ESPN Predicts 3 Teams That Will Surprise In 2019

first_imgA closeup of Jim Harbaugh wearing a Michigan hat and jacket.PISCATAWAY, NJ – NOVEMBER 10: Head coach Jim Harbaugh of the Michigan Wolverines coaches against the Rutgers Scarlet Knights during the third quarter at HighPoint.com Stadium on November 10, 2018 in Piscataway, New Jersey. Michigan won 42-7. (Photo by Corey Perrine/Getty Images)ESPN’s Football Power Index includes full projections for every team in the college football world heading into the 2019 season.The FPI, which uses thousands of simulations to project results for the upcoming season, includes win-loss projections.What teams are going to disappoint? What teams are going to surprise?We covered the disappointments last week. You can view those teams here. Below are three teams the FPI believes will surprise.1. MichiganFPI prediction: 10.5 – 2.1, No. 5 in the countryThis is a big year for Jim Harbaugh – a massive one, really. The Wolverines have yet to beat Ohio State since he became head coach, but the Ann Arbor program is finally heading into the season as the favorite in the rivalry and the conference.The FPI is really high on Michigan, too, ranking the Wolverines 5th and projecting them to win the fourth-most games of anyone. Shea Patterson of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass.ANN ARBOR, MI – OCTOBER 13: Shea Patterson #2 of the Michigan Wolverines looks to pass while playing the Wisconsin Badgers on October 13, 2018 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Michigan won the game 38-13. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)2. AuburnFPI prediction: 7.7 – 4.4, No. 9 in the countryThere were some who believed Gus Malzahn was going to be out of a job following the 2018 season. He’s still with the Tigers, of course.Auburn now heads into a 2019 season with modest expectations, though the FPI believes the Tigers will be a top 10 team. Auburn head coach Gus Malzahn smiles on sideline.ATLANTA, GA – SEPTEMBER 01: Head coach Gus Malzahn of the Auburn Tigers reacts after their 21-16 win over the Washington Huskies at Mercedes-Benz Stadium on September 1, 2018 in Atlanta, Georgia. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)3. Penn StateFPI ranking: 8.9 – 3.2, No. 12 in the countryThe Nittany Lions have to replace Trace McSorley at quarterback – a big task, no doubt – and Ohio State and Michigan are getting most of the hype in the conference.The FPI believes Penn State will be the conference’s second-best team, however, ranking the Nittany Lions ahead of the Buckeyes. Penn State head football coach James Franklin.STATE COLLEGE, PA – NOVEMBER 24: Head coach James Franklin of the Penn State Nittany Lions reacts after a touchdown against the Maryland Terrapins during the first half at Beaver Stadium on November 24, 2018 in State College, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)***You can view ESPN’s full projections here.last_img

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