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Oregon Football is ranked No. 3 in the country by prominent analytics site

KFord Ratings ranks Oregon as the No. 3 team in college football, expects Ducks to be 27 points per game better than the average FBS team

EUGENE – College football analytics powerhouse Kelley Ford (@KFordRatings on X) released their first 2024 rankings and Oregon fans should be excited to see the Ducks check in at No. 3 in the country. This marks one of the highest pre-season expectations for Oregon in program history, as even Chip Kelly’s legendary 2009-2013 teams never reached this kind of hype until late in their seasons.

Ford used his proprietary team rating model to determine how many points per game (PPG) every team in college football is better or worse than the average FBS team. By this metric, Oregon is expected to be 27.2 PPG better than an average FBS team, a massive difference.

The Ducks are bested only by Ohio State (28.7 PPG) and Georgia (32.9 PPG) and are narrowly ahead of No. 4 Alabama (27.1 PPG) and No. 5 Texas (26.2 PPG) in the ratings. It’s interesting to see Georgia rated as far in front of the pack as they are since most fans and analysts expect Ohio State and Georgia to be neck-and-neck for the best team in the country this year.
Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix and head coach Dan Lanning celebrate after defeating the Liberty Flames to win the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Jan. 1, 2024.
Oregon Ducks quarterback Bo Nix and head coach Dan Lanning celebrate after defeating the Liberty Flames to win the Fiesta Bowl at State Farm Stadium in Glendale on Jan. 1, 2024. / Rob Schumacher/The Republic / USA TODAY

Notable Big Ten Conference opponents Penn State and Michigan check in at No. 6 and No. 7 respectively and figure to be squarely in the mix for a conference title this year. Other Big Ten appearances in the top 30 include USC at No. 18, Iowa at No. 27, and Washington at No. 30. The USC rating strikes me as a bit aggressive while it’s much harder to assess Washington for this season as they break in a new coach and nearly 20 new starters.

Washington falls just one and two spots ahead of No. 31 Wisconsin and No. 32 UCLA, respectively. Oregon will have to travel to Wisconsin late in the year and this could very well set up as one of the hardest games on the Ducks’ schedule. UCLA being rated as highly as they are is surprising given the loss of former coach Chip Kelly and numerous transfer portal departures.

The next tier of Big Ten teams includes more middling programs such as Nebraska (No. 42), Maryland (No. 44), Minnesota (No. 48), and Rutgers (No. 50). These teams all have sleeper potential, particularly the Huskers as coach Matt Rhule has done a great job rebuilding their roster heading into year two in Lincoln.

All in all, the first 2024 KFord Preseason Ratings look favorably on the Ducks as Dan Lanning’s team heads into its first Big Ten season. Some Oregon fans wouldn’t even rate the Ducks this highly, inspiring confidence that the hype surrounding Oregon is real.

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