Thursday, August 11, 2005
College Football Preview: Big Ten
If you know anything about college football, it's that the Big Ten appears to be stacked this year and their logo sucks (11 schools, Big Ten, you do the math). Living in Big Ten country, The Man doesn't want to seem homerish by saying a Big Ten school will win the National Title (which they won't). With that much competition, it's going to be hard for any of the top tier Big Ten schools to finish undefeated. Scheduling will play a huge factor that will help determine the rankings.
1. Michigan - Early test against Notre Dame at home, games at Iowa and Ohio State will determine who's #1 in this conference. RB Hart is a stud, defense promises to be more aggressive especially against mobile QBs (Michigan State, Texas, Ohio State QBs ate them up on the ground). Always find a way to at least tie for a Big Ten title.
2. (tie) Iowa - Kirk Ference has done a great job with this programm, legit top 10 team with returning QB (Drew Tate). Question mark comes on offensive line (most sacks allowed in conference) and mental mistakes (penalties, in particular).
2. (tie) Ohio State - stellar defense with a mobile QB could lead to a good season for OSU, early test with Texas and of course final game against Michigan will make or break their season.
4. (tie) Purdue - they get Iowa at home but have to travel to Minnesota. Tiller always has his boys ready to play, however the QB position isn't as solid as last year. Easy schedule might see them move up to a 2nd or 3rd place finish in the conference.
4. (tie) Minnesota - prove you can play with the big boys and you could move up the ladder -- STOP SCHEDULING PATSIES!
6. Michigan State - Mobile QB Drew Nietzel has the ability to win games; he almost upset Michigan last year by himself. Defense a question mark, however The Man can't recall a John L. Smith team that had a good defense. Look for a track meet and bet the over on most MSU games.
7. Penn State - Creampuff non-conference schedule that will have people buzzing about JoePa's Lions. Unfortunately a rude awakening when they enter conference play and have to compete against D-I talent.
8. Wisconsin - last year's bunch overachieved, this year looks like a rebuilding year for Barry in Madtown. Potential for early losses to Bowling Green and UNC.
9. Northwestern - Brutal schedule (five top 18 teams), spread offense could provide for an upset.
10. Illinois - Hasn't been competitive since the 1990s, no turnaround in sight.
11. Indiana - Yet another basketball school waiting for the season to start.
Tags: NCAA, football, Big Ten