Thursday, August 30, 2018

Preseason has ended: Bring on the 2018 Big Ten Football

So, who do we like in the Big Ten pecking order, as we kickoff the 2018 College Football Season begins tonight?

All five returning starters are back for the 2018 UW Badgers,
who have won 3 out of 4 West divisions, since 2014 and the
kickoff of the College Football Playoff. Can they win the B1G?
  • #1 Wisconsin (13-1) - the loaded offense and 34-7 over the past 3 seasons under HC Paul Chryst makes the Badgers the team to beat in the West and a likely participant in Indianapolis in 2018 ....
Junior QB 14 Brian Lewerke leads the MSU Spartans and
the hope to pull the rope back into Indianapolis, after missing
last season. Behind UW, who have been to five Big Ten Title
games. The Spartans have been to three themselves.
  • #2 Michigan State (10-3) - HC Mark Dantonio returns 19 starters from last year and a favorable schedule, with key games coming to East Lansing in 2018 ....
Member of the Ohio State of Trustees resigned over the light
punishment given to Urban Meyer in light of the August news
unfolding in Columbus, leading to the suspension of Meyer
and athletic direction Gene Smith. Meyer loses 3 games in 2018.
  • #3 Ohio State (12-2) - the off the field issues surround HC Urban Meyer's program should likely knock the Buckeyes lower, but we shall see how the football plays out in 2018 ....
The Penn State Nittany Lions return senior QB Trace McSorley, but some top
play-makers have moved onto the NFL and new players will need to step up
at RB, WR and TE for the 2018 College Football season.
  • #4 Penn State (12-2) - the Nittany Lions are seeking to get back to the Big Ten title game, after falling short last year. New players will have to step up and HC James Franklin will have his third OC, since arriving in State College, in 2014.
Junior Ole Miss QB transfer 2 Shea Patterson will engineer the
4th season of Michigan football under HC Jim Harbaugh, as
the Wolverines travel to South Bend, to face Notre Dame.
  • #5 Michigan (8-5) - the Wolverines fell short last season and were the only Big Ten bowl team, out of eight bowl participants, to lose their bowl match up. The defense should be strong, but how will the offense step up in 2018 ....
Northwestern senior QB 18 Clayton Thorson is coming off knee
surgery and is questionable for the B1G season opener tonight.

  • #6 Winner of Northwestern (10-3) @ Purdue (7-6) - the Wildcats beat the Boilermakers 23-13 last season, it appears more and more likely junior QB T.J. Green will have to lead his team into West Lafayette for a program known for slow starts lately under HC Pat Fitzgerald ....

  • #7 Iowa (8-5) - the Hawkeyes are seeking to get back in the West division title position, after back to back seasons falling short against the Badgers and Wildcats. How much has Iowa's offense, defense and special teams improved this off season, as the Hawkeyes enter the 20th season under HC Kirk Ferentz?
The Boilermakers have two QBs coming off injuries. Tonight,
the QB jerseys stay off and the 2018 starter will make his debut
for the 2nd season of Purdue football under Jeff Brohm. Will
it be senior 11 David Blough or junior 2 Elijah Sindelar at QB?
  • #8 Loser of Northwestern (10-3) @ Purdue (7-6) - the Boilermakers only return four defensive starters from last season, so how fast can they get out of the blocks, after a strong first season under Jeff Brohm, know mostly for offense?
New HC Scott Frost returns to Nebraska in 2018. A place back
 in 1997, where he lead the Dr. Tom Osborne to the Cornhuskers last
co-national championship, shared with the Michigan Wolverines.
  • #9 Nebraska (4-8) - the Huskers will open the 2018 season, with a true freshman at QB, with an offense, with talent in the skill positions, but questions in the trenches and with zero Blackshirts to pass out Day 1 ....
The Indiana Hoosiers head to Florida to kickoff the 2018 College
Football season at Florida International (8-5).
  • #10 Indiana (5-7) - the Hoosiers enter the second straight season under HC Tom Allen, who continues to lead the IU defensive unit, as well.
Like Nebraska and Minnesota, Rutgers will ask a true freshman,
QB 8 Artur Sikowski, to lead the Scarlet Knights offense in 2018.
  • #11 Rutgers (4-8) - the Scarlet Knights enter the third season under HC Chris Ash, who will have his third offensive coordinator to lead the offense. How will Rutgers step up in the trenches, when they get into Big Ten play?
This was supposed to be D.J. Durkin's third season at the helm
of the Maryland Terrapins. But, following the release of a player's
autopsy, the media found underlying questions of abuse in the
Maryland football program. Durkin hasn't been fired, but members
of the strength and conditioning program are gone and plenty of ???  
  • #12 Maryland (4-8) - the Terrapins turn to first-year offensive coordinator Matt Canada to lead the program, as D.J. Dirkin remains on administrative leave. Injuries hampered the quarterback position last season, as five players took the position. Can this team weather the storm in 2018?
Year 0 is in the books, as HC P.J. Fleck and the Minnesota Golden
Gophers open 2018 against New Mexico State (0-1 in '18,
7-6 in '17) in TCF Bank Stadium tonight. Row the boat ....
  • #13 Minnesota (5-7) - the Golden Gophers will be the third B1G program turning to a true freshman quarterback to run their offense. The Gophers should be more physically ready to compete in 2018.

  • #14 Illinois (2-10) - the Fighting Irish enter 2018 coming off a ten game losing streak, as HC Lovie Smith brings in a new offensive coordinator and the spread offense, last played at Arizona and Michigan, as Rod Smith returns to B1G to serve under HC Lovie Smith.

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