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ESPN's FPI Ranks College Football's Hardest Schedules

This afternoon, ESPN updated its 2016 Football Power Index, which is defined as "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." The FPI not only calculates team strength, but also strength of schedule for every FBS team. We've already ranked what we feel are the 15 most difficult schedules in the country. Here is what FPI's measure looks like.Some interesting notes:

  • The top of this metric is absolutely dominated by the Pac-12 and SEC, with eight teams a piece in the top 20. 
  • The ACC and Big 12 each only have two teams in the top 20 (Florida State and Syracuse, Texas and Iowa State), while the Big Ten is totally shut out. More on that later.
  • Some of the Power Five's weaker teams are not doing themselves any favors. Five teams included in the strength of schedule top 20 have FPI rankings of four points or less above average: Syracuse (2.0), Vanderbilt (3.5), Oregon State (0.1), Colorado (2.7), and Iowa State (0.6). Good luck this year, fans of those programs.
  • We're on the same wavelength as FPI with many of these schedules. In December, we also ranked USC as having the No. 1 hardest schedule in the country.
  • FPI is bullish on Florida State. Despite a strength of schedule rank of No. 3, FSU is projected for 10.6 wins this year, best among all FBS programs.
  • Oh, and about the Big Ten...

">April 7, 2016

[ESPN]