, the designs are understandably down on the Wildcats. However quarterback Will Howard is back and extremely touted prospect Avery Johnson is likewise now in Manhattan. Chris Klieman’s team has actually also included some defensive pieces by means of the transfer website, including cornerback Marques Sigle from North Dakota State and protective lineman Jevon Banks from Mississippi State, who must assist shore up the defense and provide another shot at outshining expectations in 2023. Hale: The popular narrative around the ACC is that Clemson( No. 8 in the FPI)and Florida State(No. 14)inevitably will

satisfy up in the title game with the winner in the playoff mix. That sounds good, but the ACC doesn’t precisely have a fantastic performance history of measuring up to forecasts. There might disappear departments, but Coastal Turmoil might now simply broaden to consist of the whole league. If that occurs, watch out for Pitt, which checks in at No. 35 in the preseason FPI– astonishingly, just behind Syracuse. Yes, the Panthers lost a lot from in 2015’s 9-4 team, which won its last 5, however the arrival of Phil Jurkovec via the transfer portal need to settle the QB position, and Pat Narduzzi is delighted about the benefit of his protective line, which will include four new starters this season. Over the previous two seasons, the only Power 5 teams to win more games than Pitt are Georgia

, Michigan, Alabama, Ohio State and Clemson. That’s elite business, even if the FPI does not view the Panthers as an elite team.Which team has a ranking that may seem odd now, however will show the FPI appropriate by the end of the season?Low: Seeing UCLA all the way down at No. 41 is surprising after Chip Kelly and the Bruins broke through with a nine-win season a year ago and back-to-back 6-3 records in the Pac-12 in 2021 and 2022. But there’s a load to replace on offense with quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and flexible running back Zach Charbonnet both off to the NFL. The Bruins are also searching for a go-to receiver and have a brand-new protective planner, D’Anton Lynn, coming in to run a defense that connected for 90th nationally in scoring defense last season. Freshman quarterback Dante Moore, the highest-rated prospect of Kelly’s tenure at UCLA, has actually generated plenty of enjoyment. But offered what should be an exceptionally deep Pac-12 next season, the Bruins could take an action backward.Rittenberg: Once again

, I can’t believe I’m doing this, however Texas? Yes, the Longhorns have actually dissatisfied their fans for the majority of the previous 15 years. Steve Sarkisian has proved to be a far better offending planner than head coach. But I understand why the FPI is even higher on the Horns this season. Texas just has the best roster in the Big 12, especially if the defense continues to ascend and Ewers settles in more as a second-year beginning quarterback. The Alabama roadway game will be tough, however Texas appears like the Huge 12’s best group and ought to manage itself well in league play. I make certain none of you will remember this when Texas starts 3-4, however I like the Longhorns to at least remain in the CFP discussion for a while. Is No. 5 expensive? Yes. But it’s a top-10 lineup for sure.Hale: Oklahoma checks in at No. 11, which may seem a lofty location for a group that went 6-7 last season. But the FPI tends to have a company grip on talent, and the Sooners ought to be a far more gifted team this season than they were in Brent Venables’first year in Norman. Venables landed 3 first-class recruits and had 13 ESPN 300 players in this year’s class. He likewise generated some top-tier players through the transfer website, consisting of edge rush Rondell Bothroyd(Wake Forest), linebacker Dasan McCullough (Indiana)and protective lineman Davon Sears(Texas State)to fix a defense that struggled strongly last year. It’s possible the Sooners are still a year far from competing for a playoff bid, but 2023 should be a marked improvement from Venables’rough very first year.

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