This off-season has been one of change for the B1G. Maryland and Rutgers arrive from my beloved Atlantic Coast Conference (fuck Maryland) and American Athletic Conference, respectively.
Both schools were obviously not invited because of their athletic prowess. It actually weakens the conference from a competitive standpoint in the revenue sports. Maryland went 3-5 in ACC football and lost their bowl game to Marshall. Its men’s basketball team did not make the NCAA tournament – nor the NIT. Meanwhile, Rutgers just flat-out sucked in their revenue sports last season.
Nope, the B1G’s invitations those two schools were merely financially driven. The Washington, DC and New York City metro areas represent a potential boon to the Big Ten Network.
This season also represents a change to the divisional alignments. Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State and Ohio State are in the East division. The two newbies will be placed in the that division as well. Meanwhile, the way the West is now set up, Wisconsin and Nebraska appear to be the two favorites. As a result, the East appears to be very top heavy and far superior to the West in terms of strength.
So the big question for the conference is, will this divisional realignment affect any of the teams’ chances of reaching the four-team College Football Playoff? We’ll just have to wait and see this season.
As for now, without further ado…
- Ohio State (7-1 conference, 12-1 overall)
- Michigan State (7-1, 10-2)
- Penn State (5-3, 9-3)
- Michigan (5-3, 8-4)
- Indiana (3-5, 6-6)
- Maryland (2-6, 5-7)
- Rutgers (1-7, 4-8)
Analysis: This is a beastly division. You have the two 2013 B1G title game participants in the SAME DIVISION. Michigan and Penn State are there as well. I feel really bad for Indiana, who is looking to improve on last year’s results. I think this division will be decided between the Buckeyes and the Spartans. Meanwhile, I don’t feel so sorry for Maryland and Rutgers. They wanted to get paid, so they have to pay the price (pun intended).
- Wisconsin (7-1, 10-3)
- Nebraska (6-2, 9-3)
- Iowa (5-3, 8-4)
- Minnesota (3-5, 6-6)
- Northwestern (3-5, 6-6)
- Illinois (1-7, 4-8)
- Purdue (0-8, 3-9)
Analysis: Nothing much to say about this division. This is going to be Wisconsin, Nebraska and the five dwarfs. Iowa should be competitive this season, though no one is worried about challenging the two aforementioned teams for West supremacy. Meanwhile, prayers go out to coach Darrell Hazell having to coach the sorry-ass Boilermakers. Let’s just hope the higher-ups at Purdue give the brother the time he needs to turn things around.