ESPN has released its preseason Football Power Index (FPI), a predictive ranking system meant to forecast a team’s strength and their record for the upcoming season.
With the college football season still 4-plus months away, any predictions today should of course be taken with a grain of salt. Nonetheless, FPI can be a valuable indicator of where Arizona’s projected roster matches up with the rest of the country.
Unsurprisingly, FPI isn’t too high on the Wildcats heading into Year 2 of the Jedd Fisch era. FPI gives Arizona a -5.0 rating, No. 89 nationally, last in the Pac-12 and fourth-to-last among all power conference teams.
According to ESPN, an FPI rating represents how many points above or below average a team is, and projected results are based on 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI.
FPI predicts Arizona to go 3.5-8.5 this season, which is actually an improvement over last year’s prediction of 3-9.
FPI gives Arizona a 9.3 percent chance of winning the necessary six games to reach bowl eligibility. The Wildcats have a 0.1 percent chance to win the Pac-12.
Though Arizona ranks last in the Pac-12 in FPI, its projected win total is actually higher than Colorado, who is rated -4.3 but has a projected record of 3.2-8.8.
Utah has the best projected record in the conference at 9.3-3.2, while rival ASU is projected to go 7.7-4.5.
Arizona’s strength of schedule ranks 60th in the country and fifth in the Pac-12 behind Stanford, Oregon, Cal and Colorado.