Big Ten Football Preview – Ohio State: Can the Buckeyes Conquer Michigan And Win a Natty in 2024?

 

Buckeye Nation is buzzing with anticipation as Ohio State football enters the 2024 season with sky-high expectations. The team’s dominance on the field and prowess in recruiting have fueled predictions of a championship run. But can they finally break their losing streak against their arch-rivals, the Michigan Wolverines?

Advanced Metrics Love the Buckeyes

Based on our analysis, Ohio State is the second-best team in the nation heading into the 2024 season, trailing only the Georgia Bulldogs. Based on a blend of efficiency statistics, recruiting data, and recent performance, these rankings suggest that the Buckeyes are a force to be reckoned with.

One of the most promising aspects of the team is the defense. CHS predicts Ohio State will boast the number-one defense in college football this year. With seven returning starters, including seasoned veterans in the front and secondary, and the guidance of defensive coordinator Jim Knowles, this prediction isn’t surprising.

While ranked 20th, the offense is still a potent unit. With the Big Ten’s leading rusher, TreVeyon Henderson, bolstered by the addition of transfer Quinshon Judkins, the Buckeyes have a formidable ground game. The experienced offensive line and the return of star receiver Emeka Egbuka further solidify their offensive potential. The quarterback position remains a question mark, but with options like Will Howard, Devin Brown, and Lincoln Kienholz, the Buckeyes are well-equipped to find a capable leader.

The Big Ten Landscape

The new-look Big Ten is poised to be one of the most competitive conferences in the nation, with four teams ranked in the top ten. Ohio State, Oregon, Michigan, and Penn State are all expected to be contenders.

Despite losing several key players from its national championship team, Michigan still boasts a top-ranked defense. Adding talented recruits and the presence of offensive coordinator Chip Kelly could also boost Ohio State’s offensive performance.

Overcoming the Michigan Hurdle

Ohio State’s recent losses to Michigan have left a bitter taste in the mouths of Buckeye fans. However, this year’s projections offer a glimmer of hope. FanDuel predicts that the Buckeyes will secure at least 10.5 wins, while Michigan is projected to win 9.5 games. This suggests a potential shift in the rivalry, with Ohio State possibly ending their losing streak.

Can the Buckeyes Live Up to the Hype?

While projections and rankings are exciting, they don’t guarantee success. The Buckeyes must overcome a challenging schedule featuring tough matchups against Oregon, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, and Nebraska. The non-conference slate is expected to be less demanding, but upsets are always possible.

The quarterback position will be crucial in determining the Buckeyes’ ultimate success. Their offensive potential will skyrocket if they can find a consistent and reliable leader under center.

The road to a championship is never easy, but with a talented roster, experienced coaching staff, and favorable projections, Ohio State football is poised for a memorable 2024 season. The question remains: Can they overcome the Michigan hurdle and claim the ultimate prize? Only time will tell, but one thing is for sure—this season is shaping up to be exciting for Buckeye Nation.

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