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Re-Assessing the Big Ten: Michigan’s Odds Drop After Escaping Army in OT; Ohio State Improves After Dominating Cincinnati

Robert Duff

by Robert Duff in College Football

Sep 8, 2019 · 5:45 PM PDT

Michigan running on to field.
2-point favorites, Michigan hosts Notre Dame in Week 9. Photo by: Missy Caulk (flickr) (CC License)
  • Big Ten contenders Michigan needed overtime to beat Army in Week 2
  • Meanwhile, defending conference champion Ohio State dumped Cincinnati
  • Ohio State has the best odds of any Big Ten team to win the national championship

The Big Ten is beginning to take on a familiar look. Michigan is stumbling. Ohio State is dominating. Wisconsin is looming. And Nebraska is imploding.

While defending conference champion Ohio State was crushing Cincinnati 42-0, supposed Big Ten favorites Michigan were fumbling and bumbling past Army 24-21 in double overtime.

Meanwhile, Wisconsin was busy posting its second straight lopsided shutout victory.

It’s all adding up to a familiar look among the Big Ten in regards to the National Championship odds. Ohio State is already beginning to pull away from the pack.

Big Ten 2020 CFP National Championship Odds

Team Odds
Ohio State +900
Michigan +2000
Penn State +3300
Wisconsin +4000
Michigan State +6600
Maryland 10000
Nebraska +10000
Minnesota +25000
Northwestern +25000
Purdue +25000

*Odds taken on 09/08/19. 

The Buckeyes are the only Big Ten team to play in the College Football Playoff during the past five years. They’re the only school from the conference to win a National Championship over the past two decades.

Buckeyes Bash Bearcats

As one publication noted, Ohio State rhymes with dominate.

There was a growing theory that Cincinnati, under the direction of former Ohio State head coach Luke Fickell, would be capable of giving the Buckeyes a game. That sense impacted the line, with Ohio State dropping from 17 to 14.5-point favorites by kickoff.

This proved to be a misnomer of epic proportions. The Buckeyes flexed their muscles and then some, spanking the Bearcats 42-0. The Ohio State defense, 72nd in the nation last season, sacked Cincinnati quarterback Desmond Ritter five times.

Michigan No Jim Dandys

Michigan fans during the Jim Harbaugh era continue to resemble the boys who cried Wolverine. Every fall, the faithful beat their chest and boast about how this is going to be Michigan’s year. And every year, the Wolverines take a Humpty Dumpty-like pratfall.

On paper, the Wolverines are 2-0. Yet, Michigan’s qualifications to be Big Ten contenders are already being exposed again as paper-thin.

Inexplicably, Harbaugh passed up a 36-yard field goal in the fourth quarter of a 14-14 tie to go for it (and fail) on fourth-and-two.

Only a missed Army 50-yard field goal saved the Wolverines the embarrassment of a home loss to a team that is +50,000 to win the National Championship.

Michigan seems to lack an identity. The Wolverines look very much like a squad headed for an 8-3 or 7-4 season and a mid-range Bowl Game invite.

In other words, business as usual in Ann Arbor.

Roll On Wisconsin

Week 4 of the college football season looms large in the Big Ten. Michigan, #7 in the polls, travels to Wisconsin to face the juggernaut that is the #17 Badgers.

Wisconsin has blasted South Florida 49-0 and Central Michigan 61-0. Heisman candidate Jonathan Taylor rambled for four touchdown in Saturday’s win. QB Jack Coan set a personal best for passing yardage for the second straight week.

The Badgers defense held the Chippewas offense to 58 yards.

Not Your Father’s Nebraska

After Michigan, the next loudest voice in the Big Ten hype machine was being heard in Lincoln. Nebraska was back. It turned out that the Cornhuskers only talk a good game.

Nebraska led 17-0 at halftime in Colorado and lost 34-31. The #25 Cornhuskers surrendered 24 fourth-quarter points.

Good teams find ways to win close games. Nebraska is 1-6 in its last seven one-score outcomes.

Big Ten In Name Only

Calling a conference with 14 teams the Big Ten is silly.

Calling any school but Ohio State to win the Big Ten is ridiculous. This conference has one National Title contender, and it resides in Columbus.

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