It’s still very early in the college football betting season, but the Big Ten conference is already being labelled by many fans and bettors as one of the worst in the NCAA. The grumbling began in week one after Wisconsin somehow managed to turn a 24-7 lead over the LSU Tigers into a painful 28-24 loss on the opening weekend of play.
Big 10 Conference Far from Becoming a NCAA Football Betting Contender
That was followed in week two by Michigan State and Michigan both being routed by Oregon State and Notre Dame respectively. But perhaps the most shocking result of all, though, was Ohio State losing at home to unranked Virginia Tech. The last time NCAA fans saw Ohio State, Michigan, and Michigan State all lost on the same day was Sept. 17, 1988. That’s right, 26 years ago. Throw in embarrassing losses by Purdue and Northwestern against MAC opponents and you begin to see that the Big Ten is indeed in a shambles.
If you go all the way back to 2010, you will see that Big Ten teams have a dismal 8-29 record against the power conferences and Notre Dame. They have also not had a National Champion since OSU won it all in 2001. That’s enough to put the Big Ten at the bottom of the five power conference heap. Sure, some will argue that the ACC should be there, but Florida State, Clemson, and an emerging Virginia Tech put them ahead of the Big Ten, in our humble opinion.
So What’s Really Going On With The Big 10?
You have to wonder what is going on with the Big Ten, especially when you consider how much money each of the members is raking in. The Big Ten Network has a $1 billion contract with ESPN, a number that is expected to rise in 2017 when the current contract ends. The lure of a big payday was enough to get Maryland to pony up $31 million to the ACC so that they could jump to the Big Ten.
It would appear that the goal of the colleges in the Big Ten is to spread the wealth across all of their athletic endeavors. The money is certainly not going into the pockets of football coaches, as they only have 5 making the list of the Top 25 highest paid football coaches. That is in stark contrast to the 10 that the SEC has. That is a conference that has made it perfectly clear that they are all about essentially being a football machine, and you can’t argue with the results.
What May Come For the Big 10 Conference?
The rise of the SEC may in fact be a major part of the problem the Big Ten is experiencing. Recruits are more than ever heading to the south and west, making it tough for Big Ten schools to lure in the type of recruits that might result in a reversal of fortune. For now, the chances of a Big Ten team making it into the first college football playoff seem slim at best. Changing the perception of the conference at the national level may be tougher still.