Ineligible Bucks the Big Ten’s Best?


September 29, 2012; East Lansing, MI, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Braxton Miller (5) is tackled by Michigan State Spartans cornerback Johnny Adams (5) and nose tackle Anthony Rashad White (98) during the second half of a game at Spartan Stadium. Ohio State won 17-16. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE

Last weekend I pondered who exactly was the best team in the Big Ten.

From catching Ohio State’s narrow win over MSU, to watching Nebraska slip away with a close victory over Wisconsin, I think we have our answer.

And it’s not a pretty one.

At this moment, the Ohio State Buckeyes are the class of the Big Ten. The Bucks are 5-0, ranked #12 in the latest AP Poll, and led by one of the most dynamic playmakers in all of college football in QB Braxton Miller.

Sure, the Buckeyes have some holes, just like every other team. They’re not great at passing the ball, and they have trouble defending the pass as well. I also think they rely way too much on Miller, but we’ll wait and see if he lasts.

Like I said before, in Miller they have a player that can change the game on any play. Whether he’s throwing the ball or running it, Braxton Miller is dynamic, and there is no doubt about his playmaking ability. And while their defense isn’t as strong as it has been in years past, the Buckeyes are giving up just 17 points per game, good for 25th in the nation.

There were a couple reasons I chose Ohio State as the best team in the Big ten. After watching Wisconsin stumble and Michigan State fail to take off, I felt like I didn’t have much of a choice. I even considered Northwestern, but I can’t see them continuing their undefeated mark as they continue conference play.

With that being said, there is a chance the Bucks could be supplanted in my mind, and it starts this week in Columbus as the Cornhuskers come to town. Nebraska staged a terrific comeback by beating Wisconsin, with QB Taylor Martinez leading four consecutive scoring drives as the Husker’s won 30-27.

The Buckeyes defense is used to seeing a mobile quarterback in practice every day, but after watching Martinez on Saturday I think the Ohio State defense will have their hands full. Martinez is completing nearly 68% of his passes, good for 1,059 yards with 11 touchdowns and only one interception. And if the play breaks down, he can always use his legs to pick up the first down.

So for now, the Buckeyes are on top, but we still have plenty of Big Ten play to go, so stay tuned.