Hallelujah! CFB in 2024 is moving on from a Four Team Invitational and into the realm of a true playoff (PO.) I’ve already, FWIW, looked at the 2024 SEC contenders. Let’s look at OBD, and the other B1G contenders with a B1G chance to go Delightful Dozen dancing in 2024. It’s odds-on that the B1G will place four or maybe five teams in the 2024 PO field.
Unlike the SEC in 2024, Sports Illustrated and other sites have not ranked the B1G 2024 strength of schedule (SOS) as it has the SEC schedule. I’m shocked. But using the PO Committee’s ultimate 2023 ranking, let’s guess the 2024 B1G teams that are most likely to join the Delighted Dozen in 2024.
No. 1 Michigan – 13-0 The Wolverines will lose the core of the group that has owned the B1G, especially in the last two seasons. Michigan in 2024 has a real out-of-conference OOC opponent with No. 3 Texas visiting Ann Arbor in Week 2. Michigan is in ESPN’s Bill Connelly’s most difficult 2024 strength of schedule rankings (SOS) is not in Bill’s limited top 15 teams. In 2024, Michigan plays No. 3 Texas and No. 8 Oregon in Ann Arbor. And plays at No. 7. Ohio State and No. 2 Washington on the road. Michigan also plays 2023 Bowl Teams (BT) USC, Minnesota, and Northwestern.
No. 3 – WASHINGTON – 13-0 – Penix and a whole lot of other talent are leaving the Montlake building in 2024. QB Will Rogers coming in from Mississippi State brings a lot of impressive stats with him. But, according to ESPN, Washington has the 3rd hardest SOS in 2024, and ESPN’s No. 43 2024 recruiting class. Coach of the Year Kalen DeBore is a terrific coach. But talent matters, and UW is not doing the job on the recruiting or the Transfer Portal front. UW does play both of the LA schools in Seattle. But in what could be a B1G champ game elimination game finishes with Oregon in Eugene.
No. 6 – OHIO STATE – Yes, tOSU plays at Oregon, and Penn State but the Buckeyes in 2024 have a nothing burger OOC slate. The top 15 toughest 2024 SP+ schedules include No. 2 USC, No. 8 Washington, No. 12 UCLA, and No. 13 Oregon but not the Buckeyes. The last time Penn State defeated Ohio State was when Ohio State visited Happy Valley in 2016. Penn State defeated tOSU and won the B1G, but Ohio State with the one loss to B1G Champion Penn State went on to the Final 4 where it lost 30-0 to Clemson. The Buckeyes have the easiest path to the 2024 B1G title game and the PO.
No. 8 – OREGON– The Ducks come into the B1G with the SP+ No. 13 SOS in 2024. The Ducks also will enter into the B1G with the B12’s 2023 All-Conference QB, Dillon Gabriel. and a four game OOC slate that is ‘manageable.’ Including at G5/WCC No. 19. Oregon State, thanks Rob Mullens. According to the ESPN recruiting rankings, Oregon comes into the B1G with the No. 3 2024 ranked recruiting class compared to Ohio State at No. 4, and Penn State at No. 10. and Michigan at 16.
A Blue Chip Roster team will win the 2024 PO, and Oregon is in the mix. But the Ducks, while having an off-week before its first B1G game in LA versus UCLA, have to grind out eight B1G games in a row before its next off-week when Puddles plays the final regular season game vs. UW. A B1G ask, no doubt.
No. 10. Penn State – The Nittany Lions get Ohio State at home, and do not play Michigan in 2024. In an interesting schedule twist, Penn State plays UCLA in Happy Valley the week before tripping to USC. Will new OC Andy Kotelnicki coming in from Kansas be able to jump-start the Penn State passing game? Penn State was 10-2 in 2023 but the pass game was MIA versus Ohio State and Michigan. Former Indiana HC Tom Allen replaces Manny Diaz, who is off to be the new Duke HC, as the Penn State DC.
No. 17. Iowa. Next case. Without divisions in 2024, the Hawkeyes will not be dancing with the Delighted Dozen. ESPN has Iowa ranked 34 in 2024 recruiting. Iowa is always a tough out in Iowa City where Puddles does not play in 2024, and Oregon also misses Iowa in Eugene.
NR USC – Things are not all good in South Central. But USC did finish with the 16th-best 2024 recruiting class according to ESPN, and brings a Blue Chip Roster with it into the B1G, along with wholesale changes on the D side of the ball. Troy also brings with it the nation’s No. 2 SOS. GULP.
I had the SEC going over four teams in the 2024 PO. I have the Ducks, Ohio State, and Penn State in the 2024 Top 12, but beyond that, I am not certain. Michigan and UW could both be in there with two losses, but both are losing a lot and Michigan is on double-secret NCAA probation and could lose its coach.
B1G games in 2024. Texas at Michigan. Oregon and USC at Michigan. Michigan at UW. Ohio State at Oregon and Ohio State at Penn State and vs. Michigan. UW vs. Michigan, USC, and at Penn State.
The ACC could get No. 4 FSU and No. 22. Clemson into the Delighted Dozen, and the B12 will bring one of Arizona or Utah, maybe Oklahoma State. The G5? I’m going with AAC Tulane, and I’m curious as to your thoughts for next football season in the B1G. Share them in the only free, civilized, Oregon message board in the Our Beloved Ducks forum.
It’s going to be B1G!
Aiken, South Carolina
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Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now a resident of Aiken South Carolina, Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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