Monday, May 04, 2009
Big Ten (12?) Up for Grabs in 2011
Ohio State has been the story of the offseason in college football because of their violations that have netted a suspension of five games, minimum, for coach Jim Tressel, quarterback Terrelle Pryor and a few others. The Buckeyes have won the Big Ten title for six straight years, either outright or shared, but now they’re in a hole and that means the league championship is up in the air. It should be a wild year in the Big Ten.
The Buckeyes shared last year’s title with Michigan State and Wisconsin, and both of these teams should be in the hunt once again. But those who bet on college football predictions at BetUs will also put Nebraska into the mix as the Cornhuskers finished first in the Big 12 North last year and narrowly lost to Oklahoma in the conference title game, which would have sent them to the Fiesta Bowl. Michigan and Penn State look to improve after lackluster seasons, especially the Wolverines, who have the most explosive player in the conference in quarterback Denard Robinson. Illinois, Purdue, Northwestern and Indiana are also in the hunt, but they’ll probably bring up the rear.
This means we could have another three-way tie atop the Big Ten, and Ohio State may not be any of them as they have to figure out how to overcome the loss of their coach and offensive leader, and we wouldn’t expect the Buckeyes to be challenging for the conference title. It’s not clear whether or not there will be a team who can compete for the national championship, but if you can manage to get through the Big Ten with a perfect record, you have an excellent chance of winning a spot in the BCS championship game, which the Buckeyes proved in 2006 and 2007, when they got romped by Florida and LSU in consecutive years. Nebraska moved out of the Big 12 in order to get a better shot to reach the title game, and with Ohio State likely on the downslide, the Cornhuskers may have the best chance in what will be a wide-open Big Ten.