Even when they’re leading the country in recruiting top prospects or in winning streaks, the Big Ten can’t catch a break.
Michigan was projected to land the Class of 2014’s top prospect, only to have Alabama steal him away. Even though the recruit would likely start for Michigan, he choose Alabama and a possible season on the bench with a redshirt. For your average 17-year-old, though, what’s one year sitting when you lengthen the already mile-long pipeline from Tuscaloosa to the NFL. The Wolverines can't promise that.
On the field, although Ohio State hasn’t lost a football game since 2011, the Buckeyes have no tangible control over whether they'll play for the national championship. The computers and humans who decide who plays are not too hot on OSU’s flaccid schedule. The only way the Buckeyes make the title game is for Florida State of the Tide to lose.
College football is Nick Saban’s world and the Big Ten is just getting pushed out of it.
But it’s O.K., B1G, I still love you.
Let’s get to work!
Purdue @ Penn State -21.5
PSU has played tough at home all season.
Indiana @ Wisconsin -24
Despite two tough losses earlier this season, the Badgers remain a feisty squad.
Ohio State -32 @
OSU will throw up another 30+ point effort over an Illinois team that hasn't won a conference since 2011. With that type of schedule, you see why voters don't want to put the Buckeyes in the national championship.
Michigan +3 @
I like Michigan as a road dog because Northwestern has been in a tailspin since their tough loss versus OSU, and is also ravaged by injuries.
Michigan State -6 @
The Spartans need to keep winning for the Buckeyes to have a shot of making the national championship. MSU and OSU will play in the conference title game, and it will be OSU's last chance to make a convincing argument to play in the title bout.