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2012 Preseason Big 10 Football Rankings

2012 Big 10 Football Preseason Rankings

If defense continues to rule the Big 10, expect the Michigan State Spartans to rule the roost!

Although it’s only July, we thought it was about time to start thinking a little bit about college football.  What better way to kick things off than to take a look ahead at the Big 10 Conference.  Traditional powerhouse football programs like Ohio State, Nebraska, Michigan, and Penn State make the Big Ten one of the toughest conferences in the country every year.  This year will be no different with 3 teams ranked in the top 10 to begin the year.  The question is who will win the Big 10 in 2012?

2012 Big 10 Football Rankings

1.  Michigan State Spartans

The Big 10 is always a defense first conference.  MSU should have the stingiest defense in the conference as they will be returning 9 starters from a squad the boasted the top overall defense.  There are some questions on offense but a solid running game should help new QB Andrew Maxwell settle in.

2.  Wisconsin Badgers

It never really seems to matter where people predict the Badgers to finish since they are always in the hunt for a Big 10 title when the season comes to an end.  Like MSU, there are some questions on offense but Heisman Trophy finalist Montee Ball is back to dominate the running game and the defense should be as good as ever.  The Badgers also have a rather favorable schedule as MSU and OSU will have to make the trip to Camp Randall Stadium.

3.  Michigan Wolverines

The Wolverines easily could be the #1 team this preseason with a potent offense led by Denard Robinson and Fitz Toussaint.  However, offensive juggernauts typically do not fare all that well in the Big 10.  Michigan’s schedule is also rather difficult with a date with Alabama in addition to conference games against Nebraska and Ohio State on the road.

4.  Ohio State Buckeyes

New head coach Urban Meyer has his work cut out for him rebuilding a team that finished 6-7 last year.  However, OSU has a lot of talent coming in with the #1 recruiting class in the Big 10 which includes two 5-star and thirteen 4-star prospects.  The new talent should help Coach Meyer install his new offense.

5.  Nebraska Cornhuskers

The Cornhuskers appear destined for Big 10 mediocrity this season.  While they have a sure and steady offense with Taylor Martinez and Rex Burkhead leading the way, there are still many questions on defense.  They also have a tough schedule that includes road games against Ohio State and Michigan State.

6.  Penn State Nittany Lions

Chalk this up as another lost season as PSU will be looking to get the Joe Paterno – Jerry Sandusky stink off the football program.  They still have a lot of talent on both sides of the ball but no one knows what the 2012 squad is going to look like outside of tailback Silas Redd.

7.  Purdue Boilermakers

Purdue could be one of the bigger surprises in the Big 10 this year.  They are fresh off a bowl victory in 2011 and will return most of their impact players.  This team will go as far as QB Rob Henry will take them.

8.  Northwestern

The Wildcats lost their QB – WR combo with Dan Persa and Jeremy Ebert leaving.  However, Kain Colter gained some valuable experience last year and showed his is more than capable of running the offense.  The big questions for Northwestern comes on defense.  If they can figure out a way to stop anybody this team could surprise some people.

9.  Iowa Hawkeyes

Most think the Hawkeyes are better than 9th in the big 10 but they lost a lot of talent from a mediocre 7-5 team.  Iowa #6 ranked recruiting class just won’t have enough impact players to truly contend in the Big 10.

10.  Illinois Fighting Illini

The Illini have a new head coach and there will certainly be some adjustment that will need to take place before U of I makes any impact in the Big 10.  They do have some talent on defense so don’t be surprised if they pull off an upset or two but consistency will certainly be a problem.

11.  Minnesota Golden Gophers

If the Gophers were in the Leaders Division they might have a shot if  quarterback MarQueis Gray can continue to develop.  However, they are in the Legends Division and it will not be a fun season for them.

12. Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers finished just 1-11 last year.  While we expect them to improve quite a bit over last season, it’s hard to imagine this team competing for much.  Hey, at least the Hoosier have only one direction to go…up!

If you are looking for tickets to any exciting Big 10 football action be sure to check out our Big 10 Football Classifieds!

2011 Preseason Big 10 Football Rankings

The 2011 Big 10 Football season promises to be one of the most exciting in recent memory.  The biggest reason for anticipation revolves around the addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the conference.  The former Big 12 football powerhouse should fit in nicely and will form some nice natural rivalries with Wisconsin, Penn State, and The Ohio State University.  This season the Big Ten will bump up to 12 teams.  The 12 teams will be broken into two divisions: The Legends & The Leaders.  The Legends Division will be comprised of Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Northwesterm.  The Leaders Division will feature Ohio State, Illinois, Indiana, Penn State, Purdue, and Wisconsin.

If that wasn’t enough of a change to build up excitement for the upcoming season, the fact that the race for the Big 10 Championship is probably more wide open that ever certainly will.  Perennial favorite, the Ohio State Buckeyes will likely fall back to the pack this year as they lost head coach Jim Tressel and star quarterback Terrelel Pryor to the “TattooGate” scandal.  The likely fall of the OSU program will open the door for several other strong teams such as the Wisconsin Badgers, Michigan State Spartans, Penn State Nittany Lions, Northwestern Wildcats, and of course, the new addition Nebraska Cornhuskers.  Although there are a lot of question marks and unknowns at this point in the season, below we rank the top Big 10 College Football Programs.

1.  Wisconsin Badgers

The Wisconsin Badgers have been one of the strongest programs in the nation but the perennial BCS title contender Ohio State Buckeyes have always been in the way.  Despite the fact that the Badgers lost quite a bit of top talent, they have plenty of depth, especially on offense,that should be able to step right in. This season should be an opportunity for the Badgers to take control of the control of an unusually weak conference with their strong running game and tough defence.

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Although there will likely be some bumps along the way for NU as they adjust to the Big 10, the Huskers defensive prowess should keep them in the mix for the Big 10 title.  If coach Pelini can make some defensive adjustments and Quarterback Taylor Martinez builds upon his success in 2010, the Huskers have a shot at the Big 10 title in their first year and a BCS Bowl game.  The only thing holding them back is a brutal schedule that includes a non-conference game against the Washington Huskies and Wyoming Cowboys, as well as tough road games against Penn State, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

3. The Ohio State Buckeyes

The Ohio State Buckeyes are still extremely deep and talented but its hard to imagine the pressure and scrutiny not getting to them.  New head coach Luke Fickell will have his hands full finding a replacement for Terrelle Pryor and continuing to deal with distracting allegations following TattooGate.    If coach Fickell can take what he learned from Jim Tressell he might be able to minimize the damage and have OSU ready to compete for a title- they certainly have the talent!

4.  Michigan State

The Michigan State Spartans are the Wildcards of the Big 10.  They have the talent and ability to be title contenders but they have plenty of question marks.  Namely, they need continued development and improvement out of Kirk Cousins.  They also need to address who will Eric Gordon and Greg Jones at Linebacker.

5.  Penn State

After a down 2010, the PSU Nittany Lions could take a big step forward.  The question is how big of a step are they able to take.  A lot will be riding on who wins the quarterback competition.

6.  Northwestern

The Northwestern Wildcats always seem to be the underdog in the Big 10.  If Dan Persa continues to build upon his impressive 2010 campaign and the defense improves, NU could shock the Big 10 world.

7. Iowa

After an impressive Insight Bowl win, the Hawkeyes look like they are on the up and up.  However, this isn’t the year for Kirk Ferentz’s squad to put it all together.

8.  Illinois

The Illini will have a lot of rebuilding to do on defense but they look to have found a quarterback in Nathan Scheelhaase.

9. Michigan

New head coach Brady Hoke will have his work cut out for him but if Denard Robinson and spread offense can put it all together the Wolverines could be a dangerous team.

10. Purdue

The Purdue Boilermakers are a sexy pick as a sleeper team in the Big 10 but they still have lots of question marks on defense.

11.  Minnesota

Another new head coach, Jerry Kill will have his work cut out for him.  He does have some talent to work with but it will likely be a few years before this program starts making some noise.

12.  Indiana

Kevin Wilson does have a plan but it will likely be a few years before the Hoosiers are anything but Big 10 bottom feeders.

No matter how these teams end up finishing out the season, there is not doubt 2011 will be an exciting year for Big Ten Football.  For all your college football needs be sure to check out our wide selection of College Football Tickets!