Texas Longhorns Sports

ESPN FPI Gives Texas Over 50% Chance to Win Big 12

The preseason college football talk is about to start heating up as we inch closer to Big 12 media days next month. We are now less than three months away from the 2023 college football season, which means it’s just about time to start getting familiar with the contenders in the Big 12 title race.

According to ESPN FPI, the Texas Longhorns are the overwhelming favorite to win the 2023 Big 12 Championship, with a 54.4% chance to finish off their final season in the Big 12 Conference with the championship trophy in hand. The next highest odds belong to the Oklahoma Sooners, who have a 24.5% chance to win in their final season before joining the SEC.

While Texas is heavily favored above the rest of the conference, the two championship game participants from the previous season check in with TCU at (5.7%), and Kansas State at (2.9%). The majority of the remaining teams in the conference find themselves in a similar position with Texas Tech (3.8%), Baylor (3.2%), UCF (2.5%), and Oklahoma State (2.0%) all with more than a 1% chance to win the title. Cincinnati (0.6%), Iowa State (0.3%), and Houston (0.1%) technically still have a chance to win it as well, and three teams are already eliminated from contention by ESPN’s standards with BYU, West Virginia, and Kansas all having a 0% chance of winning the title.

 

According to ESPN’s FPI, if the Big 12 title were an award given out in June each season, the Longhorns might just win every year. While I agree that Texas’ roster looks outstanding on paper, injuries, coaching issues, and inopportune losses have continued to plague the Longhorns over the years, keeping them just outside the championship match.

I’m not trying to say that they aren’t deserving of a big chance to win the title, but 54.4% seems like a bit too much. The Longhorns are in search of their first Big 12 title since the 2009 season, and while things look promising in Austin at the moment, the team finished the 2022 season in third place with a record of 8-5 (6-3 CONF).

If the Longhorns hope to have a shot at the championship game in the upcoming season, the health of second-year quarterback Quinn Ewers will have to improve. Ewers missed a month of the season last year after sustaining a shoulder injury against Alabama during the team’s non-conference schedule, and heading into the 2023 season, the Longhorns will need their young signal caller to stay healthy, and lead the team to a title.

Here’s a look at the entire Big 12’s FPI rankings, courtesy of ESPN.

TeamFPIRankProj. W-LWin Out %6 Wins%Win Conf %Playoff %Make NC %Win NC %
Texas21.9510.1-2.62.999.954.434.214.55.7
Oklahoma16.9119.7-2.82.199.724.510.73.21.0
TCU13.0178.1-4.10.196.05.71.20.30.1
Texas Tech10.8227.5-4.60.190.83.80.50.10.0
Baylor10.7237.4-4.70.090.03.20.20.00.0
UCF10.0267.7-4.40.192.52.50.20.00.0
Kansas State9.8277.4-4.70.088.72.90.10.00.0
Oklahoma State6.9387.5-4.60.089.92.00.00.00.0
Iowa State5.6435.8-6.20.057.70.30.00.00.0
Cincinnati4.9486.3-5.70.068.90.60.00.00.0
Houston2.5545.2-6.80.042.20.10.00.00.0
West Virginia1.4574.3-7.70.020.10.00.00.00.0
BYU1.0604.9-7.10.032.90.00.00.00.0
Kansas-1.2684.1-7.90.016.00.00.00.00.0

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