The Big Ten Conference has made two of the dumbest decisions this year. They chose to keep those dumb names for their divisions: Leaders and Legends. Also, they chose not to suspend Penn State football for a season. Nevertheless, here are the picks.
1. Wisconsin Badgers. Wisconsin once again went with the transfer route at QB with Danny O'Brien. Montee Ball and James White are the best RB duo in the country. The only way that Wisconsin doesn't make it to the Big Ten Championship Game is if the group that beat up Ball a few weeks ago makes good on the promise to beat up the other nine football players on their hit list. Fortunately, the football will be able to distract cheeseheads once again from realizing that they have the worst governor in US history.
2. Purdue Boilermakers. Surprise, surprise! The time for Purdue's football team is now. With plenty of their veterans back, the Boilermakers should avoid choking against teams with less talent like they did last season. Who sets up Purdue schedules? For the second year in a row, they have to play Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State in consecutive weeks.
3. Ohio State Buckeyes. I would have put Ohio State in first if the Buckeyes were not on probation. I don't care how good the team is on paper; they will lose the incentive to play hard during the middle of the season since they are ineligible for postseason play this season.
4. Illinois Fighting Illini. Can somebody please tell the players on the Fighting Illini football team that the season is twelve games instead of six? Last season, Illinois started off 6-0 and was looking as a possible threat to win the Big Ten, but they ended up losing the next six in a row before winning the Fight Hunger Bowl against UCLA. This season, they need to fight against playing crappy in the second half of the season. QB Nathan Scheelhaase needs to step up as a leader so that the team doesn't quit like it did last season.
5. Indiana Hoosiers. There's nowhere to go but up after last season. Hoosier fans know the routine; wait until basketball season.
6. Penn State Nittany Lions. It's ironic that Penn State is in the Leaders Division. The only thing that Penn State football is leading in would be in child molestations on campus. Since RB Silas Redd transferred to USC, that means that Penn State will not have any offense this season. The players that didn't transfer will regret that they didn't transfer after this season is over. When the best player on the team is the kicker, then you know that this season will not go well for the Nittany Lions.
Opposing fans, I need for you to come up with your most creative signs when Penn State comes to play in your town. Here are some suggestions. "Soap battles aren't cool." "The best don't molest." "Leave the kids alone." If you have a good sign idea, then leave it in the comments.
1. Michigan State Spartans. It doesn't matter if almost all of their playmakers on offense graduated. Have you seen what's left on their defense? Last season, they finished 6th in the nation in total defense. They could possibly end up first this season.
2. Michigan Wolverines. With Denard Robinson at QB, anything is possible for the Wolverines. The problem is that their season could be over before it even starts because they start off against Alabama.
3. Nebraska Cornhuskers. The adjustment to the Big Ten didn't go as planned for Nebraska as they realized how physical the conference is. This season, they will be better with T-Magic and Rex Burkhead returning. Last year's defense was an aberration; they should return to being a good defense once again. Not having Alfonzo Dennard on the team is a HUGE plus.
4. Iowa Hawkeyes. The Hawkeyes have settled nicely into mediocrity.
5. Northwestern Wildcats. It's rare to see that the team's leading rusher, passer, and receiver is the same person (QB Kain Colter). It also shows that he doesn't have that much help around him.
6. Minnesota Golden Gophers. The Golden Gophers are going in the right direction, but they are still in the rebuilding process. It doesn't help that everyone else in their division is so good as well.
Big Ten Championship Game Pick: Wisconsin