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Big 10 Preview thread 2021 (and Big 12 predictions, in case you still want them)!

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Sorry I was away for the past week. I was watching this whole nasty Oklahoma/Texas/SEC business go down, and I got so depressed that I didn't want to preview the Big 12 while it was about to go down in flames.

Fortunately here in the Big 10, things are quite peachy. A bit predictable, but still quite good. And I'll give you guys my views on where the Big 10 will go this season, right here!
(Oh, and if you ask real nicely, I'll give you a quick look at the Big 12 on this thread as well.)
 

JohnShadows

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Over/Under on Win Totals:

Illinois 3.5 (-113)
Indiana 8 (+120)
Iowa 8.5 (+100)
Maryland 6 (+100)
Michigan 7.5 (-139)
Minnesota 7 (-113)
Nebraska 6 (-134)
Northwestern 6 (-113)
Ohio State 11 (-125)
Penn St 9 (+100)
Purdue 5 (-113)
Rutgers 4 (-115)
Wisconsin 9.5 (+110)
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Illinois

The first preview segment for the Big 10 Conference: The Illinois Fighting Illini

Last season: After a 2-6 season, everyone had finally had enough of Lovie Smith and sent him packing.

Good news: Their new head coach (Bret Bielema) certainly knows how to win in the Big 10, and he'll have an experienced defense this year. Illinois should still be able to run the ball with a good O-line and options at RB, and QB Brandon Peters is back for one more year.

Bad news: Peters has been VERY inconsistent, so don't be surprised if someone else replaces him late in the year. Depth is gonna be a problem all over the team, especially at the WR position and on that experienced defense.

Key games:
8/28 vs. Nebraska (Two Big 10 teams, desperate for a good start to the 2021 season. This might be the best game on Week Zero this year.)
9/18 vs. Maryland (Another fun-looking game in the Big 10, and one that Illinois can win.)
9/25 @ Purdue (Hey, Illini! Purdue is starting to slip. Here's your chance to take out a rival!)
11/27 vs. Northwestern (The Illini are bummed that Northwestern has now beaten them 6 straight times. The fact that Northwestern finished in the final AP Top 10 last year probably bummed them out even more.)

Bottom line: Bielema has himself a proud coaching staff to help an Illinois team that basically returns intact from last year. That might help Illinois get more wins, but they'll still be doomed to finish last in the Big 10 West unless the defense somehow keeps it together.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Ohio State

Preview segment: The Ohio State Buckeyes

Last season: Despite the short season, Ohio State still remained the class of the Big 10 and one of the best teams in the nation. Justin Fields and the Buckeyes would win another conference title, make the CFP, and then eliminate Clemson. In fact, the only thing Ohio State did wrong was allow Alabama to scorch their secondary in the CFP title game. Can the Buckeyes get a do-over this year?

Bad news: That secondary is still a big question mark for the Buckeyes. But Ohio State's biggest worry is easily at quarterback; Justin Fields is now with the Chicago Bears, and none of the QB's they have now have thrown a pass in college.

Good news: Happily, every other place on offense looks awesome; the WR's that Ohio State has now are some of the best in the country. Line play should be exceptional on both sides of the ball, and there is depth EVERYWHERE in the program.

Key games:
9/2 @ Minnesota (The first two games Ohio State has this year are pretty tough. In the season opener, they'll visit a determined Minnesota team, and what's gonna happen when the Gophers attack that Buckeye secondary?)
9/11 vs. Oregon (This game may be in Columbus, but Oregon is another tough team that'll test the Buckeyes defense. Can Ohio State's offense do the same to Oregon?)
10/23 @ Indiana (The Hoosiers gave Ohio State a grand fight last year. Now this year in Bloomington, will Ohio State get pushed again?)
10/30 vs. Penn State (Facing Penn State is always hard, but hey! At least Ohio State has beaten them 8 out of the last 9 years.)
11/27 @ Michigan (And of course, we can't forget this one.)

Bottom line: In terms of sheer talent, Ohio State should once again be the class of the conference and will aim for a 5th straight Big 10 title. But the big question is "Can the Buckeyes find a QB good enough to get them to the CFP again"? No, wait. Because it's "Can Ohio State's secondary wake the f--k up"?
Ball's in your court, Ryan Day. Let's see you flex those coaching muscles of yours!
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Michigan

Preview segment: The Michigan Wolverines

Last season: You wanna talk about someone who wants this pandemic to be over? Michigan is REALLY hoping that 2020 was just an anomaly, as they went 2-4. And those 4 losses were REALLY bad: at home to Michigan State and Penn State? Getting blown out by Wisconsin? A loss to Indiana?! Ugh!

Bad news: It's all about consistency. Can the defense get back to playing at an elite level? And does Jim Harbaugh have a QB coach that can get that passing game going FINALLY?

Good news: There is still a LOT of talent over here; a veteran O-line can only mean good things for the Wolverine offense. New QB Cade McNamara had his moments last year, and the running game has sorted itself out this spring. And the defense has people like Christopher Hinton coming back.

Key games:
9/11 vs. Washington (This Big-10/PAC-12 matchup can go either way. The ball's in your court, Michigan offense!)
10/2 @ Wisconsin (Come on, Wolverines! You've now lost 3 of your last 4 meetings against the Badgers. WAKE UP.)
10/30 @ Michigan State (...Just know that last year's loss to the Spartans had to REALLY sting for Michigan.)
11/6 vs. Indiana (When the Hoosiers defeated Michigan last year, it was their first win over them since 1987. Michigan NEEDS to win this one to put Indiana back in it's place.)
11/27 vs. Ohio State (Yes, Wolverines fans. Had you did face Ohio State last year, the losing streak in this series would now be at 9.)

Bottom line: CFB fans were confused when during the offseason, Jim Harbaugh signed a contract extension that keeps him at Ann Arbor until 2025. On one hand, it's nice to see that the Michigan faithful isn't giving up on their "Golden Boy" to save the day. But on the other hand, isn't it time to show some real results?
Michigan's 2021 season is something to watch carefully. If they're able to get back to beating Wisconsin, Washington, or even Ohio State it'll bode well for Michigan's comeback. If not, I do NOT want to be around the Wolverines fans.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Michigan State

Preview segment: The Michigan State Spartans

Last season: It was a mix of good news and bad news for Michigan State in 2020. The good news was, they defeated Michigan and a Northwestern team that was in the Top 10. The bad news was, they lost their other 5 games and finished 2-5.

Good news: Running back and wide-receiver may be the 2 best positions on the whole team; watch for WR Jayden Reed to get some love from NFL scouts. The defensive line looks good...

Bad news: ...but the rest of the defense got hit HARD by the transfer market, as many solid players are now gone. But the biggest worry is at the passing game; the QB position is a free-for-all and the O-line has been really weak for 3 straight years now.

Key games:
9/4 @ Northwestern (This is a tough way for MSU to start the season: Visiting a Northwestern team that's coming off a brilliant year... and is hankering for revenge against the Spartans.)
9/18 @ Miami (Going to Miami and facing the Hurricanes? Also a very tough assignment.)
10/9 @ Rutgers (Losing at home to Rutgers to start the 2020 season? Embarrassing.)
10/30 vs. Michigan (MSU will have a bye week to prepare for this latest installment of the "Paul Bunyan's Trophy" rivalry.)
11/13 vs. Maryland (MSU's game with Maryland was called off TWICE last year due to the pandemic. This could be a postseason "swing game" for both teams.)
11/27 vs. Penn State (Oh! We can't forget about this one.)

Bottom line: Mel Tucker and his coaching staff got f--ked last spring; thanks to the pandemic they couldn't really get things in order in East Lansing until it was too late. And now they've had to use the transfer market to fill in some gaping holes?
If those new players helps out immediately, Michigan State could be a bowl team. Otherwise, this once-proud program might finish LAST in the Big 10 East in 2021. Oh, dear...
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Purdue

Preview segment: The Purdue Boilermakers

Last season: It started off okay as Purdue won their first 2 games. But then something happened, and Purdue lost their final 4 games. So now the Boilermakers have gone 6-12 over the last 2 seasons, and I'm wondering this: Maybe Jeff Brohm really CAN'T coach up anything.

Bad news: The defense is on it's 3rd coordinator in 3 seasons, and the O-line has a lot to prove. Oh, and the special teams were REALLY bad for Purdue last year; how much better is it really going to be? Rondale Moore is also gone...

Good news: ...but at least the WR group has some talent left. Of note, David Bell is the receiver to watch out for. Purdue may have 2 QB's fighting for the starting spot, but at least they can win with either of them. And DE George Karlaftis gives the defense a lot of upside, along with some SEC transfers.

Key games:
9/4 vs. Oregon State (Brohm is expecting his defense to be more aggressive this season. We'll see if that will work early on, as the Beavers will be a tough challenge.)
9/18 @ Notre Dame (For the first time in several years, the Boilermakers will face the Fighting Irish. Sounds exciting, doesn't it? Trouble is, Notre Dame's defense is LOADED.)
10/2 vs. Minnesota (Purdue was unable to put away the Gophers last year. Keep trying!)
10/23 vs. Wisconsin (Purdue didn't get to face the Badgers last season.)
11/27 vs. Indiana (Aww! It's ANOTHER tender reunion of in-state rivals! And I'll bet that Purdue wants to stop Indiana's run of optimism in the Big 10.)

Bottom line: This is a critical year for Jeff Brohm and the Boilermakers; they have GOT to get back the excitement they had in 2017 and 2018. They have the talent to move upwards, but they won't be bowling if the special teams and defense can't get it's act together.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Rutgers

Preview segment: The Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Last season: It was another losing year for Rutgers in 2020. But they still walked away with hope for the future. Why? Because under their returning head coach Greg Schiano, the Knights were in nearly every game they played. Now with full 12-game schedules coming back, how much more damage can Rutgers do?

Good news: Depth is getting better all over the place. Of note, running-back and wide-receiver are looking good. The secondary and linebacker spots also looks better.

Bad news: Line play will be the biggest worry on both sides of the ball. Of note, depth on the O-line is poor and the D-line needs a reliable pass-rusher.

Key games:
9/11 @ Syracuse (Rutgers could make some more head-way in the Northeast by winning this one.)
9/25 @ Michigan (Going to Ann Arbor is NEVER easy, but hey! At least the Scarlet Knights pushed Michigan to triple-OT last year.)
10/9 vs. Michigan State (A "swing-game" for both teams in their quest to stay out of the Big 10 East cellar.)
11/6 vs. Wisconsin (Rutgers has never beaten the Badgers [or Ohio State], but at least they'll get to host them [and Ohio State] this season.)

Bottom line: The Scarlet Knights shouldn't be making any bowl plans this season, but it IS getting better in Piscataway. I honestly don't know how well Rutgers will do in 2021, but schools in the Big 10 had better not sleep on these guys anymore.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Wisconsin

Preview segment: The Wisconsin Badgers

Last season: A batch of injuries. A COVID outbreak. An offense that sucked. All of that conspired to make Wisconsin's 2020 season one to forget. They were expected to compete for the "New Year's Six", not to end up in a bowl game named after an obscure mayonnaise brand. Now after a full session of spring ball, the Badgers want to get back to the big time very soon.

Good news: Two of Wisconsin's best WR's are back from injury, and QB Graham Mertz should be better than he was last year. The defense was actually very good last season, and most of it returns.

Bad news: Actually, there's only one position that Wisconsin is worried about entering summer practice. But it's a big one: The running game; the depth is pretty poor and Jalen Berger needs to step up BIG.

Key games:
9/4 vs. Penn State (Like North Carolina vs. Virginia Tech in the ACC, this will be a HUGE Week 1 fight in the Big 10 between the Badgers and the Nittany Lions.)
9/25 vs. Notre Dame [from Chicago] (Will Wisconsin's offense be able to break a hard-nosed Irish defense?)
10/2 vs. Michigan (And the Badgers has to play the Wolverines right after Notre Dame? Yeesh!)
10/30 vs. Iowa (I'm kinda leaning towards Iowa to take the West division this year. But what if Wisconsin breaks Iowa's secondary in this contest?)
11/13 vs. Northwestern (Fans in Madison knew that something was wrong last year when the Wildcats got them 17-7.)
11/27 @ Minnesota (Oh! And we sure as hell can't forget this one!)

Bottom line: There are a few question marks for Wisconsin to deal with. But the defense still looks great and the Badgers only has 4 true road games this season. So maybe Wisconsin football really CAN get back to it's normal spot of being a threat in the Big 10 in 2021. All they have to do is make sure the offense doesn't suck again.
 

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Minnesota

Preview segment: The Minnesota Golden Gophers

Last season: :noidea: I mean, the Gophers went 3-4, but this was ANOTHER school that the pandemic really f--ked up.

Good news: Line play should be really good here, and RB Mohamed Ibrahim returns as Minnesota's feature back. QB Tanner Morgan is also back for one more year. On defense, DB Coney Durr is a player that'll cause fear for opponents.

Bad news: It remains to be seen how much that Minnesota's defense can improve from last year. Oh, and the Gophers need to find more strong WR's; otherwise Minnesota's opponents will sit on Ibrahim all day.

Key games:
9/2 vs. Ohio State (Case in point, this HUGE opening contest. If Minnesota can somehow get their passing game going right away, they can have a great chance to shock the Buckeyes.)
9/18 @ Colorado (I know the game's in Denver, but technically this is a road game for the Gophers. And the Buffaloes will be a tough out.)
10/30 @ Northwestern (Minnesota didn't get to face the Wildcats last year.)
11/13 @ Iowa (The last 3 games of the season will be very tough for the Gophers. They'll go to face the Hawkeyes in Iowa City [where Minnesota hasn't won since 1999], then visit confident Indiana...)
11/27 vs. Wisconsin (...and then finish with their grudge match against Wisconsin. The Gophers lost a heartbreaker to the Badgers last year in OT.)

Bottom line: Minnesota is my "wild-card" team in the Big 10 this season. There are a lot of good pieces here in Minneapolis, you can never count out P.J. Fleck and his coaching, and like a lot of Big 10 teams they want to sweep 2020 under the rug and get back to work. But they need to get some more variety on offense and hope that the defense can bounce back from last year.
Hmm... Let me watch these guys go up against Ohio State and Colorado this September. THEN I'll know how close they are to the Big 10 West title in 2021.
 

HuskerOC

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Vegas has my Huskers at 6 wins this season.

I took the Unders.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Nebraska

Preview segment: The Nebraska Cornhuskers

Last season: When Scott Frost came over to his alma-mater of Nebraska to coach the football team in 2018, he came in on a whirlwind of hype. Here was this guy, who had just turned Central Florida from a winless dumpster fire into a team claiming a national title, coming in to save the once prestigious Huskers football program. It seemed too good to be true!
And so far, it's been a disaster. Nebraska is now off a 3-5 mark, which is their 4th-straight losing season. So... who's gonna be the one to tell the emperor that he has no clothes on?

Good news: The bulk of last year's defense is back, which includes a better pass-rush (we hope). The coaching staff has been telling us that spring football went wonderfully, and they sound very optimistic about the WR's they have.

Bad news: There's not much optimism, however, with the running game; the returnees have shown us nothing and that O-line has to, HAS to stop committing awful penalties. Special teams is also a work in progress.

2021 X-factor: QB Adrian Martinez- This is Adrian's 4th year in Lincoln, and last year he set a school record for passing accuracy. He got benched a couple of times, though, so Huskers fans are REALLY hoping Adrian can give them a more consistent run in 2021.

Key games:
9/18 @ Oklahoma (This is the first time these rivals are facing each other since 2010. Will the Huskers shock the Sooners with their passing game, or pray for a quick death?)
10/2 vs. Northwestern (Struggling to beat Ohio State, I get. Having lost 3 of your last 4 meetings against Northwestern? For the Nebraska faithful, that is not normal.)
10/9 vs. Michigan (Michigan is having their own problems, so the Huskers can win this one.)
10/30 vs. Purdue (If only because Nebraska got humiliated at home to Illinois last year, and I'm wondering if something like that can happen again.)
11/26 vs. Iowa (What rivalry series? Iowa has now beaten the Huskers 6 straight times.)

Bottom line:
Vegas has my Huskers at 6 wins this season.

I took the Unders.

Wow. I guess the Nebraska faithful ARE getting tired of these broken promises that Scott Frost is giving them. I'll bet Scott is ignoring all of the bad press and working to get the Huskers to the postseason in 2021, but the schedule is hard once again. If Nebraska doesn't make a bowl this year, it's gonna be a REALLY long offseason in Lincoln.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Northwestern

Preview segment: The Northwestern Wildcats

Last season: As much as Nebraska is upset and unhappy, Northwestern is upbeat and very proud after the 2020 season. They recovered from a miserable 2019 to finish 7-2, and it includes a trip to the Big 10 title game and a bowl win over Auburn. Really good stuff!

Bad news: A LOT of production from that 2020 squad is gone. That includes two NFL 1st-rounders, their QB, and their top 4 receivers.

Good news: Thanks to improved recruiting and some key transfers coming in, the Wildcats are looking for a quick rebuild. The defense still looks athletic, and the offense is looking to be more consistent.

2021 X-factor: QB Ryan Hilinski- This guy comes in from South Carolina, and he'll be competing with Hunter Johnson for the starting QB job. But in my opinion, the Wildcats have better hitch their trailer to this stud.

Key games:
9/4 vs. Michigan State (This opener is BIG. Not just because it's a Big 10 game, but also because Michigan State upset Northwestern last year 29-20.)
10/2 @ Nebraska (By this time, the Wildcats should know who their new starters on defense and offense are.)
10/30 vs. Minnesota (This starts a VERY crucial 4-game stretch for Northwestern in their quest for another Big 10 West title. First, they'll host a Minnesota team that they didn't get to face last year.)
11/6 vs. Iowa (Then, the Wildcats will face both the tough Hawkeyes...)
11/13 @ Wisconsin (...and the tough Badgers in quick succession...)
11/20 vs. Purdue [in Chicago] (...before they finish against Purdue on neutral ground.)

Bottom line: Pat Fitzgerald continues to do wonders here in Evanston, Illinois, and he and his team are hoping to stay in the Big 10 race in 2021. They'll have to overcome a LOT of personnel losses to do it, however, so good luck.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Penn State

Preview segment: The Penn State Nittany Lions

Last season: This one is a BIG :noidea: . I mean, Penn State started out 0-5 for the first time in forever, and then finish with their first losing season since 2004. But then they win their last 4 games to END the season, so...

Good news: The defense should get a boost this year, as Penn State might just have the best secondary in school history right now. 9 starters return on offense, including super WR Jahan Dotson and their QB Sean Clifford.

Bad news: The depth at QB is not great, so Clifford really needs to be more consistent and not turn the ball over as much as he did last year. In fact, the turnover margin for Penn State last year was s--t, and that needs to change. The O-line also could do better in protecting him.

Key games:
9/4 @ Wisconsin (See my Wisconsin preview.)
9/18 vs. Auburn (The Tigers have circled this game on their calendar, and I'll bet Penn State did the same thing.)
10/2 vs. Indiana (Remember all of the craziness that came with Indiana's big win over the Nittany Lions last year? Well, that loss started Penn State's little losing streak in 2020?)
11/6 @ Maryland (A week after Penn State deals with the Buckeyes again, they must visit the Terrapins. And, I think Maryland actually DEFEATED Penn State the last time they met.)
11/13 vs. Michigan (Sitting 0-5 and at their darkest moment, the Nittany Lions won at Michigan to get themselves off the canvas.)

Bottom line: So, which Penn State team are we gonna get in 2021? The turnover-prone mess that started 0-5, or the hungry squad that finished with a 4-game winning streak? If QB Sean Clifford and the defense shows improvement, Penn State will be fine. If not, they'll have no chance in hell of catching up to the Buckeyes this season.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Maryland

Preview segment: The Maryland Terrapins

Last season: :noidea: ,they only played 5 games. At least Maryland found a star QB!

Good news: That star QB is Taulia Tagovailoa (yep, it's Tua's brother), who should have more fun this year with his cannon arm and a lot of talented WR's to throw to. The secondary has a few ace players and should be a strength.

Bad news: However, the rest of the defense doesn't have too many proven players. And the O-line HAS to get better, or Taulia won't get a chance to show off that arm of his.

Key games:
9/4 vs. West Virginia (Cool! We're gonna see these rivals face each other for the first time in 6 years.)
10/2 vs. Iowa (A perfect test for Maryland's defense and that O-line of theirs.)
10/23 @ Minnesota (See above game.)
11/20 vs. Michigan (Maryland has only beaten Michigan once all-time, but I think they have a chance to beat them this year.)

Bottom line: If Maryland was in a place like the ACC or the Big 12, they would be seen as a lock for a bowl berth. But in the crowded Big 10 East, will they be able to make a move upwards? The Terps have games against West Virginia, Iowa, and Ohio State early on, so we'll know quickly if Maryland can finally show results from their great recruiting classes.
 

WABLTY

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Minnesota's success will depend almost entirely on whether or not they have a functional defensive line. It could be MAC level, it could be solid. The secondary will be decent. Coney Durr has quietly been one of the best CBs in the B1G for the last 3 years. They'll find WR's eventually and put some hurt on people, but if they can't stop anyone it won't matter. If the DL is trash, they're 6-6 at best. If they've got a pass rush, they're going to make some fanbases pretty mad.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Iowa

Preview segment: The Iowa Hawkeyes

Last season: Actually pretty good. I mean, it started off a little rocky, but Iowa is now entering this season on a 6-game winning streak.

Good news: Most of Iowa's success last year came from their defense, and most of it is back for 2021. This includes a lethal secondary. On offense, RB Tyler Goodson and improving QB Spencer Petras is a good place to start.

Bad news: Iowa prides itself on great line play, but this year the lines could be the biggest worry. On offense, some new tackles are coming in. And on the defensive side, how much of a pass-rush will it be able to generate?

Key games:
9/4 vs. Indiana (A marquee game between Top 25 teams to start Big 10 play? I'm SO there! This should be a fine test for Iowa's defense to see how good it is right away.)
9/11 @ Iowa State (Then, Iowa will have a reunion with their old in-state rivals. And the Cyclones are LOADED this year. Happily for the Hawkeyes, they have the offense you need to drive Iowa State crazy.)
10/30 @ Wisconsin (This starts a crucial 3-week stretch for Iowa where they could win or lose the Big 10 West. First, they must visit a Wisconsin team that they feasted on last year.)
11/6 @ Northwestern (Last year, Northwestern clipped Iowa 21-20... and took that win all the way to the Big 10 title game.)
11/13 vs. Minnesota (And of course, you can never count P.J. Fleck and the Gophers. But, hey! Iowa hasn't lost at home to Minnesota since 1999!)

Bottom line: The offense has it's weapons, the defense has a stout secondary... but can all that help Iowa get to it's first Big 10 title game since 2015? If both the O-line and D-line keeps it together, I like Iowa's chances.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Indiana

The last preview segment for the Big 10: The Indiana Hoosiers

Last season: In 2017, people were laughing at Indiana coach Tom Allen when he created the LEO (Love Each Other) philosophy. In 2020, those people stopped laughing. Because that was the year when Indiana defeated teams like Penn State, Michigan, AND Wisconsin. In fact, their only Big 10 loss was against CFP finalist Ohio State. Now coach Allen has a new, big salary and a team thinking of even bigger things.

Bad news: The running game could be a worry; Stevie Scott is gone and the O-line could stand to do better. And of course, there is the "Cinderella Effect" to worry about: Opponents will now take Indiana seriously. That's scary when you realize Indiana will have one of the nation's toughest schedules this year.

Good news: But at least Indiana is now confident enough to think "Ah, we can weather the storm; we'll be fine!". The defense has 9 starters coming back, David Ellis headlines a strong WR group, and if Michael Penix Jr. stays healthy he'll be a lethal QB. And even if he doesn't, Jack Tuttle is a capable backup QB.

Key games:
9/4 @ Iowa (I think I mentioned this earlier, but Iowa's secondary is REALLY good. How will Michael Penix Jr. and the offense handle this hurdle?)
9/18 vs. Cincinnati (Indiana will be defending the shield of the Big 10 here; how bad would it look for the Hoosiers if Cincinnati beats them and then somehow makes the CFP this year?)
10/2 @ Penn State (It was controversial [and maybe Penn State got robbed], but Indiana was able to beat the Nittany Lions last year. What's it gonna be like when the Hoosiers go to Happy Valley [a place where they've never won at, by the way] to face an angry Penn State team?)
10/16 vs. Ohio State (Can't forget about this big encounter in the Big 10 East. Can Indiana shock the Buckeyes this time?)
11/27 @ Purdue (After a year away, the Hoosiers will meet their bitter in-state rivals once again.)

Bottom line: The Big 10 faithful are now wondering "Wait. Is Indiana a football school now?" Maybe, if the Hoosiers overcomes the odds once again; their schedule is HARD, but they got the confidence and the team to handle it. In 2021, we'll all find out if Indiana's happy run is legit and not just a one year wonder.
 

Dolgevillefootballfan

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Big 10 Predictions

I guess nobody here wants me to look at the Big 12. Oh well, more time for me to handle the SEC [and that thread will start shortly}! But first, here are my predictions in this conference for 2021:

Big 10 East:
1. Ohio State [Conference champs, maybe playoff]
2. Penn State
3. Indiana
4. Michigan
5. Maryland
6. Rutgers
7. Michigan State

Big 10 West:
1. Iowa {via tiebreaker} [Maybe "New Year's Six]
2. Wisconsin
3. Minnesota
4. Northwestern
5. Nebraska
6. Purdue
7. Illinois
 

PnkPanther

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Minnesota's success will depend almost entirely on whether or not they have a functional defensive line. It could be MAC level, it could be solid. The secondary will be decent. Coney Durr has quietly been one of the best CBs in the B1G for the last 3 years. They'll find WR's eventually and put some hurt on people, but if they can't stop anyone it won't matter. If the DL is trash, they're 6-6 at best. If they've got a pass rush, they're going to make some fanbases pretty mad.
yeah, I would agree.

I think the DT's they brought in as transfers will be a big help

I'd consider 6-6 disappointing, 7 or 8 about expectations with hopefully one of those being vs Ia or Wi, and anything over a huge bonus
 
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