Predicting the Big Ten 2018 Season, Team-by-Team

jim delany big ten commissioner

Predicting the Big Ten 2018 Season, Team-by-Team

Football

Predicting the Big Ten 2018 Season, Team-by-Team

The Big Ten is one of the best conferences in college football from top-to-bottom.

However, as such, the teams tend to beat up on each other, which cost the conference a berth into the College Football Playoff a year ago. That won’t happen this next year, as the winner of the conference, in our prediction, has only one loss.

This is how WolverinesWire predicts — assuming that teams aren’t significantly derailed by injuries at key positions, as Maryland and Michigan were a year ago — the 2018 season to go for the Big Ten:

East Division

Indiana

Wins: FIU, Virginia, Ball State, Rutgers, Minnesota, Maryland

Losses: MSU, OSU, Iowa, PSU, Michigan, Purdue

Indiana continues to improve, but the record doesn’t show much. With a defense that continues to emerge, Tom Allen gets the Hoosiers to a bowl game.

Record: 6-6

Maryland

Wins: BGSU, Temple, Minnesota, Rutgers, Illinois

Losses: Texas, Michigan, Iowa, MSU, Indiana, OSU, PSU

This record would be much different if it wasn’t for everything swirling in College Park. Uncertainty at the head coach position plays the same difference as injuries did a year ago.

Record: 5-7

Michigan

Wins: ND, WMU, SMU, Nebraska, Northwestern, Maryland, MSU, PSU, Rutgers, Indiana, OSU

Losses: Wisconsin

Michigan avenges all three of its rivals, but succumbs to Wisconsin in advance of the Michigan State game. Carried by the defense and a surprisingly efficient offense, there are shades of 2016, but there are still growing pains along the way.

Record: 11-1

Michigan State

Wins: Utah State, Arizona State, Indiana, CMU, Northwestern, Purdue, Maryland, Nebraska, Rutgers

Losses: PSU, Michigan, OSU

Michigan State is probably better than its record, but going to Penn State, the Nittany Lions get revenge. Ohio State plays the Spartans similarly to 2017, and they lose a heartbreaker to a focused Michigan team.

Record: 9-3

Ohio State

Wins: Oregon State, Rutgers, Tulane, PSU, Indiana, Minnesota, Purdue, Nebraska, MSU, Maryland

Losses: TCU, Michigan

The controversy surrounding the Buckeyes nails them early, as they go on the road and lose at TCU. But Ohio State flexes its muscle and rolls the rest of the way until the season finale, when Michigan avenges the 2016 game due to having the personnel to go along with a solidly coached game.

Record: 10-2

Penn State

Wins: App State, Pitt, Kent State, Illinois, MSU, Indiana, Iowa, Rutgers, Maryland

Losses: OSU, Michigan, Wisconsin

The losses of Saquon Barkley, Mike Gesicki and offensive coordinator Joe Moorhead hurt Penn State, but the Nittany Lions still manage to avenge Michigan State at home. However, they’re clearly a step behind Ohio State, Michigan and Wisconsin.

Record: 9-3

Rutgers

Wins: Texas State, Kansas, Buffalo, Illinois, Maryland

Losses: OSU, Indiana, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, PSU, MSU

Chris Ash gets the Scarlet Knights yet another step closer to bowl eligibility but Rutgers still can’t beat anyone of worth on the schedule. Still, they’ll manage to get two wins in the conference.

Record: 5-7

NEXT: West Division predictions

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