Skip to main content

ESPN Simulation Predicts Surprising National Champion

A wide shot of the field before the College Football Playoff National Championship Game.

SANTA CLARA, CA - JANUARY 07: Fireworks are seen during the national anthem prior to the CFP National Championship between the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Clemson Tigers presented by AT&T at Levi's Stadium on January 7, 2019 in Santa Clara, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

The 2020 college football season is already unlike any season since the 1940s. So why wouldn't ESPN's simulation give us a surprise national champion too?

In ESPN's latest Football Power Index (FPI), the simulation projected the entire 2020 season with some pretty surprising picks for the College Football Playoff. Let's get the biggest one out of the way now: ESPN's FPI projects the Florida Gators to win the national championship.

ESPN pointed out that this scenario where Dan Mullen and the Gators win the title, occurs in only 1.2-percent of projections. But the one they ran got the result that Tim Tebow would be proud of.

In the projection, Florida wins the SEC East and then goes on to shock Alabama in the SEC Championship Game. Securing the No. 3 seed in the CFP, Florida knocks off No. 2 Ohio State to advance.

Meanwhile, No. 1 Texas takes on No. 4 Alabama in the national semifinals (Clemson has somehow missed the cut). The Longhorns knock off Alabama to advance as Florida's opponent.

But in the national title game, Kyle Trask outduels Sam Ehlinger. The Gators win convincingly by multiple touchdowns, delivering them their first national title since 2008.

It's certainly not what most of us suspect. Clemson missing the CFP? Alabama losing the SEC Championship Game but still making the CFP? Texas being the No. 1 team in the nation?

But hey, in an insane year like 2020, why can't we get an insane ending to the college football season?