With four teams ranked in the top 11 of the AP Poll, the Big Ten looks like the best conference in America. No. 2 Ohio State (3-0) and No. 4 Michigan (3-0) are leading the way, but there’s no denying which team has been more impressive this season.
“I’ve got to go with Ohio State,” Big Ten Network analyst Glen Mason said on CBS Sports Radio’s The DA Show. “You start with the quarterback. I think Wilton Speight has done a great job at Michigan, but J.T. Barrett (is) a proven winner. He can run that offense. When you talk about a team that is rushing the ball for over 300 yards a game – and their starting tailback, Mike Weber, is contributing to about 110 of that – they’ve got a lot of weapons. All the things are in place to really stretch the defense.”
Ohio State has outscored Bowling Green, Tulsa and Oklahoma by a combined score of 170-37. The Buckeyes led the Sooners in Norman 42-17 early in the third quarter – and seven of Oklahoma’s points came on a 97-yard kickoff return by Joe Mixon.
Aside from that? Oklahoma got nothing. Baker Mayfield finished 17-of-32 for 226 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions, one of which was returned 68 yards for a touchdown by Jerome Baker.
The Ohio State defense has allowed just two touchdowns through three games – while scoring four of its own.
“When you look at the defense, they’re really, really good,” Mason said. “I watched that Oklahoma game and for years we’ve taken the rap in the Big Ten, ‘Well, we’re not fast. We’re not fast like the SEC. We’re not fast like the Big 12. We’re not fast like the Pac-12.’ I watched that game against Oklahoma and that first touchdown by Curtis Samuel – he ran away from everybody. And as I continued to watch that defense run, I thought, ‘You want speed? Come to the Big Ten.’”