The off and on Big Ten football season could really skew the playoff picture this year. However, not a lot of people are really aware of the type of impact the Big Ten coming back on the year could have on the college football playoffs, but also quite a few fans will have to wait another couple of weeks before they are able to see their favorite teams take to the field. So how exactly will the Big Ten coming back skew the playoff picture this year? Well, let us explore that and it will help you understand just how muddled the picture really is for this year.
Big Name Schools Coming Into Play
A lot of college football fans were very disappointed with the decision that the Big Ten made this fall not to play at first. However, now that the Big Ten is coming back to the field it could really bring in a lot of power names who would be itching to get back to the Top 25. The Big Ten is going to bring in powerhouse teams Ohio State and Michigan, but also will bring in the other teams that helped the Big Ten dominate the top 25 last year. Does this mean that the likes of Louisiana or other smaller schools that are currently ranked could get bounced out? Yes, it could, but would it be based off of the teams losing or just on the fact that the Big Ten is coming in a couple of weeks before the Pac-12 and are bringing in the bigger names?
Could A Big Ten Team Go Undefeated
An undefeated Big Ten team is one aspect of the season that could leave a lot of fans scratching their heads as to who should qualify for the playoffs and who shouldn’t qualify. Yes, it is feasible that a team like Ohio State could go unbeaten or even Wisconsin. However, with the SEC playing conference only games and a lot of upsets already happening in the SEC would the likes of an unbeaten Michigan State team be better qualified than a one loss LSU team? That is the question that would have to come down to the committee to determine, but it would definitely pose a challenge as LSU would have more games played versus the shorter season for the Big 10.
Only Conference Play Could Hurt Bigger Schools
Now, this is one aspect of play that could impact all the schools who are fielding a football team this year. Almost every game they are playing in conference play only. Now, would just playing in conference games hurt the bigger schools like Ohio State and Wisconsin or would it help them? Think about it, if an Ohio State team or Penn State team were to lose to the likes of Northwestern or Indiana would that automatically disqualify them from any playoff hopes? That question remains to be seen, but if the loss to a lower ranked school like Illinois or Northwestern would disqualify the likes of Michigan or Nebraska would it be held to the same standard as LSU in their early season loss or not?
The Big Ten is one conference that tends to garner quite a bit of a following. You have the heated rivalry games like Michigan vs Ohio State, but also several others as well. With the Big Ten coming back to play football again this year, though, the question is just how will the play of the Big Ten impact the college football picks when it comes time to have the playoffs lined up. Not to mention, how will the Big Ten coming back skew the rankings as well. No matter what, in what has already been an odd college football season it will be interesting to see the Big Ten come back to the field and start to play at a higher level than what they have ever done before in conference only match-ups.