There's no question the Big Ten is down. The question is whether it's permanently down. There are macro factors -- demographic population shift to the South, etc. -- and other ones -- there are some coaches (Hoke, Beckman to name two) who look to be in over their heads. Michigan State is very good, and I think Ohio State, Nebraska and maybe Wisconsin are potentially very good. I thought Maryland would be a darkhorse this year, and the Terrapins might be more than that. As for the College Football Playoff, the Big Ten will need considerable help to get one of the four spots. It seems like every October, there's hand-wringing about having too many undefeated teams, and then things have a way of working themselves out. It's been uncanny. If Nebraska stays undefeated, it'll be in -- but I doubt the Cornhuskers will. Michigan State can get in with a 12-1 record, and I think Ohio State could as well. But it all depends on what happens with the other conferences.