Notre Dame’s chances of beating USC drop per ESPN FPI

I’m in a love-hate relationship with ESPN’s Football Power Index.  I’ve said it before, will say it again, and rehash it another time or two just to be safe.  I love how it essentially tells you who would be favored if two teams met in a game.  I however can’t stand how it has obvious flaws that can’t seem to get fixed.

For the second year in a row, Texas has disappointed in terms of the national stage yet the 6-4 Longhorns are currently the seventh-rated team on FPI.  That’s one example and there are more but that’s not why you’re here.

FPI gives the chance of winning each remaining game for each team in all of college football.  We have followed this all year long as essentially a thermometer of how Notre Dame is viewed by a system that has no feelings, just formulas.

Here is how FPI sees Notre Dame’s chances in the final two weeks of 2022 and how those compare to what the formula said just a week ago.

vs. Boston College

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Week 12 vs. Boston College

FPI Odds of Notre Dame win: 93.1% (Down 2.1% from last week)

Why did this drop?  Perhaps some because of Notre Dame’s pathetic second half against Navy but also because Boston College at least showed something last week by going on the road and beating a ranked North Carolina State squad.

at USC

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Week 13 at USC

FPI Odds of Notre Dame win: 30.6% (Down 5.2% from last week)

Why the drop?  Notre Dame didn’t look good in the second half against Navy but neither did USC late against Cal two weeks ago.  The Trojans did however has a dominant showing against Colorado last week compared to the Irish sprinting out of the gate and having to hold on for a victory.

FPI Notre Dame Notes (1 of 4): Drop in Rankings

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A week after dominating Clemson and rising to 15th in FPI, Notre Dame escaped Navy’s comeback efforts and walked away with a win but fell to 17th nationally.

FPI Notre Dame Notes (2 of 4): Chances of Winning Out

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This is tough to do but Notre Dame accomplished it.  A week ago the Irish had their odds of winning out skyrocket to 31.1% according to FPI, after being at just 8.9% the week previous.  The Irish won, meaning they eliminated a game from the schedule with just two more to play, and yet their chances of winning out dropped this week as FPI now gives them a 28.6% chance to win the table.

Notre Dame FPI Note (3 of 4): Bowl eligibility

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Early in the year, it wasn’t certain that Notre Dame would reach the six-win mark and become bowl eligible.  Those were some dark days but the Irish have rebounded nicely enough to have solidified bowl eligibility as they’re now 7-3.  ESPN’s FPI chances of Notre Dame reaching six wins was something he had been tracking early this fall.  100% complete.

Notre Dame FPI Note (4 of 4): Projected Win-Loss Record

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After the win over Navy, FPI projects Notre Dame to finish with an overall record of 8.2-3.8.  Before beating Clemson it called for just 7.5-4.5, but after their latest win the chances of winning more than eight games didn’t increase in the least.  The 8.2-3.8 matches what was projected a week ago.

USC odds to enter Notre Dame game with one loss

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Will Notre Dame be facing a USC team with the College Football Playoff possibly on the line next weekend?  We assume Notre Dame will win at home against Boston College, something that has gotten us in trouble a couple times this fall with home games, but how does FPI see USC’s battle at UCLA this weekend?

ESPN FPI gives USC a 60.2% chance to walk out of the Rose Bowl victorious on Saturday night and move to 10-1 ahead of Notre Dame’s trip out west.

Related: Which bowl game will Notre Dame end up in this winter?

Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire