The Big Ten Outlook

July 10, 2009

The top 3 biggest stadiums in college football are all home to Big 10 teams:

1. Beaver Stadium (Penn State): 107,282
2. Michigan Stadium: 106,201 (After 2009 renovations, will be biggest stadium)
3. The Horseshoe (Ohio State): 102,329
This is important because home field advantage is huge in college football. Good teams don’t lose at home.

The Big 10 has been hyped up because of their dominance in past decades. Recently, Ohio State’s two National Championship game defeats certainly did not help the league’s image. But this will change. If they go undefeated, the Big 10 Champion will likely go to the National Championship Game. The Big 10 has two strong teams in OSU and PSU and two or three other teams with a shot at that title. The dark horses to win would be Michigan State, Illinois or Iowa. These teams have the potential but they are missing key ingredients. Michigan State lost its workhorse in Ringer and doesn’t have an experienced QB. Illinois has a god of a recruiter in Ron Zook, but if that coach can’t win with Juice or Arrelious Benn, he isn’t going to win with anyone. Iowa lost its top running back to the NFL and Stanzi isn’t good enough to rely solely on his arm. To make matters worse, they have a schedule from hell. Iowa plays Arizona out of conference and has 3 brutal road games at Penn State, Michigan State and Ohio State. Playing on the road at all three stadiums is a tough task for any team to come out unscathed.

So this brings us to the true Big 10 battle. It comes down to Ohio State v Penn State.

Ohio State:
We will really learn about Ohio State after their second game. Playing USC at home is a revenge game and with a win, it will place them in the driver’s seat for the National Championship game. Aside from USC and possibly Penn State, OSU will be favored and will win all their other games. Ohio State does not have a difficult schedule as they only have 4 true road games. The road games at Indiana and Purdue will be like a practice and unless Michigan improves its offense, defense, special teams, and even the water boy, OSU will dominate the Wolverines. The toughest road opponent is Penn State. By Nov. 7th, Pryor will be well on his way into the season as a starter. Pryor’s throwing accuracy has been questioned all last season and this is the season to prove all the doubters wrong. This will be a challenge because OSU is very thin at WRs and will certainly miss the strength of Beanie Wells. OSU’s strong defensive line and a very experienced secondary will take OSU to the top. If this team can come together quickly, they will win the Big 10.

Everyone is screaming that PSU lost its trio of awesome receivers. The fact is they did; however, no one is talking about their replacements. All the receivers are over 6 foot, and though not as fast as D. Williams, they can still run and catch with the best of them. Bracket is 6-6, Moye 6-5, Powell, 6-1, AJ Price 6-4, and Zug is 6-2. Not to mention, their starting and back-up TEs are absolutely amazing. The running back tandem of Royster and Green will rack up monstrous numbers. Where PSU may fall is there lack of depth at secondary. The secondary got torched against USC last year and they all graduated or moved on. In some respects, that could be a good thing. There are a lot of new faces in the secondary, but with Penn State’s very easy schedule, there is plenty of time to develop. Again, PSU will be strong on both the O and D lines. Also, they don’t call PSU “Linebacker U” for nothing. They are very deep in that position and everyone aside from opponents is anticipating Lee’s return. Looking at PSU’s schedule and factoring their weakness at secondary, they should still go undefeated at least until Nov. 7 because, aside from Illinois, all the other teams PSU plays are weak at throwing which will give the Lions an advantage.

Big 10 Champs: PSU and OSU are co-champs (they will both somehow lose 1 conference game)*

*If you have the dying urge to make a bet and pick one, go with PSU, they have a much softer schedule and their skill players are better than OSUs. PSU will also beat OSU in Happy Valley.

Posted By: The Matador

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