Miami football favored by ESPN FPI in every game except Alabama

Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports
Dec 5, 2020; Durham, North Carolina, USA; Mandatory Credit: Nell Redmond-USA TODAY Sports /

The ESPN Football Power Index projects the Miami football team as a favorite in every 2021 game except Alabama. Miami is given an 18.5 percent chance to defeat Alabama. Miami is favored to win against Central Connecticut State at 99.5 percent has five games at more than 80 percent and three others at 70 plus percent.

Miami is given a 64 percent chance to win at Pittsburgh on October 30 and a 52.3 percent chance to win at North Carolina on October 16. The projections do not correlate that Miami will finish the 2021 regular season 11-1. Miami is ranked 10th in the FPI. The Hurricanes are projected to finish 8.9 – 3.5 per the FPI.

A nine-win regular season would be successful for Miami. After finishing 8-3 in 2020, the 17 wins in back-to-back seasons would be the most since Miami finished 19-7 in the first two seasons under Mark Richt in 2016 and 2017. The 31-14 victory over West Virginia in the 2016 Camping World Bowl was Miami’s last postseason win.

Alabama is first in the FPI and North Carolina 14th. The Crimson Tide and Tar Heels are the only teams on the 2021 Miami football schedule who are ranked in the FPI top 25. Virginia Tech sits just outside the FPI top 25 at 26th. Pittsburgh, Appalachian State and Virginia are 32nd, 33rd and 37th.

North Carolina State, Florida State and Michigan State are 41st, 44th and 45th. Georgia Tech and Duke are the lowest-rated teams in the FPI on the Miami schedule at 57th and 82nd. Central Connecticut State is not rated by the FPI as an FCS team. Miami needs to continue to win the games they are expected to as they did in 2020.

Miami enters the 2021 season 10th after finishing 21st in the FPI in 2020. The Hurricanes have a stronger schedule than last season. Florida State, Georgia Tech and Duke finished 2020 88th, 90th and 99th in 2020. The return of 19 starters plus punter Lou Hedley has influenced Miami ranking 10th in the FPI.

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Miami will have one of their most experienced teams in 2021. Led by quarterback D’Eriq King the Miami offense returns 19 starters. The Miami defense returns nine starters. Tight end Brevin Jordan was the only starter who left after 2020. Defensive ends Jaelan Phillips and Quincy Roche are the departed defensive starters.