A Look at the ESPN FPI for Undefeated Teams

by | Oct 22, 2021 | ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, C-USA, G5, MW, Pac-12, SEC, The American

Photo courtesy of Oklahoma State athletics

After Coastal Carolina’s loss to Appalachian State on Wednesday night, we are down to only 10 undefeated teams.

Four of those teams are from the Group of 5 conferences, while six belong to the Power 5 conferences. Many college football fans would believe that any undefeated Power 5 team would control its own destiny in making the College Football Playoff.

One concern however, for the non-traditional powers is how each would be treated by the College Football Playoff Selection Committee. Below, we look at the data from the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) to see what it says about the remaining unbeatens:

Undefeated Teams

No. 1 Georgia (SEC) 7-0

No. 2 Cincinnati (AAC) 6-0

No. 3 Oklahoma (Big 12) 7-0

No. 6 Michigan (Big Ten) 6-0 

No. 8 Oklahoma State (Big 12) 6-0

No. 9 Michigan State (Big Ten) 7-0

No. 16 Wake Forest (ACC) 6-0

No. 21 SMU (AAC) 6-0

No. 22 San Diego State (Mountain West) 6-0

No. 24 UTSA (Conference USA) 7-0

ESPN FPI Win-Out Probability

No. 1 Georgia: 43.3%

No. 2 Cincinnati: 54.3%

No. 3 Oklahoma: 20.4%

No. 6 Michigan: 6.2%

No. 8 Oklahoma State: 0.4%

No. 9 Michigan State: 1.3%

No. 16 Wake Forest: 0.3%

No. 21 SMU: 0.8%

No. 22 San Diego State: 2%

No. 24 UTSA: 20.4%

ESPN FPI Playoff Probability

No. 1 Georgia: 90.4%

No. 2 Cincinnati: 54.3%

No. 3 Oklahoma: 62.5%

No. 6 Michigan: 37.8%

No. 8 Oklahoma State: 0.7%

No. 9 Michigan State: 10.2%

No. 16 Wake Forest: 0.1%

No. 21 SMU: 0.1%

No. 22 San Diego State: 0%

No. 24 UTSA: 0%

When you hear college football fans complain about there being only four teams for a playoff and wanting to expand, the last two teams are why. The fact that those two could go undefeated and are not given any mathematical way of making the College Football Playoff seems insane. Strength of schedule aside, a lot more chaos could happen for a bridge to cross over.

While it is unlikely that Wake Forest wins out, the Demon Deacons aren’t even the ACC’s best chance to make the playoffs, according to the FPI. The Clemson Tigers, with two losses and a horrid offense, are.

With all the ESPN FPI information above, what do you think? We would love to hear your input in the comments below.

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