Close menu
Previewing the Big 10 Conference- Ohio State Rules Until Proven Otherwise
Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Previewing the Big 10 Conference- Ohio State Rules Until Proven Otherwise

Will somebody step up and challenge the Ohio State University for Big 10 supremacy in 2021? The Buckeyes have been conference champs 4 years in a row and until someone knocks them off of their throne they are the favorite to make it five. But, there is some hope for the rest of the conference. Ohio State has an unproven QB, lost their best running back, and have zero starters back at linebacker. On paper, at least, they appear vulnerable if anyone is good enough to step up.

There are various opinions on who is the best of the rest. Some people are high on upstart Indiana who challenged Ohio State with a 6-2 record in 2020. But, as everyone knows, it was a screwed-up year in the Big-10 because of Covid and I’m skeptical until proven wrong.

Wisconsin never could get going last year because of cancellations in their schedule but ended with a couple of wins. They are always a threat with their physical style of play and toughness.

Then there is Iowa, another physical ram-it-down-your throat team that is coached magnificently by Kirk Ferentz and is always so fundamentally sound. They are always a factor but are just a few talented players short.

Coach Jim Harbaugh has some Wolverine fans on his case at Michigan but he was given a contract extension and retooled the coaching staff and maybe he can get that program back on track. He’s been there six years and his record is 49-22 which ain’t too bad. But when he was hired, the folks in Ann Arbor expected championships and that hasn’t happened so far.

Perennial power Penn State is another team with high expectations coming off a 4-5 Covid year in 2020. Coach James Franklin seems to always be in some kind of hot water even though he is 60-28 in his 7 years in State College. They have 17 starters returning and maybe they can make a run.

Minnesota is improving and recruiting better athletes and have made strides under C.J. Fleck. But his row-the-boat crap hasn’t quite worked as well in the Big-10 as it did at Western Michigan. Still, he has the Gophers on the rise.

Will this be the year that Coach Scott Frost justifies all the hoopla surrounding his hiring four years ago at Nebraska? He needs to produce a winning season or the wolves will be getting closer to his front door. Nebraska hasn’t been relevant nationally in 20 years now and that is a long time.

Northwestern gets more out of what talent they have better than anyone else. Coach Pat Fitzgerald may be the best coach in the Big-10 and has managed to win 106 games in his 15 years in Evanston. That program deserves more credit than they receive as they are always overlooked by the experts.

Michigan State is rebuilding but they have been at the top so we know they can do it. Purdue has been rebuilding for so long that they could have built Trump’s wall by now. Maryland belongs in the ACC not the Big-10 and Illinois and Rutgers belong in the MAC.

So, there are the players. King Ohio State and the rest. It looks like the Buckeye regime will reign for another year.

Join the Inner Circle

Sign up for exclusive 10% discount on orders, plus be the first to access our daily free and premium horse racing picks, articles, podcasts, and more!

Sign Up