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Penn State fans are going to hate ESPN’s latest FPI update


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Penn State may be sitting high up in the national rankings including the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches Poll and AP Top 25, but the Nittany Lions continue to be stuck in a spot just outside the top 10 of the ESPN Football Power Index. Despite shutting Indiana out in Week 5, Penn State remains No. 11 in the updated FPI rankings with plenty of movement around them this week.

The updated FPI numbers do see an uptick in Penn State’s projected record, moving from 8.9-3.2 a week ago up to 9.3-2.9 this week. Penn State is officially a lock to be bowl eligible this season, with FPI giving Penn State a 100 percent chance to win at least one more game this season. That’s good! But Penn State’s Big Ten title hopes continue to be trending in the wrong direction.

Penn State has a 12.3 percent chance of winning the Big Ten East Division according to the updated FPI. That’s down from 12.5 percent a week ago. Ohio State remains the clear favorite with a 51.2 percent chance of winning the division, while Michigan has the second-best shot at 28.8 percent. Ohio State’s division outlook went up this week with a blowout of Rutgers, while Michigan also fell back slightly as a result from a week ago. Ohio State moved up to No. 3 in the national FPI rankings, swapping spots with Oklahoma. Michigan also moved up two spots following its win over Wisconsin. The Wolverines are now No. 5 in the FPI.

Penn State will visit the new No. 12 in the FPI this weekend. Iowa moved up nine spots in the FPI to climb to No. 12 this week. Also making a big move, this time at the expense of Penn State, was Pittsburgh. The Panthers moved up six spots all the way up to No. 10, just ahead of Penn State, following a solid victory against Georgia Tech.

Of course, the FPI is not without its criticisms. Florida and Clemson, each with two losses, are ranked No. 6 and No. 7, respectively. Iowa State, also saddled with a pair of losses that includes one at home to Iowa, is actually up three spots up to No. 9 this week.

Of course, none of this means much of anything for Penn State. The fate of the Big Ten East is wide open and a win on the road at Iowa could certainly swing some numbers more in their favor. But the numbers certainly are respecting what division foes Ohio State and Michigan are doing much better than what Penn State has been doing.

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