Football

Who’s Going to Indy? Tallying Up the 2019 Big Ten Ratings

Stock Ticker Big Ten Football

It was a labor of obligation, and now it is finally finished.

Every position in the Big Ten has been rated within the two divisions. So much research has been done that I have forgotten key dates and information about my own life.

Schedules and coaches have been judged.

And a new addition this year — the total number of recruiting stars (generally based on the 247Sports Composite) — was gathered.

Spoiler: Ohio State has quite the star advantage.

As you know, the reason for doing this is to give you a clear picture of who is going to the Big Ten Championship Game and why.

Over the years, this practice has spit out some impressive data.

Only once — 2016 — have I failed to get at least one Big Ten Championship Game participant correct. And nearly several times have I correctly predicted both division champions.

[Teams marked with an asterisk (*) played in the Big Ten Championship Game.]

2011: Leaders – Ohio State (Some ratings were done pre-Tressel firing), Legends – Michigan State*
2012: Leaders – Wisconsin*, Legends – Michigan State
2013: Leaders – Ohio State*, Legends – Michigan State*
2014: East – Michigan State, West – Wisconsin*
2015: n/a (Busy writing a book, but rest assured, it would have been Michigan State and Iowa.)
2016: East – Ohio State, West – Iowa
2017: East – Ohio State*, West – Wisconsin*
2018: East – Ohio State*, West – Wisconsin

So how do the numbers shake out?

Before we get to the division winners, let’s look at some recruiting information.

As I was doing my ratings, I was also keeping track of the star ratings of each of the players on the roster at those positions.

Having tallied them all up, the number of stars don’t completely mirror the division finishes, and in some cases, it’s not even close.

EastStars
Ohio State331
Penn State291
Michigan289
Mich State273
Maryland261
Indiana242
Rutgers230
WestStars
Nebraska262
Iowa261
Minnesota250
Wisconsin248
Illinois239
Northwestern236
Purdue236

The most interesting bit of info for me is just how closely packed the Big Ten West is. It’s not a surprise, but it’s still interesting to see it confirmed. Only 26 stars separate Nebraska and Purdue/Northwestern. Meanwhile, in the East, Ohio State is where you would expect them to be, as is everybody else.

It might also bear watching that Maryland is essentially recruiting at the level of the best in the West, and that was prior to a recruiter like Mike Locksley coming to town.

Northwestern’s success based on their numbers is pretty impressive. Amazingly, they’re only one tiny step ahead of Rutgers according to the people who rate recruits.

But does that mean Northwestern will be winning their division this year?

No.

And neither will Rutgers.

Here’s how it all shook out.

[As a reminder, each position was ranked within the division and those rankings were then compiled for a total team score. If a team was ranked 1 in QBs, 2 in RBs, 1 in RECs, 5 in OL, 3 in DL, 1 in LBs, 4 in DBs, 3 in ST, 2 in SCHED, and 3 in HC, then their score would be 25. This then determines the order of finish, with the lowest score being the division winner.]

B1G West
OffenseDefenseST/SCHED/HCTally
Iowa157931
Nebraska1410832
Minnesota10131134
Wisconsin14131441
Northwestern20101141
Purdue18101745
Illinois21211456

So congratulations to the Iowa Hawkeyes, your 2019 Big Ten West Champs.

This was pretty close to being Nebraska. In my initial coach ratings, I had Scott Frost at No. 2 and Kirk Ferentz at No. 3. After seeing their write-ups side by side, however, I had to go with Ferentz, thereby putting the Hawkeyes in the Big Ten title game in December.

Who will they be playing?

B1G EastOffenseDefenseST/SCHED/HCTally
Ohio State76821
Michigan10111031
Penn State1571133
Michigan State196934
Maryland15151747
Indiana20191251
Rutgers26201763

That’s right, your 2019 Big Ten Championship Game will be Ohio State vs. Iowa in Indianapolis.

I don’t know if this will be a revenge game or if that 2017 game has long been forgotten. I know people have tried to forget about it. (The Purdue game may have helped, ironically.)

Looking at it now, I’m not sure Michigan is actually going to have the fourth-best defense in the East, but I can’t argue with science. At some point, however, I really should add a coordinators field to this ratings thing.

Here are the complete position ratings all in one spot.

B1G EastQBsRBsRECsOLDLLBsDBsSTsSchedHCsTotal
Ohio St221232122421
Michigan162144317231
Penn St633321444333
Mich St374513235134
Maryland416455573747
Indiana545666761551
Rutgers757777656663
WestQBsRBsRECsOLDLLBsDBsSTsSchedHCsTotal
Iowa257114225231
Nebraska163433414332
Minnesota521255341634
Wisconsin614366173441
N’western445741537141
Purdue372622666545
Illinois736577752756

My condolences to the fans of every other team in the Big Ten this year, but at least now you don’t have to get your hopes up.


Big Ten Ratings

Quarterback — East | West

Running Back — East | West

Receivers — East | West

Offensive Line — East | West

Defensive Line — East | West

Linebackers — East | West

Defensive Backs — East | West

Special Teams — East | West

Schedules — East | West

Head Coaches — East | West