The supposed title game formula for the Big Ten is for one team to make it into the championship game by having one fewer loss than a team from the other conferences, since the conference was (rightly?) perceived as weak compared to the Big 12, SEC, and maybe Pac 10. On the other hand, the SEC specializes in getting the nod over other conference teams with an equivalent record due to their perceived conference strength (which I think is kinda BS over the past two years, but whatever). Given that the Big Ten just made it a lot harder for any team to go undefeated, do you think that the increased schedule strength will offset that?
I'd tend to believe that the Big Ten will rightly be considered one of the top two conferences in the country; while the Pac-10 picked up Utah, they essentially lost USC, and I don't think that they have strong conference depth. The Big 12 was eliminated when they lost the championship game, and the ACC and Big East still remain afterthoughts. Between Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, OSU, PSU, and Michigan, I think we'd have several solid contenders each year.
In other words, what's the order of conference strength in 2011 and on?