The teams in the Big Ten Football Conference have a thing or two to prove in 2019 and even more questions to answer in the upcoming spring-ball season.
After missing out on the 2019 College Football Playoff, the Big Ten will be on a revenge tour for conference success. The conference as a whole, however, will have some work to do in the upcoming season.
One of, if not the most competitive conferences in college sports, as a whole, the Big Ten is a self-devouring animal many years, with even the lowest ranking teams possessing great ability to provide a sudden upset on any random Saturday along the way. Big Ten Champions Ohio State narrowly missed the College Football Playoff last year, thanks to the sort of carnivorous slaughterhouse that was the Big Ten conference slate.
Last year’s Conference Championship saw the Ohio State Buckeyes hold the title, winning over the Northwestern Wildcats. Despite this convincing win, the Big Ten championship wasn’t enough to see the Buckeyes to the playoff in Urban Meyer’s last season as Head Coach.
There are many questions to be answered as we head into spring bawl in anticipation for the upcoming season. And despite the Big Ten basketball tournament coming on the near horizon, many Big Ten fans will only have eyes for their team’s performance in the spring, anxiously awaiting the first coin toss of the season. If you were wondering, said first coin toss will occur on Thursday, August 29, with Minnesota taking on South Dakota State.
Before then, however, some of the nation’s most historic football programs have questions to answer: Can the aforementioned Buckeyes recover from the massive amount of talent heading to the NFL? Will the Michigan Wolverines be able to make the leap and brave a tough conference slate to stake their claim at a Big Ten Championship, and then a College Football Playoff spot?
For teams like Rutgers and Illinois, who have found their place at the bottom of a tough conference in recent years, is it their turn to knock down the barriers and announce their return to high-level play? Or will there be a need for some changes?
All these questions and more await answering, and it all starts in the upcoming spring ball season, in what should be another incredibly entertaining season for Big Ten football.