2024 ESPN FPI Power Rankings Vs. College Football Futures Odds

Written By Brett Gibbons | Last Updated
college football FPI

Better late than never! ESPN released its initial college football Football Power Index (FPI) ratings to kick off in June. Typically, the most visible power ratings system debuts in mid-April. Despite its widespread visibility, college football FPI is historically predictive. You won’t beat the market using it solely, as it weighs the ratings into its position, but it’s not worth dismissing (despite an admitted miscalculation in 2022). How do these initial FPI rankings compare against college football futures odds?

Comparing the ratings to college football championship odds might help point out some over and undervalued teams.

Is FPI Really That accurate?

Game-to-game, you won’t beat the market. But throughout a season? FPI does well with its projections and general positions on the national scale.

It certainly has its misses (USC, Washington, TCU, and Baylor last year), but every rating system misses on teams that rise and fall before a season.

Last year, FPI pointed out Texas and Ole Miss as undervalued teams. The Longhorns made the four-team College Football Playoff, with the Rebels securing their first New Year’s Six victory under Lane Kiffin. Conversely, FPI pointed out North Carolina, Auburn, and South Carolina as overvalued teams. The three combined for a 19-19 record in 2023.

Just two years ago, FPI labeled Pitt, a team that would finish the year 9-4, as an undervalued commodity. It also raised flags about Wisconsin and Texas A&M as potentially being overvalued. The two teams combined for a measly 12-13 record.

So, let’s take a look at 2024.


Odds are reflective as of June 7 at BetMGM Sportsbook.

RankTeamFPINational Title Odds
1Georgia Bulldogs26.8+325
2Oregon Ducks24.5+1000
3Texas Longhorns22.9+700
4Ohio State Buckeyes22.2+375
5Alabama Crimson Tide21.9+1400
6Penn State Nittany Lions19.8+2500
7Notre Dame Fighting Irish19.0+2500
8Oklahoma Sooners17.2+5000
9Tennessee Volunteers16.6+3500
10Missouri Tigers15.4+3500
11Florida State Seminoles15.1+2500
12Michigan Wolverines14.9+2000
13LSU Tigers14.6+1600
14Texas A&M Aggies13.6+4000
15Clemson Tigers12.2+3000
16Ole Miss Rebels12.0+1600
17Kansas Jayhawks11.2+15000
18USC Trojans11.1+4000
19Auburn Tigers10.1+10000
20Florida Gators10.1+25000
21Louisville Cardinals10.0+10000
22Kansas State Wildcats10.0+8000
23Miami (FL) Hurricanes9.6+5000
24Arizona Wildcats9.2+12500
25SMU Mustangs9.0OTB

Paired with a delayed release and seemingly different dispersion of ratings, it’s fair to assume the FPI underwent an update for 2024. This was likely an opportune time to update with everything in college football. That said, it’s worth noting changes in predictability and overall performance this season.

Power Ratings Vs. Futures

First, here is a quick note on power ratings vs. power rankings. Power rankings suggest whether or not Team A would be favored over Team B on a neutral field. Power ratings consider how much Team A would be favored over Team B on that neutral field. It would be inaccurate to take ESPN’s FPI 1-25 and say those are the teams they believe finish 1-25.

Secondly, sportsbooks price teams’ futures odds based on several factors. Power rating surely comes into play, but so do conference difficulty, strength of schedule, and difficulty of route to the College Football Playoff. That route, of course, changes dramatically with the new 12-team CFP this season.

Teams Sportsbooks Undervalue, Per College Football FPI

  • Oregon (second in FPI, fourth in national championship odds)
  • Oklahoma (eighth in FPI, t-19th in odds)
  • Kansas (No. 17 in FPI, t-28th in odds)

Oregon Ducks

It’s tough to declare a top-four favorite to win the National Championship “undervalued,” but FPI thinks Oregon should be in the top two. The Ducks are less than a field goal below Georgia and 2.3 points above Ohio State. Moving to the Big Ten makes Oregon’s route to a conference title more difficult, so they’re priced around 10-1. They must go through Ohio State and Michigan at least once.

Veteran Dillon Gabriel joins the team this season after spending the last two with Oklahoma. He has weapons aplenty, including star receiver Tez Johnson (3.29 yards/route run, sixth) and emerging stud Jordan James in the backfield (10 rushing TDs on 125 carries).

Oregon also brought in two four-star transfers, Jabbar Muhammad (Washington) and Kam Alexander (UTSA), to bolster the secondary. The Ducks will likely be favored in every game this year. At the time of writing, the spread against Ohio State on Oct. 12 is set as a pick’em. They’re favored by three on the road at Michigan on Nov. 2.

Oklahoma Sooners

Nobody’s doubting Oklahoma’s team talent this year. Promising five-star Jackson Arnold assumes QB1 duties, forcing Gabriel out of Norman. However, the Sooners’ path to winning a corresponding amount of games is in doubt. Oklahoma plays the fourth-most difficult schedule in the country, based on average opponent aggregate power rating.

That slate includes Texas, Ole Miss, Missouri, LSU, and a home date with Alabama after Week 7.

But FPI differs on sportsbook projection. BetMGM lines Oklahoma for wins this season, implying the Sooners could be underdogs in at least four games. FPI favors Oklahoma in every game, with two tossups against Alabama and Missouri. Season-long FPI projects 8.2 wins for Oklahoma.

Kansas Jayhawks

This projection can only unfold in two extremes: serious foresight or another mistake.

Kansas’ positioning at No. 17 17 isn’t the eyebrow-raising part — it’s the Jayhawks’ positioning just under Ole Miss (-0.8 neutral projection) and ahead of both USC (+0.1) and darling Miami (+1.6). Kansas projects for nearly nine regular-season wins. That would be just the fourth time in the last 100 years that KU accomplished a nine-win regular season (2007, 1995, 1968).

BetMGM isn’t far off, lining Kansas for wins. But, plausibly, where would the action go on a game where Kansas is lined as a -1.5 favorite over Ole Miss in Lawrence?

Teams Sportsbooks Overvalue, Per College Football FPI

  • Ohio State (fourth in FPI, second in odds)
  • LSU (No. 13 in FPI, t-seventh in odds)
  • Ole Miss (16th in FPI, t-seventh in odds)

In this instance, we’re dealing with a chicken-or-the-egg situation. Are sportsbooks overvaluing these teams? Or is the FPI undervaluing them? Let’s take a look.

Ohio State Buckeyes

There’s a clear correlation between the FPI finding that Ohio State is overvalued and Oregon is undervalued. The teams square off in Eugene in Week 7, a game lined at a pick’em.

That indicates the sportsbook (in this case, DraftKings Sportsbook) favors Ohio State by roughly 2.5 points on a neutral field. FPI leans the other way, favoring Oregon by 2.3 points on a neutral. If you’re betting games off the FPI’s projection, you’d take Oregon up to -4.5.

The Buckeyes watched their arch-rival win a national championship, consistently make the CFP, and (worst of all) beat them three times in a row. The response? They pushed every conceivable chip to the middle. In this case, they lured UCLA coach Chip Kelly as the offensive coordinator. Ohio State also brings a haul in the transfer portal, notably Alabama safety Caleb Downs (the portal’s No. 1 player), Ole Miss 1,400-yard rusher Quinshon Judkins, and Kansas State veteran QB Will Howard.

More so than ever, it’s title-or-bust time in Columbus.

LSU Tigers

The FPI isn’t a buyer in Garrett Nussmeier. LSU watches a ton on a record-breaking offense leave — its Heisman-winning QB, two NFL first-round receivers, and its coordinator. But defensively, the Tigers should take a much-needed step forward. They hired away Missouri DC Blake Baker and returned recruiting efforts to in-state. Star linebacker Harold Perkins also returns.

While a schedule in the revamped SEC can never be called “easy,” LSU doesn’t face its typical gauntlet, being freed from the SEC West. They face a pair of maligned former SEC East programs in South Carolina and Florida and trade an annual date against Ole Miss for a home one with Oklahoma. The FPI even recognizes this, ranking LSU’s schedule as the 23rd-most difficult. But, in its projection, that only comes out to an average of 7.9 wins this season.

Ole Miss Rebels

FPI calls its shot with this one. Ole Miss —  a trendy pick to contend for a top-five spot nationally this year —  ranks No. 16 in the preseason ratings. That’s a nudge above Kansas, Florida, and Louisville. Other rating systems, namely KFord Ratings, are more bullish on Ole Miss. (Spoiler alert: I am, too.)

The Rebels return 70% of their roster production, less Judkins. But the passing threat of Jaxson Dart, combined with a stud room of receivers led by Tre Harris, Jordan Watkins, and South Carolina transfer Juice Wells, gives Ole Miss one of the top offenses in the country. But you can read more about what I think about Ole Miss’ returning production here.

Should Lane Kiffin and crew fall short of lofty expectations this year, then hat-tip to FPI. If you believe in its season-long projection ability, then fading the popular Rebels this year might be beneficial.

Conference Winners And College Football Preseason FPI

Conference favorites odds are pulled from BetMGM Sportsbook. FPI rank in the conference is listed next to odds.

  • ACC: Clemson (+275), second; Florida State (+275), first
  • Big 12: Kansas State (+350), second; Utah (+350), fifth
  • Big Ten: Ohio State (+160), second
  • SEC: Georgia (+200), first

Yet again, FPI is pretty congruent with conference futures odds. Aside from the obvious discrepancy (see below), the main difference is the aforementioned Oregon-over-Ohio State ranking.

At this point, nobody knows what to do with the Big 12. FPI lines Kansas () with the most projected average wins (8.7) and as with the best probability to win the league (17.4%). Big 12 co-favorite Kansas State falls behind (16%) and projects for 8.4 average wins; Utah falls even lower (8.2%) with 7.8 average wins. Arizona () rates as the third-best projection among Big 12 teams.

A big ol’ spoiler for a future conference preview: Oklahoma State ranks fourth, per FPI (8.5%) with 7.6 average wins. BetMGM lines the Pokes for the seventh-best odds to win the Big 12 (). Oklahoma State returns 85% of its roster production from its 10-4 season, including star back Ollie Gordon.

Oklahoma is no longer on the slate, and the Pokes won’t need to go through Texas to earn a league title. Mike Gundy has more 10-win seasons (8) than seasons with five-plus losses (5) since 2008.

Do with that what you may.

College Football National Championship Odds

Click on odds anywhere in the table below to bet on the 2024 National Championship: