There are still several weeks until the kickoff of the 2016 college football season, but ESPN has already put out their initial Football Power Index (FPI) for 2016 and has the UCLA Football team towards the top of their list.
We cannot wait for college football and neither can most of the country, and why not? It is one of the best times of the year! It will be especially fun for the UCLA Football team as they head into the next phase of their time with Head Coach Jim Mora.
The Bruins are in a time of transition which is both questionable and exciting. The Bruins are implementing major “tweaks” to their offense and are trying to solidify their defense as they move to a 4-3 formation.
So what does that mean for the Bruins in 2016? ESPN gives us a glimpse with their Football Power Index (FPI) where the UCLA Football team is ranked 13th overall.
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Per ESPN, the FPI is “a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season.”
The early FPI projections are interesting for the UCLA Football team, especially in predicting wins-losses, percentage to win out, percentage to win their conference and strength of schedule.
Right now, the FPI has UCLA’s projected win-loss record 8.9-3.6 (in the regular season), that is slightly better than their 8-4 record from last season, sans their bowl loss.
ESPN also predicts the Bruins to have an 8% chance to win out, which is not hard to believe considering UCLA’s schedule and the fact that they play in one of the toughest conferences in the nation.
By comparison, the only two teams that have a double-digit percentage to win out are Oklahoma (Big XII) and Florida State (ACC), who have a 15.2 and 10.0 percent chance to go undefeated, but remember, they play in weak conferences.
The Bruin’s projection to win the conference are a lot better as the FPI gives them a 26.2% chance, which is second only to USC. The Bruins are also slated to have the 9th toughest strength of schedule in the nation. And yet with all of that, UCLA is predicted to be the 13th best team in the nation (statistically of course).
Now mind you, these are all projections based on a season that is four months away, so let us not get hung up in all of this, but if the FPI is correct, there is a chance that UCLA Football could have one of the best seasons in the Mora era.
Is it September yet?