College Football: 5 Teams With the Best Chance to Finish Undefeated
Despite the roller coaster ride that has been the first seven weeks of the 2015 college football season, 14 FBS teams have managed to stay undefeated. Now the question remains, how long can this continue to go on?
We would love nothing more than to see each and every one of these programs finish the regular season unblemished, however, chances are that only a few — if any — will have what it takes to run the table. Who are these lucky few? We’re so glad you asked.
While attempting to predict how the remainder of the 2015 season is far from a perfect science, the good folks at Business Insider, through the use of ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), believe they have determined which teams are in the best position to finish the regular season undefeated. Pretty cool, right?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the FPI, here’s how the model works:
The Football Power Index (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. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule. Ratings and projections update daily.
The truth is you don’t have to know much about the FPI, to know that it’s another way of ranking teams in college football. In the case of this particular situation, it was used to figure out which of these teams could remain undefeated at the end of the year. And since we know you’re all about the information, without further ado, here’s a look at the five teams with the best chance to finish the 2015 college football season undefeated.
Finish undefeated: 11.7%
With quarterback Trevone Boykin running the show, the TCU Horned Frogs are putting up 50.1 points a game (2nd of 128), compiling 616.3 yards of total offense per contest, and are currently the No. 4 ranked team in the land. On top of that, they hold the No. 2 spot in the ESPNs Football Power Index. However, even with all these things working in their favor, we can’t forget that TCU plays in the Big 12 and still has a difficult road ahead. Which is why, according to Business Insider’s numbers, the Horned Frogs only having an 11.7% chance of finishing the rest of the 2015 regular season unblemished.
Finish undefeated: 13.4%
Playing in the ACC doesn’t bode well for Clemson’s chances of being toward the upper echelon of the Football Power Index — the Tigers currently sit at No. 11. However, behind a stout defense and a bona fide star in QB Deshaun Watson, the Tigers have to rose the No. 6 ranking in the AP poll, and put themselves in prime position to grab a spot in the College Football Playoff. Of course, if they’re looking to better their chances of ending up as one of the final four teams, it wouldn’t hurt to finish up the regular season undefeated. Luckily for them, per Business Insider, the Tigers have a 13.4% chance of making that happen.
Finish undefeated: 17.3%
If you’re unfamiliar with the Toledo Rockets, then clearly you don’t know much about teams situated outside the Power-5 conferences (ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC). Fortunately for you, that’s what we’re here for.
The Rockets may be a member of the Mid-American Conference (MAC), but they know aren’t afraid to mix it up with the bigger name programs. Toledo has beaten both Arkansas and Iowa State this season, are only giving up 11.3 points per game, and are currently ranked No. 19 in the AP poll. With a 17.3% chance of finishing the regular season undefeated, there’s no reason to think this team doesn’t have what it takes to run the table.
2. Ohio State
Finish undefeated: 24.6%
While the Ohio State Buckeyes have looked far from invincible in 2015 — thus their No. 5 ranking in the Football Power Index — they are still one of the most talented teams in all of college football. Which is why, according to Business Insider, Urban Meyer’s bunch has a 24.6% chance of finishing the regular season unblemished.
Therefore, if you’re one of those people who believe the defending national champions don’t deserve to be the No. 1 team in the AP poll, you better hope they lose sometime in the near future. The fact is, until the Buckeyes slip up, their place at the top of the college football mountain remains secure.
Finish undefeated: 27.2%
If you’re looking to place a bet on which team is going to finish the 2015 regular season undefeated, it might be wise to put your money on the Baylor Bears. At least that’s what the odds say.
According to Business Insider, Art Briles’ team has a 27.2% chance of toppling their remaining regular-season opponents. And when you look at Baylor’s offensive production, this shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
Through seven weeks, the Bears are averaging 63.8 points per outing (1st of 128), while also amassing 719.7 yards of total offense a game. If you’re hoping to take down the No. 2 team in the country, then you better be able to match them stride for stride. Unfortunately, as most of their opponents soon realize, that’s easier said than done.