Updated ESPN FPI Leaves Minnesota Out of Top-25 but Includes 6 Others…

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PJ Fleck has talked about how his team will deal with a change to expectations coming into the 2020 season. After an 11-2 2019 season, nobody was going to underestimate the Gophers in 2020…

I don’t blame Coach for his mistake in thinking, here. At most places, he would be absolutely right… but Minnesota isn’t most places. Here in the Northstar State, that’s all people do, is underestimate us and tell us we can’t hang with the big boys. It plays into our own losing attitude, which Fleck has talked about needing to change.

I don’t know how ESPN’s “FPI Ratings Index” works. It’s some sort of calculation through wire of computers that beeps and makes popcorn.. I don’t really care to look into it after seeing it’s latest update, which omits the Minnesota Gophers from its top-25.

Northwestern apparently makes a comeback though… they had ONE Big Ten win last year…


FPI RankTeam (Big Ten)2019 Record2020 Win Projection
2Ohio State 13-112.4
4Wisconsin 10-410.8
7Penn State 11-210.1
19Michigan 9-47.4
22Iowa 10-37.0
23Indiana 8-57.7
25Northwestern 3-97.7
30Minnesota 11-27.6
40Nebraska 5-75.8
ESPN Football Power Index

Any computer model or calculation that puts the 2020 Northwestern Wildcats ahead of the Minnesota Gophers, needs to be thrown into the computer model trash bin.

Will the Gophers win 10 regular season games and go to a New Year’s Day bowl again…? Maybe not… Will they fall out of relevance in the Big Ten West and allow a 2019 bottom-dweller like Northwestern surpass them…? No.

Indiana impressed me last season and gave everyone fits. They are definitely a team to watch. Are they more of a team to watch than the Gophers? No.

Also, how does it make sense that Michigan and Iowa are ranked higher than Indiana, Northwestern and Minnesota…. but both project to have less wins than all three of those schools? Fuck it. I’m done with whatever witchcraft ESPN has created here.

With all of this time to spare, they should go back to the drawing board on their FPI ratings and how it works. When that happens, get back to me. Until then, I won’t look any further into how a travesty like this happens.

I will shower the FPI witchcraft with one bit of praise… they got their Nebraska projection right.



Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan