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Michigan’s ESPN FPI ranking is a little puzzling heading into Week 1

The Wolverines are somehow a back-end top-10 team in the power index.

Syndication: Detroit Free Press Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

The Michigan Wolverines are just five days away from their season opener against East Carolina, and the expectations are sky high. They are ranked No. 2 in both the Coaches and AP Polls, but the ESPN Football Power Index (FPI) isn’t quite as high on the Wolverines.

In the latest rankings heading into Week One, the Wolverines come in at No. 6, one spot behind Texas. The Wolverines have a score of 20.6 which is just 0.1 points ahead of Notre Dame, who is coming off a blowout win over Navy in Dublin, Ireland over the weekend.

Wolverines fans won’t be happy, as the top team according to the FPI is rival Ohio State. The Buckeyes have a score of 31.4 which is 2.7 points higher than second-place Alabama. The SEC is well represented in the top five, as Georgia comes in third and LSU sits fourth.

Penn State is the next Big Ten team in the rankings, as the Nittany Lions come in at No. 10. Wisconsin is the only other team in the top 25 at No. 18; Michigan State is next at No. 37 and Iowa is No. 38.

The computers don’t hate the Wolverines, but they don’t love them either. They currently are given a 5.8 percent chance of going undefeated in the regular season, a 18.2 percent chance of winning the division and a 20.7 percent chance of making the playoffs. For reference the Buckeyes get a 31 percent chance to win out, a 69.7 percent chance of winning the division, and 70.6 percent odds of making the playoffs.

The computers continue to love the Buckeyes despite the Wolverines winning the last two games in the series, while Michigan is short of where human voters see the team. The numbers are fun to look at and debate, but on Saturday Michigan fans finally get to see the Wolverines on the field when they take on the East Carolina Pirates at noon at the Big House.