“I’m finished.” — Daniel Plainview
— Tony Gerdeman
After previewing every Big Ten team position-by-position and ranking those positions 1-7 in their respective divisions over the last month or so, and then adding those scores to determine the best teams in the division, I am now ready to present my findings. As you read it, consider this my peer review as well. I don’t know how peer reviews work, but I assume once you clicked the link, I’m good.
My annual Big Ten ratings are always a labor of love, but about halfway through I always decide that I’m never doing it again.
But, being the pleaser that I am, I know that people don’t want to wait until late November to find out who is going to play in the Big Ten Championship Game. You want to find out now!
And today, with me finally tallying up all of my Big Ten positional ratings, you no longer have to wait until Thanksgiving. Instead, I am giving you your feast right now.
And boy, let me tell you, the division winners are going to be a huge surprise to you. We are going to get a Big Ten Championship Game that nobody could have foreseen — except for me.
Of course, you’ll also get to find out who is going to finish everywhere else, which is interesting as well. If you want to spoil the season for all of the other Big Ten fans out there, feel free to let them know how their respective teams are going to do.
So without further ado, let’s wrap this puppy up and spoil an entire Big Ten football season for the entire universe.
Here is how the West Division is going to shake out.
1. Wisconsin (15 points)
2. Northwestern (29 points)
3. Iowa (39 points)
4. Purdue (45 points)
4. Nebraska (45 points)
6. Minnesota (49 points)
7. Illinois (58 points)
Who will the Badgers be playing in the Big Ten Championship Game? Hold on to your butts — here is how things will be going in the East Division.
1. Ohio State (20 points)
2. Michigan State (26 points)
3. Michigan (29 points)
4. Penn State (35 points)
5. Maryland (49 points)
6. Indiana (59 points)
7. Rutgers (62 points)
So, to the surprise of everyone I am sure, the 2018 Big Ten Championship Game is going to pit Wisconsin against Ohio State. What a twist!
And it wasn’t even all that close.
In the West, the Badgers came in with the best offense (QB, RB, REC, OL) and tied Northwestern for the best defense (DL, LB, DB). Having the best coach and the third-easiest schedule didn’t hurt matters for the Badgers.
Interestingly, or oddly, the Gophers came in with the No. 3 defense in the West and Purdue came in with the No. 2 offense.
The East Division is a bit more interesting.
Ohio State checks in with the No. 1 offense and the No. 3 defense. Having the No. 1 special teams, coach, and schedule set them apart from everyone else.
Michigan finished with the best defense by far, with Michigan State at No. 2. Overall, the Spartans finished three points ahead of Michigan due to the 5-point difference in schedules.
Offensively, Michigan State and Penn State tied for second with 11 points, which was one point ahead of Michigan.
Talent-wise, the Buckeyes and the Wolverines score evenly with 18 points on offense, defense, and special teams. If you remove special teams from the equation, the science shows that Michigan’s offense and defense combined are better than Ohio State’s. Urban Meyer and Michigan’s difficult schedule were the ultimate difference between the two programs.
Below is the full tally. Feel free to check my work. I did most of this in my head with crayons, which hurts because you have to press down really hard.