For my second conference prediction, we move into the great midwestern states of Iowa, Maryland, New Jersey, and central Pennsylvania – the Big Ten. Some of you might have read my prediction for the Big XII (though since it’s the Big XII, most of you probably didn’t). This is going to read slightly differently, as we are now predicting a power conference.
Today, we will briefly look at each division and say a quite word about each team’s chances. For those that want to see, specifically, the chaos in which I am predicting, please check out Playoff Predictors.
Thank you to Playoff Predictors for letting us use their site.
This is what I’ve got too, WriterGoph. This should be the season that you get over that Iowa hump. If not, I promise that you’ll hear from me on here soon.
Fellow Hawkeye fans, if you’re worried about South Dakota State, you might not want to look at the crossovers this year.
Well Wisconsin fans, after losing some studs on defense and still returning an ineffective offense (outside of Braelon Allen, of course), I’ve got some bad news for you regarding that floor.
Sorry Purdue fan. I’m not saying anything positive about our most hated rival (OMHR). But hey, if you’re taking skill position players from Iowa, you must be doing something right.
Battling for a Bowl – Nebraska, Illinois, and Northwestern
I tweet about Nebraska enough for most of you all to know where I stand on them. Recovering from four consecutive losing seasons doesn’t happen overnight, but they should be poised to upset a team they aren’t expected to this year.
As for Northwestern, I am taking a risk at inciting Fitz Rage and picking them to struggle. Illinois is still a year out, but under Bret Bielema, he may sadden a fanbase or two.
This is a division that belongs to the winner of The Game. It’s in Columbus this year so I picked Ohio State, but don’t be too surprised if Michigan sneaks past them.
I love the confidence, but you might want to evaluate whether you’re willing to watch another Michigan title before investing in Big Ten Championship tickets. Also, would you please not lose your prime time non-conference game this year?
I get it Wolverine fans. You’re smart and studious. That post is too long though, so I’ll summarize. Without their elite pass rushers, Michigan’s pass defense could be a weak point. This is cited as the factor contributing to a fantastic 12-win season or a meh 9-win season. I agree, though I still don’t think it’s necessary to write a book to articulate that point.
Well, if they’re this excited about a Game of Thrones spinoff, there probably not paying enough attention to become angry Penn State notifications in my feed tomorrow. Still, if it’s not Michigan or Ohio State in the East, it’ll be Penn State.
I’ve inadvertently been lumped in with ESPN. Thank you for that. Still, without their Wolverine killer, Kenny Walker, I don’t think a relatively lucky 2021 team will be able to repeat the 10-win season. [Waits for someone to tell an Iowa joke].
Battling for a bowl – Maryland, Rutgers, Indiana
I don’t want to put Maryland in here because I think they have the talent to be really good. But it’s hard to predict anything more than 7 wins without any sort of evidence showing that they can play like a talented team for 12 games.
Rutgers should have a legitimate chance at 6 wins again, but I think that schedule is rough. BC on the road as a non-conference game and crossovers with Nebraska, Iowa, and Minnesota are not going to be easy in addition to that Big Ten East slate. I do think they pull off one upset and I’m nervously hoping that it’s not against Iowa.
Indiana fell off horribly last year and while this won’t be 2020 rebooted, they should be in the win column a few times in conference.
Stay tuned for my colleagues’ predictions on the ACC (which includes Notre Dame because we do not acknowledge their independence), the SEC (which I can only imagine is solely about Georgia and Alabama since those are the only two teams in that conference), and the Conference of Misfit Toys (the PAC12).
For more “insightful” college football takes, follow me on Twitter @hawkguymatt.