Why the Big Ten will rise again
Meyer, Hoke, Bielema offer conference a quality foundation to build upon
In the past 10 years, the Big Ten has shown the college football world the power of teamwork. With contributions from every member of the conference, the Big Ten has been digging itself a hole and has kept digging and digging.
Since winning its last national title with Ohio State in 2002, the Big Ten has gone 31-53 (.369) against ranked, nonconference opponents. And, in that same span, the league has a 26-42 bowl record, which is the worst of any BCS automatic-qualifying conference.
Now, just three weeks into the 2012 college football season, the Big Ten already has been rendered irrelevant in the BCS championship race, thanks to humbling losses by the Michigan Wolverines, Michigan State Spartans, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Wisconsin Badgers.
The conference has just three teams with an undefeated record remaining, and two of them -- Northwestern and Minnesota -- still haven't cracked the Top 25. The other, Ohio State, is ranked 16th but is ineligible to compete for the conference title or play in a bowl game. The Big Ten has just four wins against other BCS AQ teams so far this season, and three of them belong to Northwestern.
After nearly a decade of digging, the conference might have finally reached rock bottom.
But, as crazy as this might sound, the Big Ten is well positioned to make a quick climb back to being one of college football's best conferences.
To read more of why Brad Edwards thinks the Big Ten is in good position despite its recent struggles, become an Insider today.
MORE COLLEGE FOOTBALL HEADLINES
- Lions launching Ford Field bowl, sources say
- QB Lunt mulls Illinois after visit, sources say
- Former Arkansas QB Mitchell picks NC State
- McCartney back on WVU roster after 6 months
MOST SENT STORIES ON ESPN.COM
Insider CFB content
Expert Takes• Insider: Can Clemson win it all? | Louisville
• Kiper: Top prospects for 2014, by position
• Haney: CFB's top 10 teams based on talent
• Kiper: Top QB prospects for 2014 | RBs | WRs
• Haney: Make-or-break QB prospect scenarios
Post-spring projections• Pac-12: Oregon, Stanford, USC on top
• ACC: Can Clemson win the league title?
• SEC: Bama, South Carolina early favorites
• Big Ten: Surprise winner in Legends
• Big 12: Two-team race for first place
RecruitingNation• Michigan No. 1 in 2014 class rankings
• Luginbill: Answering mailbag questions
• Crabtree: Urban recruits popular draft picks
• Notre Dame, Boise State trending up
• Recruiting updates for Pac-12 teams
• Recruiting updates for Big Ten teams
• Recruiting updates for SEC teams
• Recruiting updates for ACC teams
• Recruiting updates for Big East teams
• Recruiting updates for Big 12 teams
Get news and rumblings before anyone
Travis Haney's blog
Analysis and buzz from around the nation