clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Is the Big Ten Better than the SEC? Pondering the College Football Top Ten

Bee-one-gee! Bee-one-gee!

Alabama v Texas A&M Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

When Texas A&M unexpectedly defeated Alabama on Saturday night, the nation’s collective response was to point and laugh:

Sure, Texas and Alabama are both terrible places where minority and women’s rights go to die; where barely functionally literate yokels imagine that Nick Saban gives a flying eff what they’re typing on Twitter; and where large swaths of the population actually believe that a vaccine can microchip you. And even in the cesspool that is Texas, A&M stands apart in the sheer weirdness and delusion of its fanbase.

Still. Alabama losing. Hilarious times.

But more importantly, it meant that spots #1 and #2 would not be locked up by Alabama and Georgia for time and eternity, and instead... we’d get #2 Iowa, because 2020 unleashed a lot of dark energy into the world that we can’t undo. However, Iowa isn’t alone in the Top 10... and hey. Wait. Is that... lots of Big Ten teams there? By gawd, it is.

#2 - Iowa

#6 - OSU

#7 - PSU

#8 - Michigan

#10 - MSU

That’s five teams from the conference in the Top Ten (that’s a full 50%, for our southern readers), three whole teams more than the SEC has.

So, what should we make of this glut of Big Ten teams roaming about in wholly unfamiliar territory (the national Top Ten)? What do we think of having so many ranked teams? Who is overrated? Underrated? Is the Big Ten the new SEC? (Lol, come at us, yokels.) Which of these shit teams will fck up and lose first?

You don’t care about our opinions, but that’s certainly never stopped us before. So here they are, our erudite thoughts on this urgent matter.

Stew: Everyone is overrated except OSU, who is probably now underrated. But I hate that, even if it’s the truth. It’s boring and stupid.

Based purely on resume, I think the rankings make a good amount of sense. 3 undefeated teams, one team whose only loss is to the formerly mentioned undefeated, and one who is so immeasurably talented that the loss is some what meaningless.

Based on what things are probably going to look like at the end of the season, OSU is underrated, Iowa is overrated (while likely favored in every game, the probabilities still average to about 1.5 losses in the regular season. And there’s just not room enough for the rest of the East teams, too many losses left to distribute.

Andrew: Someone just go ahead and tell me, who has Georgia even played to be ranked that high??? Those boys’d never stand up to a Bee Won Gee schedule, thanks Bert immahangupanlissen.

RockyMountainBlue: Awww. Stew beat me to the ‘right’ answer. Everyone but OSU is goodish with some strong attributes and some really exploitable holes. MSU gives up yards in buckets to bad teams, Iowa’s offense looks like refugees from a middle school game. Michigan can’t throw the ball and can’t cover athletic players. Penn State is the closest thing to a complete team of the four...when their QB isn’t broken. These are teams you’d usually expect to see ranked in the high teens. OSU, on the other hand is primed to start eating people.

Andrew: looks at pile of Maryland and Rutger bones

Yes…START eating people.

BRT: As long as there are pre-season rankings (so, forever) teams have to start somewhere, and as long as they don’t lose, will keep rising. Then, before you know it, you have #2 Iowa. So while I agree that most of the Big Ten teams, save OSU, are likely not quite as good as their ranking, everyone makes reasonable sense.As for who will lose first, only MSU and Iowa are playing next week. Facing Indiana and Purdue, both should win (though a Purdue Harbor would be a delight, as always.) Really a loss isn’t likely until Week 9, when we get two pairings between the ranked teams. I think then PSU gets another loss (to OSU) and Sparty emerges triumphant against Harbaugh. Iowa plays Wisky that week too, but I don’t know that the Badgers will get it done this time.

CandystripesForBreakfast: I don’t like the Big Ten having this many ranked teams, because Indiana still has to play a lot of them, and I would rather see Indiana do well than see the rest of the conference do well.

MNW: In true “sportsblogyeller with an axe to grind” fashion, I’m going to blame these problems all on my singular pet peeve: hoodies cell phones Week 1 conference games.Is Michigan State great? Possibly not—those 21 points to Northwestern are not aging well by the day. Could Minnesota have been decent? Maybe! But without Mo Ibrahim and now Treyson Potts, I’m not holding my breath.Would Nebraska likely be properly a little overrated at this point instead of carrying a loss to Illinoi—you know what this might’ve been a bad idea after all.Of course, you’d still have #2 Iowa thanks to this stupid insistence on ranking teams before, like, Week 5, so nothing substantial would change in our lives, but I told you this spicy take would be delivered in the style of a sportsblogyeller with an axe to grind. What did you expect?

Kind of, but not really: This will be a narrative because the intra-B1G East schedule is backloaded. If MSU/OSU/Mich/PSU had already played a few games among themselves, it would be “what’s wrong with x” at this point.

It’s also just weird how big a gap there seems to be between the 5 top 10 teams and everybody else at this point, but that’s probably overstated too. UW gave PSU a game and hung with Michigan until Mertz got hurt. Nebraska hung with Michigan. Indiana will probably win a game against one of the East elite.

SEC is sorting their stuff out earlier. By the end of the year, it will look pretty normal. But the B1G is overall pretty good this year. When Clemson is down and the Pac 12 is largely underwhelming, somebody has to get those ranking spots. Iowa’s probably not the second best team in America, but which undefeated that’s ranked behind them are you confident would beat them on a neutral field?

WhiteSpeedReciever: The most interesting part to me is that so many of these teams are so ridiculously flawed. Iowa is a half of a football team, and yet there’s a non-zero chance they could make the playoff because football is a goofy sport. Ohio State is rounding into form, but they could easily have 2 losses and be out of the playoff picture. Sparty is running people ragged, but they play in the East and probably won’t keep running into teams that want to give them 500 yards of offense every week. PSU without Clifford is...yikes. Michigan is like Iowa, but the defense isn’t as good. In most seasons if you squint at any non-Buckeye team it’s easy to see a couple just stupid losses for anyone, so it makes me glad this is a non-sane season and we’re going to get something absolutely stupid at some point here. Rutgers over PSU? Purdue over Sparty? Maryland over Michigan? Northwestern over Iowa? I can’t help but think we’re going to get some dicktrips for the ages.

Also, the West has a history of clownfraud trasch winning the division, but this Iowa offense is absolutely the most traschiest clownfraud we’ve possibly ever seen.

87Townie: The B1G won’t be the SEC until OSU is ranked #1, loses to Indiana and only falls to #5. Rankings are bullshit perpetuated by McDill wannabees who never played a down of football in their lives. The “eye test” is such a load of shit.

I’m currently self-regulating my internet reading because the Iowa trolls are out in force. The whole “they flopped EVERY PLAY TO SLOW US DOWN” narrative is so tone-deaf. You are Iowa. Your coach’s entire mantra is control the ball and slow down the game. And if your QB hurries up, he can’t hit water falling out of a boat. He’s the next government experiment in Afghanistan, because he can SURELY overthrow the Taliban.

misdreavus: My only contribution here is to caution people to give the throne to Ohio State too early. I know it’s easy to go back to what we’re used to, but Maryland could move the ball on Saturday, and did. They just had trouble scoring.If Maryland, of all teams, can move the ball, Michigan, Michigan State, and a Penn State with Clifford, can too.

Everyone has flaws, including Ohio State. And that’s OK.


Tell us what you think in the comments!


Is the Big Ten Better than the SEC?

This poll is closed

  • 30%
    Yes! SEC is broke, B1G is woke
    (122 votes)
  • 61%
    Probably not, but I hope this article goes viral and makes a bunch of Southerners big mad
    (246 votes)
  • 7%
    No, come on. This is still Saban’s world, and everyone else is but a pawn in it.
    (30 votes)
398 votes total Vote Now