Preseason polls are all the rage in September, but where do the Big 10 teams rank in November?
The Hoosiers, are 1-8, with no wins over an FBS opponent. They have been outscored 326 to 212 by opponents this season. It has been a rough first year for head coach Kevin Wilson. With a freshman quarterback, the growing pains have just started for Indiana. It looks like things will get worse before they get better. Wilson should be the right man for the job.
End of season projection: 1-11
The Golden Gophers are coming off the biggest win of the season, which isn’t saying much, they only have two. They beat the Iowa Hawkeyes 22-21 with a late fourth quarter charge at home. Junior quarterback MarQueis Gray looks like a potential superstar at times, and a giant question mark at others. Minnesota will try to continue their winning ways over a very upset Michigan State team this Saturday.
End of season projection: 3-9
After losing senior quarterback Dan Persa to injury early in the season, the Wildcats started the season 2-0. Then lost 5 straight, before beating Indiana last Saturday 59-38. The task gets a little harder this Saturday as they roll into Lincoln to play No. 10 Nebraska.
End of the season prediction: 5-7
The Boilermakers are 4-4, but 2-2 in the Big 10. With wins over Minnesota and Illinois. They have suffered a loss to Rice, and only beat Middle Tennessee by 3 points. The Boilermakers seemed to have turned the season around after upsetting Illinois at home after the Fighting Illini started the season 6-1. Last week Purdue lost 14-36 to Michiga, and seemed to fall back into their old ways.
End of season prediction 6-6
The Hawkeyes have had a roller coaster of a season. They started the season 1-1 with a 44-41 loss in the second week to instate rival Iowa State. Kirk Ferentz’s team then went on to win 4 of the next 5 with a key win over Big East member, Pittsburgh. Then the season took a turn for the worse, by losing to Minnesota. Iowa is 5-3 and 2-2 in the Big 10. Iowa gets Michigan in Iowa City on Saturday at 11:00 a.m.
End of season prediction: 5-7
After starting the season 6-0, Illinois has lost the last 3 games to Ohio State, Purdue and Penn State. Illinois biggest win this season is over No. 19 Arizona State. Illinois does not draw Nebraska on their schedule this season. They finish the year with Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota. They are bowl eligable, and it will be interesting to see how they fare against two of the Big 10 powers in the Wolveriens and Badgers. If they don’t do so well, will they mail it in for the season and have another disappointment against Minnesota?
End of season prediction: 7-5
6. Ohio State
The Buckeyes are 5-3 with dissapointing losses to Miami, and blew a 20-6 halftime lead to Nebraska in Lincoln. In the last two weeks the Buckeyes have seemed to find their identity, and freshman quarterback Braxton Miller has seemed to get more comfortable as the year has gone along. He has blossomed into the star everyone expected him to be. He has led Ohio State to wins over Illinois and Wisconsin int he past two weeks.
End of season prediction: 8-4
5. Michigan State
The Spartans have lost two key games this season. They got shalacked 31-13 by a 5-3 Notre Dame team in South Bend, and lost 23-3 to Nebraska last Saturday in Lincoln. The Spartans are undefeated at home and have been as solid as it gets at home. Even though led by a senior quarterback in Kirk Cousins, the Spartans offense has struggled at times. In the two losses this seasons, Sparty was out scored 54-16. The Spartans only put up 10 points in a win over an Ohio State team that was struggling on offense at the time. To make it to the Big 10 Championship game Michigan State will need some help. They will need to win out, and will need another Big 10 team to beat Nebraska. They hold the tie breaker over Michigan. The Wolverines host Nebraska November 19th in Ann Arbor.
End of the season prediction: 10-2
After starting the season 6-0, with wins of 30 or more points over every opponent they played including No. 10 Nebraska, most people considered the Badgers to be a top team in the country. Maybe even the best. After losing two close games in the last two weeks to Michigan State on a last minute hail marry, and a dog fight to the surging Ohio State team. Wisconsin finds themselves No. 20 in the country and wondering if they will even make the Big 10 championship game.
End of season prediction: 9-3
The Wolverines are 7-1, with their only loss being to Michigan State. Every Wolverine fan has to have Nov. 19 circled on their calender. That is the day Nebraska comes to Ann Arbor, and may be the biggest game of the season. Michigan will play Iowa and Illinois in the up coming weeks. If the Wolverines, Spartans and Cornhuskers all win the next two weeks there will be a three way tie, for first place in the “Legends” division of the Big 10. If the Wolverines beat the Huskers, they will have to get some help, and hope Michigan State has one more in conference loss. Nebraska now holds the tie breaker over Michigan State, so if Nebraska runs the table they will make to Indianapolis to play in the very first Big 10 Championship Game.
End of the season prediction: 9-3
2. Penn State
There has been a lot of talk that the Nittany Lions don’t play offense. They are 7-1 and their only loss on the season was to No.2 Alabama, who they scored a touchdown on. They have played lights out defense all year, but aside from the Crimson Tide, they have had a pretty easy season. There only Big 10 opponents have been Purdue, Iowa, Indiana,Northwestern, and Illinois. They have outscored them 96-62. Penn State is averaging just over 21 points per game. Scoring 3 touchdowns a game with their defense, Penn State has a legit chance of running the table, and playing in Indianapolis for the Big 10 Championship.
End of the season prediction: 9-3
The Huskers are 7-1, and suffered an embarrassing 48-17 loss to Wisconsin in Madison on the 1st of October. A month later, after an impressive 20 point win over Michigan State at home, the Blackshirts seem to be playing up to the potential everyone expected them to have at the begging of the season. They seemingly flew to the ball on every play, and forced a couple turnovers against the Spartans. Sophomore Taylor Martinez threw 3 interceptions against the Badgers. Since then he has thrown 2. Both times Martinez has changed the play at the line of scrimmage, and forced a throw. One was a tipped ball against Michigan State that led to the Spartans only points of the game. If Martinez can correct those few errors and Nebraska can continue to ride junior I-back Rex Burkhead who had 35 carries for 130 yards and 3 touchdowns against Michigan State on Saturday, the Huskers can run the table and win their first Big 10 Championship in their first year in the conference.
End of the season prediction: 10-2
By Jimmie Allen