By Dan Jenkins
(97.1 The Ticket) — We’ve seen so many preseason college football rankings in the last few weeks that our heads are starting to spin.
Well, here’s one more.
ESPN has what it calls a “Football Power Index” and describes it as:
“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 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule.”
Given that the system rates all 128 Division I teams, you can expect to see both Michigan and Michigan State on the list. But what I’m sure you didn’t expect is that the Wolverines have a higher rating than the Spartans.
Brady Hoke’s squad comes in at No. 18 on the list, the second-highest rated team from the Big Ten — trailing only Ohio State (No. 6). The formula has the Wolverines winning an average of 8.9 games and having a 12.7 percent change of winning the conference.
The Rose Bowl Champion Spartans come in at No. 24 and are given a 5.9 percent chance of winning the conference. MSU comes in as the fourth-highest rated team in the conference, behind OSU, U-M and Wisconsin.
But the question is: Does this really even mean anything? That’s for you to decide.