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ESPN Releases 2015 Preseason FPI Rankings

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A very early look-ahead at which teams might be the strongest in the 2015 college football season.

Matthew Holst/Getty Images

ESPN has released their preseason FPI (Football Power Index) rankings for the 2015 season and while these rankings are obviously very premature -- we're still about seven months away from the first kick-off of the season -- they do give us an early idea of which teams look strong heading into next season.

What is FPI?

FPI is an estimate of team strength - not a ranking of who will have the highest win total (which is dependent on schedule) and not who is most likely to make the College Football Playoff. Preseason FPI is calculated using three major components for each FBS team: prior years' offense, defense and special teams efficiencies; returning starters and head coach information; and recruiting rankings.

Iowa checks in at #55 overall, #60 in offense, #48 in defense, and a dismal #86 in special teams.  That puts them squarely in the middle of the pack, both in the Big Ten (they're 8th) and in the Big Ten West (they're 4th, behind Wisconsin, Nebraska, and Minnesota).  Given how Iowa ended the season, the key players they're losing from the 2014 team, and the question marks they have at several positions heading into 2015, those rankings are probably about as good as we could have hoped for.

The full rankings for Iowa and the rest of the Big Ten are below; again, you can find more information about FPI and the various rankings here.

OVR RK OFF RK DEF RK ST RK
Ohio State 1 1 7 11
Michigan State 16 20 16 35
Michigan 28 28 33 77
Wisconsin 34 36 31 105
Penn State 37 73 10 57
Nebraska 41 40 43 46
Minnesota 51 55 50 27
Iowa 55 60 48 86
Illinois 67 71 68 82
Northwestern 68 105 39 31
Purdue 69 84 57 52
Indiana 75 64 79 96
Maryland 79 96 67 34
Rutgers 81 88 75 36