Welcome to the 2017 Big Ten Conference Football Preview. The Big Ten sent a team to the College Football Playoff last year but it hasn’t the league champion Penn State. The Ohio State Buckeyes went to the semi-finals and were blown out.
The Big Ten is loaded with individual talent this year. Do they have a team that could win the CFB Playoff this year?
2017 Big Ten Football Preview
BIG TEN EAST
Ohio State Buckeyes – J.T. Barrett is back at QB to anchor a Buckeye team that should control the trenches on both sides of the ball.
Penn State Nittany Lions – This team should have a chip on its shoulder as it won the Big Ten last year but was not invited to the College Football Playoff. With several starters back, they’ll look to make their case again for a spot in the final four.
Michigan Wolverines – The defense has big holes to fill. Can young players step up and contribute this season? If so, the Wolverines could contend. Otherwise, this season sets up for a big 2018.
Michigan State Spartans – The Spartans come off a dreadful 2016 that saw them lose nine of their last 10 games. Defense has many questions but look for the Spartans to find a way to get to a bowl game.
Maryland Terrapins – The Terps have to score more points and make plays on defense. Easier said than done. They should contend for a bowl spot.
Indiana Hoosiers – Tom Allen has taken over in Bloomington and inherits many returning starters. He’s got to get his Hoosiers to turn the ball over fewer times than last year. They ranked 104 in turnover margin.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights – All eyes will be on the offense. They averaged only 15.7 points a game and were shut out four times last year losing their last nine games.
BIG TEN WEST
Wisconsin Badgers – The Badgers are flying under the rader in the preseason. Everyone is talking about the teams in the East. With their entire O-line and QB returning combined with several starters on defense, this team could head to the Big Ten Championship undefeated.
Northwestern Wildcats – The defense is full of playmakers. The offense needs to help the D out and score more points.
Minnesota Golden Gophers – P.J. Fleck is the new head coach coming from Western Michigan. The defense has holes to fill but will need to make plays to keep them in games. Can the offense find a passing game that can get them back in games if they fall down two scores?
Nebraska Cornhuskers – Can Mike Riley get the passing game going this year? The offense line is back and should provide a pocket for Tanner Lee. Will Bob Diaco get the defense back on track right away?
Iowa Hawkeyes – It’s never good when you head in to the fall with questions at QB but that’s what Kirk Ferentz’s team has for 2017. Look for the defense to be good and the Hawkeyes to be in a lot of low scoring games.
Purdue Boilermakers – Jeff Brohm is now head Boilermaker and hopes to open up the offense. He’s got a lot to improve as they were 101 in scoring offense last year and 117th in scoring defense.
Illinois Fighting Illini – The offense averaged less than 20 points per game last year and it’s hard to see it improving much this season. The defense lost its top pass rushers from last year so Lovie Smith has a lot of work to do this season.
2017 Big Ten Football Predictions
|BIG TEN EAST||W||L||CONF W||CONF L|
|Ohio State Buckeyes||12||0||9||0|
|Penn State Nittany Lions||11||1||8||1|
|Michigan State Spartans||6||6||4||5|
|Rutgers Scarlet Knights||3||9||1||8|
|BIG TEN WEST||W||L||CONF W||CONF L|
|Minnesota Golden Gophers||7||5||4||5|
|Illinois Fighting Illini||2||10||1||8|
2017 Big Ten Football Championship Game Prediction
Ohio State over Wisconsin
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