2010 Big Ten Predictions
* Ohio State 10-2 7-1 Rose Bowl
Wisconsin 10-2 6-2 T2nd BCS At-Large Bid Fiesta Bowl
Iowa 9-3 6-2 T2nd Capital One Citrus Bowl
Michigan 9-3 5-3 T4th Outback Bowl
Penn State 9-3 5-3 T4th Gator Bowl
Michigan State 8-4 4-4 6<sup>th </sup>Insight Bowl
Indiana 6-6 2-6 T7th Texas Bowl
Northwestern 6-6 2-6 T7th Little Caesars Bowl
Purdue 5-7 2-6 T7th
Illinois 5-7 2-6 T7th
Minnesota 5-7 2-6 T7th
The 2010 Big 10 season is going to be a very entertaining this season, with a lot of close games that eventually decide the Big 10 championship during the last week of the season. In the end it will be Ohio State capturing their sixth straight Big 10 Championship over Wisconsin, Iowa and Michigan. The Buckeyes road to another Big 10 championship will not be easy as they most overcome key games at home against Miami, Penn State and Michigan. Plus road games against Wisconsin and Iowa who both are preseason top 10 teams. So the road for OSU will not be easy and wouldn’t be surprised if Wisconsin, Iowa and yes, Michigan wins a share of the conference championship.
There are two teams that can cause some havoc this year in the Big 10. They are the Wolverines and the Spartans. Both teams are very talented on the offensive side of the ball but have a lot of question marks on the defensive side of the ball heading into the season. With a couple of key bounces of the ball in their favor both U of M and MSU could be competing for a share of the Big 10 championship as dark horses. The key will be how both teams respond to tough road games, injuries and the development of team chemistry throughout the season.
Don’t expect too much from Indiana, Northwestern, Purdue, Illinois and Minnesota. All five schools are rebuilding or continue to rebuild their football programs. However, all five teams will be threats on pulling an upset on any given Saturday. Of those five teams, I predict two will be accepting lower tier bowls and those two teams being Indiana and Northwestern. That will give the Big 10 a total of 8 bowl teams leading all FBS conferences.
My 2010 preseason Big 10 individual award predictions go to the following:
Big Ten Player of the Year - John Clay (RB) Wisconsin – 1600 plus yds rushing * 20 plus TD’s
Offensive Player of the Year – Terrelle Pryor (QB) Ohio State – 3200 plus total offensive yds
Defensive Player of the Year – Adrian Clayborn (DE) Iowa – 14 sacks and 25 tackle for losses
Linemen of the Year – Gabe Carimi (LT) Wisconsin – 0 sacks allowed * 98% grade on blocking
Secondary Player of the Year – Terry Hawthorne (CB) Illinois
Coach of the Year – Rich Rodriguez (Michigan) –January 1<sup>st</sup> Bowl Game after two losing seasons
Freshmen Player of the Year – Robert Bolden (QB) Penn State