Big Ten has depth, but who should be the favorite to win the league? | College Football Enquirer

Yahoo Sports’ Dan Wetzel and Pete Thamel discuss the depth of the Big Ten as Iowa, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State stayed unbeaten, while Ohio State rolled over Rutgers, and debate which team should be the favorite to win the conference and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Video Transcript

DAN WETZEL: Let's start with the contenders where there's a whole bunch of them-- the Big Ten. Iowa has a big win over Maryland on Friday night. Penn State rolls again, shuts out Indiana. Both Michigan and Michigan State win games, Michigan with a sizable margin of victory in a good show of force up in Wisconsin, first time Jim Harbaugh has won as an underdog.

And then there's Ohio State, which just absolutely trucks a Rutgers team that I think knew they couldn't compete. I know Ohio State's got a loss and hasn't looked great, but to me, until someone beats them, they're still the favorite in this league. I'm still taking Ohio State. Your thought on the state of the Big Ten, Pete, with those five teams all unbeaten and all looking pretty good? Well, Ohio State's not unbeaten, but you know what I mean.

PETE THAMEL: Yeah. I think Iowa City is the center of the sport next week, which is great-- great town, great place, tight packed stadium. It's one of those stadiums where the distance from the sideline to the players is very, very, very short. Kinnick, I assume, is going to host "Game Day" and I assume is going to be the big [INAUDIBLE]. Kinnick is going to be the heartbeat of the sport. And I just think it's great for college football when that blood pumps to places that aren't Clemson, Tuscaloosa, Athens, Columbus, Norman, et cetera. To me, Iowa epitomizes the new blood.

DAN WETZEL: That makes sense. I think, look, the Big Ten is in a position to have a lot of marquee games over the next month that we weren't expecting. And the SEC, which normally has all these showdowns, a lot of them have faded away. Kentucky is going to go to Georgia in a couple of weeks. That's an undefeated match-up. That'll be a really interesting game if Kentucky can get through LSU next week, which isn't easy.

PETE THAMEL: If LSU doesn't upset Kentucky. How weird does that sound?

DAN WETZEL: Yeah, if LSU doesn't upset Kentucky. There you go. That's how crazy this is. But the A&M-Alabama game is falling apart. I mean, you're just looking at it. There's not that many games where you're going, oh, here we go. Penn State at Iowa on the 9th, there's a setup for a huge possible monster end of the month where you have Penn State at Ohio State and Michigan at Michigan State. That could be a huge Saturday in late October with the Big Ten with a bunch of playoff games where you're not normally getting that.

And I think in the SEC, it's sort of like, well, maybe Georgia gets upset. Maybe Alabama gets upset. Does it even matter? I don't know. We'll see. It's just the action right now is in those Big Ten teams. Iowa looking very good. Penn State-- dominant defensive performance, shut out Indiana. Michigan-- going on the road, Michigan wins 38-17. It's a definitive win. They controlled the game. One thing about Michigan is they play really hard for Harbaugh, which, in what could have been a lame duck season, is kind of a little bit unusual.

And then again, I go back to Ohio State. I mean, they just killed Rutgers. And Rutgers is not a bad football team. Big Ten is rocking. I don't know who's coming out of that. If you had to pick somebody to come out of that, who do you got?

PETE THAMEL: I'm with you, Dan. I'm going to stay with Ohio State just because of the pure talent. When you really go through what's left on Ohio State's schedule, Maryland doesn't scare you. At Indiana isn't the same game it was last year. Penn State's at home. So you've got to feel like you're going to have a distinct advantage there.

You got to go to Nebraska. I mean, they've thumped them so thoroughly for so long. It's hard to imagine that really being much. They have Purdue, then Michigan State at home and Michigan on the road. And by then, you've got another six to eight weeks of evolution for your program. So I remain bullish on the Buckeyes. To me, there aren't huge fundamental flaws that can't be fixed and evolved when you have that much talent.