Big 10 Divisions
The Big 10 announcing the new divisions broke news yesterday, ESPN has more here.
The divisions will be: Michigan, Nebraska, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern.
And: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Illinois, Purdue and Indiana.
At first I was not happy to see Wisconsin with Ohio State AND Penn State, the top two teams in the conference. To me it looked like the other division was much weaker but after thinking about it further I think the Badgers got a decent draw and here are my reasons.
- Michigan is weak now, but they will be back, in a big way eventually. Too much money and tradition to fail long-term.
- Nebraska is also surging back, it would not be shocking if in five years the best two teams from the conference were Nebraska and Michigan.
- Ohio State is the best team right now, for Wisconsin to make it to the BCS title game they would only have to beat them once during the regular season, which would be home every other year. If they were in separate divisions there would be a chance of having to play Ohio State twice in a year. I will take my chances with once a year, in Madison.
- I feel the trio of Illinois, Purdue and Indiana are much weaker than the bottom of the other division with Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern.
I think the Badgers got a manageable draw. Yes they have to play what are currently the best two teams every year but they will possibly get those games at home every other year. I feel the Big 10 actually did a very fair split and the conference should not be as lopsided as some of the other conference splits. The Big 12 South is always dominate and should have been split years ago. The SEC East dominated that conference up until this year.
College Football Predictions
Here are some predictions for the College Football season, which gets underway tonight:
- The Big 10 is too good this season to have an entrant in the BCS title game. The conference has too much depth to allow a team, like Ohio State, to run through undefeated.
- Alabama will not repeat. They may not even win the SEC West with LSU, Arkansas and Auburn coming on strong.
- Florida will not win the SEC East, Georgia is my darkhorse for the division, conference and possible entrant into the BCS title game.
- NotreDame will start the bounce back this season with 8 or more wins. Brian Kelly was a great hire. He has had head coaching success at several levels, he has a system that scores a ton and is proven. Charlie Weis was not proven, Ty Willingham had success in the Pac 10 before USC re-emerged from the abyss. Kelly will win BIG in time, he won at Cincinnati!
- Boise State nor TCU will or should get to a BCS title game. Last year Boise had the 114th toughest schedule, TCU had the 84th. Give me a break, this year Boise is projected to have the 89th, TCU 75th. I can live with 75th but once again Boise’s conference brings it down too far. Instead of BYU maybe Boise should think about being an independent.
- Oklahoma will win the Big 12 and be in the BCS Title game.
- Ohio State will win the Big 10.
- Georgia will win the SEC.
- USC will win the Pac 10, but not get to bowl.
- Miami will win the ACC
- The Big East is no better than the Mountain West, that is the only mention that conference deserves.
- Oklahoma will beat Georgia for the BCS National Title
Week 1 Picks
Utah -2.5 vs Pittsburgh – Pitt is over-rated and Utah is a tough trip.
USC -21 at Hawaii – I think USC pours it on every chance they get.
Notre Dame -11 vs Purdue – The Irish will spread it out and run it up. I really like Brian Kelly.
Connecticut +3 at Michigan – If Michigan loses this game Rich Rod will have a tough time getting through the season.
Oregon State +13 at TCU – I like the Rodgers brothers to lose but cover.
Virginia Tech +2.5 vs Boise State – The last time Boise opened the season east of the Mississippi against a BCS team Georgia throttled them. I do not see a blowout here but when the big boys are healthy AND care, Boise does not hold up.