Sunday, July 30, 2017

Big 10 2017 Projections

The power in the Big 10 is certainly still stacked in the East, but Wisconsin is still strong enough in the West to make waves for any team in the league. Look out for Minnesota as well, as the Gophers begin the PJ Fleck era. How will everything stack up in the Big 10 overall, and who are the players to watch this season?


1. Ohio State: Losing to Penn State was a surprise last season, and it looks like ti can come down to the Buckeyes and Nittany Lions once again. JT Barrett looks for a classic swan song.

2. Penn State: It's so hard picking between Penn State and Ohio State, and this could be a push to the end once again. With Trace McSorley and Saquon Barkley in the backfield, Penn State should be a top six club nationally.

3. Michigan: There were so many losses after last season for the WOlverines that it is hard to see them keeping pace with the two favorites in the division. It may be a bit of a step back season in Ann Arbor.

4. Maryland: DJ Durkin has the Terps playing more inspired football, and some believe that they could be the most improved team in the Power 5 in 2017. Will those hopes translate to actual play?

5. Michigan State: Things bottomed out in East Lansing last season, and they still won't be back fully in 2017. Still, the Spartans should be contending for a lower tier bowl this fall.

6. Indiana: The Hoosiers finally turned a corner last season, and then fired Kevin Wilson. Tom Allen takes over, but he doesn't have a clue on offense.

7. Rutgers: It doesn't get much worse than last season. Improvements are expected, but this will still be the worst team in the Big 10.

1. Wisconsin: The Badgers are in good shape to pull off the West title again, and return to the conference title game once again. There will be a couple of teams pushing them, but the Badgers look solid.

2. Minnesota: Row the Boat moves to the land of 10,000 lakes, and immediately upgrades what was already a strong Gopher roster. Minnesota may not be able to take Wisconsin, but they will be solid.

3. Northwestern: Clayton Thorson and Justin Jackson are back on offense, and if there is a dark horse to surprise us and steal the West, they may be it.

4. Nebraska: The Huskers are still trying to find an identity in the Big 10, and they are no better than the 8th best team in the league in 2017.

5. Iowa: Iowa will have to depend on the run game and defense once again, as the QB situation seems to be a mess once again.

6. Purdue: Jeff Brohm is custom made for the Purdue job, but the roster needs some help. Give him a couple of seasons, but the offense, at least, should improve.

7. Illinois: Lovie Smith has brought zero new energy to the Illini, and seems as if he doesn't even want to be there anymore. As of this moment, I see no end in sight to the dark times.

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