ESPN FPI predicts outcome of Iron Bowl following Tua Tagovailoa's injury
Moving to 9-1, the No. 5 Alabama Crimson Tide handled the Mississippi State Bulldogs, 38-7, on Saturday in Starkville. The win, however, was overshadowed by the loss of junior quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, a Heisman Trophy candidate.
Carted off the field with an injury to his right hip, Tagovailoa is expected to undergo a surgical procedure on Monday in Houston, Texas.
Thrust into the starter’s role, redshirt sophomore Mac Jones has some – brief – experience and a plethora of offensive weapons to work with. Filling in for Tagovailoa in the Tide’s win over Arkansas on October 26, Jones completed 18-22 passes for 235 yards and three scores.
Their second loss in their last three games, the No. 12 Auburn Tigers (7-3) fell to the No. 4 Georgia Bulldogs at home, 21-14.
Attempting a career-high 50 passes in the loss, freshman quarterback Bo Nix threw for 245 yards and a touchdown. Hauling in 13 of Nix’s passes, sophomore wide receiver Seth Williams posted the third 100-yard receiving game of his career.
With Alabama on the fringes of the playoff race and the annual rumors about Gus Malzahn’s job status heating up, a lot will be on the line when these two meet at Jordan-Hare Stadium on November 30.
Taking all these factors into account, ESPN’s Football Power Index released their updated win probability for the game on Sunday, giving the Crimson Tide a 68.3% chance to prevail victorious.
Here’s a brief description of how the FPI works:
The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team’s performance moving forward. FPI represents how many points above or below average a team is. Projected results are based on 10,000 simulations of the rest of the season using FPI, results to date and the remaining schedule. Rating and projections update daily.
Prior to the 84th installment of the Iron Bowl, Alabama hosts Western Carolina on Saturday at 12:00PM ET on ESPN. Auburn welcomes in Samford at 12:00PM ET on the SEC Network.