ESPN FPI Ranks Notre Dame In The 2020 Top 10
The ESPN Football Power Index has been released, and Notre Dame checks in as the No. 9 team in the country.
Notre Dame finished the 2019 season ranked 11th in the final FPI rankings after starting the season ranked No. 7. National champion LSU finished the year ranked third behind Ohio State and Clemson. That’s correct, LSU beat Clemson, who beat Ohio State, and finished 15-0, but finished behind both in the rankings.
This is not a typical poll and is reportedly based on data. The FPI has always generated head-scratching rankings. 12-1 Notre Dame also ranked behind 10-3 Michigan at the end of the 2018 season, despite having a better record and beating Michigan head-to-head.
Clemson is the preseason No. 1 team in the FPI. Notre Dame takes on Clemson at home on November 7th.
Here’s where the rest of Notre Dame’s opponents rank in the FPI:
6 - Wisconsin (Oct. 3)
13 - USC (Nov. 28)
28 - Stanford (Oct. 10)
35 - Louisville (Nov. 21)
43 - Pittsburgh (Oct. 17)
52 - Navy (Aug. 29)
55 - Georgia Tech (Nov. 14)
64 - Duke (Oct. 31)
66 - Arkansas (Sept. 12)
69 - Wake Forest (Sept. 26)
82 - Western Michigan (Sept. 19)
USC at No. 13 was one of the surprises in this ranking. I do think USC will be better in 2020, but I’m not sure how any statistical analysis can call for that. I was also a bit surprised to see Stanford ranked ahead of Louisville. Wake Forest being ranked lower than Arkansas was also a significant surprise.
On a national level, seeing 8-5 Texas and 8-5 Texas A&M being ranked in the Top 10 was a bit of a head scratcher.