Is The Big Ten Conference Losing Its Strength?

Josh Resh, Contributor

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The Big Ten Football Conference has always been a powerhouse when it comes to football. Throughout the years, teams have been added to the conference, currently there are fourteen teams. The top schools in this conference are usually Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State. Right now, the rankings to watch before the season are: Michigan State 11th, Penn State 10th, Michigan 14th , Wisconsin 4th, and Ohio State 5th. These teams are ranked out of 25 teams. Most people were shocked at how many teams in the Big Ten Conference were ranked really high. With how the college football playoffs work, only the top four teams ranked out of the whole country make it. Therefore, the Big Ten could potentially have four teams in the playoffs–depending on how they finish up the regular season. These rankings change every week based off of how each team plays. If a really good team loses, or has a close game with a bad team, the good team will move down in the rankings.

Looking into to the match ups into the Big Ten Conference, Penn State was up against unranked Appalachian State. Penn State may have won the game; but, throughout the game, they played terribly. Their defense gave up 38 points to the opposing team. Penn State even had to go into overtime to seal the win. This win made people question if Penn State should even be considered a potential playoff team. Another team that had a close game with  Utah State, was Michigan State.This was another dog fight with a low ranked team, Michigan State only won by a touchdown. The final was 38-31. Michigan State’s defense wasn’t able to handle Utah’s defense throughout the game. At some point in the game, it looked like Utah State could do whatever they wanted to on offense. Luckily, Michigan State survived this game. 

Michigan had the only tough game out of all the other teams. They faced a higher ranked Notre Dame team. Notre Dame is ranked 12th in the conference. Michigan has always had problems with football, since they never perform the way they want during the season. The only two teams that looked strong on the field were Wisconsin and Ohio State. They blew out there opponents, despite playing unranked schools. Wisconsin won 34-3 against Western KY, and Ohio State took a victory over Oregon State 78 to 31.

This past Tuesday, an updated college football ranking came out. The first thing the selection committee (the people that rank the teams) probably did was look at these Big Ten games. The committee moved Michigan’s ranking down to 21, Penn State’s ranking also decreased to 13th, and Michigan State’s ranking diminished to 15th. The only positive is that Ohio State is now ranked number 4, and Wisconsin is ranked number 5. As it looks now, there are only two potential playoff teams in the conference–Ohio State and Wisconsin. So,it looks like the Big Ten Conference won’t be represented in the playoffs as much as they hoped for during this 2018/2019 season.

“2018 NCAA College Football Polls and Rankings for Week 2.” ESPN, ESPN Internet Ventures, www.espn.com/college-football/rankings

 

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Big Ten Conference.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 24 Aug. 2018, www.britannica.com/topic/Big-Ten-Conference.

 

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