Michigan, Ohio State co-favorites at top of Big Ten champion odds

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Entering year two of the Jim Harbaugh era, Michigan is level with archrival Ohio State at the top of the Big Ten champion futures board at sportsbooks monitored by OddsShark.com.

Harbaugh’s revival of the maize and blue has led to the Wolverines being installed as co-favorites alongside the Buckeyes, with each holding identical +175 odds. Michigan’s climb up the board also means that the Michigan State Spartans might be undervalued at +700.

Ohio State coach Urban Meyer will need to call upon his proven ability to reload quickly. The Buckeyes return only six starters from a year ago, although one is star quarterback J.T. Barrett. The talent level at Ohio State is still mouth-watering, but bettors will have to decide how they feel about the Buckeyes’ chances in a daunting September 17 road game against the Oklahoma Sooners. That top-ten matchup won’t affect conference standings, but a loss could affect the Buckeyes’ morale.

Michigan returns 14 starters, including eight on a defense now coordinated by Don Brown, who oversaw the nation’s No. 1 defense last season at Boston College. Whether the Wolverines will push Ohio State – which has home field for their November 26 rivalry game – might come down to quarterback play. Michigan is counting on Houston transfer John O’Korn to deliver the ball to their trio of senior receivers that includes tight end Jake Butt.

It is possible some fans might not identify Michigan State as one of the six Power 5 teams which has an .800 winning percentage since 2010. The Spartans, with likely high NFL draft pick Malik McDowell as the fulcrum of their rugged defense, should give offenses headaches once again. Michigan State’s offense is a blank slate. Fifth-year senior quarterback Tyler O’Connor might represent a step down from Connor Cook, while there isn’t a wide receiver on the roster who had more than seven catches last season.

The Big Ten West offers two darkhorses, with the Iowa Hawkeyes and Nebraska Cornhuskers each listed at +900 on the college football betting lines. Of the two, Iowa is the one whose prop owes more to past performance. Everything went right for Iowa early last season while starting 12-0, but that eventually culminated in losses in both the Big Ten championship and the Rose Bowl. They could be due for a step back, even with quarterback C.J. Beathard and shutdown cover cornerback Desmond King among their 13 returning starters.

The law of averages would suggest a better fate is in store for Nebraska after a 6-7 season where it lost five games by less than a one-touchdown margin. The Cornhuskers project to have seven seniors starting on offense, including quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr., so they will be well-equipped for high-scoring games. To get in contention, though, Nebraska needs to coach up their inexperienced front four. Their pass defense, which ranked No. 122 (of 128 teams) last season, has nowhere to go but up.

The Wisconsin Badgers, who are listed at +1400 odds, appear to be on a downswing. The Badgers’ famed rushing attack was garden-variety last season. Meanwhile, post-Christian Hackenberg Penn State is listed at +1800, followed by the Northwestern Wildcats (+3300) and Minnesota Golden Gophers (+4400). The Indiana Hoosiers, Illinois Fighting Illini and Maryland Terrapins are all listed at +5000, with the Purdue Boilermakers and Rutgers Scarlet Knights at +10000 each.

When will UCLA, USC join the Big Ten Conference?


The Big Ten has served as one of the nation’s premier intercollegiate athletic conferences for over 125 years. Originally founded by a group of seven universities led by Purdue president James H. Smart, the group has grown by leaps and bounds since its formation in 1896. The conference that was originally comprised of seven teams grew to an eventual 14, and is now set to expand to 16 with the groundbreaking addition of UCLA and USC to the Big Ten.

RELATED: Big Ten primetime football finds a home in NBC and Peacock

When will USC, UCLA join the Big Ten?

Crosstown rival programs USC and UCLA both announced in summer 2022 that they will leave the Pac-12 Conference for the Big Ten on August 2, 2024.

The move rocked the college football world, considering the length of time that both schools were members of their previous conference. USC had held Pac-12 membership since 1922, winning a total of 39 conference football titles and nine basketball titles in that span. The UCLA Bruins were a part of the group since 1928, taking home 16 football and 32 basketball conference titles in those years.

UCLA and USC’s transition was announced on the heels of Oklahoma and Texas confirming their departure for the SEC last season, a move that is set to transpire ahead of the 2025 college football season.

Come 2024, the Pac-12 will be comprised of only 10 members, while the Big Ten will stretch from coast to coast.

RELATED: Click here for NBC coverage of college football

What schools are in the Big Ten Conference?

  • University of Michigan
  • Ohio State University
  • Penn State University
  • University Maryland
  • Michigan State University
  • Indiana University
  • Rutgers University
  • Purdue University
  • University of Illinois
  • University of Iowa
  • University of Minnesota
  • University of Wisconsin
  • University of Nebraska
  • Northwestern University
  • USC (will join in 2024)
  • UCLA (will join in 2024)

Why is it called the Big Ten?

Despite its current 14 members, the conference retains its title of “Big Ten” to this day. The name originated after Michigan rejoined in 1917, bringing the membership from nine to 10 teams. Media members were the first to dub the group the “Big Ten”, which was eventually confirmed as the conference’s official name in 1987.

RELATED: Purdue, Penn State to battle for Big Ten basketball title

How can I watch Big Ten football, basketball and more?

While Big Ten football coverage for the 2023 season will be split among NBC, Fox and CBS, NBC and Peacock will be the home of the conference’s biggest game every week with Big Ten Saturday Night. NBC Sports’ new agreement with the Big Ten will also feature coverage of several men’s and women’s basketball games, Olympic sports, golf and more.

It became official in August of 2022 that NBC will air Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock, with a primetime football game each fall weekend.

How to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl: TV channel, live stream info, start time, rosters, and more


The 2023 All-American Bowl takes place this Saturday, January 7 inside the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas as 100 of the nation’s top senior football players will go head-to-head in this highly anticipated all-star game.

Live coverage begins at 1:00 PM ET on NBC and Peacock. See below for additional information on how to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl.

RELATED: Finalists Named for 2023 All-American Bowl’s Player of the Year Award

The All-American Bowl made its debut in December 2000 at Highlander Stadium in Dallas, Texas and since then has become one of the most-watched high school sporting events in America. Notable alumni that have participated in the event include NFL Wide Receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (2011), Dallas Cowboys Running Back Ezekiel Elliot (2013), Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence (2018), former Broncos QB Tim Tebow (2006), former Cleveland Browns OT Joe Thomas.

RELATED: 2023 All-American Bowl Rosters

How to watch the 2023 All-American Bowl:

RELATED: Finalists Named for 2023 All-American Bowl’s Player of the Year Award

How do I watch sports on Peacock?

Sign up for a Peacock Premium plan to start watching. With Peacock Premium, you can watch all our live sports like Premier League, Sunday Night Football, and cycling; next-day airings from channels like NBC, USA Network, and Telemundo; plus all the movies and TV you want on Peacock.

If you want to watch everything ad-free,* choose our $9.99/month Peacock Premium Plus plan.

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