It may be a down year for the Big Ten’s brand name programs, leading to ESPN analyst David Pollack taking a shot at the conference.

No matter that the Big Ten has two teams among the top seven in the latest AP Top 25 Poll and three teams among the top 14 in the nation. Pollack went after the Big Ten for the bigger names having poor years.

But the sample size due to a reduced schedule in such an even conference is so limited that Pollack’s point is a bit off base. Last year, two Big Ten programs were in the top 10 in the nation, with four programs in the top 15 and a total of five that finished ranked. And Pollack, who heralded Texas A&M on Tuesday as a team he would have liked to see in the College Football Playoff over Ohio State when the Aggies weren’t even ranked at the end of last year.


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So to praise a team this year for having an up season in 2020 while denigrating the Big Ten as a whole is a bit preposterous.

It should also be noted that in the absence of Michigan and Penn State in the polls that programs such as Indiana and Northwestern have stepped up, played well and are ranked.

On Tuesday, Pollack went after the Big Ten after the struggles this year by Michigan and Penn State among others.

“And the Big Ten, just the conference — listen, we have to do this year by year. It’s a year-by-year conversation. The Big Ten is really bad — really bad. Like, Michigan (2-4), Penn State (4-5), Wisconsin (3-3) — those aren’t good at all,” Pollack said.

“They’re bad football teams. So naturally, Northwestern’s better. Indiana’s better — a great coach and great story, awesome program. But it’s a bad league. And now you’re saying you’re going to put in a team that only played six games from that league in there, no out-of-conference? I get the gripe, man. I understand it.”