Make no mistake about it, the Big Ten is one of the top college football conferences in America. The only problem is that Ohio State doesn’t want to let any other teams win. Similar to Alabama, the Buckeyes have dominated the conference for years, despite having a number of other teams finish as legit CFP contenders in the past. Urban Meyer is gone now, which means there could be some movement in the Big Ten. Can Ryan Day accomplish the same things as his predecessor?
Of course, Jim Harbaugh and Michigan have played second fiddle to Ohio State for his entire coaching tenure at his alma mater. In fact, he has yet to beat the Wolverines’ longtime rival, so there is certainly something to prove in 2019. Without further ado, here are the 2019 Big Ten conference title odds, featuring my sleeper and value picks for the upcoming season.
The Favorite: Ohio State (+125)
Since the Big Ten Championship Game was started in 2011, Ohio State has the second-most appearances (4) and most titles (3) in history. Wisconsin has appeared in five title games and won two, while Michigan State has also won twice. With that being said, the last six Big Ten champions have come out of the East Division – formerly known as the Legends Division. In fact, Wisconsin won the first two Big Ten title games out of what was then known as the Leaders Division but is now the West, but that side of the conference has not captured the crown ever since.
As mentioned above, the Buckeyes have some changes to overcome in Columbus. First, former interim head coach Ryan Day is taking over the program as the full-time head coach. It will be interesting to see how the players, fans and staff move on from the legendary Urban Meyer. Second, their record-setting quarterback has graduated to the NFL, so how will the Buckeyes replace Dwayne Haskins?
Five-star QB Justin Fields is the presumptive starter for Day’s new-look Buckeyes, but the head coach has yet to name the definitive starter with only a few weeks until kickoff. I mean, the kid already has the third-best odds to win the Heisman at +1200. No matter who starts under center, they will have an experienced partner in the backfield in J.K. Dobbins. The junior running back ran for over 1,400 yards his freshman year and followed it up with another 1,000-yard season last year, while tacking on 12 total touchdowns to boot.
Click to Page 2 for my top contender and my sleeper picks.