Alabama Football: ESPN ’18 FPI has no respect for some SEC teams

NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 01: Jalen Hurts /

The ESPN FPI predicts nine SEC teams will win less than eight games in 2018. Alabama football is projected to win 10.

When the newest ESPN FPI was released, few Alabama football fans gave it much notice. Is that because the ESPN FPI is flawed? Of course, it is, just as all predictive ratings are, especially months before an actual game is played.

Fortunately for Alabama football fans, owing to our championship birthright, preseason ratings matter little. That is even more true in the Saban years when every season ends with a trip to the College Football Playoff. It is not that regular seasons are beneath us, it is rather we (almost) always expect to win every regular season game.

When ESPN predicts the 2018 Crimson Tide regular season record will yield 10.8 wins, there is no need to over-react. Algorithms are not designed to understand Alabama football. Odds-defining systems will never predict even near perfection.

In case you missed the ESPN data, Georgia, Alabama and Auburn are predicted to win 10.9, 10.8 and 9.1 games, respectively. Silly computers, humans at least understand a team cannot win a tenth of a game. Florida (8.1) and Mississippi State (8.4) are the only other SEC schools predicted to win eight or more games.

ESPN disrespects the SEC

Nine SEC teams winning seven games or less according to the FPI is an affront to the conference. Understandably, the fans of many schools are displeased. LSU fans, with a predicted win estimate of 6.2 games are irate. Though it is hard to distinguish their response to Cajun, base-level, frenzy. Fans are unhappy in Starkville as well, despite the Bulldogs averaging less than six wins per season this century.

For Alabama football fans looking to debate ESPN, the predictions indicate the B1G will be the conference with the greatest success in 2018. The ESPN FPI predicts six B1G teams will win eight or more games, one more than the five from the SEC.

Before SEC football fans organize a march on Bristol CT., the predictions for the other Power Five conferences should settle some nerves. According to the ESPN FPI, the PAC12 will have only four teams with eight or more wins. The Big12 and the ACC are predicted to have only three.

For the most bellicose among us, try demanding just how the hell Georgia is predicted to win  .1 more games than the Crimson Tide. No doubt, ESPN will gladly provide someone to engage in a loud argument.

For those who wish to be further enlightened or perhaps amused, check out our commentary from last June, linked below.

Next: How well does the FPI predict?

Rest assured, this will be our only FPI post for this calendar year. There is so much more of real import to discuss.