The top of the Big Ten isn’t really in question. While the conference certainly has a few teams that look very strong, Ohio State appears to be in the upper echelon of the college football world.
There are three programs that remain undefeated, beyond the Buckeyes. Penn State is 5-0 and preparing for a tough date with Iowa, while Wisconsin and a surprising Minnesota team remain unblemished out West.
In a recent Big Ten Network appearance, Urban Meyer was asked about the top of the league he coached in last season. He has Ohio State at the top, as expected, and weighed in on the No. 2 spot.
While he is impressed with Penn State, he thinks the offense lacks some consistency, while Wisconsin has an elite defense and running game. The Badgers definitely look like the best version of themselves through the first month and a half of the year.
.@OhioStateFB has made a strong case for the best team in @B1Gfootball (and maybe the country). @CoachUrbanMeyer weighs in on who might be the second-best team between @BadgerFootball and @PennStateFball: pic.twitter.com/glfQm7S1Zh
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) October 9, 2019
Via Saturday Tradition:
“I’d probably put Wisconsin there just because of their dominant win over that team up north…I’m not just talking about their running back, because (Jonathan) Taylor’s the best there is in the country,” explained Meyer. “But their defense is playing elite.”
The two programs are very close in the advanced metrics. Interestingly, Penn State is given the offensive edge by ESPN’s pair of efficiency-based rankings. FPI has Penn State No. 7 overall (ahead of Wisconsin at No. 10), with the No. 7 offense vs. No. 9 for the Badgers. SP+ has Wisconsin at No. 6 overall, one spot ahead of PSU, but gives the Nittany Lions the edge on offense (No. 10 vs. No. 16).
Both these teams look very good to start the year, and should be fun tests for Ohio State down the road.