Yes, it's early but spring practice is giving me football fever and I'm ready for all of the September kickoffs. It's fun to speculate how teams will perform throughout the upcoming season based on players returning and how they might all stack up come December. This is a season, in my opinion, the Big 10 conference is pretty much pre-defined. The top three are easy, but putting them in order is kind of tough. Ohio State, Iowa and Wisconsin should take charge this year and it's a toss up right now on which team wins the conference. I have a feeling there will be co-champions in 2010, and with the talent returning for each team, I wouldn't mind if all three tie for first. Can one of these three teams go undefeated this season? I'm doubting that right now, looking at the playmakers from 2009 who return for their respective squad. It's going to be an outright slugfest this season and I can hardly wait for it all to begin. Iowa returns eight starters on a defense that, well, dominated nearly every team they played last season. I expect the same this season, and they might do a better job of it. Wisconsin's offense will be downright sick in 2010. Opposing defenses better be ready for this group, as the running game will be an easy top five nationally and the passing game will be right behind it. Tolzein is a special QB who has a supporting cast, for the most part, that is very near NFL ready. Woody Hayes would absolutely love this offense. The Buckeyes should be nothing short of electric this season. I'm more confident than ever that Terrelle Pryor will be in a zone, running and passing his way to Buckeye victories throughout the season. His improvement in passing mechanic and footwork are noteworthy, and the chemistry is coming together quite nicely. The depth at RB is peerless, and the offensive line is experienced and stout led by the bruising blocker Justin Boren. The defense lost some key players who contributed greatly to one of the nation's best defenses in 2009, however the Buckeyes had perhaps the best depth on defense in college football last year. That depth is now ready to step up and reload those positions, and I honestly believe this defense will be better than last. Tressel brought in some great recruiting classes in 2008 and 2009 and those guys get their chance to make the Buckeye Nation proud, many in backup roles. So, without further delay here is my projected top five for the Big 10 in 2010.
t1. Wisconsin 7-1
t1. Ohio State 7-1
3. Iowa 6-2
t4. Penn State 5-3
t4. Purdue 5-3
Okay 6. Michigan 4-4
Penn State will be in somewhat of a rebuild mode in 2010, however this will be a competitve bunch who will get better as the season progresses. They might have to learn some hard lessons at Alabama but that game is perfect timing for this team. It will help them in the long run. Purdue is the sleeper, and will enjoy a 5-3 conference record. They were 4-4 last season. I hear they have a pretty good QB taking the helm in 2010, and he'll enjoy some key position returnees. The only question I have on Purdue is the defensive secondary. Michigan will make better strides, returning practically every starter and I think they'll be bowl eligible at the end of all the brawls. Everyone should know by now how I feel about Rodriguez, and as long as he is on the sidelines there, I don't see Michigan as a real contender for a Big 10 championship. He's out-coached, and his players are too undersized to survive a full Big 10 season. His offense is easy for opposing coaches to figure out, and that 3-3-5 defense...got to go. That's the reality I see there, and I hope some things change after this season. Oh, he's out-classed too. Now WVU is under NCAA investigation for something he did wrong there.
And now, here's the More. Looking at other BCS AQ conferences, here is my prediction for conference champions from each.
Big 12 - Nebraska
SEC - Alabama
PAC 10 - Washington
Big East - Pittsburgh
ACC - North Carolina
Another great college football season is on our horizon. Is it September yet?
Bullet's 2010 Big 10 Top Five Prediction and More
Posted on: April 13, 2010 8:12 pm