(Athlon) B1G Standings Predictions

Oct 7, 2012
20
31
13
West:
1. Wisconsin
“The Badgers have won at least 10 games in four of Chryst’s five seasons, including three trips to New Year’s Six bowls. Considering the high-end talent he has to replace, those seem like lofty goals in 2020. Bit Wisconsin should still be a factor in the division race, and after a reload, could be building toward something special the following season.”
2. Minnesota
“Like at Western Michigan, Fleck had success without a target firmly planted on his team’s back. The 2019 team was picked by the conference’s media to finish sixth in the division; they were second on a tiebreaker to Wisconsin. Now we’ll see how his team performs under pressure to be one of the conference’s best.”
3. Iowa
“A lot will depend on what happens at quarterback, because you knew what to expect with the departed Stanley, who finished 3-0 in bowl games and 9-0 against Nebraska, Minnesota and Nebraska.”
4. Nebraska
“Six wins are probably a reasonable expectation for Frost’s third team, despite greater optimism going into a spring that ended after two March practices due to the coronavirus pandemic. If the Huskers are tio win enough to earn their first bowl bid since 2016, they’ll have to start strong, since they face a back-loaded conference schedule.”
5. Purdue
“Brohm is stockpiling talent, but it remains either young or coming off injury. Losing spring practice time obviously doesn’t help matters. If Diaco can get the defense to improve and key players can avoid season-ending injuries, Purdue could move up the Big Ten West standings this season and return to bowl eligibility after a one-year hiatus.”
6. Northwestern
“Northwestern needed a new voice on offense and likely a new quarterback, too. In Bajakian and Ramsey, it adds two proven pieces who could help restore bowl eligibility.”
7. Illinois
“With a favorable schedule, including three winnable home nonconference games to open up. The Illini are dreaming bigger. Smith welcomes back a veteran offense led by Peters and four returning regulars on the line. If the defense continues to take the ball away at a high right, Illinois will contend for another bowl bid.”

East:
1. Ohio State
“Even though this is a team with enough ability to contend and with several upperclassmen occupying key spots, a lot will have to fall into place for OSU to return to the College Football Playoff. With Day under the headset, Fields at the controls and the young blazers at the wideout positions, this offense could be electric again. Clearly, Fields will have every chance to confirm why he is a Heisman frontrunner. But are the losses on defense going to prove to be too much to overcome?”
2. Penn State
“If the Lions are going to take the next step, they will need to do better in the passing game -- on both sides of the ball. They will need to throw and catch more consistently after finishing eighth in the Big Ten in passing offense last year, and they will need to stop opponents from gouging their secondary, as happened in their loss to Minnesota and even a few wins.”
3. Michigan
“It’s clear that the Wolverines will be going through some changes on offense. In Year Two of Gattis’ offense, it’s crucial that the Wolverines settle on the right quarterback. While no clear favorite is apparent right now, both have the talent to take the position and make it their own. It’s up to the coaching staff to make the right call, as very little can be discerned from existing game film and spring practice was wiped out.”
4. Indiana
“This is the most athletic and talented Indiana team since the Bill Mallory era nearly 30 years ago. The Hoosiers have productive, experienced players at every position. They have finally improved their depth on defense, leaving only questions about their ability to withstand injuries on the offensive line.”
5. Michigan State
“With the task of installing a new defense and offense amid an uncertain quarterback situation, under a new head coach, the spring shutdown stalled Tucker’s transition plan and likely hurt Michigan State more than any team in the Big Ten.”
6. Maryland
“Maryland was last in the Big Ten in time of possession, and that won’t work until this defense gets better. There are some more bodies on D, particularly budding star Cross. The secondary is talented if they don’t have to cover all day like last year. There’s a lot on Jackson at QB in terms of possessing the ball and making better decisions. Locksley has more of the players he needs, but not enough. Yet.”
7. Rutgers
“While long-suffering Rutgers fans hope it won’t take Schiano long to rediscover the magic, the reality is this is a program that has finished last in the Big Ten East Division in all but one year since its most recent bowl appearance in 2014.”
 
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DudznSudz

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Feb 4, 2016
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Seems like they have to replace big time production every year... But somehow they always make it to Indy. Hard to pick against them at this point.
Agreed. They are the class of the west right now. Can I see Minnesota or Iowa doing it? Yeah. But right now, Wisconsin is a model of consistency.
 
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artguy68

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Nov 3, 2008
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Maryland, Indiana, and Purdue all are on the rise. The thing is, for them to rise, others must fall. #1 is clear, and #14 is clear. #2 to #12 are more clustered than normal. There will definitely be a lot of upsets this year.
 

Cornicator

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As much as it pains me to say it, I would probably pick Minnesota to win the West. It will be hard for Wisconsin to replace Jonathan Taylor and they’ll have a new quarterback.
Minnesota lost a lot more talent on defense than Wisconsin lost with Taylor. In fact, I think people picking Minnesota to be 2nd are mistaken. I think they lose 4 or 5 games in 2020.
 

Cornicator

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Maryland, Indiana, and Purdue all are on the rise. The thing is, for them to rise, others must fall. #1 is clear, and #14 is clear. #2 to #12 are more clustered than normal. There will definitely be a lot of upsets this year.
Maryland is NOT even close to being "on the rise."

Indiana has hit their ceiling, but it will be interesting to see them post Kalen DeBoer. He was an amazing offensive mind.

Purdue is adding some tremendous offensive weapons.
 
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Minnesota lost a lot more talent on defense than Wisconsin lost with Taylor. In fact, I think people picking Minnesota to be 2nd are mistaken. I think they lose 4 or 5 games in 2020.
it will be very hard for Minnesota to replicate their best season in the last 80 years. Plus, they had all the momentum in the world for that Wisky game and Wisky smashed them. Iowa also beat them.

gimme Wisky/Iowa at 1/2 and Minny 3.
 

Cornicator

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it will be very hard for Minnesota to replicate their best season in the last 80 years. Plus, they had all the momentum in the world for that Wisky game and Wisky smashed them. Iowa also beat them.

gimme Wisky/Iowa at 1/2 and Minny 3.
Iowa is rebuilding more in 2020 than they have at any time in the last 5 seasons. I actually think the seasons plays out this way:

1. Wisconsin
2. Nebraska
3. Iowa
4. Purdue
5. Minnesota
6. Illinois
7. Northwestern
 
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SWIowahawks

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I’m a big believer in Purdue this year. Minnesota has to replace a lot on defense and their OC. But they have an easier cross over...again. NW might surprise a bit but won’t compete for the West. They return a bunch of starters and add an actual Big Ten QB. They too replace an OC. It’s pretty dang wide open this year to be honest. I’d take Wisconsin if I had to bet though.
 

redwine65

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Jun 23, 2010
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I think our 0-line is supposed to be better, mills and the Kentucky guy is ready...we have a good left tackle....the key is Martinez can he get back to running and passing sharply?
 

Cornicator

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And I try to defend Husker Nation when others tell me our fan base is delusional...

Iowa will be much worse.
Purdue is completely overhauling a defense without the right inside LB or DB personnel needed for the 3-4.
Minnesota lost more defensive starts than any other team in the Power 5.
Northwestern has the least talented offensive skill talent in the Big Ten.
Ilinois is Illinois.
 
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leodisflowers

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I’m a big believer in Purdue this year. Minnesota has to replace a lot on defense and their OC. But they have an easier cross over...again. NW might surprise a bit but won’t compete for the West. They return a bunch of starters and add an actual Big Ten QB. They too replace an OC. It’s pretty dang wide open this year to be honest. I’d take Wisconsin if I had to bet though.
Not sure why you are high on Purdue. They have some nice weapons, but will get 40+ hung on them multiple times with Disco Diaco at the helm. They thought the last dude was bad? Look out Purdue. Also, their O-Line is medicore, QB is unproven, and the list goes on. Their folks nut over Brohm, but he has actually gotten worse each year. You are what your record says you are until you play the game. With that being said I'd say the west should look like:

Wisconsin

Iowa & Minnesota

Everyone else

Illinois
 

leodisflowers

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Iowa will be much worse.
Purdue is completely overhauling a defense without the right inside LB or DB personnel needed for the 3-4.
Minnesota lost more defensive starts than any other team in the Power 5.
Northwestern has the least talented offensive skill talent in the Big Ten.
Ilinois is Illinois.
This is all your opinion. You say Iowa is going to be worse, but they will probably be exactly the same as they always are 7-5 to 9-4. Frost has show he can win period. It's fun to look at rosters, but as I posted above its Wisconsin on top and then basically everyone else. Until we prove otherwise we are a 5-7 team. I don't care who we have recruited.
 

bigredhunter

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Minnesota lost a lot more talent on defense than Wisconsin lost with Taylor. In fact, I think people picking Minnesota to be 2nd are mistaken. I think they lose 4 or 5 games in 2020.
I'm questioning Minnesota too. Obviously they have improved but how much of their success was helped by their schedule? Only four of their FBS opponents had winning records and one of the four was Georgia Southern.

Has Minnesota really broken through or will last season prove to be the equivalent of Mark Mangino leading Kansas to an 11-1 season and winning the Orange Bowl.

Minnesota 2019 schedule and results:
Win, @South Dakota State, 28-21
SDSU Finished 8-5 in FCS/1-AA

Win, @ Fresno State , 38-35, 2 overtimes
Fresno St finished 4-8

Win, Georgia Southern, 35-32
GSU finished 7-6

Win, @ Purdue, 38-31
Purdue finished 4-8

Win, Illinois, 40-17
Illinois finished 6-7

Win, Nebraska 34-7
Nebraska finished 5-7

Win, @ Rutgers, 42-7
Rutgers finished 2-10

Win, Maryland, 52-10
Maryland finished 3-9

Win, Penn State, 31-26
Penn St finished 11-2

Loss, @ Iowa, 19-23
Iowa finished 10-3

Win, @ Northwestern, 38-23
Northwestern finished 3-9

Loss, Wisconsin, 17-38
Wisconsin finished 10-4

Win, Outback Bowl, Auburn 31-24
Auburn finished 9-4
 
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B1G RED RULES

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Iowa will be much worse.
Purdue is completely overhauling a defense without the right inside LB or DB personnel needed for the 3-4.
Minnesota lost more defensive starts than any other team in the Power 5.
Northwestern has the least talented offensive skill talent in the Big Ten.
Ilinois is Illinois.
The sad truth is – Nebraska is Nebraska to everybody without Nebraska goggles right now...which is not a lot better than Illinois being Illinois.
 
Oct 7, 2012
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Iowa will be much worse.
Purdue is completely overhauling a defense without the right inside LB or DB personnel needed for the 3-4.
Minnesota lost more defensive starts than any other team in the Power 5.
Northwestern has the least talented offensive skill talent in the Big Ten.
Ilinois is Illinois.
I agree with you on Minnesota... Their D takes a huge step back but I think they'll still win some shootouts. Their schedule sets up nicely though so I think they still win 8.

I have no basis for this but it feels like a year that NW bounces back and surprises people. Besides 1 (Wisconsin) & 7 (Illinois), it's pretty interchangeable.
 

BoilerN

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Iowa will be much worse.
Purdue is completely overhauling a defense without the right inside LB or DB personnel needed for the 3-4.
Minnesota lost more defensive starts than any other team in the Power 5.
Northwestern has the least talented offensive skill talent in the Big Ten.
Ilinois is Illinois.
It will be interesting for Purdue. DL should be a top 4 DL in the big ten. LB has a juco guy coming in to play the DE/LB position. Then there are some young guys. They have a freshman Saftey that is moving to the DB/LB position for his sophmore year. 6'3 215. Last year, they moved their MLB to DE. He is going back to MLB. LB is definitely the weakness. DB's are completely rebuilt from last year. 1-2 starters returning and he might not start. Juco CB. Sophmore CB's returning/transferring from Iowa. Grad transfer Saftey. The other Saftey started as a true freshman and the 4 star Saftey is coming off a redshirt. It will be interesting for sure. Diaco has been pretty good in points per game allowed and has the pieces to run a 3-4 and 4-3 at Purdue. Purdue is just an incredibly young team. Was last year.

Overall, I have Purdue around 7-8 wins. I'm thinking Purdue, Iowa, and Nebraska are all around there. Minny drops. Illinois drops. Northwestern still trying to keep up.
 

phoenix4nu

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Purdue vs. Nebraska should be a shoot out. Nebraska's pass defense will get an early test as I expect a minimum of 50 passes from the Boilers.
If that’s the case, Chinander better find a way to put a decent pash rush on the quarterback.
 

husker2612

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As much as it pains me to say it, I would probably pick Minnesota to win the West. It will be hard for Wisconsin to replace Jonathan Taylor.
That is said after they lose every top RB. They are always able to replace them. That is because they have a system in place that pretty well allows any RB you plug into the backfield to be a top tier RB. I doubt this time will be any different.

Monte Ball 09-12
James White 10-13
Melvin Gordon 11-14
Corey Clement 13-16
Jonathan Taylor 17-19

This is what Nebraska has been lacking for decades. It is what we had that made us so successful for so long. A system that provided consistency. If you have a long standing system in place where everyone from top to bottom is on the same page you don't need to have 5 star players to have consistent success. You just plug the next guy in and don't miss a beat. That is what we have seen wisc do the last 10 years.
 
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phoenix4nu

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Athlon's Preseason All Big Ten has 11 Hawkeyes listed. Only Ohio State and Michigan have more.

Iowa's only question mark is at QB. A four star kid out of California that turned down a Nebraska offer to come to Iowa.
With all that talent, you should be a lock to win the West and challenge for a playoff spot. Anything less should be a big disappointment for you and other Hawkeye fans.
 

Cornicator

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Athlon's Preseason All Big Ten has 11 Hawkeyes listed. Only Ohio State and Michigan have more.

Iowa's only question mark is at QB. A four star kid out of California that turned down a Nebraska offer to come to Iowa.

1. Good thing Petras didn't choose Nebraska. He would've never played for the Huskers.

2. I think the Athlon list including Tyler Goodson as 2nd Team APB is hilarious. If you polled every Coach in the Big Ten and asked them if they would rather have Wandale Robinson or Tyler Goodson, Wandale would received 14 votes, including the Iowa Coaches.

3. Two Big Ten teams lost the most NFL talent on defense. One was Minnesota, the second was Iowa. I think the losses will hurt Minnesota harder because so many dudes were 3 and even 4 year starters. But no team lost more stars than Iowa. The Hawks lost the 2nd best pass rusher in the Big Ten (Espenesa), the best run support safety in the conference (Geno Stone), maybe the most underrated Cover Corner in all of College Football (Ojemudia), and the heart and soul of the defense IMO, Kristian Welch.

Chauncey Golston is going to miss those guys like crazy. Suddenly, teams will be able to turn their attention towards him and his production will be limited going forward.


I expect Iowa to have another solid team like always. But the nucleus of All-American caliber players from the last few years like Espensa, Anthony Nelson, Stone, Hooker, and Ojemudia is just not walking back thru that door.
 
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beatdahuskers

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Losses on defense happen every year and it doesn't make much difference. There are 18 former Iowa defensive players in the NFL and yet we produce a top ranked defense every year. Iowa fans rarely worry about our defense.

Iowa Scoring Defense, national rank, ppg
2019 #9 14ppg
2018 #11 17ppg
2017 #17 19ppg
2016 #13 18ppg
2015 #19 20ppg

We likely won't be as good on defense as last year but you can guarantee we'll have one of the best in the nation.
 
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SWIowahawks

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Not sure why you are high on Purdue. They have some nice weapons, but will get 40+ hung on them multiple times with Disco Diaco at the helm. They thought the last dude was bad? Look out Purdue. Also, their O-Line is medicore, QB is unproven, and the list goes on. Their folks nut over Brohm, but he has actually gotten worse each year. You are what your record says you are until you play the game. With that being said I'd say the west should look like:

Wisconsin

Iowa & Minnesota

Everyone else

Illinois
I don’t think they will be in the division race until the final week or anything but they have a favorable schedule and two of the best WRs in the country. At Michigan, Indiana, and Rutgers at home are the crossovers. I believe they were one of the youngest teams in the country last year.

Lorenzo Neal missed the entire season and will definitely help the DL be better defensively. I don’t think there is any question their stock is at the very least on the rise and should make a bowl game.
 
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