Penn State trending down in ESPN’s updated FPI after Week 4

·2 min read

If Penn State fans weren’t happy to see what ESPN’s Football Power Index had to say about the Nittany Lions last week, they may not want to take a glance at the updated FPI numbers this week. Despite improving to 4-0 on the season with their victory over Villanova, Penn State has fallen out of the FPI top 10 this week, and the odds to win the Big Ten East also took a minor step back.

The updated FPI figures this week dropped Penn State from No. 10 to No. 11. Penn State is still on track for a projected 9-3 record but could be teetering on 8-4 territory (8.9-3.2 is the current FPI outlook for the Nittany Lions).

The FPI is certainly not a perfect mechanism to weigh the current developments of the College football season. For example, the Clemson Tigers are still ranked No. 5 overall despite having some significant concerns on offense after coming off its second loss of the season. Clemson has no victories over a ranked opponent, while No. 10 Oregon and No. 11 Penn State do.

Penn State still has just the third-best chances of winning the Big Ten East Division according to the FPI. Ohio State remains the FPI’s favorite to win the division with a 44.3 percent chance to win the division. Michigan has the second-best chance of winning the division at 29.5 percent. Penn State’s division chances are listed at 12.5 percent.

The next two weeks could provide an opportunity to change the overall outlook for the Nittany Lions. Wins against Indiana and Iowa would clear a couple of potential hurdles for Penn State. But if Ohio State and Michigan avoid losses in the meantime, it may not be until Penn State battles the Buckeyes and Wolverines that the division outlook could potentially shift in their favor if things go well.

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