So the 2018 Football Power Index (FPI) Preseason Ratings have just posted, and the results are not terribly dissimilar from those posted last week by Bill Connelly of S&P+ fame, and they are not terribly dissimilar from last season's preseason's ratings for that matter, with the exception of Sparty, who has bounded back up into top-tendom.
These ratings are based on the following criteria:
- Team performance over the past four seasons (most emphasis on last season)
- Returning starters at quarterback, on offense overall and on defense
- Whether a team has a returning head coach
- Recruiting rankings over the past four seasons
Some notables? M is looking at a bitch of schedule, playing 5 of the top 12 teams, and 3 of those on the road. What's more, the next 3 highest rated opponents are in the upper half of the rankings, and the lowest 4 are at least in the third quartile.
As for the team breakdowns, the M defense remains elite, 2nd only to Clemson. M is also remarkably the elite-est in Special Teams! Offense looks to remain on the dicey side, and is what is clearly pulling this team down overall.
So here's a grab of the top 25 of the rankings, along with M's 2018 opponents in bold, including M, since if M is going to stand any chance of beating these other teams, the first thing they're going to have to do is not beat themselves.