It may have only been the first week of September, but Florida State and LSU engaged in one of the most thrilling contests of the 2022 college football season in New Orleans.
In their opener last season, the Tigers rallied back from a 14-point four-quarter deficit and had a chance to send the game to overtime after Jayden Daniels, who is back to lead the LSU offense, threw a TD pass as time expired.
However, Shyheim Brown’s deflection of Damian Ramos’ kick sent the ball into the crossbar and gave Florida State a 24-23 victory that spoiled head coach Brian Kelly’s debut with the Tigers.
Kelly would lead LSU back with wins in nine of its next 10 games to earn a date with top-ranked Georgia in last year’s SEC Championship game in Atlanta. Now, the Tigers have bigger goals in mind as they head into the rematch with the Seminoles in Orlando on Sunday.
LSU is ranked seventh in our preseason TRACR rankings, while Florida State is 12th and should be one of the top teams in the ACC. Will this be an unforgettable contest again this season?
We’re using our TRACR model to project all the big top 25 matchups in college football’s Week 1. And the FSU-LSU showdown is indeed projected to be the closest of any game involving our TRACR top 25 teams.
TRACR (Team Rating Adjusted for Conference and Roster) is a net efficiency metric that evaluates how well a team performs based on who it plays. The model, which is trained on over 10 years of college football data, rewards big wins over good teams and punishes losses to bad ones or even wins that are closer than expected.
A team with a TRACR of 0.0 is considered an average team in the FBS. For perspective, the team currently closest to 0.0 in TRACR is Indiana out of the Big Ten (-0.1). TCU, for example, is 11th in the FBS with a TRACR of 14.1. If Indiana and TCU played each other at a neutral site, the most likely outcome would be TCU winning by two touchdowns (a 14.0-point differential).
The rankings, along with each team’s projected record and probability of winning out and becoming bowl eligible, will be updated throughout the season on our TRACR college football rankings page.
Will any of the top-ranked teams get knocked off this weekend? Here are the TRACR college football picks for each matchup of the first full slate.
- TRACR No. 1 Georgia 99.5% over UT Martin 0.5%
- No. 2 Alabama 99.0% over Middle Tennessee 1.0%
- No. 3 Ohio State 94.6% over Indiana 5.4%
- No. 4 Notre Dame 99.0% over Tennessee State 1.0%
- No. 5 Michigan 88.2% over East Carolina 11.8%
- No. 6 Texas 93.8% over Rice 6.2%
- No. 7 LSU 63.1% over No. 12 Florida State 36.9%
- No. 8 USC 93.3% over Nevada 6.7%
- No. 9 Tennessee 87.6% over Virginia 12.4%
- No. 10 Clemson 80.7% over Duke 19.3%
- No. 11 TCU 94.6% over Colorado 5.4%
- No. 13 Oklahoma 90.2% over Arkansas State 9.8%
- No. 15 Penn State 83.3% over West Virginia 16.7%
- No. 16 South Carolina 71.0% over North Carolina 29.0%
- No. 17 Texas A&M 92.7% over New Mexico 7.3%
- No. 18 Washington 83.8% over Boise State 16.2%
- No. 19 Wisconsin 93.6% over Buffalo 6.4%
- No. 20 Syracuse 94.3% over Colgate 5.7%
- No. 21 Arkansas 95.3% over Western Carolina 4.7%
- No. 22 Kansas State 92.9% over Southeast Missouri State 7.1%
- No. 23 Illinois 92.1% over Toledo 7.9%
- No. 24 Oregon 93.5% over Portland State 6.5%
After topping TRACR No. 25 Florida on Thursday, the 14th-ranked Utah Utes return to action against Baylor on Sept. 9. The Gators seek their first win of the season in Week 2 against McNeese. Oregon State, ranked 18th in the AP poll, is 32nd in TRACR.
The North Carolina Tar Heels, led by quarterback Drake Maye, is 21st in AP, but 46th by our rankings. Ole Miss is 22nd in the AP rankings, but 27th in TRACR. Tulane ranks 24th and 48th, respectively, while Iowa is 25th and 34th.
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