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ESPN’s FPI Projects Michigan State’s Record For 2018 Season

Mark Dantonio smiling on the Michigan State sideline.

SAN DIEGO, CA - DECEMBER 28: Head coach Mark Dantonio looks on after defeating the Washington State Cougars 42-17 in the SDCCU Holiday Bowl at SDCCU Stadium on December 28, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Can Michigan State win another Big Ten title under Mark Dantonio and get back to the College Football Playoff in 2018? ESPN’s FPI gives them a pretty good chance.

Michigan State finished the 2017 regular season with a 9-3 record, losing at Northwestern and Ohio State and at home against Notre Dame. The Spartans beat Washington State in the Holiday Bowl to finish 10-3 overall.

ESPN’s FPI has been updated to include projected win-loss records. The Spartans, who are the No. 10 ranked team per FPI, have a projected record of 9.5 wins and 2.7 losses.

A reminder on FPI:

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. Ratings and projections update daily.

Basically, the ESPN metric has Michigan State in the 9-3, 10-2 range in the regular season. A 10-2 record with a Big Ten title could put them in the running for a playoff spot.

MSU is given a 2.0 percent chance of running the table and 12.9 percent chance of winning the conference. Their strength of schedule ranks 26th nationally.

Here’s a look at the top 10 of ESPN’s FPI, right now. Ohio State and Penn State are also in the mix. Clemson is the No. 1 team heading into 2018.

ESPN's 2018 College Football Power Index.

Michigan State is favored in 10 of 12 games this season. They are underdogs at Penn State and at home against Ohio State, per the FPI.

You can check out ESPN’s entire FPI here.