Now that signing day has come and gone, most of the major transfers have made their decisions, and the coaching carousel has died down, it’s much easier to qualify where top teams like Ohio State stand.
247Sports Brad Crawford along with help from a few of his cohorts, did exactly that, as they have updated their way-too-early top 25 for the 2024 season. Two conferences dominate the group, with nine total schools being selected from the Big Ten and the SEC.
Many of the teams you’d usually expect to see are listed, so find out below where Ohio State and every one of the other Big Ten teams landed on this rankings projection with the previous rankings in parenthesis.
No. 2 Ohio State (5)
Guess who else is 🔙 on the Offense 👀 pic.twitter.com/n6Ka12x64a
It’s pretty easy to understand why the Buckeyes made such a big jump as “no elite program has made more power moves over the last month and change” than Ohio State. The Bucks added multiple high profile transfers, and while they did lose Bill O’Brien to Boston College, head coach Ryan Day quickly picked up the pieces and hired Chip Kelly. The additions helped the Buckeyes jump into the top 2, behind Georgia.
No. 4 Oregon (4)
— Oregon Football (@oregonfootball) January 23, 2024
They will make the transition to the Big Ten this coming fall, and it looks like “expectations are extremely high for Dan Lanning’s Ducks.” They shored up their quarterback room with two solid transfers, and are “being built on the defensive side of the football similar to Georgia in terms of depth, skill and ferocity.”
No. 7 Michigan (7)
— Michigan Football (@UMichFootball) February 10, 2024
It’s been a rougher than expected offseason for the most recent champs, as “now that the dust has settle following several additional coaching staff exits.” New Michigan head coach Sherrone Moore has a difficult job ahead of him especially considering quarterback JJ McCarthy has declared for the NFL.
No. 10 Penn State (10)
— James Franklin (@coachjfranklin) February 11, 2024
James Franklin was busy this offseason as he “made changes to a 10-win team he felt were necessary to get over the hump and into the expanded playoff next season.” We have seen this song and dance before, and it hasn’t worked. Will it this time and Penn State jumps into the conferences elite?
No. 19 USC (18)
— USC Football ✌️ (@uscfb) December 29, 2023
USC will have to find a replacement for quarterback Caleb Williams and may have already done that in Miller Moss as they also prepare for its first year in the conference. His “record-setting performance against Louisville.. made Lincoln Riley second-guess his planned move for a portal acquisition.” With a difficult early portion of their schedule we should know “early if the Trojans are a legitimate Big Ten contender.”
No. 25 Washington (21)
— Washington Football (@UW_Football) February 11, 2024
The group didn’t give much explanation as to why the final five teams landed inside the rankings, but the Huskies clearly lost a lot this offseason. Quarterback Michael Penix exhausted his eligibility, while head coach Kalen DeBoer left for greener pastures at Alabama.
Others receiving votes: Iowa and Nebraska
"Anytime we get a chance to support what Coach Ferentz and the program is doing, it's a good day for us."
Full Presser from yesterday ⤵️
— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) February 7, 2024
Both these teams should be fairly solid as the season gets closer, but the Hawkeyes were ranked in the previous version. The Huskers head coach Matt Rhule has a lot of momentum, but needs to produce on the field.