Now that spring football is in the books, we are slowly starting to see preseason rankings trickle in for the 2014 season. Our friends over at ESPN recently created an automated set of preseason ratings for every team. The ratings are designed to predict how strong each team will be in the upcoming season.
This is calculated using the Football Power Index, which according to ESPN is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the EPA breakdowns that correlate most with future results. The efficiency rankings are the point contributions for the Off/Def/Special Teams units to the team’s opponent-adjusted scoring margin per game (Overall EPA).
Four Big Ten teams appear in the top 25 of the ratings, highlighted by Ohio State at No. 6 overall. Following Ohio State is Michigan at No. 18, Wisconsin at No. 23 and defending Big Ten champion Michigan State at No. 24.
According to the list, the Buckeyes have the No. 5-ranked offense, the No. 21-ranked defense, and the No. 28-ranked special teams.
Michigan State, which led the nation in total defense last season, has the No. 20-ranked defense, according to the ratings.
Here is where every Big Ten team appears on the list.
6. Ohio State Buckeyes
18. Michigan Wolverines
23. Wisconsin Badgers
24. Michigan State Spartans
37. Iowa Hawkeyes
38. Indiana Hoosiers
39. Maryland Terrapins
43. Nebraska Cornhuskers
46. Penn State Nittany Lions
52. Northwestern Wildcats
59. Rutgers Scarlet Knights
67. Minnesota Golden Gophers
73. Illinois Fighting Illini
96. Purdue Boilermakers
For the complete rankings, check out the ESPN article here.