Pre-Season Big Ten Picks

We're still a ways away from the season, but the Big Ten Bloggers have decided to put together our pre-season predictions for how the Big Ten will look when the 2008 season comes to an end. First, here are my picks:

1. PSU
Even with their off the field issues, they're primed for a banner year. They have the talent, they have the cupcake schedule, and if they can knock off Michigan at home and win on the road at OSU the week after, it's clear sailing. Just need to make sure to keep away from the injury bug.

2. OSU
Say what you will, but when everyone in the world is telling you how great you are and how easily you should return to the title game, watch out.

3. Michigan
Okay, sure...I had a little case of homeritis with my pick of Michigan at third. But, hey...I look at the rest of the league and I can honestly see it. If the spread can work for Illinois in 07, it can work for us in 08.

4. Wisconsin
Good things are happening in Madison, but this might be a less than stellar year. But 09 is looking better.

5. Iowa
Iowa will benefit from not playing OSU or Michigan this year. Plus they have Wisconsin and Penn State at home.

6. MSU
Little brother opens at Cal which will be a great game to watch. But I don't see them sustaining the momentum for the whole year. OSU, at Michigan and then back home for Wisconsin in three straight weeks will be brutal. And then they wrap up the season with a trip to Happy Valley.

7. Illinois
Lost some key players. Tougher conference schedule this year...although a cake-walk non-conf schedule. Just don't think they have it in them for another BCS-type year.

8. Indiana
I see Indiana knocking off a top-tier Big Ten foe sometime this season. But it won't be OSU or Michigan, as Indiana gets a pass on the Big Two this year.

9. Purdue
Goodbye Joe Tiller.

10. NW
Well, what else can I say? My hats off to LTP for putting this pre-season rankings together. Sorry your Wildcats didn't finish higher. But, take solace in knowing that I think any of the bottom 5 could finish in any order. I think it would be great for the league to see NW back in a bowl game soon.

11. Minnesota
1-11 last year. Will do better this year, could maybe finish as high as 7 or 8.

Now, let me say that this is a very different year for the Big Ten, it is almost a wide open race. I can honestly see maybe any of the top 6 making a good run at the title, and probably the top 2 in BCS games. But it is still way too early to make really educated picks. Maybe as we draw closer to September, we'll give this another whirl.

Now, here is the combined picks from the 25 or so members of the Big Ten Bloggers. This is a composite average. Thanks to Lake The Posts for putting this together and making it happen.

1. OSU
2. PSU
3. Wisconsin
4. Illinois
5. MSU
6. Michigan
7. Iowa
8. Purdue
9. NW
10. Indiana
11. Minnesota

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