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College Football 2011 Preview: Big 10 (Or 12)

03 Sep

Ahhh, yes. It’s August September, meaning that college football is right around the corner HERE!!!!! Need to know who to watch this season? Well, we got you covered! Myself, MichaelYoungHistory, and friend of the Thread Mark Rodriguez will break down the entire field by conference and tell you the players, teams, and dark horses to watch for this year. We’ll also let you know who is entirely overrated and won’t be making much noise come December. We’ll break down all of the conferences, so check back with us! You can check out our other posts on the ACCPac-12Big East/Independents, Big 12 and SEC, . And as always, leave us comments to voice your opinion. This will mark our final blog entry into this year’s college preview

The Big Ten

The Big Ten is the conference known for being all about 3 yards and a cloud of dust. Oh, and the fallout from this guy over the last 7 months……

So there’s multiple questions swirling over this conference from jump:

1) Will Nebraska come in and instantly take the conference crown in their first year of membership?

2) Will OSU survive the Tressel/Pryor fallout?

3) Will Russell Wilson walk off the street and lead Wisconsin to a BIG TEN conference title?

4) How will Brady Hoke fair in his first year in Michigan (this is more so a question for me here than anybody else)?

Juggernauts

Russell Wilson is going to be an instant difference maker for the Badgers.

Kirk Cousins comes back to a pretty loaded team, what will come of them?

Last year saw a three way tie at the top of the conference between Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Michigan State. I have Michigan State and Wisconsin still leading the charge for the conference. OSU will struggle in the first 5 games following the suspensions of running back, Boom Herron, and #1 wide receiver DeVier Posey. The one true test for the Buckeyes will be in week 6 when they take on new conference member, Nebraska. Nebraska will be coming off of a week 5 contest against Wisconsin. This Juggernaut position will depend on week 7 when these two square off again in a revenge game for the Badgers. MSU got up on Wisconsin early last year and never looked back. Michigan State had the unsure future of coach, Mark Dantonio when he suffered a heart attack after beating Notre Dame. He looks to be in good health and ready to make a push for sole ownership of the Big 10 championship trophy.

The (National) Dark Horse Though I don’t believe in any of the hype this program gets when Taylor Martinez is still very much the starter there, I wouldn’t be doing my job writing this if I didn’t at least mention the Huskers in this blog as a dark horse. I think they have a good chance of being special this season but they need things to fall their way AND need Martinez to not be terrible. There is also the over hyped nature that is Jared Crick. I personally think he was in large part aided by that Ndamukong Suh guy. Then there’s Alfonzo Dennard who is replacing Prince Amukamara. Most analysts believe that Dennard is actually a much better corner than Prince and he has to prove it this year with him being the primary corner now. The Huskers have a tough stretch within the month of October where 3 of their 4 games are against Wisconsin, Ohio State, and Michigan State. That month will ultimately determine the fate of the children of the corn. I don’t know the first thing about actual coaching, but I’m pretty sure you’re not supposed to do this….

Players to Watch

At the time of me posting this, you will have already seen the kind of player that Russell Wilson is. To add on to that list, you look at the tandem of Montee Ball and James White.

Michigan: Denard Robinson. Shoelace has burst on the scene the last two years but after he hits that sixth game on the schedule, he just hits this wall and never ever recovers. Will this year under Coach Hoke be different?

Ohio State: Yeah…about that.

Michigan State: They have a nice trifecta of QB Kirk Cousins, RB Edwin Baker, and WR BJ Cunningham.

Iowa: RB Marcus Coker replaces last year’s starter, Adam Robinson, who was dismissed from the team in the offseason. There’s also WR Marvin McNutt. It seems every year this guy is making a game winning touchdown catch.

Northwestern: Dan Persa is coming back from injury and most believe him to be the real deal. And the way Pat Fitzgerald is molding the offense up there, they could very easily cause a little trouble for some of these other teams.

Minnesota: Um….As much as I know about this conference and college football in general….I know not a single person on this team. Oh well.

Indiana/Purdue: How about we just stick to basketball, ok guys?

Key Games:

October 1st: Nebraska v Wisconsin: The first huge conference game of the season. This will determine the year for Taylor Martinez. If they come in and lay an egg, then it’s going to be a long year for the Huskers.

Iowa and some game….? Now, Kirk Farentz at least once a year has that one game that they shouldn’t win but come in and miraculously pull it off and I definitely believe that this year will hold true for them.

October 22nd: Michigan State v Wisconsin: This game lead to the three way tie in the Big 10, with Wisconsin favored again, can the Spartans repeat last year’s performance?

November 26th: Michigan v Ohio State: While they are in separate divisions, the rivalry will still remain at the end of the season between these two. With 2 new coaches at the helm and a lot of uncertainty on the horizon, this might be one of the more interesting games in the rivalry for the last 10 years (aside from the #1 and #2 matchup from 6 years ago).

The Black Sheep: 

I’m really not going to beat a dead nut anymore but this clearly belongs to THE Ohio State Buckeyes. If you’re gonna cheat guys, tattoos? Really? That’s what gets you busted than well damn…sucks to be you guys.

Seeing this form was literally one of the best moments for me at the '08-'09 Fiesta Bowl.

The Victor

I’m going with Bucky and the boys from Camp Randle. This team was a loss away from being truly great. Though it didn’t end well in the Rose Bowl vs, TCU, I do believe that Wisconsin is still a good team and will prove it this year as they win the first inaugural Big 10 Championship title and look towards BCS aspirations.

We all here at the Thread want to thank you guys for your support for everything we do here. I hope you guys have loved the college preview.

The Big Socrates, MichaelYoungHistory, & Markrod

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Posted by on September 3, 2011 in NCAA, Sports, Uncategorized

 

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