I am sitting here watching The Shining while drinking some Rye whiskey enjoying this brisk October night while reflecting on the B1G. While the B1G is not getting any respect and is tanking our SoS, I am optimistic that things are changing!
1. Ohio State has been the bell of the ball for a long time now so no further explanation is needed.
2. Wisconsin. Gary Anderson has exceeded my expectations enormously. Its still early in the season but he has done phenomenal so far. Other than OSU his only loss was a fluke lost to Arizona State. BUT IT'S ONLY ARIZONA STATE! THERE IS NO EXCUSE!. This is Anderson's first year. He hasn't acquired the players he wants and is changing philosophies and the culture at Wisconsin. Look how many close calls Urban had his first year and that was with talent that was heads and shoulders above what the rest of the conference is. If Wisconsin wins out the rest of the season, it has been a great success. Anderson has also done a solid job recruiting. The fact that Anderson has no B1G affiliations is great because I think it will help change the culture of the B1G and its gentlemen's agreements.
3. Penn State. Name one coach in the B1G that has done more with less than BOB? O'brien was essentially handed a crippled program. Post Season bans, Scholarship reductions and worst of all, a horrifying scandal. No one would blame O'brien for going 0-12 with those circumstances. But he has not only won games, he has won a lot of games so far. With the scholarship reductions lifted. He will be very dangerous to play against. When the bowl bans are lifted I could easily see PSU being a top 15 team consistently. He has also shown he can recruit against Urban even with all the negative problems he has faced.
4. MSU. Yes I understand everyone is probably going to laugh at me but Dantonio has a rock solid defense. I am jealous of their defense. Dantonio screwed up by hiring the walrus but he is one good defensive co-ordinator away from being a top 15 team.
5. Northwestern. They've slid a lot since their fall against OSU but they are still a quality program and can be at least a top 25 team.
6. Maryland & Rutgers. These two teams may not be marquee programs but they have been recruiting solid so far. Once they start receiving B1G network and primetime exposure they could potentially take off and be solid mid major programs.
7. Nebraska. I think Bo Pellini's days are numbered. When he gets the axe I feel Nebraska is definitely going to be doing their research to get a coach that can make Nebraska be a top ten 10.
I did not include michigan because aside from recruiting, they have accomplished nothing of worth so far. Al Borges is a terrible OC. I don't think Brady Hoke has the heart to fire him and I think that will be their downfall. All this doesn't help OSU's SoS this year but I feel our conference as a whole is on the way up and will help us out in years to come.