Who is the biggest threat to Ohio State in the Big Ten?
Well, it's definitely been an interesting season for everyone, but the Big Ten especially has seen some weird things occur. Ohio State remains the top dog in the conference, but the team's it thought would be competing with them have struggled, and new contenders all of a sudden have emerged. Who's their biggest threat now? Let's break down a few teams and what they bring to the table.
I brought up why the College Football Playoff should expand instead of just pushing back their dates, and despite that seemingly outlandish, the Buckeyes might need that if the season doesn't play out. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe the Indiana Hoosiers would be the Big Ten East representative in the conference championship. Ohio State's 3-0 in conference play, while the Hoosiers are 4-0. Granted, I don't see the season ending after this week, but you never know with this year.
These two teams are set to play this weekend in Columbus, so we should get an idea of just how good this Indiana team is when they play. Does Michael Penix have what it takes to upset Justin Fields and the Buckeyes? We'll (hopefully) find out soon enough.
Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State were picked to be the Buckeyes biggest contenders this season, but those three are a combined 2-10 so far. Penn State's James Franklin and Michigan's Jim Harbaugh are catching some heat for their starts to the season, with Harbaugh's seat heating up, and now they're not even considered much competition for the Buckeyes (though they have the talent to play with Ohio State).
Rutgers is better, but already lost to the Buckeyes and Maryland, though 2-1 in conference play, doesn't have what it takes to compete. So, after Indiana, the best competition will come from the West.
Wisconsin just steamrolled Michigan after missing a couple weeks thanks to COVID, and the Badgers could be Ohio State's toughest test. They'd see each other in the conference championship. Northwestern joins the Badgers are the other undefeated team in the division, and the Wildcats are playing extremely well so far. Purdue, Iowa, Nebraska, Minnesota, and Illinois could maybe shock the Buckeyes in one game, but none of them are conference contenders. The Illini are the only team that will see them on their schedule, so that would be the only chance (which most likely won't end well for the underdog).
Indiana, Wisconsin, and Northwestern. Two of those teams weren't expected to be this good, and the Badgers are the other team. Wisconsin is also surprising with how they're playing so far, and their win over the Wolverines this weekend sent a message throughout the conference.