Big Names Still Reign in Big Ten
The BIg Ten will play its final season (thank God) with the Leaders and Legends divisons before adding Louisville and Maryland in 2014, changing to the East and West divisions.
This season, Michigan looks like the early front runner in the Legends while Ohio State is the big favorite to win the Leaders. (Quelle surprise!) However, it's not unanimous. But it is ominous and so boringly safe to predict.
Michigan must travel to Penn State in October and Michigan State in November but gets both Nebraska and Ohio State at home. Coach Brady Hoke is in his third season as the head coach of the Wolverines, and with Devin Gardner becoming a star at quarterback, Hoke believes he can put his team in position to contend for a national title.
Michigan State is coming off a 7-6 season but should be in contention this season with their in-state rivals. The Spartans do get Michigan at home but travel to Nebraska. The Cornhuskers won the division last season but were trounced in the Big Ten championship game 70-31 by Wisconsin. The Badgers were actually only 4-4 in the Big Ten last year, finishing third in the Leaders Division but played in the title game because Ohio State (8-0) and Penn State (6-2) were on probation. Penn State remains on probation for three more years but the Buckeyes could have played for the BCS championship last year if they weren't 'grounded' by the NCAA. This season, with Braxton Miller back at quarterback, Ohio State could go undefeated again.
Wisconsin took the Buckeyes to overtime last season at Camp Randall Stadium before losing, but this season, the Badgers must travel to the Horseshoe on 28 September. This early season showdown will go a long way to see if Ohio State is as good as everyone thinks.