ESPN’s FPI Predicts 2022 Mountain West Football Champion
How does ESPN’s computers like the Mountain West
Familiar teams at the top
This list changes each week after wins and losses to update the projected win totals, remaining strength of schedule, odds of going undefeated, bowl eligibility, conference title chances, plus playoff and national title percentages.
Here is the description of what the FPI entails.
The Football Power Index (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. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.
Based on raw numbers, it is Boise State predicted to be the best team and win the Mountain Division and the conference — what a shocker — and from the West Division it is Fresno State,
ESPN released its FPI.
Who is too high or too low?
47. Boise State
69. Fresno State
71. Air Force
80. San Diego State
88. Utah State
109. San José State
112. Colorado State
127. New Mexicohttps://t.co/qBRKOrutwR
— Mountain West Wire (@MWCwire) April 14, 2022
Digging deeper the numbers have a more interesting story and right off the top, it seems that Nevada is extremely high on the list despite them losing its head coach and many players to the transfer portal.
FPI predicts that just five teams will be bowl eligible:
Boise State – 9.3 wins
Fresno State – 8.2 wins
Air Force – 7.9 wins
San Diego State – 7.3 wins
Utah State – 6.6 wins
The formula really likes Nevada and has them just on the cusp of bowl eligibility with 5.9 wins and Hawaii is at 6.3 but with their 13-game schedule, they need to get seven wins.
San Jose State and Wyoming are both very close to a bowl game in these projections with 5.8 and 5.7 wins projected, respectively.
Last year, there were eight teams that were bowl eligible, so seeing nine teams within one game of the thresh hold for a bowl game seems about right.
Division and conference champion percentages
Boise State is the odds on favorite to win the league as they are given 46% chance to win and they are followed by Fresno State at 49.95%, Air Force is at 11.8%, and San Diego State is at 10.3%.
2021 champion Utah State comes in next well under double-digits at 4.4%.
Playoff and national title percentages
It should not come to the shock of anyone that no Mountain West team is given even a 0.1% chance to make the playoff, let alone win the national title.
In fact, looking over the entire FPI, there are just 24 teams given any percentage points to make the playoffs. For the national title, that number shrinks to just 18 teams and just eight of those 18 are even at 1% or higher.
What About The Group of Five?
As for the race for the New Year’s Six spot, it comes down to the usual suspects of the American and then the Mountain West.
Here are the top 10 teams from the G5 from the FPI.
No. 32 Cincinnati
No. 33 UCF
No. 47 Boise State
No. 49 Houston
No. 51 Memphis
Time will tell if these computers are really that good at projecting the college football season. We will keep track of these numbers as they will be updated throughout the season.