If I’m putting together a college football team that wants to contend for division, conference and even national titles, the first thing on my wish list is a veteran quarterback who’s already been through the wars.

Anything else is a distant second.

In a very competitive Big Ten East, there are four teams that think they have a legitimate shot at winning the title this year. And in an odd twist, the perceived favorite Ohio State is the one without an experienced quarterback. In the end, will that come back to bite them in what is probably the best division in college football this season?

Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State all have proven passers. Ohio State is handing the reins to Dwayne Haskins, who’s had just a few sips of action so far as he’s waited his turn.

Here’s a look at the gaps in experience:

Trace McSorley, Penn State

  • Games played: 34
  • Passing yards: 7,369
  • Rushing yards: 899
  • Passing touchdowns: 59
  • Rushing touchdowns: 18
  • The skinny: McSorley already has two-plus seasons under his belt and has played well in big games in the past. He’s only 6-foot, but gets comparisons to Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield and will be a Heisman candidate himself if the Nittany Lions can win the Big Ten East. Playing well — and winning — that early Sept. 29 showing with Ohio State will be critical.

Brian Lewerke, Michigan State

  • Games played: 17
  • Passing yards: 3,174
  • Rushing yards: 708
  • Passing touchdowns: 22
  • Rushing touchdowns: 5
  • The skinny: Lewerke was a stabilizing force at QB last season and a big reason why the Spartans went from 3-9 in 2016 to 10-3 a year ago. Surrounded by a ton of weapons at the skill positions, he’s expected to take another big step this year. He’s the biggest reason why the Spartans can’t be overlooked as potential division champions.

Shea Patterson, Michigan

  • Games played: 10
  • Passing yards: 3,139
  • Rushing yards: 153
  • Passing touchdowns: 23
  • Rushing touchdowns: 1
  • The skinny: Patterson was the first Ole Miss freshman to start three games in a season then started seven more last year before getting hurt and transferring. He’s eligible immediately because of Ole Miss’ NCAA violations and is the likely starter this year for the Wolverines. He’s the best quarterback Michigan has had in years and fills a void that Jim Harbaugh has been missing during his tenure. If he stays healthy all season, Michigan can contend for a lot of trophies.

Dwayne Haskins, Ohio State

  • Games played: 4
  • Passing yards: 565
  • Rushing yards: 86
  • Passing touchdowns: 4
  • Rushing touchdowns: 0
  • The skinny: Haskins has only seen mop-up duty so far in Columbus, and there’s no way of knowing how he’s going to respond to the fire in his first season as a starter. He played well in the spring to win the battle, but he’s going to need to continue that solid play to remain the starter with Tate Martell breathing down his neck. We’ll know a lot with early road tests against TCU in Arlington, Texas on Sept. 15 and at Penn State on Sept. 29.