How the computers rate Michigan football after week 6

Michigan Football is back home for a crucial Big Ten matchup.

The No. 5 Wolverines take on the No. 10 Penn State in a crucial game to determine the East Division of the conference.

Different leaderboards are released each week, including the AP and Coaches polls.

In this weekly segment, we’ll get away from human surveys, get into the computers and see what the various analytical rankings had to say about UM each week.

That’s how good Michigan is according to the computers.


What is FPI?

ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) is a predictive scoring system designed to measure team strength and project performance in the future. The ultimate goal of FPI is not to rank teams from 1 to 128; Rather, it is about correctly predicting games and season results. If Vegas ever released the power rankings it uses to set its lines, they’d probably look pretty similar to FPI.

rank: 5

So far: 4

Notable placements: Georgia (3rd), Texas (4th), USC (10th), Penn State (12th), Minnesota (19th), Maryland (20th), Purdue (22nd), Wisconsin (27th), Illinois (38th), Michigan State (45th)

Like the AP poll, Michigan falls down one spot to 5th overall in the FPI. Texas snuck past UM this week after destroying FPI No. 34 Oklahoma. Illinois is booming while Maryland remains a top-25 team despite losing to FPI 22 Purdue. Penn State stayed at 12.


What is ESPN SP+?

In a single sentence, it’s a pace- and opponent-adjusted measure of college football’s effectiveness. SP+ is intended to be forward-thinking and forward-thinking. This is important to remember. It’s not a resume ranking that recognizes big wins or particularly bold plans — it’s not a solid prediction system. It’s simply a measure of the most sustainable and predictable aspects of football. If you’re lucky or unassuming in a win, your rating will likely drop. If you’re strong and unlucky to lose, it’s likely to go up.

rank: 4

So far: 4

Notable placements: Ohio State (1st), Texas (5th), Oklahoma (18th), Minnesota (11th), Penn State (14th), UCLA (8th), Clemson (13th), Purdue (21st) , Maryland (22nd), USC (24th), Iowa (29th), Illinois (34th), Michigan State (58th), Nebraska (67th)

SP+ is the only power rating metric keeping Michigan fourth in college football after Week 6. Meanwhile, Ohio State is the new No. 1 (eyeballs). Penn State is a midfield team by any measure, having flirted with 10th place in the computer polls two weeks ago. The game against Northwestern, played in a rainstorm, took a toll on the Nittany Lions’ computer inventory. According to SP+, Michigan has the 8th best offense, 9th best defense and 3rd best special team unit. Penn State ranks 46th, 6th, and 68th respectively.


What (who) is Sagarin?

Jeff Sagarin created a scoring and prediction system and then named it after, well, himself! It’s a great way to look at ratings and determine game scores based on how close or not two teams rank. Sometimes it can predict closer games in one-sided matchups or blowouts in closer games on paper.

rank: 5

So far: 5

Notable placements: Texas (4th), Clemson (6th), Utah (7th), USC (10th), Penn State (15th), LSU (21st), Iowa (33rd), Maryland (37th), Michigan State (58.)

Michigan ranks 5th in Sagarin with an 87.57 rating, 1.31 behind Texas. The Wolverines rank nearly six points below third-ranked Georgia and nearly 10 points below No. 1 state Ohio. According to Sagarin, who accounts for an additional 2.10 number for home teams, the difference between Michigan and Penn State is 6.5 points. Vegas has the line at 7 and has climbed to 6.5 several times since opening. Funny how that works, right?

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