Oklahoma football: OU advances into top four in ESPN’s Football Power Index

If you are an Oklahoma football fan, the Week 1 fallout keeps getting better.

While there may have been only minimal movement for Oklahoma in the two national human polls after the first weekend in the new college football season, ESPN’s computer model, which they call the Football Power Index, sees things a little differently as far as the Sooners are concerned.

Otherwise known as the FPI, this college football ranking, in the words of its developers, is a “measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance going forward for the rest of the season.”

Unlike the weekly human polls that rank the country’s top 25 teams based on what they’ve achieved up to that point in time, the Football Power Index projects how a team will perform looking ahead through the remainder of the regular-season schedule.

Oklahoma was ranked ninth in the 2018 preseason FPI and, at the time of that ranking, the Sooners were given a 54.9 percent chance of winning the Big 12 and 6.7 percent chance of going undefeated. The over/under on total wins for the season was 10.5, according to the FPI.

With OU’s total domination of Florida Atlantic last weekend, those numbers have improved.

Most notably, the Sooners are up five spots, to No. 4, and their projected win total is now 11.2. OU’s chances of winning the Big 12 for a fourth consecutive season are up to 68.5 percent, and its chances of going undefeated in the regular season are at 15.7 percent, more than double what they were prior to the beginning of the season.

It’s still way too early to project what will actually happen over a 12-game regular season schedule, but it is clear the computers like what they see and are starting to take the Sooners more seriously this season than first thought.