Oklahoma football: Sooners No. 1 in ESPN Football Power Index

A 42-point win over Tulane may have cost Oklahoma football to fall back a spot in the Associated Press weekly rankings, but the Sooners are holding strong atop the ESPN College Football Power Index for a second straight week.

The difference between the AP and Coaches Poll weekly rankings and the Football Power Index (FPI) is that the former two polls are a reflection of how well a team is doing in the present, as viewed by a panel of media representatives and head coaches, respectively, while the FPI is meant to be a predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the remainder of the season.

Oklahoma, 3-0 heading into the beginning of Big 12 play this weekend, is given a 23.8 percent chance of winning out and a 67.5 percent chance of winning the Big 12 for a third consecutive season. FPI project that the Sooners will win 11 games this season, which would equal their total wins the past two seasons.

The Sooners likely chief challenger, in-state rival Oklahoma State, is No. 8 for a second straight week in the Football Power Index. The Cowboys had moved up from No. 13 the week before last.

Oklahoma State is projected to win as many as 10 games in the 2017 season, according to the FPI projections, and given a 2.6 percent chance of winning out and a 21.9 percent chance of winning the conference.

Other Big 12 teams in the FPI Top 25 this week are No. 11 TCU, No. 21 Texas and No. 22 Kansas State.

The teams that follow Oklahoma in this week’s FPI are No. 2 Ohio State, Alabama, Clemson, Penn State, Wisconsin, Washington, Oklahoma State, Florida State and Mississippi State.