As you all know by now, the preseason Associated Press top 25 rankings have come out and Ohio State is sitting pretty at No. 2. Looking back, Ohio State is the only Big Ten team that has won or played in a national championship this CENTURY (2002, 2006, 2007, 2014, 2020). It is also the only Big Ten team that has won or has even been competitive in the College Football Playoff since its induction in 2014, having a 3-3 record and a national title in that time frame.
What led me to write this article is that, because of Ohio State's success, the conference is widely regarded as the second-best conference in college football, behind only the SEC. But after the preseason AP Top 25 polls were released, only three Big Ten teams aside from Ohio State cracked that list.
Of those three teams, Michigan is ranked 8th, Michigan State is 15th, and Wisconsin is 18th. While I fully expect teams like Penn State and Iowa to be in that conversation at some point this season, it just goes to show that the Big Ten is very top-heavy in college football.
While I know that the preseason rankings don't mean much right now, without Ohio State in the headlines so much in the last twenty years or so, how weak would the conference look overall at this juncture? What about the number of players the Buckeyes have put in the NFL versus the rest of the teams in the conference? Would it even be in the discussion as one of the best conferences at all?
Look, all I have to say is this. While the rest of the teams in the conference may be sick and tired of losing to the Buckeyes, which have won 11 Big Ten titles in the last 19 years, without the dominance of the Scarlet and Gray, it would be viewed as just another mediocre conference.
You're welcome, Big Ten!