How would YOU rank the Big Ten Conference?
It’s not too early to start making your 2018 football season predictions. With less than two months left in the season, football season never appears to be too far away.
But that doesn’t mean all sports fans have to be limited to merely taking a look at what’s going on this year. Instead, you can use all of the off-season to prepare for the next season and make a variety of bets on both college and NFL football.
Whether you’re a diehard Penn State fan or you’re simply a big football fan, this article will tell you exactly where does that put Penn State in the Big Ten Conference?
For Penn State, It’s Not Pretty Good.
Coming back from last year’s disappointing 3-9 campaign, you’d think the University would be doing everything in its power to make sure the football team avoids being mediocre. You’d think.
But that’s not the case. In fact, Penn State head football coach James Franklin revealed that the team’s performance didn’t cause him to rethink his career at the University. In an interview with ESPN, Franklin stated:
“I didn’t wake up one morning and decide ‘I’m going to be mediocre at football.’ This stuff happens over time. We made some decisions along the way that maybe weren’t the best for the football program, but I’m not going to second-guess myself and say ‘I knew what was best for the program and I didn’t do it.'”
Franklin’s assessment that the team’s 3-9 record was a product of bad luck and not a reflection of their inherent talent is probably more accurate than you’d think. From Ben Roethlisberger’s injury to a string of ugly losses to close out the season, it really was one bad break after another for Penn State. The team’s average margin of victory was only seven points per game, which means even when they played well, they were always a step behind the team they were supposed to be beating.
For The Big Ten, It’s Not Pretty Good Neither.
It’s not easy being the king or queen of a small conference, but the Big Ten has handled its share of real disappointments this year. First, the Badgers disappointed many by not living up to expectations and losing a few games by small margins. Then, the Spartans had a down year as well, only winning two games and losing eight by an average margin of 24 points.
To make matters worse, the #3 and #4 teams in the conference are currently involved in a play-in game, which will determine which team from the Big Ten moves on to play in the Big Ten championship game. This year, the #4 team will play the #3 team, so if you’re a fan of one of these teams, you’re out of luck. It’s essentially a win-or-go-home type of situation for the Big Ten.
For The Big Ten, It’s Not Pretty Good Either.
The Big Ten is used to teams that don’t live up to expectations. In fact, it’s one of the reasons the conference is typically considered to be a bit boring, as teams within the conference tend to be consistent in terms of their performance. This year, however, is different as a pair of highly anticipated young guns look to upset the status quo.
Quarterback Joshua Dobbs of the Tennessee Volunteers and running back Saquon Barkley of the Philadelphia Eagles are considered to be 2 of the best young offensive players in the NCAA. Together, they form what could be the greatest combination at the position in decades. Imagine, if you will, what would happen if the 2 of them played together at Penn State. We’re not talking about a simple match-up as these 2 already have a couple of shared teammates in their draft class and came from rival high schools (Dobbs went to Chattanooga and Barkley to Penn Charter).
This is why, when asked about the possibility of playing the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big Ten championship, Barkley replied “I’d be lying if I said I didn’t think about that.” In an interview with USA Today, Barkley went on to say:
“I don’t know if it’s possible, but it’ll be fun to play in the Big Ten. I love playing in the Big Ten. Everyone in the Northeast is competing for football fans, and that’s what makes it exciting. It’ll be fun to play in front of our friends and our families.”
So, Which Team Wins The Big Ten Championship?
If you’re asking that question, then you might be wondering if the champ will be determined by who has the best record or by some sort of playoff. The answer is…it depends.
If you win your conference, you get the automatic bid to the playoff. This means that regardless of what happens in the rest of the season, the team that wins the conference title will have a chance to play for the championship. The Big Ten has implemented this rule to provide some equity to teams that consistently perform well within the conference. This is different from other conferences, where the champion is usually the team with the best record.
If you want to know the answer to that question, then it’s time to look at the standings. The Big Ten is a hard league to break into as a relatively new conference, so teams are rarely picked apart. This year is no different, with only Minnesota and Wisconsin separated by a single game in the division standings. With a win on Thursday night, the Badgers will secure the #2 spot in the conference and a chance to play for the championship. The winner of the tiebreaker between the two will play the Oklahoma Sooners in the Big Ten championship game.
The Big Ten is arguably the best of the American big football leagues, which is impressive considering it doesn’t feature the tradition of some of its counterparts. This is largely due to the fact that it was founded in the 20s, which means that many of its teams don’t have as many championship rings to show for. Still, the Big Ten is consistently one of the most competitive conference in football and it’s not difficult to see why. With a win on Thursday night, the Badgers will likely secure a spot in next year’s championship game and continue the dominance they’ve had over the league for the past several years. If you’re a fan of Penn State or one of the other Big Ten teams, then you might want to root for a different team this year as the conference isn’t looking for challengers this year.