In 2014, college football will have a playoff system in place for the 1st time ever. All of the “Power-5” conferences in football will be trying to position themselves accordingly to get a shot at a national title. Heading into the year, Ohio State was picked by many to be the marquee team of the Big Ten. However, the recent season-ending injury to Braxton Miller will change the conference landscape quite a bit.
Over the last few seasons, the Big Ten has really been hit hard by the national media for not playing well in big games. It is true that they have not been able to have a serious championship contender for a while now, but this is still a pretty tough conference from top to bottom. However, it looks like 2014 will be a year in which there will be no dominant team in the conference.
Ohio State still figures to be pretty good, as J.T. Barrett will take the reins. He is a young and inexperienced quarterback, but he will have plenty of talent around him to help things go a little bit smoother. That could make him a guy who puts up decent fantasy football numbers for anyone who plays in college-based leagues.
Without question, Michigan State is the team poised to take the most advantage of Ohio State’s misfortunes. They are the only other team anyone considers to be Top 10-caliber in the preseason, and they will be tested in the 2nd week of the regular season by Oregon. They also have the advantage of playing Ohio State later in the year in East Lansing.
Finally, Wisconsin seems like the only other legitimate playoff contender from the Big Ten this year. They have the advantage of not having to play Michigan State or Ohio State in the regular season, but they do have a very tough opener against LSU in non-conference.
It was assumed by many that Ohio State would once again have their way in the Big Ten. However, the injury to Miller just made things a bit more wide open. Unfortunately, may have also made the Big Ten weaker in the eyes of the College Football Playoff selection committee.
BY JAMIE SACCO ON AUGUST 21, 2014
Jamie is a freelance writer who has also done work for Fanduel.com