Apr 12, 2014; Champaign, IL, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini running back Josh Ferguson (6) runs with the ball as defensive back Davontay Kwaanig (37) defends during the second quarter of the spring game at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bradley Leeb-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Fighting Illini Football: Fighting Illini Rank 73rd in ESPN Preseason Power Index

Let’s be honest, most of the time preseason rankings don’t matter in the end. However, they sure can get fans excited about their home team during the offseason.

Recently, ESPN released their Football Preseason Power Index, and to no surprise, the Illinois Fighting Illini are NO WHERE near the top.

Although, they did crack the Top 100 as the Illini were ranked 73rd overall. The offense was ranked the highest for the Orange & Blue with the defense and special teams bringing up the rear.

Offense Ranking
Defense Ranking
Special Teams Ranking
Special Teams
Overall Ranking

How were these rankings developed? According to ESPN.com:

This spring, ESPN Stats & Information created an automated set of preseason ratings for all FBS teams heading into the 2014 season, designed to predict how strong each team will be this coming season. This is essentially a preseason version of the Football Power Index (FPI) used last year.

Basically, these rankings are more scientific than opinion-based. The system used by ESPN takes in to account different conditions and factors about every college football team to determine who is the overall strongest coming into the season.

However, Illini Nation doesn’t need a scientific formula to them what to expect from their team in 2014.

Illinois will be relying on Wes Lunt to lead the Bill Cubit offense this upcoming season. Wes Lunt’s success, as long as the defense doesn’t step on their own toes, could get the Fighting Illini six wins and a bowl game this season.

Most of the time, preseason rankings just put Illini Nation down in the dumps, but this year is different. We know the potential of Bill Cubit’s offense in Year #2 and are expecting that potential to be shown in 2014.

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Tags: ESPN Preseason Power Index Football Illinois Fighting Illini

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