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ESPN FPI projects Arizona football’s 2023 record

NCAA Football: Washington State at Arizona Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Spring football just ended, the regular season is still over four months away, but ESPN’s college football prediction machine is already spitting out projections for the 2023 season.

The ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) was released Monday, and the model projects the Arizona Wildcats to be within striking distance of bowl eligibility in year three under coach Jedd Fisch.

The modeling system predicts the Wildcats to go 5.5-6.5 with a 0.2% chance of winning the Pac-12. Arizona has a 48.2% chance of winning six games, the minimum to reach a bowl game. FPI ranks Arizona No. 59 in the country and No. 8 in the conference, while ASU is No. 64 nationally and 10th in the Pac-12.

USC is the Pac-12’s highest-ranked team at No. 7 nationally. FPI gives the Trojans a 50.2% chance to win the conference.

Last year FPI projected Arizona’s 2022 win total at 3.5-8.5. The Wildcats went on to go 5-7.

According to ESPN, FPI 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.” The model 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.

Here is Arizona’s probability to win each of its 12 regular season games, according to ESPN Analytics.

  • vs. NAU: 96.3%
  • at Mississippi State: 22.6%
  • vs. UTEP: 88.8%
  • at Stanford: 52.3%
  • vs. Washington: 30.5%
  • at USC: 6.8%
  • at Washington State: 42.4%
  • vs. Oregon State: 30.9%
  • vs. UCLA: 41.2%
  • at Colorado: 65.9%
  • vs. Utah: 20.2%
  • at ASU: 47.8%