College Football is now just 30 days away. Below is my take on the Big Ten Legends Division and some play against situations for each team.
As always, for all my picks for the upcoming season, visit www.CopeMoney.com
- Michigan State 9-3 (6-2)
- Nebraska 8-4 (5-3)
- Northwestern 7-5 (4-4)
- Iowa 7-5 (4-4)
- Michigan 5-7 (2-6)
- Minnesota 4-8 (1-7)
Michigan State- Returns the majority of skill position players including three year starter at QB. Offensive line & Linebacker are the two question marks. If the O-line comes together nicely, Sparty has chance to win division & conference.
Play Against: @Nebraska- Not just because MSU has trouble winning big games on the road, but this comes after back-to-back home games vs. rival Michigan and Wisconsin.
Nebraska- Defense should be very solid and could very well steal a few games. I’m just not sold on the offense yet. We saw what effect bringing in a spread offense with heavy focus on the run did with Michigan once conference play play hit; not sure it’s going to have the same success like it did against the typically weak B12 defenses. Think Nebraska will be good, but schedule is really hard.
Play Against: @Wisconsin- Huskers should be 4-0 heading into this one. First B1G game, on the road, at night, not sure Nebraska stands a chance here. Hoping Badgers are 3-4 pt favorites as they should also be 4-0.
Northwestern- People tend to forget the Wildcats were really good last year before Persa (their entire offense) got hurt. If he is 100% this year, I like this team a lot. They were 7-3 before the Persa injury, and then went into the tank, losing three straight to end the year. They also gave up big leads to MSU & PSU last year and don’t have to play tOSU or Wisconsin.
Play Against: @Iowa- Cats are not the same team on the road as they are at home. Iowa, even though only 9 starters return, want payback for last year. Penn State also on deck where Northwestern blew a 21-0 lead last season, and might be caught looking ahead a bit.
Iowa- Hawkeyes should be under the radar with only 9 starters returning from last year’s team. Non-conf schedule could be tricky traveling to Iowa State and hosting Pitt in back-to-back weeks, but B10 schedule sets up nicely. There’s also no Ohio State or Wisconsin.
Play Against: @Purdue- Think the Boilers will be much better than anticipated. Game comes after @Minnesota (where Iowa lost last year), UM, MSU stretch and before Friday after Thanksgiving showdown with new rival Nebraska. Might be emotionally drained; hoping for 7+
Michigan- Hoke is a good coach and will probably turn around this program, but not this year. UM has a spread QB under center, no proven RBs, perhaps down to two good WRs, a defense that’s still a wreck and no kicker, not to mention changing schemes on both sides of the ball; think a less severe version of Rich Rod’s first season.
Play Against: vs. ND- Game of the Year lines posted at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas currently have ND pegged as a 3 point favorite. First night game at UM plus recent success against the Irish should help this line stay near a pick ‘em. UM faithful will load up on what Hoke has preached/delivered with recruiting, but the Irish just a better team on both sides of the ball in second year of Brian Kelly’s system.
Minnesota- This team isn’t very good, though I do like the Jerry Kill hire. Gray will be decent at home and in the non-conference, but otherwise, this team won’t be anything special.
Play Against: Hard to pick just one game I’ll be fading the Gophers, so let’s just say every conference road game and verse Miami, OH early in the year.