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The Big Ten East is one of college football's toughest divisions to win.

Does Ohio State play in college football’s best division or is SEC West still best?

Ryan Ginn

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I’ll try to be specific enough here to where this doesn’t come off as a non-answer: The 2018 battle for division supremacy likely will come down to whether one believes the best measure of a division is top-end talent or overall depth. The SEC West doesn’t have as many teams that could figure into the national championship race … but it also doesn’t have Rutgers.

When seemingly every outlet released a “way-too-early” top 25 ranking following Alabama’s College Football Playoff title game win in January, SB Nation put together a composite ranking based on all those lists from different websites. Here’s where the SEC West and Big Ten East teams were listed:

1. Alabama (SEC West)

4. Ohio State (Big Ten East)

7. Auburn (SEC West)

9. Penn State (Big Ten East)

10. Michigan (Big Ten East)

13. Michigan State (Big Ten East)

17. LSU (SEC West)

24. Mississippi State (SEC West)

That’s a win for the Big Ten East. Though it’s unlikely four Big Ten East teams will be ranked that high at the end of the season because playing each other means at least a couple of teams will have multiple losses, it’s a sign that in a vacuum, the programs are viewed as being that strong.

And frankly, sometimes the rankings are way too harsh when two great teams play each other. It’s not like both can win.

On the other hand, the SEC West probably has the advantage in a top-to-bottom comparison. Rutgers is a historically awful abomination, and Maryland and Indiana to this point haven’t shown the ability to become a program on the level of Texas A&M, which is now paying $10 million a year to Jimbo Fisher, or even Arkansas.

Each side has an argument for being the best, and you probably can guess which aspect fans of teams in each division will decide is more important.

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