The Ohio State Buckeyes are currently 10-1, including an 8-0 record in their conference, as they go for their fifth consecutive Big Ten championship. It would be the third consecutive conference title for coach Ryan Day, who took over for Urban Meyer in 2019. Yet somehow it's more profitable to finish behind OSU.
In the last week both Mel Tucker and James Franklin have negotiated huge new contracts so that Michigan State and Penn State could retain their services. First, it was Tucker reportedly earning a 10-year $95 million extension with the Spartans days before the team was destroyed by Ohio State. Then it was Franklin getting a 10-year, $75 million extension full of bonuses that could make the contract worth around as much as Tucker's reported deal.
Both deals are worth more than Ryan Day's current deal. And again, Ohio State is the team actually winning the Big Ten. Day has never lost a game in the Big Ten. He's spread his three career losses around to the SEC (Alabama last year) ACC (Clemson in '19) and Pac-12 (Oregon this season). He's a combined 6-0 against Penn State and Michigan State.
Now, this isn't to say that Tucker and Franklin aren't worth it to their schools. Franklin actually won the B1G in 2016. And Michigan State won two out of three before that, but that was under Mark Dantonio.
But this is a new era. The Ryan Day era. Where schools are just thrilled to compete. If you want to get paid, beat Jim Harbaugh, who also has failed to beat Ryan Day so far. Day just signed an extension last year. As even richer contracts are handed out all around the conference, Ohio State must be thrilled they get such a bargain to keep winning the B1G.
It would be nice to win a national championship though. Just saying.