The Big 10 Conference has experienced so many scandals during the offseason that the conference will still be doing damage control over the next few years. Despite all of this chaos, the teams in this conference are stronger than ever. Here’s a look at the 14 teams in this conference even though it is still called the Big Ten.
1. Ohio State. Even though Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer will be suspended for the first three games of the season, Ohio State will continue to be the favorite because the games that he will miss are all non-conference games. Plus, they are extremely stacked at every position on both sides of the ball.
2. Michigan. For the past few years, the quarterback has been the main issue. The Wolverines have actually solved that problem this season with the transfer of Shea Patterson. Plus, their defense is absolutely loaded.
3. Michigan State. The Spartans are the biggest sleeper team in the nation with 19 of their 22 starters returning from last season.
4. Penn State. The offense will be just fine with QB Trace McSorley, but too many players will have to step up on defense.
5. Indiana. The Hoosiers should be able to pull off an upset during the season after they lost 4 conference games by eight points or less last season.
6. Rutgers. Whoever set up their schedule should be investigated. Hopefully, the Scarlet Knights will win a couple of games in this rebuild early in conference play because their November opponents are Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State, and Michigan State.
7. Maryland. I cannot see how this team will recover from what happened this offseason.
1. Wisconsin. The Badgers return their entire offensive line and RB Jonathan Taylor. Opposing teams will already know what Wisconsin is about to do, but they will not be able to stop their offense.
2. Northwestern. Normally, the Wildcats tend to drop back after a good season, but Northwestern has significantly improved their overall depth. Plus, they will have momentum due to winning their last eight games last season.
3. Iowa. The strange thing about the Hawkeyes is that they lack depth at what tends to be their usual strengths at RB and LB.
4. Minnesota. A strong running game should help out the Golden Gophers this season.
5. Nebraska. The team has depth on defense, but they gave up more than 50 points in their last three games.
6. Purdue. Expect to see plenty of shootouts in Boilermakers games due to the offense bringing many different schemes to the table and due to the defense not being as strong as last season.
7. Illinois. The building process continues this season. Hopefully, they will win a game this season.
Big 10 Conference Champion: Wisconsin.