Tuesday, July 15, 2008

FRD's Entirely Too Early College Football Preview: Big 10

Will the third time be a charm?

The second installment of the college football preview feature the conference nearest and dearest to my heart.  To get right into it....

Obviously the Big Ten has gotten a bad rap the past few years (somewhat deservingly) .  This yeah the conference should be better but still not quite the quality of the SEC or Big XII for the time being.  These things work in cycles and it's nothing to be concerned about.  

I might be crazy but I think the Big Ten has 3 legit title contenders in Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State with the latter two being of the sleeper variety.  After that group there are some solid teams that should be bowl bound that includes: Illinois, MSU, and Michigan.   

In honor of Rich Rod's first year at Michgan I offer you this song parody. WARNING- It's probably not safe for work.

Projected Records:
Ohio State-11-1- I want to say this team is going to go undefeated, but I can't.  I have a sneaking suspicion  they might even lose two games, but I won't say that.  This team is more loaded talent wise than any other Tressel team.  The D-tackles remain a question-mark. 
Penn State- 10-2- Maybe my biggest sleeper team going into the season, I think they have a chance to be very good.  If they get any play at quarterback it will be an improvement over last year, I sometimes think people forget how terrible Morelli was.  Question marks linger at QB, RB, and linebacker.  
Wisconsin-10-2-  Always solid and they have more skill position talent than they have had in the past couple of seasons.  Could be the break out season.  
Michigan State-7-5-  Dantonio is turning this program around, but it might not happen this year.  They are getting close, but the schedule doesn't set up well.
Michigan- 7-5- I originally had them at 8-4 and downgraded them a game.  Obviously one of the teams I'm most interested in seeing as I really have no idea what they are going to look like.  My first guess is Rich Rod won't fully implement his system this year as there just isn't the players in place to make it work.  Expectations are low but anything less than a bowl game would be a failure- there is too much talent there for that.  
Illinois-7-5-  The surprise of last year.  They know how to win now and things are looking up, but they lost a lot and I'm not a Juice Williams fan.  They take a step back this year, but could be right back in it next year.  
Purdue-6-6- Joe Tiller has built the program and heads into his last year up front.  He might pull out some stops but I still don't think there is enough defense in place to finish any better.  
Indiana- 6-6- Maybe the best story in college football last year with their "play 13" theme.  I'm a huge Kellen Lewis fan, but his off the field troubles hurt the team.  Still there is some talent here, but it will be a tough go of things.  Will be teetering on the edge of a bowl game again.  
Iowa-6-6- I'm just not a fan of this team.  The d-line should be solid, but is there anything else?  The schedule is pretty east so 6-6 is possible, but I wouldn't be shocked to see them take a serious step back.  
Northwestern-4-8- There is more talent at the skill positions than people think but it's just not enough.  Not a team to sleep on though, you'll have to work to beat them.  
Minnesota-4-8- Brewster is supposedly a hell of a recruiter so give him some time.  Better than last year, but probably not nearly good enough for a bowl.  

All-Big Ten Team

QB- Todd Boeckman, OSU DE- Maurice Evans, PSU
RB- Beanie Wells, OSU DT- Mitch King, Iowa
RB- Javon Ringer, MSU DT- Terrance Taylor, Michigan 
WR- Brian Robiske, OSU DE- Greg Middleton, IU
WR-Derrick Williams, PSU LB-James Laurinaitis, OSU
TE- Tyler Beckum, Wisky LB- Marcus Freeman, OSU
OL- Alex Boone, OSU LB- Jonathan Casillas, Wisky
OL- Kraig Urbik, Wisky CB- Malcom Jenkins, OSU
OL- Steve Rehring, OSU CB- Vontae Davis, Illinois
OL- Gabe Carimi, Wisky  S- Anderson Russell, OSU
OL- AQ Shipley, PSU  S- Shane Carter, Wisky

Top Newcomers- Just to note these are guys who I think will come in and play right away.  They might not be the best recruits, but they will be the guys who make the most immediate impact.
  1. Devier Posey, OSU
  2. Terrelle Pryor, OSU
  3. JB Fitzgerald, Michigan
  4. Cordale Scott, Illinois
  5. Etienne Sabino, OSU
  6. JB Shugarts, OSU

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