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Scarlet Sunrise: Ranking 2024 Buckeyes opponents by ESPN FPI ratings

IMG_7408by:Andy Backstrom06/08/24

andybackstrom

Good morning, Ohio State fans, and welcome to the Scarlet Sunrise. Football will always be our focus, but every day we’ll cover news, notes and analysis from across Buckeyes sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Buckeyes football, recruiting, basketball and more in Scarlet Sunrise.

Ranking Buckeyes 2024 opponents by ESPN FPI ratings

ESPN released its preseason Football Power Index (FPI) rankings earlier this week. We already covered how the Buckeyes clocked in at fourth and how the FPI gives them a 10.5% chance of winning the national title, a 67.2% chance of making the expanded 12-team College Football Playoff and a 24.9% chance of securing a first-round bye in the playoff, according to ESPN Analytics.

But now we’re ranking Ohio State’s 2024 opponents by their FPI ratings.

FIRST, A REFRESHER…

In his FPI release piece for ESPN, Neil Paine broke down what the FPI really boils down to…

“The FPI is a power rating that tracks each team’s strength relative to an average FBS squad. Teams are rated on offense, defense and special teams, with the values representing points per game. (So that means Georgia is rated as nearly 27 points per game better than the average team, which is pretty good!)

“Those numbers are then used to simulate the season schedule 20,000 times, including the conference championships and the CFP bracket, simulating the selection process using an algorithm that mimics the way the committee typically picks teams. Finally, once we have those results, we can say how often each team wins its conference, makes the playoff and achieves other milestones.”

Neil Paine, ESPN

MORE FPI NUMBERS ON OHIO STATE…

  • Projected win total: 10.2 (3rd nationally)
  • Chance of running the table: 7.5% (4th)
  • Chance of at least six wins: 99.5% (2nd)
  • Chance of winning conference: 25.7% (7th nationally, 2nd Big Ten)
  • Chance of making the CFP: 67.2% (4th)
  • Chance of making the national title game: 19.0% (4th)
  • Chance of winning the national championship: 10.5% (4th)
  • Remaining strength of schedule: 16th (5th Big Ten)

OK, NOW TO THOSE OPPONENT FPI RATINGS…

Here’s a ranking of all of the Buckeyes’ regular season opponents this year, by FPI rating:

  1. Oregon: 24.5 (2nd)
  2. Penn State: 19.8 (6th)
  3. Michigan: 14.9 (12th)
  4. Iowa: 5.6 (37th)
  5. Nebraska: 4.8 (41st)
  6. Northwestern: 1.3 (57th)
  7. Purdue: 0.5 (60th)
  8. Michigan State: -1.0 (68th)
  9. Indiana: -2.4 (77th)
  10. Marshall: -5.3 (85th)
  11. Western Michigan: -10.8 (119th)
  12. Akron: -14.0 (128th)

After this year’s initial FPI release, Neil Paine calculated the “biggest games” of the season for ESPN by simply combining opposing teams’ FPI ratings and ranking the top-20 highest combined ratings among 2024 scheduled opponents. By that metric, Ohio State had three games in the top 20: Week 7 at Oregon (third), Week 10 at Penn State (fourth) and Week 14 against Michigan (16th).

Those three opponents are all ranked inside the top 12, when it comes to FPI ratings. And all of them have at least a 28.5% chance of making the CFP, according to ESPN Analytics.

Indiana has the lowest FPI rating of Ohio State’s Big Ten opponents this season. But no 2024 Buckeyes opponent has a lower FPI rating than Akron. Ohio State hosts the Zips in its season opener on Aug. 31.

That said, FPI projections are fluid. They can change, and will probably change to some degree, before the regular season rolls around in just under three months.

Three big predictions for Buckeyes loaded wide receiver room

Ohio State hopes to return to its high-scoring ways in 2024, and the Buckeyes’ passing attack will be a big part of that equation. Led by senior Emeka Egbuka, the Ohio State receiving room is embarking on a new chapter, following the departure of Biletnikoff Award winner and Heisman Trophy finalist Marvin Harrison Jr.

As part of Lettermen Row “Wide Receivers Week,” we’re giving three big predictions for the loaded Ohio State receiving corps.

Spoiler: One of them is about freshman phenom Jeremiah Smith.

Check those out here.

RELATED

Five-star DL Jakheem Stewart has ‘great’ summer visit to Ohio State

Five-star New Orleans (La.) St. Augustine defensive lineman Jahkeem Stewart visited Ohio State on Thursday for a one-day summer camp. Stewart, the No. 1 overall player in the 2026 On300, went through an extensive workout with Buckeyes defensive line coach Larry Johnson and enjoyed his experience.

“[I’ve] got a great relationship with Coach Larry,” Stewart said. “Coach Larry told me, he really wants me and if I go there, I could be a generational player. I really believed that he could teach me and really analyze me to be the person I want to be — build my character and my personality.

“We have a great relationship going on right now, just want to build on it more.”

For the full story, go here.

Counting Down

Buckeyes vs. Akron: 84 days
Buckeyes vs. Michigan: 175 days

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