ESPN has updated its Football Power Index following the weekend's slate of games. Over the years, fans have clamored for ESPN to open the black box of FPI and share more information. WSU had just a 11.2% win probability. As you can see, so far they have been fairly consistent with their projected ranges. In the season projections, the importance of a teams schedule and path to a conference championship cannot be stressed enough; two teams with the same FPI can have drastically different projections, given their schedules. Modern college football rankings go beyond the final score and use the play by play data from each game. To put this in perspective, the team favored by the closing line in the gambling markets won 61.5% of games according to The Prediction Tracker (208-130 with no prediction in one game). In general, are the core problems with FPI (or any other computer based program that includes per possession stats or margin of victory) anything more than just a sample size issue? Like most game predictions, FPI accounts for team strength, opponent strength, and home-field advantage. With a good ranking, a higher ranked teams should more often than not beat a lower ranked team. To answer the question of whether those misses were within the expected range or not (too many misses), I looked at the win projections for the games and whether they fell into the expected win percentages. The 2021 SEC football season kicked off last Saturday with a loaded Week 1 slate. Since the offense started in a situation with +0.3 expected points, they had +1.0 EPA for this play. 71 percent to 80 percent. The preseason ratings take into account data from previous seasons,. -- FPI uses four recruiting services -- ESPN, Rivals, Scouts and Phil Steele -- to measure the talent on a teams roster and add an additional piece of information about which teams are on the rise. Penn State has moved up to No. Clemson would go on and beat Oklahoma in the first round, but eventually lose to Alabama in the national championship game. They could drive the length of the field for a touchdown for +7 points or kick a field goal for +3 points. Ive been tracking ESPNs FPI projections throughout the season and thought that this would be a good time to take a look to see how their projections have fared so far. Eastern Michigan at Arizona State. Finishing drives Measured by points per trip inside the opponents 40 yard line. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Which idea matters more: strength of schedule or margin of victory? Most likely, they use yards per play for the rushing and passing numbers. If it is done correctly, the calculations should converge somewhere near reality, but we have evidence that FPI is useless. Barking Carnival has last year's pre-season FPI on its website (thank you /u/butchplz for linking).Preseason #3 Auburn ended up 8-5.Preseason #7 Oklahoma ended up 8-5.Preseason #8 Stanford ended up 8-5.Preseason #9 SCAR ended up 7-6.Preseason #10 TAMU ended up 8-5.Preseason #14 LSU ended up 8-5.Preseason #18 Michigan ended up 5-7.Preseason #19 UNC ended up 6-7.Preseason #21 OKState ended up 7-6.Preseason #22 Florida ended up 7-5.Preseason #24 Michigan State ended up 11-2, the first big miss on the list in the other direction.Preseason #25 Texas ended up 6-7.By my count, that's 12 of the top-25 with laughably bad predictions. Each quarterback's efficiency is determined based on past performance (using similar components as what we use to build up Total QBR), adjusted for an aging curve, and the players without any prior experience are set at replacement level. -. Currently there are differences in which team is favored now compared to the preseason in 7 of them: WSU at Arizona (now WSU), Arizona State at Stanford (now Stanford), Arizona State at WSU (now WSU), Oregon State at Arizona State (now Oregon State), California at Colorado (now California), WSU at Stanford (now WSU), and USC at UCLA (now USC). How do you determine the best team in college football? You would naturally be skeptical, and that is the necessary case here. Yes, they missed some games (like WSU-Wisconsin and UW-Michigan State), but theyve been correct much more often than theyve missed-even on the conference games. ESPNs latest Super Bowl predictions will likely make most NFL fans angry. ESPNs College Football Power Index (FPI) was developed in 2013 as a way to measure team strength and predict game and season outcomes going forward. For example, if a team wins by an average of 10 points per game, it could be that plus-seven of that is offense, plus-four is defense and minus-one is special teams. To see the top 35 college football teams in Massey-Peabody, click here. FPI's preseason projected win total for Tennessee in 2019 was 7.6 and the Vols, who were given better than a 50% chance of winning in nine games, won seven in the regular season despite losing . FPI is a predictive rating system designed to measure team strength and project performance going forward. In addition, there is criticism of the week-by-week changes that FPI makes, rather than making one prediction for each team.[6]. It was correct for only six of the teams, with one push, so you would have lost money if you bet on every team using the FPI. Neither value is significantly different than for all of the games, but that will be something to watch as the season progresses. Note the prediction accuracy of the polls before the bowls is less than the accuracy of preseason polls. The Tennessee Titans are clinging to a 23.7 percent chance. Consider the following metrics for rankings teams. The quarterback factor is adjusted for the probability that the quarterback will start, injuries, rookies, and trades. To understand EPA, suppose a team has a 1st and 10 at their own 20 yard line. Well have to see if their preseason projections or their weekly updates end up being more accurate. Each teams season is simulated 10,000 times to produce its chance to win its division, win its conference, make the playoffs, win the Super Bowl (NFL), pick any slot in the NFL draft, and more. Seasonal effects: Over the last five seasons, offenses have contributed about 1.8 points per game to their net scoring margins in the first six weeks, but as the temperature (and offenses) cooled, the league-wide offensive EPA per game dropped to 1.0 points per game in the final six weeks of the season. Game predictions account for opponent strength, pace of play, site, travel distance, day's rest and altitude, and are used to simulate the season 10,000 times to produce season projections. He is a regular contributor on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio and writes weekly for ESPN Insider. They need to rank 25 teams, not the sixty some teams of the NCAA tournament. I make predictions for this system by translating it to a new scale that allows for making predictions. Without going into all of the details for all of the teams, here is a quick summary of the current future win projections for each Pac-12 team. How has ESPNs FPI done in predicting the Pac-12 games so far this season? Oregon State had a 49.8% win probability. You should be able to get around 50% if you pick the winner randomly, and some of the games, such as MSU vs. Each week ESPN updates their projections based on the games that had been played. Accounting for starting field position is important. Privacy Policy. It's basically an algorithm that predicts who will win the game. To show this, we ask how often the higher ranked team in the poll beat a lower ranked team in a bowl game. and our According to ESPN. Another issue is that the spread to a game isn't agreed on everywhere, so the results might be slightly different if I used another source to get the spreads. FPIs 1-through-128 rankings are fun to debate, but the ultimate goal is to correctly handicap games. Brian Fremeau looks back on Week 1 in college football and puts the opening games in their proper context. And, of course, final score picks. Does ESPN's FPI Predict GamesAccurately? Here is a table which shows each Pac-12 team and the number of games where they are favored and ESPNs projected wins for each team. Brian Fremeau looks back on Week 1 in college football and puts the opening games in their proper context. Of course, no system will be 100 percent accurate, and every year there are teams that FPI is wrong on. Expected points added, or EPA, is a measure of success/failure that takes into account yards, turnovers, red zone efficiency and more to determine how many points each unit is contributing to the team's scoring margin. And because they update those projections each week, Ill look at how well theyve adjusted those projections (weekly predictions). ESPN's computer prediction system, Football Power Index, went about making its picks for just that as we get closer to kickoff. For the record, FPI has performed extremely well this season, placing [10th among 68 polls per Prediction Tracker] ( and [7th among the 128 polls in the Massey Composite, or 5th among all predictive polls] ( It is important to note what FPI is not -- FPI is not a playoff predictor, and it is not designed to identify the four teams most deserving of making the College Football Playoff. Ratings and projections are changed daily, but as of December 7, 2021, the FPI has predicted two teams to make it to the Super Bowl that will have a . Washington State at Wisconsin. Invest in us!" As noted, there are four components to the preseason rating: prior performance, returning starters, recruiting rankings and coaching tenure. but the FPI has been astonishingly accurate regarding the Vols in the past . Mel Kiper Jr. offers up 20 players -- 10 on offense, 10 on defense -- whose skills represent the complete football skill set. FPI favorites in FBS-only gamesBy percentage chance to win This suggests one of the following things: The equation used is bad (recursion does not cause the converge to a value, or weights the input data incorrectly), the recursion is too extreme (recursively goes back to its raw input values), the data input is bad, or there is no knowable way to calculate a single uniform and meaningful value from the data points they useI think it is something like all of these combined. ESPN has other metrics, including Strength of Record, that can be used to identify the most deserving teams. Although team ratings provide fodder for debate, the ultimate goal of these projections is not to rate teams -- it is to predict performance going forward. Let's take a look at ESPN's updated FPI numbers for the Big Ten. Terms at Does anyone know or have records showing the FPI's accuracy in predicting game matchups? -- Returning starters on offense and defense, with special consideration given to starting quarterbacks or transfer quarterbacks with starting experience, is the second piece of information powering preseason FPI. And to put it in perspective, their QBR ranking is also terrible. However, there are other factors working against the playoff committee. It's similar to how we calculate chemical bonding energies, where you make a first-order guess, then apply those calculations to the next round of calculations, then apply those, and the following, etc. 12 of the top-20 SoS calculations belong to SEC teamsWhy, do you ask? At one point, FPI had Mississippi as the best team in the nation, and it is currently ranking Southern Cal as the sixth best team in the nation, despite their 3-3 record. When it comes to predictions, ESPN's FPI was one of the most accurate a year ago. That is not to mention that they have (in my opinion) the worst recruiting rankings of ESPN, Rivals, and 247.We know that there is some sort of recursive formula in it which considers (at least) Strength of Schedule. Beyond generating FPI, programming in the logic to determine . /u/tmart12 has a nice post about that below. Its worth noting that the results of analytics such as FPI are not black-and-white -- they give us likelihoods of outcomes, not certainties. I don't want to be the guy who continuously disregards this is it has some inherent value, but as far as I can tell ESPN hasn't shared how it is calculated. Thunder still trying to mesh ahead of matchup at Spurs, Rams offense brings back some of the 'greatest' memories. Thunder still trying to mesh ahead of matchup at Spurs, Rams offense brings back some of the 'greatest' memories. After combining all of these factors, a preseason FPI rating is determined for each team, which represents the points above or below average a team is expected to be in the coming season. No one sports writer or coach can create a perfect ranking. It is important to note that prior seasons information never completely disappears, because it has been proved to help with prediction accuracy even at the end of a season. +3 means the home team is favored to win by 3 points and -3 means the visitor is favored by 3 points. Injuries and bad bounces that effect the outcome of games happen all the time. In one case they were in the expected range (90-100%), and in 2 cases they were at one end of the range (50-60% and 80-90%). And if you are wondering, WSU had an 11.2% win projection in the game against Wisconsin in the preseason and that moved to 7.1% the week of that game. Anthony Davis fills up stat sheet against Suns, Coming off 2017 and looking ahead, it's a great time to be a Georgia fan, Lou Williams has been Stephen Curry-like of late for Clippers, Wizards have a fivesome that ranks among the best in the game, It's a great time to be the Rockets' defense, Seahawks QB Russell Wilson in MVP-caliber form. In its first publicly available season, the FPI favorite won 63 percent of NFL games, which is comparable with the Vegas closing line, and proved to be well calibrated in a small sample. We do not know the equation they use, the factors they consider, how they weight the inputs, or how they calculate SoS recursively. Will the College Football Playoff committee do this well with their rankings? What is accounted for in game predictions? However, there is data to suggest these ranking have predictive power. There have been 18 Pac-12 games so far. They could literally have an "SEC variable" where any team in the conference or a team which played at an SEC stadium would receive a bump, but that is not necessary to get these laughable results. 69. To deter teams from running up the score in the name of sportsmanship, they didnt allow their computer polls to consider margin of victory. One of the key metrics is # of times David Pollack has spontaneously ejaculated when thinking about your team. Efficiency Measured by success rate, or 50% of the necessary yards on 1st down, 70% on 2nd down, and 100% on 3rd and 4th down. Even teams that had less than a 10% win projection have won, and there are 8 Pac-12 games where that is currently the case (most involving Colorado). The one team that stands out here is obviously Oregon State. With this objective in mind, ESPN's Stats & Information Group has created an NFL version of its Football Power Index, or FPI for short. It's a stat ESPN made up to prop up the SEC during its CFP ranking shows. Burke calculates 1.3 expected points for a 1st and 10 from their own 40. 6 Auburn, Kirk Cousins thriving even when Redskins are not, Lonzo Ball, De'Aaron Fox meet for first time in NBA as Lakers visit Kings. 54. The AP poll didnt do much worse at 58.8% of winners (154-108 with no prediction in 77 games). The SEC SoS circular logic is already in full swing. Do you make these 3 mistakes with college football statistics? The Colley Matrix does better than win percentage but not nearly as good as raw margin of victory. The latter site also combines FEI with S&P+ to obtain the F/+ rankings, an aggregate picture of team, offense and defense in college football. ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) college football rankings are a measure of team strength that means to predict a team's performance. "Breaking down the Football Power Index - ESPN Video", "The odds of Auburn crashing the College Football Playoff", "The essential guide to predictive college football rankings", "Dear ESPN: Stop Trying to Make Power Index Projections Happen", "How much of a joke is the ESPN Football Power Index? For example, the preseason AP poll is not only useful during the season but makes good predictions on bowl games. Heres a look at the same breakdown as above for the win projection ranges. Like most game predictions, FPI accounts for team strength, opponent strength and home-field advantage. Cookie Notice If a team wins enough games to earn a divisional title or a wild-card spot, it will make the playoffs and possibly have a chance to compete for the Super Bowl. They use the Simple Ratings System, a least squares method for ranking teams, to adjust EPA for strength of schedule. Correctly predicting game outcomes cant be done by evaluating teams records because some teams are stronger than their records (lots of close losses), and others have favorable schedules, which are reflected in the game- and season-level projections. No thanks, I'll make my predictions without data and analytics. Here's how ESPN's Football Power Index (FPI) projects the outcome of each of the 13 Week 2 games featuring SEC teams: Auburn (99.9 percent chance to win) vs. Alabama State; Nah after that they added an "action plays" qualifier 1 more than Batch had. Let's go ahead and address the elephant in the room as the one outlier Oklahoma has the easiest schedule of all teams in the Big 12. As an example, consider Florida State in 2014. But FPI is one of the best polls at predicting game outcomes this year among all computer polls which is what it's meant to do. For example, looking out from Week 1, there is a higher chance that a quarterback will not play in Week 17 than in Week 5. Their rankings not only determine the four teams for the College Football Playoff but also influence the match ups for the New Years Six bowl games. With this small sample size, teams can look much better by their record than they deserve. As college football fans, we do not agree with every prediction or rating, but in total, FPI has proven to be accurate. 82 FPI: -3.0 Projected win-loss:. While it may be interesting and entertaining to see Tom Brady square up against his former franchise in the Super Bowl, which could be his last ever, weve all been there and done this. TEX. Follow on, Besides Brock Bowers, who will be the SEC's elite TEs in 2023? Then each team's season is simulated 10,000 times to produce its chance to win its division, make the playoffs, win the Super Bowl and pick first in the NFL draft, among other interesting projections. The worst team in college football According to FPI, the worst. Since it was way too much work to calculate every single result we have so far in college football, I limited the results below to SEC games only. To test this with data, we can construct rankings that consider neither, one or two of these factors. Last, the play success is either like Bill Connellys success rate or expected points used by ESPN. Connellys numbers inform his writing as he ranks college football teams based on four factors. Each game play has an adjusted EPA based on historical data. The other 12 teams are playing out-of-conference opponents, including No. There is some debate about it, mostly because ESPN doesn't share many details about how it is calculated. Have a question or know of other rankings that should be included? NBA. Bold predictions. How recursive and what that formula is, though we have no clue.We know that ESPN clears its previous year FPI rankings from its website. For Whom the Cowbell Tolls, a Mississippi State Bulldogs community. This is a closed, and thus impossible to trust source. During week two, FPI's prediction on the South Carolina vs. Kentucky game was the same as the spread. Analytics also shows which rankings you can safely ignore. For this reason, the ultimate goal when rating teams in the NFL is to measure team strength and project performance going forward. Eli Drinkwitzs Mizzou squad travels to Kentucky to face the fellow 1-0 Wildcats on Saturday night in Lexington, the first game of SEC conference play. The College Basketball Power Index (BPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of performance going forward. Yet over a huge sample of games, the higher seed wins more than 7 of every 10 games. The ultimate goal of FPI is not to rank teams 1 through 128; rather, it is to correctly predict games and season outcomes. Lets look at two recommended points based computer rankings that make good predictions. Percentage-wise or overall game records. These numbers are different than above because they changed who the favorite was based on previous games. -- Prior performance is built off the framework of expected points added. However, this is a mistake. Theres a 10% chance we see the Pats and Bucs play for the Super Bowl. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts,,,, I wrote this regarding FPI months ago, and it still is true, "we can make limitless energy, but you can't know how or why. Each teams schedule is simulated 10,000 times to produce season-level outcomes such as each teams chance to win its conference, enter bowls undefeated and make a bowl game. Theres a simple trick for sorting the good from the bad rankings, and it comes from consider two ideas: strength of schedule and margin of victory. The committee ranked them third behind two one loss teams (Alabama, Oregon). The priors are based on the adjusted EPA so that no team dominates.[5]. It did say USC was going to beat Utah and most people here though it would never happen. The visual shows how often each of these rankings predicted the winner in 339 bowl games from 2005 through 2014. Brian Fremeau uses points per possession to evaluate teams in football. Therefore, we track how well a system is calibrated, and as can be seen in the chart above, when FPI gave a team between a 70 percent and an 80 percent chance to win, those teams actually won 73 percent of the time. An argument that Ive heard is that the out-of-conference games, which take place early in the season, are mostly one-sided, so ESPNs accuracy is skewed because of all of those easy games. "He checks a lot of boxes. The system is called the Football Power Index and has been a tool ESPN has used for quite some time now. In this game they gave Oregon State a 48.4% win probability. 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