Monday, August 6, 2012

Big Ten Conference Race

If you are looking for the cream in the Big Ten Conference this football season, look no farther than the Legends Division.

The Legends could have the Big Ten’s best teams. College football preview guru Phil Steele predicts Nebraska will win the division with Michigan and Michigan State in the two and three positions respectively. Steele believes both Michigan schools could contend for a divisional championship. That’s how evenly matched the three teams look.

The Leaders division is a different story. Wisconsin should win the division easily. In a regular year, Ohio State would challenge but the Buckeyes are ineligible for the title in 2012. That leaves the challengers as Illinois, Purdue, Penn State and Indiana. Can you say weak division? The most excitement could become the battle for fifth place between Penn State and Indiana. With all the problems at Penn State with conflict and player departures, the Hoosiers may have an opportunity to escape last place.

I think the Big Ten has two teams that could make noise on the national stage.

Nebraska finished just 9-4 last season, but the Huskers return seven players each on offense and defense. Nebraska has four difficult conference games with two of those at home. Wisconsin and Michigan come to Lincoln, but the Huskers must travel to Ohio State and Michigan.

Michigan will not contend for a national title, but could place a roadblock in another team’s quest. The Wolverines oppose Alabama in the opener in Arlington, Texas. Michigan has a brutal schedule including true road games at Notre Dame, Nebraska and Ohio State. Its in-state battle with Michigan State is at home.

Who do you like in the Big Ten Conference this season?

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