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ESPN’s FPI projections peg Texas as underdogs in multiple games

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ESPN’s FPI metric isn’t high on the upside of Tom Herman’s program entering the 2019 campaign.

NCAA Football: Texas at Texas Tech Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has released its Football Power Index ratings for the upcoming season. Despite all the success Texas had in 2018, the metric system isn’t very favorable towards the Texas Longhorns entering this upcoming season.

On average, the index projects an underwhelming season this year for Tom Herman’s Horns with 7.7 wins.

LSU and Oklahoma are marginal favorites over Texas and the Longhorns are slight underdogs in every away game except their trip to West Virginia, per the FPI.

Considering the amount of starters lost on defense and given a tough back-end schedule away from home, it’s not overwhelmingly surprising to see the metrics against Texas here.

The FPI algorithm calculates a team’s strength based on returning players and other measurables to best predict a team’s performance going forward.

ESPN’s FPI 2019 Texas Longhorns game-by-game win probability projections are as follows:

  • Louisiana Tech (FPI Rank: 90) — 90.7 percent
  • LSU (4) — 25.6 percent
  • Rice (130) 98.1 percent
  • Oklahoma State (37) — 66.9 percent
  • @ West Virginia (58) — 65.4 percent
  • Oklahoma (6) — 23.9 percent
  • Kansas (108) — 94.2 percent
  • @ TCU (35) — 49.4 percent
  • Kansas State (57) — 83.3 percent
  • @ Iowa State (26) — 40.8 percent
  • @ Baylor (29) — 46.8 percent
  • Texas Tech (45) — 72 percent

Despite playing for a conference championship last season, the FPI gives Texas only an 8.3-percent chance to win the Big 12 in 2019. Last year, the FPI projected a 10-2 season for the Longhorns.

Take the FPI for what it’s worth, as coaching and recruiting are not taken into account. The talent is there. The questions remain to be how ready this young defense will be and if the Longhorns can put it all together for four quarters on a week-to-week basis.