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Old 08-19-2005, 01:18 AM   #1
buckeyefan78
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Default 2005 Big Ten Preview...

1.Michigan ...7-1 (10-1)... The Wolverines easily have the best offensive and defensive lines in the conference, if not the nation, outside of Southern Cal. QB Chad Henne and RB Mike Hart are coming off of superb freshman seasons. The linebacking corps is solid. Look for Prescott Burgess to make some noise there. Superstar Steve Breaston and the very accurate leg of Garett Rivas should help Blue contend for a national title. A suspect secondary and the coaching of Lloyd Carr are the only things standing in the way of a trip to Pasadena.

2. Purdue ...6-2 (8-3)...The Boilermakers have a schedule to die for. No Ohio State and Michigan on the calendar plus home games against Notre Dame, Iowa, and Michigan State. EVERYONE returns for Joe Tiller on a defense that gave up only 17 points per game last season. Senior Ben Jones is healthy again and should rank as the conference's best kicker. Purdue has a solid receiving corps, quarterback, secondary, and defensive line. Tiller tends to lose close games and Purdue must travel to Arizona where trouble awaits them. Despite last year's reversal of the trend, history shows that when the Big Ten and Pac Ten meet, the road team almost always gets an "L."

3. Ohio State ...6-2 (8-3)...Once you get beyond the line of scrimmage on defense, no one in the country ( with PERHAPS the only exception being Southern Cal) has a better group of players than the Buckeyes. Their linebackers are the best in the nation and their secondary is amazing. A very strong receiving corps and solid coaching staff should also be noted in Columbus. A suspect running attack, the lack of stability at qb, and the average offensive and defensive lines at Ohio State will have to be overcome if the Buckeyes want to win the Big Ten. QB Troy Smith will not play in the opener against Miami (Oh) before the Buckeyes take on Texas in Columbus. A tough road game in Happy Valley and a trip to Ann Arbor will challenge the Buckeyes.

4. Iowa ...5-3 (8-3)...The Hawkeyes may have something to say about OSU having the best linebackers in the nation. Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge are pretty tough as well. Iowa has the best qb in the conference in Drew Tate and a solid running attack to go along with a very good secondary. Inexperienced lines ( Iowa returns only 10 starters total) will be the Hawkeyes weak area this season.

5. Michigan State ...5-3 (7-4)...Only 13 starters return for John L. Smith in East Lansing this season. Luckily, one of those starters is QB Drew Stanton. The MSU standout has struggled with injuries, as have many Spartans in the last two seasons. Stanton will need help from a suspect running attack as returning senior Jason Teague gets his feet wet. There are three key road games for MSU this season: Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Purdue. If the Spartans manage to win 2 of those games, they should be looking at a pretty decent bowl this year.

6. Penn State ...5-3 (7-4)...If Joe Paterno's squad had just a "solid" offense the past two years Penn State would have easily been a top 25 team. Nine starters return on an amazing defense that allowed a mere 15 points per game last season (good for 5th overall in the nation). A defensive line second only to Michigan, a secondary that could compete with Ohio State, and a solid linebacking corps will once again carry the load as the offense grows up. Young receivers and a very suspect offensive line will be the Lions weak areas this year. If QB Michael Robinson continues to improve and play as well as he has all spring and summer, the Lions could turn that night game with Ohio State in week 6 at home into a springboard for a memorable season.

7. Wisconsin ...5-3 (7-5)...I'm playing the Badgers conservative here. Despite this being Barry Alvarez's last season in Madison, one can't help but think that the Badgers are going to continue to stumble as they did late last season. Only NINE starters return from last year's team. Gone is Erasmus James, the Badgers heart and soul on defense. Simply put, Wisconsin is just mediocre in every unit in the Big Ten, aside from their backfield. RB Brian Calhoun and FB Matt Bernstein should put team focus on the run. A tough schedule awaits Alvarez: Bowling Green, AT North Carolina, AT Penn State (which could be Joe Paterno's last home game ever), and AT Hawaii.

8. Minnesota ...3-5 (6-5)...The Gophers will use their strong offensive line and running attack to get the job done this year, a common theme under Glen Mason. Minnesota's knock in the past has been their defense, so the unit got overhauled in the off-season. New defensive coordinator David Lockwood has been focusing on team speed this spring and summer, a major concern of past years. The schedule isn't kind to the Gophers this year with Ohio State and Purdue replacing Northwestern and Illinois in conference play. Minnesota must travel to Michigan, Penn State, and Iowa as well...OUCH.

9. Illinois ...1-7 (3-8)...Only 13 starters return for Ron Zook's first year with the program. He is 3 years away from even thinking about a bowl season. Although not as strong as last year, Cal will greet Illinois out west in September. Zook must also face Iowa, Ohio State, and Purdue on the road. Things WILL get ugly.

10. Northwestern ...1-7 (3-8)...Senior QB Brett Basanez, a solid offensive line, and the running back services of Terell Jordan should put some points on the board in Evanston this season. Randy Walker has done a helluva job with the only private institution in the Big Ten, but the problems for the Cats are too glaring to ignore. They simply can't stop...well...ANYONE. The schedule is BY FAR the hardest in the Big Ten. Might be one of the toughest in the nation if I went beyond the Midwest. Home contests with Northern Illinois (very strong), Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Iowa are due up this year. The Cats must win ALL FIVE of those games (no chance in hell) to have a shot at a bowl because they have only ONE winnable road game. Northwestern will travel to Arizona State (who they lost to IN EVANSTON LAST YEAR), Purdue, Michigan State, Ohio State, and Illinois ( the road game they may win).

11. Indiana ...0-8 (1-10)...Only 12 starters return for new head coach Terry Hoeppner who came over from Miami (Oh). Not only are the Hoosiers bad, they are by far the worst team in the conference in nearly every unit. I see one win against I-AA Nicholls State as the only bright spot this year. Hoeppner is energetic and may get Indiana to a bowl game, but don't expect much for the next SEVERAL years.

Last edited by buckeyefan78; 08-19-2005 at 01:28 AM.
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Old 08-20-2005, 03:24 PM   #2
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Nice write-up, but quite different than the one SC ran a couple weeks ago: https://www.sports-central.org/sport...iew_big_10.php

It had:

1) Iowa
2) Ohio State
3) Purdue
4) Michigan
5) Minnesota
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Old 08-22-2005, 12:26 AM   #3
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I'll be checking back with this thread Marc. I'm VERY sure that while my picks won't be perfect, they will be much closer than the ones in your link. I don't know of the writer's background, but it seems that people in the national media want to prop up Iowa (they LOVE Ferentz) and Purdue (they LOVE offense). I have Iowa beating Michigan for Blue's lone loss. The only reason is that Drew Tate is NFL material and Michigan's secondary is unproven. Carr tends to choke away a game that he should win every year. Having said that about Iowa, the fact they have hardly no experience and BELOW average lines is enough for me to keep them from winning the conference. I can't see Michigan losing more than 3 games (including bowl) with their roster. Even the worst coach in the world (i.e. John Cooper) only lost 1 or 2 games a year with NFL talent. And that is exactly what kind of people Carr has in Ann Arbor.
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Old 08-22-2005, 11:45 PM   #4
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Michigan at 4 is a crack load. IMO they have the best team in the country. Steve Breaston may be as explosive as Ted Ginn and Jason Avant is like a Sanantonio Holmes from Ohio State. Ohio State and Michigan are very similar, and good, at the wide out position this year.
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Old 08-23-2005, 10:09 AM   #5
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Michigan has the best team in the country? Maybe you forgot but there's a pretty good team out in LA who might have something to say about that.

Good predictions, buckeye. However, PSU is not going to lose to friggin' Cincinnati and then go 5-3 in the Big Ten. Other than Toledo, PSU has not lost a cupcake game like that in Happy Valley during the past five seasons. I just don't understand the logic behind that prediction since Cincinnati is entering a rebuilding season and PSU has a stout defense and it's in Happy Valley.

That Ohio State-Penn State game is going to be hell of a contest. Even over the past two seasons the games have been rather close affairs. Had Penn State not given up the defensive touchdown and special teams TD, last year's game would have been even closer. I'm going to be at the game and right now it's looking like it will be an atmosphere similar to the Nebraska game in 2002. Hopefully the outcome will be quite similar.

1. Michigan
2. Iowa
3. Purdue
3. Ohio State
5. Penn State
6. Michigan State
7. Minnesota
8. Wisconsin
9. Northwestern
10. Illinois
11. Indiana
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:21 AM   #6
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Default Re: 2005 Big Ten Preview...

Quote:
Originally posted by buckeyefan78


Their linebackers are the best in the nation
4. Iowa ...5-3 (8-3)...The Hawkeyes may have something to say about OSU having the best linebackers in the nation. Chad Greenway and Abdul Hodge are pretty tough as well.
1st line is on Ohio State.

"Not So fast My Freind!" That honor belongs to the wrecking crew at Florida State of Ernie Simms, A.J. Nicholson, and Buster Davis. Definitly excellent linebacers at Iowa and Ohio State though.
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:23 AM   #7
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You noticed that non-conference loss I slipped in there for PSU Alex? I looked at Cincy and South Florida (or whoever they play) and they are really depleted this year, more than I realized. I'm going to stick with the loss, esp. since it will be early, but if it doesn't happen I'll admit my mistake.

I do have PSU beating OSU, so that should make your day. I still don't agree with Iowa being so high guys. I'm telling you, hardly any starters return and their lines are very weak. Tate is awesome, but even he needs a few seconds to get the ball downfield. IF those young lines gel (they didn't til late for OSU and still not to the level I would hope for), Iowa could do some damage late, but I wouldn't bet on it.
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Old 08-24-2005, 12:31 PM   #8
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When I looked at the Buck's upcomming schedule this year, two games scared me a lot: the Michigan game in Ann Arbor and the PSU game in Happy Valley. I'm still quite confident we'll win the PSU game at least.
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Old 08-24-2005, 11:18 PM   #9
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78, I think Ginn may be the best athlete in the nation, way ahead of everyones' fav Reggie Bush (how is this guy a heisman frontrunner? he wasn't even the starting RB on his team last year?)
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