Big Ten teams ranked by ESPN’s newly released Football Power Index (FPI)

·5 min read

Despite the finicky nature of the weather lately, the calendar does indeed say it’s spring in the Midwest. And you know what that means as a college football fan. Yep, spring games are in the air with flowers blooming, snow turning to sleet, and the occasional sunny, warm day.

It also means that ESPN has recently released its new and updated Football Power Index (FPI) rankings and ratings for all of the college football FBS teams, giving us something to talk about.

The FPI isn’t always correct of course, but it’s a formula designed by resident analytics guru Bill Connelly and is designed as “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.”

In this case, it’s a look ahead to try and determine how good a team will be before anything really happens on the field for 2022.

Still, we thought it’d be interesting to see what this wacky, mad-scientist formula says about the pecking order of the Big Ten, and so off we go. Here’s a look at each Big Ten football team and how it stacks up in the newest ESPN FPI rankings.

We start from the least ranked to the best.

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

WATCH: What Rutgers HC Greg Schiano said about Ohio State postgame
WATCH: What Rutgers HC Greg Schiano said about Ohio State postgame

Rutgers Scarlet Knights head coach Greg Schiano walks on the field during pregame warmups before an NCAA Division I football game between the Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 2, 2021, at SHI Stadium in Piscataway, New Jersey. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

The Details

Overall | 83
Projected record | 4-8
Win conference | 0%
Make playoff | 0%

Northwestern Wildcats

Sep 3, 2021; Evanston, Illinois, USA; Northwestern Wildcats head coach Pat Fitzgerald reacts after a play against the Michigan State Spartans during the fourth quarter at Ryan Field. Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 82
Projected record | 4.3-7.7
Win conference | 0%
Make playoff | 0%

Illinois Fighting Illinis

Sep 4, 2021; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Bret Bielema enters the field with his team before the start of Saturday’s game with the UTSA Roadrunners at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 73
Projected record | 4.5-7.5
Win conference | 0%
Make playoff | 0%

Indiana Hoosiers

WATCH: Indiana coach Tom Allen calls Ohio State 'special' after loss
WATCH: Indiana coach Tom Allen calls Ohio State 'special' after loss

Indiana Hoosiers head coach Tom Allen walks along the sideline during the fourth quarter of an NCAA Division I football game between the Indiana Hoosiers and the Ohio State Buckeyes on Saturday, Oct. 23, 2021, at Memorial Stadium in Bloomington, Ind. Credit: USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 66
Projected record | 4.3-7.7
Win conference | 0%
Make playoff | 0%

Purdue Boilermakers

Nov 6, 2021; West Lafayette, Indiana, USA; Purdue Boilermakers quarterback Aidan O’Connell (16) drops back to pass the ball in the second half against the Michigan State Spartans at Ross-Ade Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 44
Projected record | 7-5.2
Win conference | 1.3%
Make playoff | 0%

Maryland Terrapins

Nov 7, 2020; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Maryland Terrapins quarterback Taulia Tagovailoa (3) runs with the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the fourth quarter at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 43
Projected record | 6.3-5.7
Win conference | 0.2%
Make playoff | 0%

Minnesota Golden Gophers

Nov 20, 2020; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Golden Gophers quarterback Tanner Morgan (2) drops back for a pass in the first half against the Purdue Boilermakers at TCF Bank Stadium. Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 40
Projected record | 7.5-4.6
Win conference | 1.4%
Make playoff | 0%

Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa Hawkeyes players Ryan Gersonde (2) Riley Moss (33) quarterback Spencer Petras (7) wide receiver Max Cooper (19) and defensive back Jack Koerner (28) get pumped up before an NCAA Big Ten Conference football game against Indiana, Saturday, Sept. 4, 2021, at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, Iowa. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

The Details

Overall | 38
Projected record | 6.9-5.3
Win conference | 1.7%
Make playoff | 0%

Nebraska Cornhuskers

Ohio State vs. Nebraska: 3 reasons 'Huskers could give Buckeyes a game
Ohio State vs. Nebraska: 3 reasons 'Huskers could give Buckeyes a game

Sep 28, 2019; Lincoln, NE, USA; Nebraska Cornhuskers head coach Scott Frost talks to an official during the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the second half at Memorial Stadium. Credit: Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 35
Projected record | 7.7-4.6
Win conference | 3.5%
Make playoff | 0%

Wisconsin Badgers

Wisconsin Badgers quarterback Graham Mertz (5) scores a touchdown in the second quarter against Army, Saturday, Oct. 16, 2021, at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison, Wis. Samantha Madar/USA TODAY NETWORK-Wisconsin

The Details

Overall | 21
Projected record | 8.2-4.1
Win conference | 4.7%
Make playoff | 0.6%

Michigan State Spartans

Ohio State football vs. Michigan State from a Spartan perspective
Ohio State football vs. Michigan State from a Spartan perspective

Michigan State’s new head football coach Mel Tucker is greeted by Sparty on Wednesday, Feb. 12, 2020, at the Capital Region International Airport in Lansing. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

The Details

Overall | 16
Projected record | 8-4.1
Win conference | 2.2%
Make playoff | 1.8%

Penn State Nittany Lions

Ohio State vs. Penn State: Behind enemy lines with Nittany Lions Wire
Ohio State vs. Penn State: Behind enemy lines with Nittany Lions Wire

Oct 23, 2021; University Park, Pennsylvania, USA; Penn State Nittany Lions quarterback Sean Clifford (14) runs with the ball against the Illinois Fighting Illini during overtime at Beaver Stadium. Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The Details

Overall | 12
Projected record | 8.3-3.8
Win conference | 4.3%
Make playoff | 3.8%

Michigan Wolverines

Ohio State vs. Michigan did massive numbers for Fox | Buckeyes Wire
Ohio State vs. Michigan did massive numbers for Fox | Buckeyes Wire

Michigan Wolverines defensive end Aidan Hutchinson (97), linebacker Michael Barrett (23) and defensive back Vincent Gray (4) celebrate behind Ohio State Buckeyes wide receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba (11) during the fourth quarter of the NCAA football game at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor on Saturday, Nov. 27, 2021. Credit: USA TODAY Sports Network

The Details

Overall | 7
Projected record | 9.5-2.6
Win conference | 7.2%
Make playoff | 14.8%

Ohio State Buckeyes

Where Ohio State football ranks in returning roster talent for 2022
Where Ohio State football ranks in returning roster talent for 2022

Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) hands off to quarterback C.J. Stroud (7) during the first quarter of the NCAA football game against the Purdue Boilermakers at Ohio Stadium in Columbus on Saturday, Nov. 13, 2021. Credit: Syndication: Columbus Dispatch

The Details

Overall | 2
Projected record | 11.8-1
Win conference | 73.6%
Make playoff | 82.3%

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