Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Prediction Week: Big Ten

Give this Ohio newbie a few college football conferences to track, and predictions will quickly follow. Let's continue our prediction week with a look at the Big Ten. The rest of this week's schedule: Ohio Athletic Conference (Wednesday), Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (Thursday) and Mountain East Conference (Friday). Previous predictions: Mid-American Conference (Monday).

Big Ten

Leaders Division

1. Ohio State -- Schedule is weak. The talent is not. A Big Ten dynasty brewing in Columbus.

2. Wisconsin -- Diverse ground game produces eight victories. Difficult nonconference jaunt to BYU on Nov. 9.

3. Penn State -- Depth issues prevent Nittany Lions from pushing Ohio State. They won't prevent NFL teams from calling Bill O'Brien.

4. Purdue -- Wicked schedule, which includes nonconference games against Cincinnati, Notre Dame and Northern Illinois, greets new coach Darrell Hazell. Bruce Gaston, Ricardo Allen and Landon Feichter give Hazell three nice defensive pieces.

5. Indiana -- Kofi Hughes, Shane Wynn and Cody Latimer combined for more than 2,100 receiving yards last season. The Hoosiers, though, allowed 311.2 passing yards per game.

6. Illinois -- Tim Beckman might not reach Year 3.


1. Nebraska -- A long, four-team coin-flipping contest ends with the Huskers outlasting Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State for this spot.

2. Northwestern -- Big Ten Game of the Year: Ohio State at Northwestern, Oct. 5. Big Ten Coach of the Year: Pat Fitzgerald.

3. Michigan -- November starts with games against Michigan State, Nebraska and Northwestern. Treacherous stretch yields at least one loss.

4. Michigan State -- Issues at quarterback never a recipe for a conference title push.

5. Minnesota -- Improved talent, soft nonconference schedule means Golden Gophers go bowlin' again.

6. Iowa -- Signing Kirk Ferentz through 2020 an expensive mistake. Lack of offensive firepower and innovation means another losing season.

-- Guy Cipriano | @newsheraldguy


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