Sorry, I still can't bring myself to type the ultra-crappy names of the Big Ten divisions. I have to do that when I'm writing a formal publication, as I'm currrently spending a lot of time working on "Cornhusker Kickoff 2011" for Maple Street Press.
The analysts at Big Ten Network did a short segment predicting the winners of each of the newly formed (but horrendously named) Big Ten Divisions. Their predictions are after the jump while the link to the BTN segment is here (
because I apparently can't embed it) while the segment is below.
If you really think I ought to just give up and start using the new division names, by all means tell me. I'm not against listening to advice. Unless it comes from my spouse or my kids. Then it just goes in one ear and out the other. Really it does. I know that because that's what they tell me.
Our Division predictions as of today:
DiNardo: 1) Nebraska, 2) Michigan State, 3) Michigan
Griffith: 1) Nebraska, 2) Iowa, 3) Michigan State
"Other" Division predictions as of today:
DiNardo: 1) Wisconsin, 2) Ohio State, 3) Penn State
Griffith: 1) Ohio State, 2) Wisconsin, 3) Penn State
I've been ripping through opponent previews for my annual yearbook, and I've developed a pretty decent feel for the teams across the Big Ten (although, seriously, who has a handle on Michigan or Minnesota?). No one ever has a feel for Michigan State, though, and 2011 should be their down year if only because last year was up.
In our division - it's easy to pick Nebraska as the winner because we appear to have the most complete team, despite all the question marks on offense and by questions I mean - does Tim Beck really know what he's doing? - because the last guy didn't and since we're not guaranteed success, things may not work out as well as we'd like.
That's probably okay, because only Iowa and Michigan are close to having complete teams in our division, although - Northwestern isn't completely out of the question if Dan Persa fully recovers.
In that other division - I think it'll come down to whether or not Ohio State can figure out which end of the ball points in the proper direction once the season begins. Between suspensions and a coach who's living in a fantasy world where he can commit no real wrongdoing - who the hell knows what's going to happen with the Buckeyes.
And honestly - who cares? I mean, not about the Buckeyes, but about their football team. The only thing other fans will care about is who's suspended and whether or not there were more revelations about what Jim Tressel did or didn't know this week.
Wisconsin - they've got a great offensive line and two great running backs in James White and Montee Ball. If their quarterback can get anything going in the play-action passing game, they have to be in the conversation.
That's where it's at right now.