Jedd Fisch has brought some optimism into the Arizona football program since he was hired, but one site doesn’t think that optimism will translate into much winning in the upcoming season.
ESPN recently released projections for the Pac-12’s football teams in 2021 and every team in the conference is given at least a 0.1% chance to win the Pac-12 title except for one.
The site’s Football Power Index (FPI) gives the Wildcats a 0.0% chance to win the conference.
So you’re saying there is not a chance?
Oregon is the favorite to win the conference, according to ESPN, with a 46.2% chance to do so. USC is second, at 26.9% with ASU third at 14.9%.
Washington has a 4.3% chance, followed by Stanford at 3% and Utah at 2.8%.
UCLA is given a 1.1% shot at the conference title, while California is at 0.4%.
Colorado is at 0.3% with Oregon State and Washington State at 0.1% and Arizona last at 0.0%.
Oregon is the overwhelming favorite in the North division, with a 76.4% chance to win, followed by Washington at 12.9%.
USC is the favorite in the South at 52% with ASU at 34.2%.
No other North or South team is given more than an 8.5% chance to win their division (Utah is that team at 8.5%).
Arizona does, however, have a chance in the South division, according to ESPN.
It gives the team a 0.1% opportunity to win the division, the lowest shot of all the teams in the conference.
How many wins for Wildcats?
As for win total, the FPI projects Arizona to go 3.9-8.1 on the season, easily the worst projected record in the conference.
The site lists Oregon No. 17 in the nation in its FPI ranking, with USC No. 26 and ASU No. 31.
Utah is No. 57, Washington is No. 59, Stanford is No. 60 and UCLA is No. 62.
Colorado is No. 71, California is No. 76, Oregon State is No. 85, Washington State is No. 90 and Arizona is last among Pac-12 teams at No. 102.
There are 130 teams in the rankings.
Pac-12 record projections for 2021, according to ESPN’s FPI:
- Oregon: 9.8-3
- USC: 9.1-3.4
- ASU: 9-3.4
- Utah: 6.9-5.1
- Washington: 7.2-5
- Stanford: 6-6.1
- UCLA: 6-6.1
- Colorado: 5.2-6.8
- California: 5.2-6.8
- Oregon: 4.5-7.5
- Washington State: 4.9-7.1
- Arizona: 3.9-8.1
Nowhere to go but up?
The expectations appear to be very low for Fisch and the Wildcats in his first year in Tucson, which means that many teams might be looking past Arizona.
Could the Wildcats pull off some surprises?
It’s definitely possible.
The team will open the 2021 season with nowhere to go but up. Can they exceed those low expectations?
If you are wondering how ESPN came to those conclusions, it explained its methodology for the Football Power Index as follows: “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 20,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date, and the remaining schedule.”