ESPN updated its way-too-early preseason top 25 for the 2018 college football season on Tuesday. Today, ESPN’s computer rankings came out.
The Football Power Index, per ESPN, is a “predictive rating system for college football teams that we use to fuel our predictions and projections before and during the season.” You can read about how it works here.
Clemson came in at No. 1 in the way-too-early preseason top 25, coming in ahead of Alabama. The Tigers are also No. 1 in the FPI.
The FPI doesn’t agree with all of ESPN’s way-too-early rankings, though. ESPN’s computer sees some teams as underrated and some as overrated.
Who’s the most-underrated? Notre Dame.
The Fighting Irish are by far the most-underrated team according to ESPN’s computer.
Notre Dame comes in at No. 21 in ESPN’s preseason top 25. ESPN on the Fighting Irish:
“After rebounding from a 4-8 disaster in 2016 to win 10 games for the second time in three seasons, the Fighting Irish face a little uncertainty heading into 2018. The Irish were hit hard by early departures to the NFL draft — Nelson, St. Brown and Adams declared — and highly regarded defensive coordinator Mike Elko left for Texas A&M.”
The FPI is much, much higher on Brian Kelly’s team. It has Notre Dame all the way up at No. 5 in the preseason FPI. That’s a difference of 16 spots for those who can’t do simple math.
You can view the full FPI here.