Thursday, July 24, 2008

2008 College Football Preview: Big 10

Ohio State has been the class of the Big 10 the past two seasons by representing the conference in the BCS Championship Game. After being dismantled in back-to-back title games we have to begin to question if the Big 10 is as strong a conference as we once thought it was.

That perception, whether valid or not, should change this season because Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State are all stacked and very well could all three compete for a BCS Bowl but the conference could also get pretty lean after that.

Big 10 Predictions

Ohio State – With 19 returning starters from last year’s squad anything less than 8-0 in conference should be a major disappointment.

Wisconsin – The Badgers have 17 returning starters and should pose the biggest threat to the Buckeyes.

Penn State – PSU will be led by their defense which, could be tops in the conference, but have to play both OSU and Wisconsin on the road.

Michigan – In a rebuilding season the Wolverines could actually struggle to finish above .500.

Northwestern – With 15 returning starters the Wildcats should improve from last year’s six wins.

Iowa – Don’t be shocked if you see the Hawkeyes finish above Michigan in the standings.

Michigan State – The Spartans are solid at the quarterback position with Brian Hoyer and dangerous at the running back position with Javon Ringer.

Purdue – Joe Tiller’s final season as the Boilermaker’s Head Coach will be a struggle to make a bowl birth.

Illinois – Reproducing the second place finish we say last year will be next to impossible for a team that has to play Penn State, Michigan and Wisconsin on the road.

Minnesota – The Gophers were out gained by 108.5 yards per game last season.

Indiana – The suspension of quarterback Kellen Lewis puts the Hoosiers in a bad spot because they already entered the season with question marks at receiver and offensive line.

My Pre-Season All Conference Team

QB – Todd Boeckman, Ohio State
RB – Beanie Wells, Ohio State
RB – Javon Ringer, Michigan State
WR – Eric Decker, Minnesota
WR – Brian Robiskie, Ohio State
WR – Eric Peterman, Northwestern
TE – Travis Beckum, Wisconsin
C – AQ Shipley, Penn State
G – Steve Rehring, Ohio State
G – Kraig Urbik, Wisconsin
T – Eric Vanden Heuvel, Wisconsin
T – Alex Boone, Ohio State

DE – Matt Shaughnessy, Wisconsin
DT – Mitch King, Iowa
DT – Terrance Taylor, Michigan
DE – Maurice Evans, Penn State
LB – Marcus Freeman, Ohio State
LB – James Laurinaitis, Ohio State
LB – Obi Ezeh, Michigan
LB – DeAndre Levy, Wisconsin
CB – Donovan Warren, Michigan
CB – Malcolm Jenkins, Ohio State
SS – Kurt Coleman, Ohio State
FS – Anderson Russell, Ohio State

Special Teams
K – Austin Starr, Indiana
P – Jeremy Boone, Penn State
KR – AJ Wallace, Penn State
PR – Andy Brodell, Iowa
Sound Off - Give us your Big 10 Predictions in the Forum.