2017 CFB Predictions: Big Ten
Posted By:Jeremy Timmerman - Macon, GA Tags:
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Let's get back at it again with some predictions, this time in the Big Ten.
The Big Ten has plenty of star power, both in terms of players and big-name coaches. In addition, it had the most controversy at the end of last season, as Penn State beat Ohio State and went on to win the conference title, just to have the Buckeyes get a spot in the Final Four. Further stoking that fire, the Nittany Lions lost a 52-49 battle with a red-hot Southern Cal team in the Rose Bowl while Ohio State got thrashed 31-0 in the playoffs by eventual champion Clemson.
So what will happen this year?
Michigan - 11-1, 8-1
Ohio State - 9-3, 7-2
Penn State - 10-2, 7-2
Michigan State - 9-3, 6-3
Indiana - 7-5, 4-5
Maryland - 4-8, 2-7
Rutgers - 3-9, 1-8
Nebraska - 11-1, 8-1
Wisconsin - 10-2, 7-2
Northwestern - 7-5, 4-5
Iowa - 7-5, 4-5
Minnesota - 5-7, 3-6
Illinois - 4-8, 2-7
Purdue - 1-11, 0-9
Championship Game: Michigan def. Nebraska
Yet again, the top half of the East should be an absolute melee. Even though Michigan lost two conference games a year ago, they lost by a point at Iowa and took a questionable double-overtime loss to Ohio State. Especially if the Wolverines came out on top against the Buckeyes, it would have been them punching a ticket to the conference title game and probably the playoffs. I expect them to right those wrongs this year, slipping only to Penn State.
Of course Ohio State, Penn State and Nebraska all have shots as well, and I expect the Big 10 to be the conference to watch this year, at least at the top.
- In case you were wondering, I have Penn State's two losses coming to Iowa and Ohio State, which essentially mirrors Michigan's troubles from a year ago.
- Nebraska's sole regular season loss would come at the hands of Penn State, which could again create drama for the Big Ten related to which of those teams - or Ohio State - would get the best bowl slot outside the playoffs. The Rose Bowl is a semifinal this year, but if only one Big Ten team gets a "New Year's Six" bid other than the champion, several teams could have a case to make.
- The bottom seven teams or so in this conference are a jumbled-up mess. Any of them could win as many as 8 or 9 games or as few as 4 or 5 games.
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