Big Ten East
The Big Ten East has arguably been college football’s best division over the last five seasons. Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State all finished last season ranked in the AP Poll’s top-10, with all three achieving 11 or 12-win seasons.
Quarterback CJ Stroud returns for Ohio State, but five members of the Buckeyes’ offense were drafted to the NFL in April. Former Oklahoma State defensive coordinator Jim Knowles has joined Ryan Day’s staff, and he brought former five-star recruit Tanner McCallister with him. McCallister started 24 games at cornerback and safety for the Cowboys over the last two seasons.
The Buckeyes have opened as the -210 favorites to capture the Big Ten championship in December. Ohio State had won the previous four trophies before Michigan broke the streak last season.
Michigan State caught lightning in a bottle last season while out-performing all preseason expectations. The Spartans’ administration rewarded head coach Mel Tucker with a $95 million contract extension.
The Wolverines proved that they were capable of rising to the top of the conference, but still had a long way to go on the national scale compared to Georgia, Alabama and the rest of the country’s elite. Coach Jim Harbaugh brought in Virginia transfer Victor Oluwatimi to bolster the Wolverines’ offensive line.
Big Ten West
Since the Big Ten moved to the East and West format in 2014, the West division champ is 0-for-8 in the conference championship game with those eight losses coming by an average of 20 points per game. Wisconsin has had four chances. Northwestern and Iowa have each had two. Can a team like Minnesota, Nebraska or Purdue step up to the plate this year?
Nebraska arguably made the biggest splash in the transfer portal, bringing nine new players to Lincoln for the upcoming season. TCU transfer Ochaun Mathis and former Arizona State cornerback transfer Tommi Hill were considered two of the best available players in the country, and Scott Frost was able to land them at Nebraska. The Huskers also avoid Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan State from the East Division, which could prove to be a nice scheduling advantage this season.
2022 Big Ten Championship Odds
Odds below courtesy of DraftKings as of Wednesday, June 15:
|Team||Big Ten Championship Odds|