ESPN Power Index: Ohio State Still Clear-Cut Big Ten Favorites

By DJ Byrnes on August 22, 2014 at 11:05a
Ohio State given 29.5% chance to win the title.

[@CollegeGameDay, Twitter]

52 Comments

Despite losing their offensive talisman, Ohio State is still favored to win the Big Ten, according to ESPN's Power Index.

What is ESPN's Power Index? Glad you asked:

The Football Power Index (FPI) is a measure of team strength that is meant to be the best predictor of a team's performance going forward for the rest of the season. 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. Ratings and projections update daily.

Wisconsin, surprisingly, is Ohio State's closest challenger.

Even more surprising, however, might be the computers' favoring of Michigan (17.8) over Michigan State (10.8).

Iowa also appears to have a puncher's chance at taking down the Big Ten crown. 

Lastly: Poor, poor Nebraska.

52 Comments

Comments

M5gatronBuckeye's picture

That is great and all, but I learned a long time ago that it's best to just ignore ESPN and the bias that comes with them. Go Bucks!

"I play to win, whether during practice or a real game. And I will not let anything get in the way of me and my competitive enthusiasm to win"
Michael Jordan

+3 HS
nikolajz1's picture

See Michigan State below Michigan...yeah this means nothing at all. 

+13 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Desmond really knew what he was talking about.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+10 HS
CGroverL's picture

While it does seem a bit strange, just like the Coaches Poll and the AP Poll, I don't see it as THAT far off as the leader is just at 29.5%. With numbers like that it seems like their look at it is more "up in the air than anything. A lot of people think MSU will be down this year as they had maybe their best season ever in 2013 and they lost a lot of players. I'm with you...I way more afraid of MSU than TTUN, but the truth is that with Miller gone, a lot of votes that had Ohio State as the Big Ten champs had to go somewhere and obviously (to the power index) an Ohio State team with Miller was a clear cut favorite while picking the 2nd best team was much harder.

What is a bit more strange to me is that Ohio State is set to start the season at #5 in the AP poll. Were those votes put in before the news was out that Miller is out for the season? In my personal opinion though, which means zero after watching EVERYTHING that BTN had to offer, I think the top 5 should start with Ohio State at #1.

After them, I'd have Michigan State, Iowa, Wisconsin, and then TTUN.... I am just another Ohio idiot but I see more from Barrett and Jones than just the garbage we saw in the Spring game. I also see Ohio State as the #1 defensive team in the Big Ten followed by Iowa. Ohio State averaged right around 200 passing yards per game in 2013 and almost went to the national title game. Barrett's legs are definitely enough to make defenses worry and the short passing game this year should see a lot more times where the first defender to get to the ball carrier misses. Miller hasn't had that kind of help in his entire time at Ohio State. Barrett (or Jones) just needs to get the ball to these guys that have that speed like we had when there was just ONE Ted Ginn Jr. on the team. This team has much more speed on offense than anything we have ever seen before. I think the pollsters and computers will be seeing the same thing after the first 3 or 4 games of the season.

"I hope they're last in everything"

Thanks, Urb!

-3 HS
blocko330's picture

The B1G projections are computers, not actual human votes and yes, the AP came out a couple days prior to the B Miller news.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

+1 HS
Buckeye5000's picture

I doubt Michigan State fans consider 2013 their greatest season ever, since they won a consensus National Championship in 1952 as well as claiming 5 other NC's (though those are more than "iffy").  

Go Bucks!

New alum's picture

True, but all those claimed NC's were 50 years ago. I am sure there are some old timers who remember Sparty's last renaissance, but most MSU fans have grown up with a steady diet of also-rans to root for.

+1 HS
Buckeye5000's picture

Yes, they were over 50yrs. ago but remember for 34yrs. we claimed the '68 NC team as our best ever (though Woody said the '69 team was his best) despite some very good teams between '68 an '02.  

Go Bucks!

New alum's picture

Though, I do think Sparty may have the inside-track again this year thanks to B Miller's injury.

+1 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Wisconsin gets a nice boost from their crossover games... Rutgers (away) and Maryland (home).

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

rdubs's picture

But, but....

+1 HS
Jason Priestas's picture

Who is he listening to? I haven't heard anyone reputable say anything like that. 9-3, sure, but nobody is saying four wins.

Grayskullsession's picture

BUT PAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWLLLLLL.....DEEEE OHIGHO STAYTE UNEVERSATY AIN'T IN DA ESSS EEEE CEEE DEY DONT KNOW HOW TOO FOOTBAAALLLL RITE.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

+9 HS
rdubs's picture

No idea, I just figured I would post it to be funny.  But my guess would be that it was a radio show of some sort.  I certainly agree that I haven't heard anyone that is halfway respectable think we'll only win 4 games.

Buckeye5000's picture

I agree that no one respectable has said OSU would only win that many games but....

I live in North Louisiana and the day Braxton got hurt I was listening to the local sports radio station. On the afternoon radio show, where they have the local "sports experts" take over for 3 hours from ESPN radio between 3-6pm, they lit OSU up for the entire time I listened. They did not say that OSU would only win 3-4 games but the majority of the commentators and caller comments were that OSU would finish in the middle of the B1G's East division. Next they said OSU would finish in the middle of the pack in the SEC even with Braxton, and that OSU would finish in the middle of the pack, at best, in any year. (which they all agreed on) Then they said that OSU would still have a decent record only because OSU never leaves the state of Ohio in the non-conference. They mentioned that for the last 7yrs. the local morning show (which I personally have not heard) they have called the OSU non-conference schedule the "see Ohio tour". The reason being that everyone either comes to Ohio to play OSU or OSU plays 2 Ohio schools, 1 usually an FCS school. They went on to state that none of them (there were 4 commentators on the show) could ever remember OSU beating a good team on the road. Then the 2 younger members of the "panel" stated they had never seen OSU beat any of the good teams, ever...that OSU always loses against good teams (at least the 2 older members said that OSU has "on occasion" beaten  good teams). There was much open laughter by all involved while they said these things.

At that point after listening for approx. 45mins of the show (yes it went on at least that long) I shut it off. True story. 

I don't know who the twitter poster was listening to, but I have no doubt he heard it.

Make of it what you will. 

Go Bucks!

buckeyefn31's picture

I am shocked those inbreds could figure out how to work the equipment.

+1 HS
fuzzmonky's picture

Wow, what inbreds. I hate the SEC and their inflated sense of self and the way in which they cut down everyone other conference. Four wins is just plain disrespectful...think we could manage that with no QB and Bosa running the wildcat

...Because I couldn't go for 3

+1 HS
rdubs's picture

Pretty sure that the NCAA has a rule against putting a Jedi at QB though:

+8 HS
Grayskullsession's picture

I find your lack of faith.....disturbing.

"if irony were made of strawberries, we' d all be drinking a lot of smoothies right now."

+4 HS
Hovenaut's picture

UV - and it sounds like something MordenoftheSith would say.
 

Hate Week runneth over

+1 HS
Saxhorn's picture

Perhaps ESPN is puffing the Bucks now so that they can talk of how overrated they were during the season. Don't trust ESECPN.

Saxhorn

OSUMB 64-70

H-3, M-6

+8 HS
USArmyBuckeye's picture

It's sad when I actually believe that is a possible reality.

+3 HS
CincyOSU's picture

I mean, just, wow.

So now ESPN's plan is to pump up OSU so that later on they can use this to talk about how overrated OSU is? This just keeps getting better and better.

-1 HS
rosycheeks's picture

I feel like pretty soon we're going to be able to classify the ESPN conspiracy theories purported on this site as a mental disorder.

+2 HS
rosycheeks's picture

From now on, this shall be referred to as #ESParaNoia.

I thought of this while standing at the urinal, where I was dousing an ESPN urinal cake, so don't call me an ESPN shill. 

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

"ESPN said that we're going to be 9-3 without Braxton. That's ridiculous, we're way better than that!"

"Some analysts on ESPN are now saying that we're better than 9-3. That's ridiculous, they just want to call us overrated later!"

There's such thing as positive OSU coverage on ESPN. It does exist, and it's not some elaborate troll move by a multi-billion dollar network for the sake of pissing a few people off.

I get it, ESPN is generally bad at what they do, but every single college football fan base thinks that ESPN hates them. The truth is much simpler than that.

Never assume malice when stupidity is an option.

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+7 HS
0therion0's picture

Excellent application of a philosophical razor. Wish I could give a helmet sticker. ESPN is tasked with selling the value of their commercial space to as many businesses as possible, as well. Remembering that will usually answer how they talk out both sides of their mouth so readily.

I stopped being cool before it was cool to not be cool. #TrendSetter

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

I get it, ESPN is generally bad at what they do, but every single college football fan base thinks that ESPN hates them.

How could Alabama logically think ESPN hates them?

Oh wait, consider who Alabama's fans are...yeah I suppose they could.

Class of 2010.

Groveport Heisman's picture

*ichigan almost has twice the chance to win the conference as MSU? That right there kills any legitimacy this FPI thing might have had with MSU getting tOSU,UM,and ND all  at HOME. The Oregon game in no shape or form effects MSU's shot at the B1G title. They must have skewed this some way to make their favorites in other conferences have better standings to show the committee's eyeballs.

Mark my words..I don't need acceptance. I'm catching interceptions on you innocent pedestrians.

+1 HS
TheBadOwl's picture

I think it's hilarious that everyone seems to be saying "Oh, well they would lose to MSU even with Braxton."

(And no, that's not just ESPN. There's a thread on /r/cfb about Ohio State and it's something being echoed by pretty much everyone)

I mean, MSU is going to be really good. But they lost Isaiah Lewis, Max Bullough, Denicos Allen and most importantly, Darqueze Dennard. That's a lot to overcome. 

When I walked in this morning and saw the flag was at half mast I thought, "Alright, another bureaucrat ate it." but then I saw it was Li'l Sebastian. Half mast is too high. Show some damn respect.

+1 HS
avail31678's picture

Agreed.  We really should have beat them last year.  If we didn't give up a zillion yards threw the air on only a handful of large pass plays to guys that were WIDE open, we would have.

Not making an excuse - it's just that our passing D was just THAT BAD.  And the supposed best D in the country wasn't exaclty shutting us down - we scored 24 unanswered against them.

And, as you point out, MSU on paper might not be as good this year.  To immediately assume we'd lose even if Braxton was playing doesn't seem quite right.

+1 HS
Nutinpa's picture

No we shouldn't have. 

They scored 17 unanswered points....twice....that fateful Saturday night. 

We punched them...took the lead and they answered.  You can't say....."if not for our pass Defense we would have won"....cuz our Pass Defense was a pitiful part of last year's team's DNA just like the Carlos Hyde and the O line were an asset.  Our play calling and execution in the 4th quarter sucked.  Should we say with better play calling we would have won?

Let's face it.  The Buckeyes were not mentally ready to play Sparty....and Sparty was a better team than people had thought -- and deserved a shot at the crystal they never got.

Urban Meyer and Mark Dantonio have faced either twice.  It's a dead heat now...with Sparty having the marquee win. For talking heads to have rated them ahead of the Buckeyes, even with a healthy Braxton Miller was not an outrageous thing to do by any means.

+1 HS
buckeyefn31's picture

You can say that the terrible pass defense is why OSU lost. A midget football team could have thrown for 400 yards on OSU last season.

HotSauceCommittee's picture

This computer is 10,000 times freaking stupid to think that UM will be better than MSU.

Right now a scathing Mark Dantonio is at a campus Cup of Joe asking a nerdy, semi-hot sophomore girl with dark rimmed glasses how to use the internet so he can google ways to beat Brady Hoke. Google responds with these top searches (1). Brady Hoke doesnt actually coach the games. The rest of his staff does. Therefore, Hoke himself is impossible to beat. (2). Bacon  (3). Doughnuts  (4). Chubby Fred Flintstone gifs. (5). What is a head-set? and (6). Bacon (again).

+7 HS
You can't spell chump without UM's picture

What about ice cream?

Brady Hoke ate my comment

Byaaaahhh's picture

...what happened to MSU? I definitely would have had them in 2nd place. I know Wisconsin probably has an easier route, but whether MSU or OSU, both would probably be favored against Wisky in the end.

+1 HS
Buckeye419er's picture

Obviously FPI doesn't take coaching into account. Therefor argument invalid.

+1 HS
SilverBullet-98's picture

ESPN don't know how to handle OHIO STATE being a under dog.

They live by trolling our opponents with disrespect and portray them untalented . 

ESPN don't want the Buckeyes being underdogs and spoiling things. And MSU will find a way to be a disrepected underdog even if we have 4 losses going into the game.

Let MSU carry that  BEST in the B1G Target on their Backs and see how fun it is!!!

"The Past Builds the Future"

Arizona_Buckeye's picture

I wish I could be as wrong all the time as the talking heads at ESPN are!  It would make my job SOOOOO much easier without that whole accountability thing to worry about!

The best thing about Pastafarianism? It is not only acceptable, but advisable, to be heavily sauced

+2 HS
You can't spell chump without UM's picture

It's so easy to overlook that Iowa is in the top 5, what with scUM being ahead of MSU. Seriously, Iowa?!?! Iowa over Nebraska? Even the Gophers did better than the Hawkeyes last year. They're just hyping them for Ferentz to win another B1G Coach of the Year award

Brady Hoke ate my comment

Optimistic Buckeye Pessimist's picture

I will keep my panties neatly folded until games are actually played.

Read my entire screen name....

+2 HS
blocko330's picture

Ya we were favored last year, what happened?

auburn was projected to be like 3-4th worst SEC team, what happened?

Oregon was gonna win the PAC12, what happened?

these projections are as legit as me pulling a team out of a hat.

“Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.”

- TruthTeller

+3 HS
TURD_BUCKET's picture

GIGO

“Being average means you are as close to the bottom as you are to the top.” John Wooden

+1 HS
I_Run_The_Dave's picture

Maybe we should talk about more important things, like why my standard HD cable package from TWC includes the SEC Network and not the CBS Sports network.  Which means I can't watch the game at home next Saturday, but if I wanted to watch Tennessee-Martin at Kentucky at home, I can.  :(

+1 HS
Woody16111's picture

WOW ... if Iowa/Michigan are considered in the Top 5 of this conference, at least right now, the Big Ten stinks. 

SpielmanForPres's picture

Nice for water cooler chatter, but like mentioned earlier, I do not pay any attention to anything sEcSPiN has to say. Ever. 

-1 HS
D56GoBucks's picture

The high ranking chances for Wisconsin here is fairly logical. What isn't logical is that Michigan has a better chance of winning the conference than MSU. Or that there is that much of a gap between our chances and Sparty's. Basically these rankings say that the Buckeyes are the favorite to win the east. And since Wisconsin is the favorite, by many to win the west, they have to be high up on these rankings. Obviously, you have to make the title game before you can win it. If wisky is their odds on favorite to win the west, then in turn they should be near the top in regards to the chances of winning the conference. Again, the fact that michigan state is behind Michigan is laughable. As well is the fact that there is a decent gap between the Buckeyes and them. 

"Anything easy ain't worth a damn"

Dmac3212's picture

i really want to embrace the underdog role this year, its rare when tOSU has this opportunity. But some how still favorites. 

+1 HS
ShowThemOhiosHere's picture

Obviously those computers haven't been updated in a few years.

Class of 2010.

Jabba1977's picture

I like it,I love it, I want some more of it!!

SECHATER77