FPI: ESPN is keeping college football fans entertained during the off-season. And it's not because of spring football games either.
It's never too early for a college football preseason poll. We see the "way too early" polls the day after the championship game.
We will have to wait a little longer for some of the preseason magazines. But right now, ESPN has unveiled its first FPI rankings for 2021.
Funny thing is that it will change several times before we actually kick off. Don't ask me why. Also, don't expect me to explain these rankings. I'm not sure ESPN's analytics guys can.
First off, Alabama is No. 1. The FPI stands for Football Power Index, so that must mean most powerful. As I go forward, you'll see that the rankings are probably not indicative of how teams will actually finish in the real polls.
Is being No. 1 a jinx? It certainly is if you grace to cover of Sports Illustrated as the top-ranked team preseason. They still have a magazine don't they?
According to the FPI, Alabama has a 30.8 percent chance of winning it all in '21. That is best among all 130 teams.
The Tide has a 50.8 percent chance of reaching the CFP title game. It has a 76.3 percent chance of making the playoff.
Bama's odds of making the playoff are actually better than their odds of winning the SEC. Sound odd? It's really not.
Alabama has reached the playoff 6 of 7 times. That's 86 percent. They have won the SEC 5 of 7 times during that same span (71.4%).
Oklahoma, a team that has not fared well in the CFP (but made 4 of 7) is No. 2 in the FPI with a 73.2 percent chance of reaching the playoff and a 25.7 percent chance of winning the whole thing.
Clemson is No. 3 with a 15.4 percent chance of winning another national championship. The surpise team is Iowa State at No. 4 with a 9.4 percent chance of winning the "natty."
An even bigger surprise in the top 10 is Mississippi State. Yes - the Bulldogs. They went 4-7 last year and finished 7 out of 7 in the SEC West. Again, don't ask me to explain it.
There are four teams in the Top 10 from the SEC. Texas A&M is No. 6 and Georgia is No. 7.
Other SEC teams in the top 25 were Auburn (16), LSU (18) and Ole Miss (22).
Auburn has a 0.1 percent chance of winning the national title under first-year coach Bryan Harsin. "So, you're telling me there's a chance."
I don't put much stock in this FPI, but is fun while we wait for August.
Auburn's overall win/loss record is 6.9 wins and 4.2 losses - or about 7-4. I know they play 12 games. Alabama's 11.1 and 1.6. Rounding up, that's about 11-2.
The lowest rated team in the FPI is New Mexico State. The Aggies are projected to win one game.
Vanderbilt is last among SEC teams at No. 92 with a projection of 4-8. The Commodoores were winless last year and ditched their coach, Derek Mason, who landed at Auburn as DC.
At least Vandy is not playing the all-SEC schedule this year. By the way, the FPI gives them a 0.0 percent chance of winning the national title. "So you're telling me there (isn't) a chance."