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The best CFB team in Virginia, according to the ESPN FPI: James Madison

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The top-rated football program in Virginia, per the ESPN Football Power Index, isn’t either of the ACC schools, UVA or Virginia Tech. It’s James Madison, which sits at 65 in the FPI after the Dukes’ 32-28 win at Appalachian State on Saturday.

The FPI projects JMU (3-0) will finish with an 8-3 record in its first season at the FBS level.

The Dukes host Texas State in a Sun Belt Conference game on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

JMU, back in Week 1, blew out Middle Tennessee, 44-7. Middle Tennessee, you may remember, won as a 25.5-point ‘dog at ACC Coastal Division preseason favorite Miami this past weekend.

JMU is one of four Sun Belt teams ranked in the top 65 in the FPI ratings – App State (2-2) is 55th, Marshall (2-2) is 61st, and South Alabama (3-1) is 62nd.

App State, of course, won at Texas A&M, and Marshall won at Notre Dame, back in Week 2.

Another non-ACC program, Liberty (3-1) is 70th after a 21-12 home win over Akron on Saturday.

The Flames, it should be noted, lost by one point at Top 25 Wake Forest back in Week 3.

FPI projects a 9-3 finish for Liberty in 2022.

UVA (2-2) is 73rd after the Cavaliers’ 22-20 loss at Syracuse on Friday night.

Virginia Tech (2-2) is 89th after the Hokies’ 33-10 home loss to West Virginia on Thursday night.

Neither has beaten a team in the FBS Top 100.

FPI projects a 5-7 finish for UVA, and a 4-8 finish for Virginia Tech, this season.

The other FBS program in the Commonwealth, ODU (2-2), is 102nd in this week’s FPI.

ODU split with the ACC schools – winning 20-17 at home against Virginia Tech, losing 16-14 on a final-play field goal at UVA.

FPI has ODU finishing 5-7 in 2022.

Games to watch with respect to FPI later on this season include:

  • Marshall at JMU (Oct. 22), JMU at Louisville (Oct. 29), JMU at ODU (Nov. 12), and Coastal Carolina at JMU (Nov. 26)
  • Liberty at ODU (Oct. 1), BYU at Liberty (Oct. 22), Liberty at Arkansas (Nov. 5) and Virginia Tech at Liberty (Nov. 19)
  • ODU at Coastal Carolina (Oct. 15), Marshall at ODU (Nov. 5), ODU at App State (Nov. 19)
  • Coastal Carolina at UVA (Nov. 19), UVA at Virginia Tech (Nov. 26)

Chris Graham

I write books, two on UVA basketball, one on pro wrestling, one on politics, which is getting to be like pro wrestling more and more each day. I've finished three marathons, but my maranthoning days are over. I'm also a progressive who voted for Biden, but we need another Democrat in 2024. (Sorry, Joe, and thanks.) Want to reach me? Try [email protected]