Oregon lands top-five spot in ESPN's Way-Too-Early Top 25 for 2024 season
Oregon has another top-five spot in a way-too-early ranking for next season.
Oregon’s Dan Lanning has done a commendable job in his first two seasons as a head coach, guiding the Ducks to a 21-5 record and signing ESPN’s No. 3-ranked recruiting class in 2024. But three of Oregon’s five losses under Lanning came against rival Washington, and with both programs transitioning to the Big Ten, Lanning and his staff have to figure out how to get over that particular hump. Adding Gabriel, who threw for 3,660 yards with 30 touchdowns and six interceptions at Oklahoma in 2023, was big after losing Nix. UCLA transfer Moore, the No. 2 pocket passer in the 2023 ESPN 300, might be Oregon’s quarterback of the future. Savage, who had 115 tackles and six interceptions at Kansas State the past two seasons, will help offset the loss of three starters in the secondary. Oregon plays at Michigan on Nov. 2 and gets Ohio State and Washington at home.
In Schlabach’s early ranking, Oregon is the highest-ranked Big Ten team, two spots ahead of Ohio State and three spots ahead of the national champion Wolverines. Oregon will face both next season.
The returning talent in Eugene has the Ducks looking like a threat to walk into their new league and win the thing right away. Dillon Gabriel will look to pick up the reins following Bo Nix’s departure, no small task, but he should have plenty of help. Both tackles return, as does four of Oregon’s top five pass-catchers from this season.
The Ducks need to replace one of the most talented running backs in the country in Bucky Irving, but that room has had quality depth ever since Dan Lanning arrived.
Betting on Oregon to field another top-flight offense is a safe bet.
Can the Ducks fix the defensive issues that kept them from a Pac-12 title and kept them from playing for a national title in 2023? Injuries in the secondary played a part, to be sure, but Oregon struggled to stop Washington’s passing attack in both meetings. Kobe Savage’s addition from Kansas State will be important, as will the continued development of Jahlil Florence and Rodrick Pleasant.
Other Big Ten teams in Schlabach’s ranking include Washington at No. 11 (who the Ducks host on Nov. 30), Penn State at No. 12, and Iowa at No. 25.