It’s April, which means most college football teams are neck deep into spring practice, and a couple of weeks away from the rest of the new recruits even showing up on campus. That’s not stopping everyone, fans and media included, from speculating about who will win the Big 12 this fall.
According to ESPN’s Football Power Index, it’s not likely to be Oklahoma State.
ESPN released their FPI numbers for 2017 earlier today and the Cowboys were given a 20% chance to make the Big 12 title game.
Overall the Cowboys ranked 26th with an FPI of 10.6 and a projected win-loss record of 7.7-4.5, or basically 8-5.
For those who don’t know, the 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.
As you’ll notice above, yes Oklahoma State is projected below four teams that didn’t make bowl games last season; Notre Dame (they’re No. 20), UCLA, Oregon, and Texas (who lost to Kansas!!!).
Here’s the fun news; OU was the highest rated Big 12 team at No. 3 overall, and was given a 92 PERCENT CHANCE TO MAKE THE BIG 12 TITLE GAME. They also have a 77 percent chance to win the league. That’s the highest percentage any Power Five team has of winning their conference. Hoo boy. That won’t go to the heads of Sooner fans...
If you’re like me... that gif explains your reaction. Rest assured, we’re not the only ones who thing these rankings are... suspect.
Think FPI WAY undervaluing OSU, K-State, and giving OU (92%!!) too much benefit of doubt. Also, UT ahead of OSU/K-State is, uh, suspect— Jake Trotter (@Jake_Trotter) April 5, 2017
Breaking Oklahoma State’s FPI numbers down further, here’s the likelihood of Oklahoma State winning each of their games.
Despite the projected 7.7-4.5 win total projection, OSU would be the favorites in nine of their 12 games if the season started tomorrow, with their most likely wins coming against Tulsa, at South Alabama, and against Kansas. After Iowa State, OSU isn’t favored by more than 64 percent in any other game.
Sorry, 37.8 percent against Texas? Really? Stop it.
49.3 percent against TCU? In Stillwater? With Kenny
Trill Hill still quarterbacking the Frogs? OK.
To be honest, being 60.5 percent favorites over West Virginia on the road is a bit ludicrous too.
Here are the full Big 12 FPI rankings
68. Iowa St
It seems every year the Cowboys are underrated. They only lost a handful of starters between both offense and defense. All of the major offensive pieces are there. Yet everyone continues to hate on OSU. This year could flip the public's perception though. If I'm Gundy, I consider this bulletin board material.
Let us know what you think about the FPI rankings in the comments section below!