By Taylor Sturm @TSturmRS on July 30, 2014
Of all the conferences in college football, the Big Ten has the most teams that could go undefeated in 2014. Not only are several of the top teams’ schedules fairly weak, but there is a clear gap between the top four or five teams and every other team in the conference. Here are five bold predictions for the Big Ten in 2014.
I hate James Franklin. He’s sleezy, he’s a liar and evidence points to him being clearly involved in the Vanderbilt rape case; but he’s a fantastic football coach and recruiter. I expect Penn State to go to a bowl game, possibly win eight games and keep it close against the top teams in the Big Ten.
Nebraska is expected to make it to a bowl game in 2014, but they only have about two games on their schedule that will not be a challenge. The Cornhuskers have no room for error, and I think they will lose several close games.
If Wisconsin defeats LSU in their opening game of the season, they should be heavy favorites for all 11 of their remaining games.
Love him or hate him, Urban Meyer is one of the most consistently winning coaches in college football in recent memory. He always has a team capable of winning, and he has a potential Heisman candidate on the roster in QB Braxton Miller. Their challengers in the East, Michigan State, are talented, but I don’t think they can win the away game against Oregon and the away game against Penn State at the end, giving OSU the Big Ten Championship berth.
Barring a major collapse, the outlook of the first ever NCAA D1 college football playoff should be one ACC team, Florida State, one PAC 12 team and then one remaining spot for either the Big Ten or Big 12. Unless a Big Ten team goes undefeated, it’s far more likely a Big 12 team will go. The Big Ten is overall very weak outside the top few teams, and most of these teams have weak non-conference schedules.
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