Big Ten football is coming off of a weird year, but Ohio State is still the top dog. Will another team manage to dethrone them in 2021?
If somebody had told you before the 2020 season that Penn State, Michigan, and Minnesota would all finish with records under .500, you’d probably think they’re crazy. The Big Ten football year was filled with all kinds of surprising numbers, but unfortunately for everybody else, Ohio State did not get the memo.
They finished undefeated in conference play and won the conference championship. Again. This would give them their fourth Big Ten title in the past four years, cementing themself as the alpha program of the Big Ten, not that we needed a reminder.
But 2021 is a new year with new teams. Penn State bounced back at the end of 2020 and Indiana surged throughout the entire season. Michigan resigned Jim Harbaugh, so they’ll continue to attempt to be a threat in the Big Ten East. After a flukey 2020, Wisconsin will likely bounce back and try to claim a title for the Big Ten West for the first time since, well, ever.
Maybe I don’t have a ton to work with when trying to rationalize a non-Ohio State team to win the title, but it’s a new year. Did anybody see Michigan State’s conference title coming in 2013 after a Wisconsin three-peat?
Anything could happen, but I’ve narrowed this list down to the two teams that are most likely to dethrone Ohio State in 2021 — and obviously OSU as the third. If your team isn’t on this list, don’t worry. This year is wide open, so practically any team that doesn’t wear scarlet and grey has a relatively even chance to win in Indianapolis this coming season.
These are just the teams with the best chances.