Predictive Rating Forecasts BYU Near Bottom Of Big 12 In 2023

Apr 18, 2023, 3:45 PM | Updated: Apr 19, 2023, 12:54 pm

PROVO, Utah – Expectations from the outside continue to be low for BYU football in their first season as a Big 12 member.

The latest example of low projections for BYU in 2023 is courtesy of the ESPN FPI. FPI (Football Power Index) is a predictive rating system that looks to predict game and season outcomes correctly.

The preseason rating for BYU by ESPN’s FPI is No. 60. That would be good for the 13th highest-rated team on the FPI ratings within the Big 12. The only team rated lower than BYU is Kansas at No. 68.

ESPN notes that they ran 20,000 simulations of the 2023 season using FPI.

BYU’s projected win-loss record for 2023 is around 5-7. The FPI gives BYU a 32.9% chance of reaching six wins for the 2023 season.

Other rankings, such as the SP+ from ESPN’s Bill Connelly, have BYU as the lowest-rated team in the Big 12 this season.

ESPN FPI has BYU above only one Big 12 team

On the bright side for BYU, the FPI last year projected TCU and Kansas State at No. 42 and No. 39, respectively. Each of those squads played in the Big 12 Championship game, with TCU going on to play in the National Championship Game against Georgia.

Another bad look for the FPI when forecasting the Big 12 last year was their bullish outlooks on Texas and Oklahoma. FPI had Texas at No. 6 and Oklahoma at No. 8 last year. The Sooners finished with a 6-7 record, and Texas was 8-5.

Dip years for the outgoing Big 12 members don’t dent great outlooks for 2023. FPI has UT at No. 5 and OU at No. 11, the top two teams in the Big 12 again.

The bad news for Cougar fans is that the FPI has accurately predicted BYU for the past two seasons.

In 2021, while everyone expected a dip from BYU after losing Zach Wilson to the NFL, the FPI gave BYU an edge in 10 of their 12 games. BYU finished that regular season with a 10-2 record.

Last year, BYU was a preseason Top 25 pick by many polls. However, the FPI went against the groupthink and tabbed BYU to finish with a 7-5 regular season record. What was BYU’s regular season record in 2022? 7-5.

How accurate will the FPI be with BYU football this year? We’ll find out beginning September 2 against FBS newcomer Sam Houston in Provo.

Game-by-game win probabilities for the 2023 BYU football schedule

Here’s a game-by-game breakdown of the win percentage probabilities the ESPN FPI gives BYU in their initial preseason ratings.

Sam Houston (Sept. 2)

BYU’s win probability: 94.2%

Sam Houston FPI rank: 132 (out of 133 FBS teams)

Southern Utah (Sept. 9)

BYU’s win probability: 97.5%

SUU FPI rank: N/A (FCS program)

at Arkansas (Sept. 16)

BYU’s win probability: 20.3%

Arkansas FPI rank: 30

at Kansas (Sept. 23)

BYU’s win probability: 48.5%

Kansas FPI rank: 68

Cincinnati (Sept. 29)

BYU’s win probability: 52.4%

Cincinnati FPI rank: 48

at TCU (Oct. 14)

BYU’s win probability: 16.3%

TCU FPI rank: 17

Texas Tech (Oct. 21)

BYU’s win probability: 32.3%

Texas Tech FPI rank: 22

at Texas (Oct. 28)

BYU’s win probability: 5%

Texas FPI rank: 5

at West Virginia (Nov. 4)

BYU’s win probability: 36.7%

West Virginia FPI rank: 57

Iowa State (Nov. 11)

BYU’s win probability: 46.4%

Iowa State FPI rank: 43

Oklahoma (Nov. 18)

BYU’s win probability: 18.2%

Oklahoma FPI rank: 11

at Oklahoma State (Nov. 25)

BYU’s win probability: 24%

Oklahoma State FPI rank: 38

Preseason FPI Ratings for Big 12 Teams in 2023

Texas (5)

Oklahoma (11)

TCU (17)

Texas Tech (22)

Baylor (23)

UCF (26)

Kansas State (27)

Oklahoma State (38)

Iowa State (43)

Cincinnati (48)

Houston (54)

West Virginia (57)

BYU (60)

Kansas (68)

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Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow Mitch’s coverage of BYU moving to the Big 12 Conference on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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Predictive Rating Forecasts BYU Near Bottom Of Big 12 In 2023