Over the years the Big Ten has faced much scrutiny and it has been well deserve. This season could be a big one for the conference as a whole.
1. Wisconsin 3-Peat?
The Badgers has been the dominate team in the Big 10 the past couple of years, playing in back to back Rose Bowls. This year they add another transfer at QB with Danny O’Brien. O’Brien wasn’t that good at Maryland but he doesn’t have to be. Montee Ball returns after almost 2000 yards last season and the Heisman finalist of last season could take home the trophy this year. James White ain’t bad either. Add that to the fact that Ohio St and Pen State can’t play in the post season and the Badgers should have a fast track to the big ten championship, maybe a third Rose Bowl or even more.
2. The Lanes are close.
There will be no “bowling” for Penn State or Ohio State this season amongst other sanctions and penalties. How will that effect both teams this season? Well Penn State was involved in a more extreme scandal and received a harsh penalty of a four-year bowl band. That caused their top running back (Silas Redd) to transfer, their top receiver(Justin Brown). back up QB, Kicker and a few others. That leaves the cupboard pretty bare in State College so I don’t expect the Nitty Lions to be a factor at all. Not even as spoilers. Ohio State on the other hand only got a year suspension so Columbus is a lot more optimistic. Urban Myer arrives on the scene and people are talking championships in the future. For this season the Buckeyes could be a problem giving some conference contenders some unnecessary.L’s.
3. Mean Green.
The Michigan State Spartans might have the best defense in the Big 10. This unit may be good enough to lead the Spartans to a Big 10 Championship led by DE William Gholston. If new QB Andrew Maxwell can help relieve some pressure from the defense then it could be a successful season in East Lansing.
The Purdue Boilermaker has one of the best teams they have had in years. The former third string QB Caleb Terbush lead a talented offense in Purdue that could give the big dogs of the conference some problems. With Penn State and Ohio State ineligible, Purdue could win the Leaders division and sneak into the Big 10 Championship.
Nebraska will run the ball and play solid D but is it enough to get past the top four? Iowa has to completely rebuild. Can Michigan establish themselves early with a huge victory against Alabama? Can Indiana win a game? Minnesota and Northwestern have talented athletes at QB, but can they get help elsewhere? While Illinois looks to recover from the complete collapse of last season.
Best Non-Conference Game
Michigan vs Alabama
A win for Michigan could not only catapult Michigan to the top of the contenders list for the National Championship but it could help silence the critics that think the Big 10 can’t compete with the SEC.
Best Conference Game
Michigan State vs Wisconsin
These two teams played twice last year including in the Big 10 Championship. They split the games last year and this year the same thing could happen.
The Defense is that good
Best Coach-Urban Myer(Ohio St.)
Best Skill Player-RB Montee Ball(Wisconsin)
Best Defender-DE William Gholston(Michigan St.)
Impact Freshman- DE Noah Spence(Ohio St.)