This is our final look at B1G football on Pac-12 Fridays as we have reached the last decade possible in the sequence. Next week, we will go back to the Pacific-12 itself for a similar exercise in exploring the history of the conference in men’s basketball.
Until then, enjoy our last look (for now) at B1G football history, and marvel at how one school dominated the decade …
Honorable Mention: 2013 Michigan State Spartans (13-1)
Odd how the first team in B1G history to win all its conference games by double digits ranks so low on our list. MSU beat three ranked teams, including unbeaten then-No. 2 Ohio State (on a 24-game winning streak) in the conference title game and a Top 5 Stanford team in the Rose Bowl. A four-point road loss to Notre Dame (bad officiating) cost Sparty perfection.
10. 2014 Michigan State Spartans (11-2)
Defensive collapses against ranked Oregon and Ohio State squads cost MSU the B1G title, but the team rallied to beat everyone else on the schedule on its way to another Top 5 AP finish. The wild comeback against Baylor in the Cotton Bowl—basically a road game—was a sweet ending to the season.
9. 2010 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1)
A road loss to a ranked Wisconsin team kept these Buckeyes out of the BCS Championship Game, but Ohio State rolled to a split B1G title anyway with the Spartans and the Badgers. The team ended up ranked No. 5 in the AP poll after beating then-No. 8 Arkansas in the Sugar Bowl.
8. 2018 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-1)
Finishing the season No. 3 in the AP poll was a small consolation for this squad after a random midseason meltdown at Purdue was enough to enable the College Football Playoff committee to stiff the Buckeyes (again). Ohio State beat six ranked teams during the season, including the Rose Bowl victory over Washington.
7. 2016 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-2)
After scoring 42.7 points per game in the first 12 games of the season, these Buckeyes somehow laid an egg in the CFP semifinal against Clemson. But four wins over ranked teams earlier in the year, including Michigan and Wisconsin, still made this a memorable season for Ohio State.
6. 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes (14-1)
This squad won the first CFP playoff championship with its third-string quarterback. An early season loss to an unranked Virginia Tech team was surprising, but the Buckeyes ran the table from there on out, winning their final 13 games—including a 59-0 win in the B1G title game over Wisconsin and the two playoff games against Alabama and Oregon, respectively.
5. 2015 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-1)
A late-season home loss to Michigan State cost Urban Meyer another B1G title, but the team recovered to smash ranked Michigan and Notre Dame squads in its final two games by a combined 35 points—finishing on a high note. The Buckeyes ended up No. 2 in the SRS, overall, as well, proving once again the CFP hates teams from the B1G and the Pac-12.
4. 2017 Penn State Nittany Lions (11-2)
The conference was stacked during this season, as five teams won at least 10 games during the year. Penn State’s only missteps were back-to-back road losses against ranked MSU and OSU teams by a combined four points. The Nittany Lions finished 2017 with a Fiesta Bowl win over then-No. 12 Washington, however.
3. 2017 Ohio State Buckeyes (12-2)
Winning yet another B1G title wasn’t enough to get the Buckeyes into yet another rigged CFP playoff, so Ohio State just crushed then-No. 8 USC in the Cotton Bowl by 17 points instead. A loss to then-No. 5 Oklahoma early in the season may have been the deciding factor, although a midseason meltdown at Iowa was also pretty ugly. A No. 3 finish in the SRS wasn’t bad, though.
2. 2017 Wisconsin Badgers (13-1)
This is how much the CFP was biased against the B1G recently, as Wisconsin was 12-0 and still ranked only No. 3 in the polls—behind one-loss Clemson and Oklahoma teams. The Badgers lost the B1G title game to Ohio State by six points and then won the Orange Bowl to finish No. 1 in the SRS ratings. But that wasn’t good enough for the CFP, of course.
1. 2019 Ohio State Buckeyes (13-1)
These Buckeyes also finished No. 1 in the SRS, even after getting the CFP shaft as we explained last season. Ohio State beat five ranked teams on its way to an undefeated regular season and the B1G championship, but it got downgraded to the No. 2 seed in the CFP, where it faced SEC officials in the semifinals against a weaker Clemson team. Enough said.