Time is now for Big Ten's Best Four

If the Buckeyes get past the other big names in the Big Ten, a BCS title game could be in the cards. Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Ever since the Ohio State Buckeyes posted back-to-back BCS Championship Game losses at the end of the 2006 and 2007 seasons, a cloud of uncertainty has hung over the Big Ten.

Fair or not, those letdowns completely colored the perception of the entire conference -- overrated, slow, uninspiring, etc. It's an image problem with only one real solution: win and win big.

Might this be the year the Big Ten's upper crust asserts itself and recovers its national respect?