Is Big Ten Football Back?

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For the first time in over 50 years, since 1960 to be exact, the Big Ten has four teams ranked in the AP Top 10. The Ohio State Buckeyes (2), Michigan Wolverines (4), Wisconsin Badgers (8), and the Nebraska Cornhuskers (10) are among college footballs elite this season. With all these teams in the Top 10, the question has to be asked, “Is Big Ten football back?”
For a long, long time, the Big Ten was considered to be college footballs power conference, with a bruising, physical style of play that few could come close to competing with. They were the blue-blood conference, featuring some of the premiere and most iconic programs in college football history, and playing what many believed was “true” and “pure” football. They beat each other up during games, and beat up any out of conference rival that dared face them.
And then came the 2006 season. After Ohio State narrowly defeated Michigan in what was at the time considered to be the greatest game of all time, Ohio State made it to the championship game of the now deceased BCS, to face Florida, and was absolutely embarrassed by the beat-down they received and the hands of a team from the SEC. The next season, Michigan lost its home opener to Appalachian State, another embarrassment, and Ohio State made it to the championship game for a second straight season, only to be blown out by yet another SEC team in LSU. Keep in mind that many people thought that neither Florida nor LSU had any business being in either of those championship games.
That not only started the downfall of the Big Ten, but also the rise of the SEC as the premiere conference in college football, with Alabama rising to the top of the charts and schooling people in how to play the game year after year.
As someone who is from Alabama originally but grown up in the upper mid-west, northern Indiana to be exact, it’s hard to say whom exactly, conference wise is the best at college football. Even though Ohio State won the championship in 2014, and defeated Alabama to make it there, it is hard to deny the dominance of SEC football (8 straight national championships). However, it was difficult to watch a proud conference like the Big Ten fall into disarray.
Now, it appears that things might be different. Alabama is still at the top of the charts, but the Big Ten features the most Top 10 teams. Four of the teams in the Top 10 is impressive. But, it is still early October, and most of the Big Ten teams have yet to face stellar competition, and most of there toughest games are yet to be played.
I don’t doubt that whatever team wins the Big Ten will make the college playoff. I’m also confident that Alabama will once again make the college playoff. The winner of the Ohio State-Michigan game over thanksgiving weekend will likely be the pseudo-championship for that conference. Alabama is currently in it’s toughest stretch of the season, but they are hitting stride and in fine form. Only time will tell if the Big Ten are contenders yet again, but right now, they sure do look good.
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