ESPN's metrics love the Buckeyes.
Ohio State's 3-0 start to the season has led to plenty of wide-ranging opinions, but when it comes to the Worldwide Leader in Sports’ predictive rankings, there's one team clearly at the top.
It seemed to all come together for Ohio State on both sides of the ball throughout the Buckeyes' dominant 63-10 win over Western Kentucky on Saturday. While the offense scored nine touchdowns, including a 35-point outburst in the second quarter when OSU scored a touchdown on all five possessions in the quarter, the defense showed glimpses of the Silver Bullets as well. The Buckeyes have allowed Indiana, Youngstown State and Western Kentucky to score just 20 points through the first three games of the season.
With the 53-point win, Ohio State jumped from No. 2 to atop the ESPN FPI rankings, moving ahead of Alabama.
|RANK||TEAM||FPI||MAKE CFP%||MAKE NC%||WIN NC%|
ESPN projects an 11-1 record as most likely for the Buckeyes but gives Ohio State a 23.9% chance to be undefeated, 62.4% chance to win its division and a 57.3% chance to win the Big Ten Championship Game, per the FPI.
Michigan is just 14th in the rankings at 17.3 following its 3-0 start to the season, which includes wins over East Carolina, UNLV and Bowling Green.
Along with being No. 1 in the FPI, the Buckeyes are also No. 1 in ESPN's SP+ rankings with a 30.3 rating. Ohio State jumped ahead of Georgia in those rankings after the Bulldogs needed a second-half comeback to earn a 24-14 win over South Carolina.
|1||OHIO STATE||30.3||43.1 (4)||12.8 (5)||0.1 (61)|
|2||GEORGIA||28.9||39.2 (12)||10.3 (3)||0.1 (60)|
|3||MICHIGAN||28.2||37.8 (16)||9.9 (2)||0.3 (5)|
|4||NOTRE DAME||26.4||40.4 (6)||13.8 (7)||-0.2 (97)|
|5||USC||25.3||47 (1)||22.1 (47)||0.3 (4)|
|6||ALABAMA||25||39.5 (9)||14.7 (12)||0.2 (24)|
|7||OKLAHOMA||24.9||42.8 (5)||18.3 (22)||0.3 (17)|
|8||WASHINGTON||24||43.1 (3)||19.1 (27)||0.0 (77)|
|9||PENN STATE||23.9||36.4 (21)||12.2 (4)||-0.2 (102)|
|10||TEXAS||23.8||38.1 (15)||14.6 (9)||0.2 (22)|
Ahead of Ohio State's top-10 clash against Notre Dame in South Bend next Saturday night, the Fighting Irish's 19.7 FPI has fallen three spots to No. 12 in the rankings despite their 4-0 record and dominant performance offensively so far this season. But Notre Dame is ranked fourth in SP+, setting up a matchup between two teams whose offenses and defenses are both ranked among the seven most efficient in the country.