These are highly subject to change. Brady Hoke remarked at Media Day that UM was picked fifth in their division a year ago; and just outside the top 25 in the year they won their last national title- 1997.
So maybe these rankings don’t really mean all that much? Of course, that won’t stop you from reading them and commenting, right?
1. Michigan Wolverines
It all makes sense on paper, Matteson figured out the defense last year, Denard has learned to work within his limitations as a….oh wait, they just suspended two players, including their star tailback Fitzgerald Toussaint. Maybe it’s not all falling into place after all.
2. Wisconsin Badgers
The division is certainly set up perfectly for them to get to Indy. You couldn’t ask for an easier road. Yes, they lost a lot of talent, but they still have Montee Ball. And much more.
3. Michigan State Spartans
Will they get screwed again by the BCS? Probably. Will they get left out even though they deserve better? Possibly. It all depends on how much Andrew Maxwell fills in for Kirk Cousins.
4. Nebraska Cornhuskers
They certainly were not the “blackshirts” last year. And this year they have less talent on that side of the ball. Still, I think they’ve figured some Big Ten teams out now. And rumor has it Taylor Martinez has augmented those UGLY AS SIN throwing mechanics
5. Ohio State Buckeyes
It’s only a matter of time before the true dirt on Urban Meyer is exposed and all the ugly truth comes out. Anyone who gets as far as he has gotten is crooked, and if he doesn’t watch out, they’ll be hit with further sanctions soon.
6. Iowa Hawkeyes
Kirk Ferentz is now the dean of league coaches, with 14 years of service. His kid, the Center James Ferentz is pretty good. So is another James, Vandenberg, the dude he snaps to.
7. Purdue Boilermakers
This seems to be everyone’s dark horse, but I’m just not buying it. I think they’ll be better than last year, but I fail to see what makes them such a sleeper.
8. Northwestern Wildcats
The best this team can hope for is something similar to the ’08 Cats. A nine win team where everyone believed in their offense, but no one believed in their defense heading into the season. Sound familiar?
9. Penn State Nittany Lions
No one’s bailed yet, but trust me it’s coming. PSU has been kind of ordinary for years before the scandal broke, and remember how they played from the Nebraska game (when the scandal broke) on? Yeah it was pretty bad.
10. Illinois Fighting Illini
When other coaches were questioning the ethics of poaching players from Penn State, the Illini staff had 8 coaches in Happy Valley circling the carcasses. The fact that they’re so blatant about…hey, wait a minute this is all within the rules. But it does say something about the weakness of the roster. Then again I’d do the same in Tim Beckman’s shoes. The guy came in late and didn’t have a real chance to recruit.
11. Minnesota Golden Gophers
Their QB is also the team’s best WR. See Minnesota, this is why you can’t have nice things. You need to build a team around your leading passer and rusher.
12. Indiana Hoosiers
I don’t even know where to start in explaining this mess
Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net, an official Google News site generating millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Chicago Tribune.com, Fox Sports, MSN, Walter Football and Yardbarker
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