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ESPN FPI's 2018 Preseason Top 10

ESPN’s first Football Power Index of 2018 is out.

ESPN released its first FPI of 2018 yesterday. You can view all of the rankings here.

If you’re unfamiliar with how the FPI works, you can read more about it here. In short, it is a computer ranking that relies on a myriad of factors, including returning starters, team performance over the last four seasons and recent recruiting rankings.

The first rankings sorted teams by offense, defense, special teams and overall ranking.

Here’s the FPI’s predicted top 10 teams in 2018.

1. Clemson – 25.5 FPI
2. Alabama – 23.2 FPI
3. Georgia – 23.1 FPI
4. Ohio State – 22.4 FPI
5 (tie). Notre Dame – 22.3 FPI
7. Auburn – 20. 1 FPI
8. Penn State – 19.9 FPI
9. Oklahoma – 19.0 FPI
10 (tie). Michigan State – 18.8 FPI
Michigan – 18.8 FPI

Clemson at No. 1 might surprise some, especially considering that Alabama is still Alabama and Georgia returns a lot of talent. However, the Tigers are loaded in their own right.

The FPI is also much higher on Notre Dame than the various way-too-early top 25 rankings were. The Irish have to replace their top two offensive linemen, top receiver and rusher and have issues at quarterback. However, Notre Dame returns almost its entire defense.