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ESPN’s FPI Projects Auburn’s Record For 2018 Season

Gus Malzahn gives the thumbs up after a big Auburn play.

AUBURN, AL - NOVEMBER 25: Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers reacts after a touchdown by the Alabama Crimson Tide was overturned after review during the fourth quarter at Jordan Hare Stadium on November 25, 2017 in Auburn, Alabama. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Will the Auburn Tigers take a big step forward in 2018? ESPN’s FPI seemingly predicts that the Tigers will have another season around the top of the SEC West.

Auburn went 10-4, winning the SEC West before falling to Georgia in the conference championship and to UCF in the Peach Bowl. The Tigers finished ranked 10th in the AP poll and 12th in the Coaches' poll. So will the Tigers take another step forward and crash the College Football Playoff in 2018?

ESPN’s FPI has been updated to include projected win-loss records. The Tigers, who are the No. 7 ranked team per FPI, have a projected record of 9.1 wins and 3.1 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 formula suggests that a 9-3 regular season record is the most likely for Auburn. Last season was Auburn's second of at least 10 wins under Malzahn, after going 12-2 and making the BCS National Championship in 2013.

Auburn is given a 0.7-percent chance to run the table, and an 11-percent chance to win the conference. They’re playing against the 34th-hardest schedule in the country.

Here’s a look at the rest top 10 of ESPN’s FPI, right now. Alabama and Georgia are the other two SEC teams in the top 10, as you'd expect. Clemson is the No. 1 team heading into 2018.

ESPN's 2018 College Football Power Index.

ESPN has Auburn favored in nine games, including six in SEC play. They’re also only slight underdogs in the season opener vs. Washington, with a 49.5-percent chance to win per FPI.

Auburn's two biggest games come on the road, which is tough. FPI gives the Tigers a 33-percent chance at both Alabama and Georgia.

You can check out ESPN’s entire FPI here.