People questioned ESPN when it initially announced its football power index rankings ahead of the college football season.
The top five was as follows: No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 3 Clemson, No. 4 Iowa State and No. 5 Ohio State when it released the first set of rankings on April 13. The biggest head scratchers were Georgia all the way back at seventh and Mississippi State at No. 10.
In the updated rankings there are no surprises with Alabama in the top spot and Clemson right behind them followed by No. 3 Oklahoma, No. 4 Ohio State and No. 5 Georgia. Iowa State fell to ninth and Mississippi fell to No. 24.
“We recently discovered that our previous preseason release of the Football Power Index in April contained data and modeling errors,” ESPN said in an editor’s note. “We have remedied the issues and are re-releasing FPI here ahead of the 2021 season. ESPN Analytics regrets the error.”
The model gave the Tigers the best shot at making the College Football Playoff and winning a national championship. According to FPI Clemson has a 78-percent chance to make the semifinal and a 28-percent chance to secure the title.
ESPN ranked the Crimson Tide slightly ahead of Clemson because of returning personnel but the FPI has the two teams essentially tied.
“Either way you look at it — by rank or championship chance — it’s very close,” Seth Walder said. “But even in a season when each graduated a first-round draft pick quarterback, the rest of college football is still looking up at Alabama and Clemson.”
Other major changes of note were Miami’s assent from No. 20 to No. 10 and Coastal Carolina’s dip from No. 35 to No. 60 in the updated metric.