It's officially here. Well, okay, not officially...but it's close.
Sweet wonderful football.
With pro camps starting up and Michigan's fall camp set to start this week, it's safe to say football is back (sorry Canada, your football doesn't count). And now that B1G media days have come and gone, we (me and Erick) thought it would be a fun idea to put together some preseason award picks.
Let's get it on!
Brad: Ohio State
With the way 2014 ended, with Ohio State playing some incredibly good football and bring so much of that talent back for 2015, tough to pick anyone else. There will be lofty expectations for the Buckeyes and that can sometimes lead to hiccups, but I still think they run the table and return to the CFB playoff.
Erick: Ohio State
It's obvious. The Buckeyes are loaded with talent, it hurts to say it, but it's true. Zeke Elliot looks Heisman worthy, and whoever starts at QB between Jones and Barrett will flourish. Braxton Miller returning to the offensive as a receiver is going to make this offense dynamic and dangerous. And you can't forget about Joey Bosa on defense.
Had Bo Pelini stayed at Nebraska and/or Gary Andersen stayed at Wisconsin, I'd probably have picked either one of them to take the west. But they didn't, and that leaves a lot of unanswered questions for those two programs going into 2015. Minnesota has been riding a nice wave of success with Jerry Kill and I think that success continues. It won't be easy, but I like the Gophers chances as the west is vulnerable.
Erick: WisconsinThe west is weak, very weak. Wisconsin is the best pick despite Nebraska possibly being able to sneak out the division win. Wisconsin however is the safe pick here because despite losing some talent, they bring some back as well. Melvin Gordon will be tough to replace, but it's possible.
Brad: Ohio State QB
Of course this comes with a huge caveat...we don't know who Ohio State's QB is going to be. However, between Barrett and Jones, I don't think it matters...they're both that good. With that OL, those WR's and Elliot in the backfield...it's an easy pick.
Erick: Ezekiel ElloitElliot is the consensus top pick for all the B1G preseason picks. If he matches what he did last season, he will without a doubt take home a lot of hardware this season.
Brad: Joey Bosa
It doesn't matter that Bosa misses the opener against VT. He'll probably play in more games this year than a lot of his competitors. He can impact a game more than any defensive end I've seen in a long time (See: 2014 Penn State OT).
Erick: Joey BosaBosa will miss the first game of the season, but he is a man amongst boys on the field. Looking like the college version of JJ Watt, Bosa is an absolute beast. It kills me to give the Buckeyes so much love, but it's much deserved.
Coach of the Year
Brad: Jim Harbaugh
Urban seems like the easy pick here, but unless he wins back-to-back national titles like everyone expects him to, he won't take this award. I mean, he didn't even win it last year. The Big Ten media likes unlikely success stories, and that just feels like its Harbaugh's award to lose.
Erick: Jim HarbaughThis isn't a homer pick. It's simple, if Michigan wins 8 games or more, this award goes to Harbaugh. Michigan isn't expected to win 8, most are saying 6. So if/when Michigan earns that 8th win, chalk this award to Harbaugh.
Brad: DJ Durkin, UM
I was probably going to go with Erick's pick here (he submitted his answers before I did mine), so I'll go with Durkin instead for the same reasons below. Durkin is inheriting a pretty good defense and a good former coordinator to boot (Mattison).
Erick: Ed Warinner, OSUThe way this buckeye offense is going to excel, there's no coordinator that will come close. Durkin would number 2 on this list, and if his defense can shut down the Buckeye offense, then perhaps this should change hands.
Brad: Jabrill Peppers
The obvious pick, especially for us M bloggers. If he can keep healthy Michigan will find many ways to get him involved in both special teams and on offense. Already drawing comparisons to Woodson and he's barely played a meaningful down so far.
Erick: Jabrill PeppersTechnically considered a freshman still. Watch out for Peppers.
Brad: Jalin Marshall, OSU
He's was stud freshman WR on a team of stud WR's a year ago. He might have to fight for the limelight a bit now that Braxton has moved over to H-back, but with Devin Smith and Evan Spencer gone, he will get more attention on this high-powered Ohio State offense in 2015.
Erick: Jabrill PeppersPeppers missed most of last season, and he's ready to step up this year under Harbaugh. He's been said to possibly be playing 3 ways this year, and if he does, he WILL breakout.
This is tough. On one hand, I want to pick a team like Minnesota or Penn State...two teams that I feel have solid coaching and some good talent. But Michigan, coming off a dismal two year stretch but with exceptional talent and arguably the best coaching staff in college football are tough to argue with here. Most experts, even most of us lazy bloggers agreed that the talent was there but Hoke and company just weren't up to the task...well, that problem has been solved. It's not a question of if Michigan is back, it's how quickly.
Erick: MichiganMost are expecting a season in which the team makes a turn in the right direction, but that doesn't mean a big win season. The a Wolverines are capable of winning some games, but inexperience will be in the masses on the offense. I still think that this team could get on a roll, and starting off in Utah on a Thursday night might just get the young kids a chance at feeling the college atmosphere and calm them down in the future.
Coach on the Hot Seat
Brad: Tim Beckman, Illinois
Beckman only has 4 league wins in his 4 years in Champaign. Add to that some pretty serious hazing allegations by current and former players this off-season and it's actually quite surprising Beckman hasn't already been shown the door.
Erick: Darrel Hazell, PurdueWhen was the last time they were relevant?
Agree? Disagree? Let us know in the comments.