- It's hard to separate Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State, but whichever team distances itself from the other two will likely win the Big Ten and make the playoff.
The Big Ten remains top heavy heading into the 2016 season—but their best teams all reside in the same division. Michigan, Michigan State and Ohio State are the class of the conference, and each will have major strengths—as well as a couple flaws—as they battle it out for a spot in the College Football Playoff. The winner of the Big Ten East could be the de facto conference champion, though Iowa put a scare into the Spartans during last season’s conference title game.
The Hawkeyes are currently the favorites to repeat as West division champs, though Wisconsin and Nebraska should bounce back from unlucky seasons to pose a greater threat. The Big Ten may not be the deepest conference of the Power 5, but its top teams should play significant roles when it comes to the national title picture.
|Ohio State||10–2 (8–1)||Iowa||10–2 (7–2)|
|Michigan State||10–2 (8–1)||Wisconsin||9–3 (7–2)|
|Michigan||10–2 (7–2)||Nebraska||8–4 (6–3)|
|Penn State||7–5 (4–5)||Northwestern||8–4 (5–4)|
|Indiana||6–6 (3–6)||Minnesota||6–6 (3–6)|
|Maryland||4–8 (2–7)||Illinois||3–9 (2–7)|
|Rutgers||3–9 (1–8)||Purdue||2–10 (0–9)|