B1G needs Buckeyes to make run

Ohio State is strong in league's two weakest areas: speed and QB play

Updated: September 28, 2012, 8:17 AM ET
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider
Braxton MillerKirk Irwin/Getty ImagesTo catch up with other top conferences, the Big Ten could use a few more Braxton Millers.

The question of the week in college football has been this: What has happened to the Big Ten? This was supposed to be the premier weekend for the conference, with perennial powers Ohio State at Michigan State and Wisconsin at Nebraska. Arguably the four best teams in the conference would square off in showdown games with BCS implications. Now? Not so much.

Just four weeks into the season, the Big Ten is already out of the race for the BCS National Championship Game and staring at the possibility of a Rose Bowl representative that might not be ranked in the top 10 -- or ranked at all.

Although it's certainly surprising to see the Big Ten drop to this degree, it's not a total shock, either, as the conference's biggest issues this season are ones that football insiders have been grumbling about regarding the Big Ten for a while now: The conference is suffering from a lack of speed and elite quarterback play.

It's for these two reasons that the league really needs a win from the Buckeyes over the Spartans this weekend, and for Ohio State to continue to make a run toward an undefeated season.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.