The pros for Michigan football
There will be competitive matchups every week. It can get boring when Michigan has a cupcake schedule and doesn’t play anyone until week 10. This season, for example, Michigan’s first-ranked opponent could come in November against Penn State.
While it’s exciting that Michigan football should start the year 9-0, it’s a bit boring.
That will be no longer. Expect marquee matchups every single week across the Big Ten. If Michigan’s playing a bad opponent, more than likely there will be another Big Ten heavyweight showdown. I’m looking forward to the thrill of playing elite teams more.
Matchups like Michigan vs USC or Oregon are going to be awesome to watch, and will definitely add fun to the season. Even though Michigan is going to lose more games in all likelihood, that is negated by the expanded playoff.
The expanded playoff nearly eliminates the con of losing more games. In today’s game, Michigan can afford to lose one game at the most if it still wants to make the playoffs. With an expanded playoff, however, two or three losses will become acceptable, especially with the increased strength of the schedule.
The collapse of the Pac-12 helps Michigan football with its playoff hopes, as there will be no Pac-12 champion to take one of the automatic qualifier spots. There should be one extra at-large spot, which is beneficial to the Big Ten.
The Big Ten is going to be such a fun conference to watch. I’m thrilled to see Michigan matchup against West Coast powerhouses.
The Big Ten may be the best conference in America. While the Big Ten still needs to win a national championship to prove it can compete with the SEC, a legitimate claim can be made that the Big Ten is the best conference in the nation.
The additions of Oregon and Washington mean that the Big Ten has arguably five of the top ten programs in the country in Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, USC, and Oregon. Along with that, UCLA, Washington, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Michigan State all have the potential to approach that level.
It’s not ridiculous to say that the Big Ten could have 10-12 ranked teams. They should at least have 7+ every season. While the teams at the top need to prove that they can compete with the top of the SEC, the Big Ten should have more depth than the SEC.
That means that recruiting should benefit. While I also listed this as a con, I think it can be much more of a pro. Kids want to play against the best competition. If the Big Ten can make a legitimate claim that it’s just as good or even better than the SEC, more top talent is going to flock to the Big Ten.
While Michigan football still needs to figure out its NIL, it will benefit. More kids will be interested in the Big Ten, especially since it has, by far, the largest audience among the conferences. The Big Ten controls many of the biggest TV markets in America with the West Coast additions. Interest will be at an all-time high.
I don’t think that the West Coast teams will pose too much of a problem for Michigan. Most kids struggle with the idea of going to college all the way across the country. Lots of the top talent in America, excluding California, comes from states in current Big Ten territory or relatively close.
I expect Michigan and other Big Ten teams to receive a recruiting boost because of the expansion. It’s possible that in the future, college athletes could receive a share of the conference’s media deal. While I think that is likely still a ways away, it would make the Big Ten hands down the best conference for recruiting.
The Big Ten has the largest media contract by a wide margin, and it will continue to have that as it dominates the TV market.