College Football News: Big Ten East Best Division in CFB?

TreVeyon Henderson scores a touchdown vs. Penn State in a Big Ten East showdown.
TreVeyon Henderson scores a touchdown vs. Penn State in a Big Ten East showdown.

The Big Ten East will be the best division in college football in 2023, with three College Football Playoff caliber teams.

Every year there’s a debate about which conference and division is the best in college football. Typically, it is the SEC West, but another division will take the crown this year. Alabama and LSU will not be enough to keep the SEC West in the lead.

Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State all headline the Big Ten East as well as the conference as a whole. All three teams begin the season inside the AP top 7, which a single division hasn’t done in over a decade.

Michigan is the reigning Big Ten champion in back-to-back seasons, Ohio State won it in the four years before that, and Penn State won the conference in 2016.

On paper, Michigan probably has one of the most veteran rosters in the country and is one of the only teams in playoff contention to return its starting quarterback. JJ McCarthy will be under Center again with Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards in the backfield leading the Wolverines’ offense. They will also be guarded by one of the best offensive lines in the country.

Ohio State, on the other hand, has the best group of skill position players and weapons in the nation, headlined by wide receiver Marvin Harrison Jr. The receivers in Columbus will be the top unit in college football, and the Buckeyes also have four or five excellent running backs to compliment Kyle McCord at quarterback and an offensive line that will need to gel.

However, on defense, the Buckeyes have a veteran Unit for the first time since 2019, which will help Jim Knowles create a stout defense. It’s been no secret that the Kryptonite to Ohio State has been the performance of its defense in its biggest games over the last couple of seasons. Those issues will be solved this year.

Penn State welcomes Drew Allar as its starting quarterback, and he also has two star running backs behind him. Kaytron Allen and Nicholas Singleton are among the best tandems in the conference and country. If Penn State can solve its wide receiver question, it can be a playoff team at the end of the season so long as it beats one of Ohio State or Michigan.

The Nittany Lions have the defense to be one of the best teams in the country this year, but how they will slow down the weapons of Ohio State and the rushing attack of Michigan will determine its ceiling this season. 

Overall, the Big Ten East will claim the title of the best division in college football, with these three teams leading the way. There is real potential for the Big Ten to get two teams into the College Football Playoff at the end of the season.