Breaking down ESPN’s FPI for the Nittany Lions

ESPN’s infamous Football Power Index was first released for the 2022 season and there’s a lot of the same, but also some new faces. Penn State got a pretty reasonable ranking in the grand scheme of things, but the REIT isn’t the end game, the football has yet to be played.

For now, the FPI can serve as a tool to show where analysts and media see Penn State and the college football landscape in the spring. For those reading this who aren’t sure what the FPI index is or what makes it up, it’s actually quite simple.

The Football Power Index assesses the coaching roster and staff, then flips with the team schedule and basically predicts the outcome of the season. The index predicts everything from wins and losses, odds of winning, odds of winning the conference and of course national title chances.

Weighing all of these things, the Big Ten had five teams in the top 25, Penn State ranked 12th overall for this upcoming season.

ESPN’s FPI predicts Penn State’s record will be 8-4 in the regular season with a 4.3% chance of winning the conference. Looking even further than the conference as a whole, they predict the team will have a 6.6% chance of winning their division. The favorite for conference and division is of course Ohio State, which you can expect to remain king of until someone can knock them down from the top of the mountain.

Other notable numbers that Penn State fans will see will of course be National Championship odds. The ones you might expect are low, 0.2% to be exact, so these numbers can’t get any worse. What should you take away from all of this? Penn State should be in store for a rebound season from what we saw in 2021.

With a 97.4 percent chance of winning six games, at worst, it looks like Penn State is guaranteed to tie at least last year’s regular season.

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Charles P. Patton