ESPN released its Football Power Index (FPI) projection recently. Amazingly, it features eight (8!) teams from the SEC higher than Florida State including the likes of LSU, Georgia, Texas A&M, Arkansas and Tennessee.
Yes, Florida State does project to be down in 2015 after sending a record number of players to the NFL over the last three seasons, but many of those SEC teams have accomplished nothing of late on the field and are also not out-recruiting Florida State in the relevant time period. Rewarding good play, win or lose, is a noble goal, but too much credit can be given just for playing a good opponent. It seems ESPN, like some other advanced statistics, is giving a huge heaping of credit just for playing difficult teams.
8 of the top 17 and 11 of the top 31 teams in the ESPN FPI preseason projections are from the SEC. Eleven.