Penn State breaks into top 10 of ESPN’s FPI rankings

·2 min read

It was another week of upward movement for Penn State in another ranking system. Following a decisive victory on the road at Auburn, Penn State has moved up in the USA TODAY Sports Coaches Poll and the AP Top 25. The Nittany Lions also worked their way up into the top 10 of the latest update to the Football Power Index (FPI) from ESPN this week.

Penn State moved up to No., 10 in this week’s updated FPI rankings, and the win at Auburn helped swing Penn State’s projected record up closer to 10 wins. The current FPI formula projects a record of 9.6-2.5 for Penn State, essentially adding a win to Penn State’s win total for the season after picking up a road win in SEC territory in Week 3.

Penn State is still the third-best Big Ten team in the FPI rankings, but their chances of winning the Big Ten East, Big Ten championship, and reaching the College Football Playoff are still a bit of a stretch according to the FPI rankings. That’s because Ohio State is still holding firm at No. 3 overall in the FPI rankings and owning a 58.7% chance to win the Big Ten East. Michigan, ranked No. 4 just behind the Buckeyes, has a 23.2% chance to win the division, with Penn State getting a 14.9% chance.

The month of October could offer opportunities to dramatically change that outlook. Penn State could potentially be heading to Ann Arbor in the middle of the month for a showdown between unbeaten teams, and Penn State will host Ohio State at the end of October. Michigan and Ohio State will not meet until the final game of the regular season, as is tradition.

The path to the College Football Playoff is still a few hurdles away from being cleared, but the Nittany Lions do have a 15.1% chance to reach the College Football Playoff for the first time in school history. The top four teams for the playoff according to the latest FPI are Georgia (79.6%), Alabama (75.9%), Ohio State (67.6%), and Clemson (36.2%).

Penn State should have a couple of favorable games this week and next against Central Michigan and Northwestern, respectively. So barring any unforeseen upsets between now and then, you probably should not expect much to change with Penn State’s FPI ranking one way or the other.

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Story originally appeared on Nittany Lions Wire