George Wrighster examines ESPN’s FPI, says, “Prepare for an open college football season”

We need to talk about the next college football season.

Was there ever a year when things seemed so unpredictable and wide open? At this point, the preseason rankings are as solid as USC and UCLA’s commitment to Pac-12.

Let’s take ESPN’s Football Power Index rankings.

Unsurprisingly, Alabama and the state of Ohio rank first and second, but one thing we learned last year is that Superman can actually bleed. Crimson Tide lost a conference game to Texas A&M and Ohio State finally saw its streak of streak victories over Jim Harbaugh and Michigan come to an end.

Georgia is in 3rd place, and while Kirby Smart says they are the hunters and not the prey, he is going hunting without last year’s defensive coordinator Dan Lanning, and FIFTEEN of last year’s players were selected in the 2022 NFL Draft.
At number 4 is Clemson, who hasn’t chosen a starting QB, has lost his defensive coordinator in Oklahoma, and is attempting to exist in the age of the transfer portal without participating.

At number 5, Notre Dame has for the first time a head coach in Marcus Freeman, who has replaced nearly the entire offensive staff, and is setting a schedule that includes Ohio State and USC away and an early November game hosting Clemson. .

At number 6, Michigan is coming out of its best season under Jim Harbaugh, but they have four coaches holding two coordinating roles and three of them are in their first year on the job. There are many cooks in the kitchen.

At number 7 you have a team that have finished the regular season .500 or less FIVE TIMES IN THE LAST NINE YEARS, including last season. Right. Texas is in the top 7.

At number 8 you have a team that has a brand new head coach, a brand new attacking coordinator and will start their third QB in the last two years: the Oklahoma Sooners.

Number 9 is the Miami Hurricanes and new head coach Mario Cristobal – and Mario is my boyfriend, but his attacks in Oregon didn’t exactly set the world on fire and, outside of QB’s position, the attack of the ‘ hurricane appears to be in rebuild mode.

And completing the ESPN FPI FAH-MAH-LAY top 10 is Brian Kelly and the LSU Tigers. 3-5 in the SEC played last year and questions to the QB, on the offensive line and in the defensive backfield.

I don’t see a sure thing anywhere in the group. All these teams have warts, and before you try to argue that I’m just negative, or try to convince myself that Oregon has a path to the playoffs (when I know we have Utah to worry about), believe me when we say that the fact that the sport looks more wide-open than it has been in recent years is actually a very good thing!

Hope drives the sport, and if you’re out of ESPN’s FPI top 10, you may simply have more hope than you’ve had in a long time.

Let it sink.