How is it not cherry-picking when you chose a cutoff date immediately before we started a very favorable stretch of the schedule?
Every contender has gone through or is going through a rough stretch in the schedule. Ours was a little earlier than everyone else's, yes, but now it's evening out. Incidentally, we only play 10 total games against the other contenders, while MSU plays 12. We're not the only team with a gripe.
The Big Ten has to find a way to give 12 teams an 18-game schedule. There are going to be imbalances in the schedule. As for whether our schedule was "wise," what does that matter? The Big Ten isn't supposed to favor anyone. It's not going to take pity on a team just because some guys graduated or transferred the year before.