It's that premature time of year again...Time for me to break down the Big Ten as best as I can, seeing as we're a whopping two days into the conference season. So far, Michigan clearly stands out as the favorite to win the whole conference. They're not going to be losing to inferior teams, which is pretty much every other team in the country at this point. Between Burke, Hardaway Jr, Robinson, Stauskas, and McGary, there are just too many talented, athletic, and unselfish guys on that team for them not to be competing for a B1G title. When looking at their road games (assuming they win all/most of their home games), their only "superior" competition on the road is possibly Indiana. That's really it. Michigan State got thumped by Minnesota, and barely beat Bowling Green and Boise State earlier this year. That game is most certainly winnable. Maybe the Ohio State road game? But OSU is a bit less talented this year too, stacking up two home losses already. Michigan, at this point, has a 90% chance to win the regular season conference title in my opinion. Up next? It's really a toss-up between Ohio State and Indiana. I was actually tempted to put Minnesota (yes, Minnesota) in there too, but I don't think they've established that they're an elite road team yet. They have two road wins, and those came against pathetic (5-9) USC and decent (8-5) Florida State. Who's to say if they can beat #8 Ohio State, #5 Indiana, and #2 Michigan on the road? So there's really five tiers of B1G teams in my humble opinion. The breakdown below:
Extremely Good But Not Flawless: Ohio State and Indiana
Unproven Whether Or Not They Can Consistently Win in the B1G This Year: Minnesota, Illinois, Michigan State, Wisconsin
Bubble Teams At Best: Iowa, Northwestern
Yeah, They Suck: Nebraska, Purdue, Penn State
The two biggest interchangeable teams in there are Wisconsin and Iowa. Wisconsin could be a Tier 4 team, Iowa could be a Tier 3 team. They have both lost home games this year multiple times.
Welp, that's little old me's take on the Big Ten. Vote and comment below.