1/5 of top 25 comes from Big Ten

So the coaches have voted and it is their decree that five of the top 25 teams heading into the season are Big Ten teams.

To think that it was just a week ago at Big Ten Media Days that much of the talk centered on whether the conference had dropped a notch or two in the hierarchy.

Here’s a link to the complete poll.



  1. As long as TOSU keeps getting blasted by SEC teams in the national championship game, after dominating the Big Ten, the conference will have an image problem. I live in Tennessee, and trust me, the Buckeyes, and by extension the Big Ten, are the butt of many jokes. I often hear things like ‘First place in the Big Ten = sixth place in the SEC’ or ‘Ohio State=Mississippi State.’ Gee that’s fun to endure, but it’s not like I can say Ohio St. was even competitive in either title game.

  2. The Big Ten took the first step in creating a remedy to that problem this year. Adding a bye week that pushes the end of the Big Ten season out 1 week will help.

    I am waiting for the formation of the Big Ten East (Penn State, TOSU, Michigan, Michigan St., Purdue and IU) and the Big Ten West (Illinois, Northwestern, Iowa, Wisconsin a Minnesota) so they can add a Conference Championship game the first or 2nd week of December between the East & West champs.

    This will give an extra game to the top teams, and shorten the lay-off period between the end of the season and the BCS bowls by 2-3 weeks like the SEC already does.

  3. Eric, TOSU will go to the Champ game again this year but win it. As good as Florida could be, they are not the LSU last year. I have to say too that the SEC is the butt of many jokes in the midwest. You can play 3 years and flunk all of your classes from what I read and hear. Research and check LSU grad rate for the past few years…WOW!!! I am not saying TOSU is great by all means in that area but I am talking conf on a whole. I bet half of LSU champ team cannot read on a fifth grade level!!!

  4. Yeah right. Michigan gets so much love just for being Michigan. Lets see, they lost their LT, RB, WR, QB. Yeah! Lets put them in the top 25 even though we cant name ONE offensive weapon they have!

    Preseason polls are such a crock anyway. Funny thing is that if you dont start out in the top 25, or even if you start 15-25 you basically have to go undefeated to have a CHANCE at making a title game. The preseason poll is a guess, based on who they have coming back and how their sked looks, on who might be the best teams this year. Even a teams chances at making a BCS game or title game is based on a guess of how they think they look at the beginning of the year.

    Its a flat joke. Its just a system built in to keep as many as possible of the higher profile teams high in the rankings early in the season to give them a better shot at making the big games to make the revenue as high as possible. Not usually a big conspiracy theory guy, but when you see the same teams every year in the top 10 and then you see a team like Michigan that IU would smoke this year listed in the top 25, its just obvious what is going on.

  5. J Pat, I’m not an SEC fan, I’m just giving perspective from outside the Midwest. It’s not as bad as perhaps you describe, but the saying ‘If you ain’t cheating you ain’t trying’ is often heard among SEC fans. It’s a combination of things, but they place less value on academics than I’d say any conference in the country, Vanderbilt being the obvious exception. It’s not like rural Miss, ‘bama, Arkansas, etc. supply lots of super-smart students. I too am proud that the Big Ten is more demanding academically. So I’m with you, but I have to endure a lot of crap that would cease if TOSU would just at least be competitive, let alone win.

    Mike P, to have divisions and a title game, you have to have at least 12 members. I’ve often thought that Pitt, W. Virginia or Syracuse would make a good addition. That division could be the new team, Penn St., OSU, IU, Purdue and Illinois. The Michigans and west could be the other division. Or you could add Missouri or Iowa St., put them in division with Wisc, Iowa, Minn, Illinois and NW. Lots of things to idly speculate about here!!

  6. Actually, I’d like to hear what other people think about a 12th Big Ten member. Pittsburgh and Missouri seem like the most logical choices, but the others I mentioned also are appealing, I think. I DO NOT want Notre Dame, after they spurned earlier offers, only to join the Big East. Forget them, let them keep making trips to Connecticut and Georgetown rather than nearby natural rivals!!

  7. Eric, it was talked about a lot last fall. I do not want to expand. In fact I wish we could drop either NW or PSU and go back to a true BIG 10. If we must expand, Pitt or Miss would be fine too. I always hoped for ND but whatever. This is just my take!

  8. J Pat,

    I also like the ‘true’ Big 10, but I like the idea of divisions and a championship game. If for no other reason than it generates lots of hype and several million bucks in revenue that is distributed among all the members (think: IU might never play in it, but would get some revenue anyway). It also makes for good division games in basketball; think of IU v. Pittsburgh in that scenario, with division positioning on the line in late February.

    I’m not saying the Big 10 must expand, I just think it would open up some good things that we don’t currently have. At one time I hoped for ND as well, simply because it makes so much sense given its location and existing rivalries with Big 10 schools, but I’ve soured on that. Like you, this is just my take!

  9. A little late, for this post, but here goes. Nebraska makes a lot of sense to me. They have fair academics, which is important. This would open up recruiting in new areas for B10 schools. They don’t appear to have the scandals that other B12 and Big East schools have.
    For the conference championship game you could play in Detroit, Minneapolis and Indianapolis, or if you really want to have fun Soldier Field.
    There are many options, I just feel Nebraska would be a great addition to the B10+2.

  10. Actually, I’ve thought that Rutgers would be a strong possibility to jump to the B10. Their athletic programs have been growing in stature & I just think they would love to make a splash by moving to a different conference. As for the B10, they would love nothing more than to get a foothold in the New York media market & Rutgers is big enough & close enough to give them that.
    Personally, I would prefer Rutgers over ND or Mizzou. Pitt would be interesting but I don’t see them being lured away from the Big East.

  11. Jay, you’re not too late. I wish more people would jump in on this. It seems like an interesting discussion.

    I like Missouri a little more than Nebraska, just because they’re rivals of Illinois and Iowa and such a good geographic fit. But so is Nebraska, so I wouldn’t be opposed to that either.

    What do you think of Pitt?? I think that would be a good fit. Good academics and proximity to PSU and TOSU.

    The Big Ten championship game, particularly at Soldier Field, would be one of the premier college football events in any season, that’s for sure!

  12. Well Eric, I am going to stick with Nebraska. But, I will admit to Missouri and Pitt, being great choices. Pitt would provide another backyard brawl…OSU/UM, PSU/UP, IU/PU, and many others. Missouri is a great school as well. They seem to lack continuity in athletics.
    Pitt’s academic ranking is higher than several B10 schools. Missouri and Nebraska, I think, are lower.
    My true hope is no ND. The B10 + 1 or +2 works together. Bring in ND and the tail will make every to wag the dog.
    Think about the divisions, there would be a lot of discussions. OSU/UM must happen every year!
    I would also include UVA but there is a by-law in the B10 stating that a new school has to be in a state that borders on another conference state.

  13. Numerous good points being made here. Bottle rocket, I’ve heard mention of Rutgers as well, and I believe N.J. borders Pennsylvania, making that feasible given the bylaw Jay mentions that requires expansion to be into a bordering state.

    I fully agree about ND and would be quite disgusted if we took them now after being spurned in the past.

    As far as preserving traditional rivalries in divisional play, the SEC example could work. Each team has 1 or 2 permanent rivals they play every year out of division. For instance, Tennessee’s biggest long-term rival is Alabama, so those schools play every year even though they’re out of division. The other schools in the West then rotate playing Tennessee. U of M and OSU could be permanent rivals, etc.

    If an eastern school was added, I’d make the divisions like so:

    East/south–New member, PSU, OSU, IU, Purdue, Illinois

    West/north–Mich, Mich St, Wisc, Minny, Iowa, NW

    If a midwestern member joined, I’d put the new school in with Iowa, Minny, Wisc, Illinois and NW; and the Michigans, Indiana and Purdue, OSU and PSU in together.

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