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ESPN’s FPI predicts frustrating record for Michigan Football’s 2020 season

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Fans will be frustrated if this projection is correct,

Ohio State State v Michigan Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images

ESPN’s Football Power Index — which is a predictive metric that spits out the likelihood of wins and losses, as well as other things — has the Michigan Wolverines finishing in a spot that would probably send fans around here into a frenzy with a record of 8-4.

In the five years Jim Harbaugh has led the way at Michigan, the Wolverines have finished the regular season between 8-10 wins every season, and after running diagnostics, it appears that the Wolverines might be headed there again on the lower end of that projection.

Here is a look at how the Football Power Index handicaps the Wolverines chances of winning each game on their schedule:

at Washington: 46.2% chance of victory

vs Ball State: 94.8% chance of victory

vs Arkansas State: 94.3% chance of victory

vs Wisconsin: 27.3 % chance of victory

vs Penn State: 28.5 % chance of victory

at Michigan State: 78.2% chance of victory

at Minnesota: 51.7% chance of victory

vs Purdue: 79.4% chance of victory

vs Maryland: 90.7% chance of victory

at Rutgers: 80.2% chance of victory

vs Indiana: 62.4% chance of victory

at Ohio State: 8.3% chance of victory

The FPI believes that Wolverines could slip up in the first week of the regular season as they head to Washington and face the Huskies. However, there is still enough confidence in the metric that it could be a tight game that could go either way.

Michigan gets the benefit of the doubt on the road against the Minnesota Golden Gophers midway through the season as the Wolverines battle for The Little Brown Jug just a week after their annual bout with the Michigan State Spartans (which Michigan is highly favored in). Another highlight is the Wolverines continuing their 25-game winning streak over the Indiana Hoosiers in a relatively tight (62.3%) battle in Ann Arbor.

The other five wins come from the bottom feeders of The Big Ten (Purdue, Maryland, and Rutgers) and much weaker non-conference opponents (Arkansas State and Ball State).

The news gets sour as we look to the higher-tier teams of the Big Ten in Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. They are each heavy favorites to upend the Wolverines, even though the Nittany Lions and Badgers will be making their way to Ann Arbor. The FPI gives the Maize and Blue less than a 30 percent chance to beat either of them.

The worst of the worst is the odds out for Michigan heading into Columbus as they try to avoid embarrassment for the third season in a row (and quite frankly, longer than that). If the metric has anything to do with it, Michigan will lose their ninth straight game to the Buckeyes at the end of the season.

It is worthy to keep repeating that this is just a metric and that games have to actually be played, which is another discussion altogether given the state of the world right now. The Wolverines have plenty of question marks and many of them are unable to be answered by spring football and extra reps in the lead-up to the season.

Though if the FPI comes to pass anywhere close to its projection, it might wind up being a season that sees more of the same taking place on the field — especially the last weekend of the year in Columbus.