ESPN released their first version of the Football Power Index (FPI) for the 2017 season, and there are going to be a lot of fans in the south that don’t like the initial result.
The first rankings revealed not Alabama, not Clemson, not Florida State, but Ohio State as the No. 1 team in the nation. Not only are the Buckeyes No. 1, but they hold a large margin — 28.9 to 25.9 — over the No. 2 team in FPI, which is Alabama.
Ohio State is flying a bit under the radar after their shutout loss to Clemson in the College Football Playoff semifinal. While the Buckeyes return a lot of talent — including starting quarterback J.T. Barrett — Ohio State hasn’t gotten a ton of talk as a potential No. 1 team heading into the 2017 season. However, with ESPN’s FPI giving them such an advantage, that talk will definitely increase as we head into spring football.
Following Ohio State and Alabama in FPI are Oklahoma, Florida State, and shockingly, Auburn. Perhaps the most interesting part of the index is that USC, one of the hottest teams at the end of 2016, is ranked down at No. 12.
The full rankings are available on ESPN’s website here.