For years, the SEC has dominated the college football landscape, but the Iowa football team’s conference, the Big Ten, has finally taken the top spot.
It’s been quite a reign of dominance for the SEC, long considered the top conference in the nation. Behind them were a few conferences at any given time vying for the top spot, but after over a decade, the Big Ten has finally done it. With the help of quite a few teams including our very own Iowa football team, the Big Ten is now the top conference in the nation, and here’s why.
I’ll openly admit that we could just be talking about a one-year anomaly where the Big Ten is the best conference. But, I don’t think that’s the case as the Big Ten has been building towards this for some time.
Back in 2015, many pundits were trashing the Big Ten as the Iowa football team took down every single opponent they faced on their way to their first (and only) Big Ten Championship Game against Michigan State. The winner of that game was going to be heading to the College Football Playoffs.
The winner, Michigan State, laid an egg and got annihilated by Alabama 38-0 in that game and the Big Ten runner-up, Iowa, got smoked by Stanford. Needless to say, it was not a good look for the Big Ten.
Fast forward four years and things have certainly changed. Yes, the Big Ten struggled last season in their Bowl matchups against the SEC, going 1-3 with the Iowa football team emerging as the only Big Ten victory over the SEC. This year, though, things are different.
Not only does the Big Ten have what I consider to be the best team in the nation, Ohio State, but their depth is phenomenal compared to the rest of the SEC. And you can no longer argue the SEC is more top-heavy either.
As of today, the SEC has five teams in the top-25 (all of which are in the top-11). The Big Ten meanwhile has six teams in the top-25. It may only have two teams in the top-10, but I would argue the SEC bias is heavily in effect there.
Fortunately for me, one of our writers actually put together a non-biased ranking of the top-25 teams right here. In this, he did it based on the resume, attempting to take out any of the usual bias that hinders rankings because of preseason expectations.
In this ranking, there are three Big Ten teams in the top-6 (Ohio State, Penn State, and Minnesota) and four teams in the top-13 (same as the SEC). Both Ohio State and Penn State come in at 1 and 2 with Clemson at 3 and Alabama and LSU behind them.
Now let’s look at this depth.
Outside of the top-25, the Big Ten has four teams that are still realistically (are at .500 or above) vying for a bowl game (Indiana, Michigan State, Illinois, and Nebraska), which if all of that worked out, would give the Big Ten ten bowl participants.
Outside of the top-25, the SEC has three teams that are still realistically vying for a bowl game (Texas A&M, Missouri, and Kentucky). If this all worked out that would give the SEC eight participants.
Finally, the Big Ten has the heavyweights that are ready to play with the big dogs of the SEC, and they’ve got the middleweights too.
With a good bowl season and possibly a National Championship by Ohio State, I think it would be safe to say that the Big Ten could officially take the crown as the top conference in the nation.