There was some talk that part of the reason why the Big Ten kept discussions going, and eventually voted to start its season after all was because of the national championship chances for Ohio State.

But ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit this week told Dan Patrick that there are several Big Ten contenders this season.

“Before all of this, if you and I were just talking, who are the teams to beat, it would have been Ohio State and Clemson,” Herbstreit said. “You’ve got Justin Fields, who you and I have talked about, and Trevor Lawrence, who everybody has talked about. Those would have been the two teams that people would have said would meet in the national championship. With Alabama and Georgia and teams like that of being out there as well. I would throw Penn State, James Franklin has elevated that program where they always have a chance to be competitive in the Big Ten.”

Then he brought in what some would call surprise teams.

“I think Michigan with Jim Harbaugh, I know he gets ridiculed a lot,” Herbstreit said. “For not living up to what the expectations were. But the way they recruit, the athletes they have. They have a different quarterback this year, which will be interesting. … As an outsider, I would always throw Wisconsin, people don’t nationally respect them the way they should, but Wisconsin is always going to be a tough out as well, coming out of the Big Ten West.”