Pictured: Joe Wieskamp (number 10)
Source: yahoo images

Preview: Maryland at Iowa

No. 19 Iowa looks to extend its winning streak to five games when it hosts 25th-ranked Maryland on Tuesday. Joe Wieskamp banked in a desperation 3-pointer as time expired to lift the Hawkeyes past Rutgers 71-69 on Saturday following Jordan Bohannon’s game-winning triple in the 80-79 victory against Northwestern on Feb. 10, and they hope to stay unbeaten in the month of February by avenging a 91-73 loss to the Terrapins last season.

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“It was a big shot, but we still got six Big Ten games left plus we want to play deep into the postseason,” Wieskamp told reporters. “It’s been a lot of fun out there and coach (Fran McCaffery) has a lot of confidence in me.” Maryland’s road woes against ranked teams continued as it dropped a 65-52 decision to Michigan on Saturday. The Terrapins fell to 0-19 in road games against Top 25 opponents under coach Mark Turgeon after being held to a season-low points total against the Wolverines. They hope to get back on track by knocking off a ranked team away from home for the first time since Jan. 19, 2008. “If I had the answer I would fix it,” Turgeon told reporters. “Hopefully we learn from it and do better on Tuesday.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT MARYLAND (19-7, 10-5 Big Ten): Aaron Wiggins was one of the lone bright spots on offense as the freshman guard led the Terrapins with 15 points to go along with six rebounds and three assists in the loss to Michigan. Bruno Fernando missed out on recording his eighth straight double-double as he finished with 12 points, which all came in the second half, and eight rebounds against the Wolverines. Anthony Cowan scored 10 points and pulled down five boards while Jalen Smith tallied eight points as Maryland was held to 36.4 percent shooting from the field.

ABOUT IOWA (20-5, 9-5): Bohannon knocked down three 3-pointers en route to a team-high 18 points and dished out five assists in the win against Rutgers to take sole possession of second place on the Hawkeyes’ all-time 3-pointers list. Isaiah Moss added 17 points and three steals while Tyler Cook produced 12 points, seven rebounds and four assists to help Iowa win for the ninth time in 11 games. Wieskamp finished with nine points, including the decisive desperation 3-point heave from the corner with two defenders draped all over him to silence a sellout crowd at the Rutgers Athletic Center.

TIP-INS

1. Iowa is 6-1 in games decided by five or fewer points.

2. Maryland has dropped 27 consecutive road games against ranked opponents.

3. The Terrapins lead the Big Ten in rebounding margin (+9.9).

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Pictured: Cassius Winston
Source: Abbie Parr / Getty Images North America

Preview: Michigan State at Wisconsin

It will be a battle to stay in contention for the Big Ten regular-season title Tuesday night when No. 12 Michigan State travels to face No. 23 Wisconsin. The Spartans, who broke a three-game losing streak with a 79-55 victory over Minnesota on Saturday, are a game behind first-place Michigan entering this contest while the Badgers, who fell to the No. 7 Wolverines 61-52 in their last outing, are two games behind and need a win to stay in the hunt.

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Junior guard Cassius Winston (team-high 18.6 points, league-best 7.4 assists, 44.5 percent 3-point shooting) is the spark plug for the high-powered Michigan State offense, which averages 81.9 points, best in the Big Ten. Forward Nick Ward (15.5 points) came alive in the win over Minnesota, scoring 22 points and grabbing nine rebounds, while guard Matt McQuaid had a season-high 18 points and a career-best eight assists in the contest. Wisconsin will pose a challenge for the Spartans, though, as the Badgers are second in the league in scoring defense (61 points) and field-goal percentage defense (39.5 percent), just behind Michigan State’s league-best 37.1 percent. Senior forward Ethan Happ is Mr. Everything for coach Greg Gard, averaging 18.3 points, 10.5 rebounds and 4.9 assists – all of which rank in the league’s top ten – as he attempts to become the first player in Big Ten history to average at least 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, ESPN2

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (19-5, 10-3 Big Ten): Coach Tom Izzo has been mixing his freshmen in at varying times this season, though he may be forced into using one a little more than he’d planned in the next few games. Against Minnesota, forward Kenny Goins went down early with an elbow injury, playing only seven minutes, and reserve forward Xavier Tillman was hampered by foul troubles, which opened the door for 6-8 freshman forward Thomas Kithier to play a career-high 18 minutes. Kithier responded to the extra playing time, scoring a career-high eight points, and with uncertainty about Goins’ availability in the next few games, it’s likely that Kithier will see even more court time.

ABOUT WISCONSIN (17-7, 9-4): Sophomore guard Brad Davison already has a history against Michigan State, going for a career-high 30 points in a home loss to the Spartans last February. But it could be his defense that makes a difference in this game, with his penchant for drawing charges and Michigan State desperate to keep Winston out of foul trouble and in the game. The Spartans – and Winston in particular – had a difficult time with the on-the-ball pressure applied by Illinois in last week’s Illini win, with Winston turning the ball over nine times, and that kind of pressure is just what Davison will look to apply to the Spartans’ leading scorer in an effort to get him off his game.

TIP-INS

1. Michigan State leads the nation in assists per game, averaging 20.2, and is coming off a game against Minnesota in which it handed out 27 assists on 31 made field goals for a season-best 87.1 assist percentage.

2. Badgers G D’Mitrik Trice – younger brother of former Spartan G Travis Trice – is fourth in the Big Ten in 3-point shooting at 44.9 percent, and Wisconsin as a team leads the conference, hitting 39.5 percent from beyond the arc.

3. Since the start of the 2001-02 season, Wisconsin is the only Big Ten team to own a .500 or better record against Michigan State, going 17-17 against the Spartans over that span.

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Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Image North America

Preview: Michigan at Indiana

Sixth-ranked Michigan looks to regain its scoring touch when it visits Indiana on Friday in a Big Ten game. The Wolverines are coming off their worst shooting performance since Nov. 23, 2016 as they finished 33.9 percent from the field, but managed to pull out a 59-57 victory against Minnesota on Tuesday after being held to a season-low points total in a 64-54 setback to Wisconsin on Saturday, and hope to get back on track by sweeping the season series with Indiana.

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Michigan, which beat Indiana 74-63 on Jan. 6, is still well placed for a run at the Big Ten regular season title following a program-record 17-0 start as the Wolverines sit one game behind No. 5 Michigan State, and hope to keep pace with the Spartans by pouring more misery on the Hoosiers. Indiana is coming apart at the seams following a 73-66 loss against Northwestern on Tuesday. The Hoosiers have dropped five consecutive games and are in danger of missing out on the NCAA Tournament for the third consecutive year, but a potential quadrant one win over a Top 10 team could provide the spark that ignites Indiana’s postseason push with the second half of conference play approaching. “I’m looking forward to playing Michigan in a good environment,” Indiana coach Archie Miller told reporters. “Some guys got to step up and knock a couple down … as we’re not shooting the ball well right now.”

TV: 6:30 p.m. ET, Fox Sports 1

ABOUT MICHIGAN (18-1, 7-1 Big Ten): Ignas Brazdeikis went 9-of-11 from the free throw line en route to a team-high 18 points and matched his career high with 11 rebounds in the win against Minnesota to post his second double-double after being held scoreless for the first time against Wisconsin. Jon Teske continues to be one of the most improved players in the conference as he added 15 points and five rebounds while Charles Matthews scored seven points, including the game-winning fadeaway as time expired. “I hoped I had gotten it off on time and thankfully I did,” Matthews told reporters. “I was happy we won because it was a survival game after we’d lost one.”

ABOUT INDIANA (12-7, 3-5): Juwan Morgan scored 18 points and pulled down 11 rebounds against Northwestern to register his seventh double-double of the season and the 16th of his career. Rob Phinisee added a career-high 13 points while fellow freshman Romeo Langford added 12 points and six rebounds against the Wildcats. Race Thompson has been cleared to play and could return Friday after sitting out the previous 17 games with a concussion while Devonte Green, who is averaging eight points and 3.2 assists this season, has been suspended indefinitely for “not meeting the standards expected of members of the program.”

TIP-INS

1. Michigan has won the last five meetings by an average margin of 14 points.

2. The Hoosiers are 10-of-55 from 3-point range over their last three games.

3. The Wolverines have held eight of their last nine opponents to fewer than 65 points.

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Photo: Zavier Simpson
Source: Ronald Martinez / Getty Image North America

The Wolverines try to build on a growing legacy with a trip to Wisconsin on Saturday.

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No. 2 Michigan’s 17-0 record ranks as its best ever start. It can set a new program record for longest winning streak in a season if they defeat the Badgers.

The Wolverines (6-0 Big Ten) got big games from two starters who normally don’t light up the scoreboard in an 80-60 win over Northwestern on Sunday.

Point guard Zavier Simpson poured in a career-best 24 points and added four assists and three steals without a turnover. Center Jon Teske matched his career high with 17 points and also contributed 11 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.

Simpson averages 8.6 points, fourth-best on the team, with Teske just behind him at 8.4 ppg.

“As we go down the road, we’re going to need that,” coach John Beilein said of their offensive contributions. I don’t want to compare it to any other team because we’ve had some great teams. I hate comparing great to great but I do say this team has the capacity, if we get that out of those two, I wouldn’t want to have to guard that.”

Michigan has three players averaging over 13 points a game, including freshman Ignas Brazdeikis (15.6), Charles Matthews (14.1) and Jordan Poole (13.4).

Beilein downplayed the historical significance of his team’s start.

“Probably everybody would like me to make some great statement about being 17-0. It’s just another game,” he said. “It’s another game and we’ve got another one coming up Saturday at Wisconsin.”

Michigan reached the national championship game last season, so it knows most programs are judged by its tournament success.

“You don’t win championships with 17 games, 17 wins,” Matthews told ESPN. “We’re just trying to be winning at the end of March, beginning of April.”

The Badgers (11-6, 3-3 Big Ten) will try to avoid losing their third straight. They have dropped four-point decisions to Purdue and Maryland in their last four games.

Wisconsin trailed by 18 at halftime to the Terrapins on Monday and its second-half rally came up just short.

“Every loss stings,” sophomore guard Brad Davison told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. “The start of the game is what stings. It is kind of a theme the past couple of games. Getting down early and then fighting and crawling and scrapping to get back – making it hard on ourselves.

“In the first half, our offense was very stagnant,” he added. “We had to take a lot of tough shots late in the shot clock that we didn’t have to do in the second half. We had a lot better ball movement.”

The Badgers made 11 3-pointers in second half.

“I thought the execution was as good as it has been in a while,” coach Greg Gard said. “I thought we really moved the ball. We shared it. We got it to the right people. Obviously, it helps when you make shots. But shots usually go in because of good execution. It’s not by accident. I thought we had a lot of guys that did some very good things.”

The Badgers are led by forward Ethan Happ (19.4 ppg, 10.4 rpg, 4.6 apg).

Michigan won at Wisconsin 83-72 last season.

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Preview: Maryland at Purdue

No. 24 Purdue looks to recover from back-to-back losses when it hosts 23rd-ranked Maryland on Thursday in Big Ten play. The Boilermakers dropped a 73-72 decision to No. 11 Florida State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge before they were routed 76-57 by fifth-ranked Michigan on Saturday to slide down the national polls and hope to avoid their fourth straight loss to a ranked opponent in the last three weeks by knocking off the Terrapins for the fifth consecutive time.

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“We have to go back to the drawing board and work on doing our jobs better,” Purdue guard Carsen Edwards told reporters. “Doing the small things on defense and the offensive end.” Maryland bounced back from its first loss of the season to fourth-ranked Virginia (76-71) with a 66-59 win against Penn State in its Big Ten opener on Saturday. The Terrapins’ dynamic frontcourt duo of Bruno Fernando and Jalen Smith, who are both projected to be NBA draft picks, combined for 28 points and 21 rebounds against the Nittany Lions, and hope to lead the Terrapins to their first win against Purdue since Feb. 6, 2016. “Our biggest thing that we wanted was to come out 1-0 as I think that does a lot for our momentum in the Big Ten,” Maryland guard Anthony Cowan Jr. told reporters. “It’s going to be a crazy game up at Purdue and we can just get ready for that now.”

TV: 7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT MARYLAND (7-1, 1-0 Big Ten): Smith continued his stellar start to his college career as he led the way with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds in the win over Penn State. Cowan scored 15 points and dished out four assists while Fernando added 12 points and 13 rebounds against the Nittany Lions to become the first Terrapins player to register three straight double-doubles since Jordan Williams in 2011. Aaron Wiggins continued to provide some timely production off the bench as he added nine points while fellow freshman Eric Ayala tallied eight points and four rebounds.

ABOUT PURDUE (5-3, 0-1): Edwards scored a team-high 19 points to go along with three assists against Michigan to finish in double figures for the 28th consecutive time. Ryan Cline drained three 3-pointers en route to 15 points against the Wolverines and is 27-of-53 (51 percent) from beyond the arc over his last six games. Aaron Wheeler provided a spark off the bench as he made all three of his shots from the field to finish with eight points and collected five rebounds in 17 minutes while Evan Boudreaux was held to three points on 1-of-8 shooting after averaging 13 points in his previous three games.

TIP-INS

1. Purdue is 32-4 at home in Big Ten play since 2014-15.

2. Cowan needs 25 points to reach 1,000 for his career.

3. Edwards leads the Big Ten in scoring at 24.4 points per game.

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Preview: Ohio State vs. Illinois

Any concerns that No. 17 Ohio State might struggle after losing freshman Luther Muhammed to a dislocated shoulder were eased with a Big Ten-opening victory over Minnesota on Sunday. The Buckeyes will try to win their second straight conference game when they travel to Chicago to face Illinois on Wednesday night.

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Muhammed was averaging the second-most minutes on the team at 27.9 per game and his absence forced Ohio State to change its rotations against Minnesota in its first game without him. The Buckeyes used nine new lineup combinations and went with three guards on the floor at the same time for only 5 1/2 minutes after playing with three guards together for more than 25 minutes in the first seven games. Ohio State responded with six players scoring in double figures against a team that entered the game on a roll. Illinois is certainly not on a roll, having dropped six of its last seven games, including Sunday’s 75-60 loss at Nebraska.

TV:
7 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT OHIO STATE (7-1): Junior Andre Wesson stepped up with Muhammad out and turned in arguably the best game as a Buckeye against Minnesota with a career-high 16 points. C.J. Jackson, Musa Jallow and Duane Washington Jr. were also significant contributors with 11, 11 and 10 points, respectively. Sophomore Kaleb Wesson, the team’s leading scorer and Andre’s younger brother, continued to produce with 15 points against the Gophers and fellow forward Kyle Young also reached double figures with 10 points and added a game-high eight rebounds.

ABOUT ILLINOIS (2-6): The Fighting Illini dug themselves into a big early hole at Nebraska and never could escape in their Big Ten opener. Freshman Giorgi Bezhanishvili (14 points), Kipper Nichols (12) and Ayo Dosunmu (10) combined for 36 of Illinois’ 60 points. Dosunmu (13.1 points per game) and Bezhanishvili (10.0) are two of the four players averaging in double figures for the season along with Trent Frazier (14.7) and Aaron Jordan (11.1) for the Illini, who are struggling with turnovers and putting opponents on the foul line.

TIP-INS

1. Ohio State coach Chris Holtmann said Muhammad’s status is “day-to-day, week-to-week,” and was noncommittal about him being back for the Illinois game.

2. Ohio State is preparing to face its third straight different style of defense (Syracuse zone, Minnesota conventional and Illinois ball pressure).

3. Illinois, which has four players from the Chicago area on its roster, has played 52 games in the United Center with a record of 37-15.

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Preview: Northwestern at Ohio State

Sixth-ranked Ohio State looks to strengthen its case for a College Football Playoff berth when it faces No. 21 Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship game on Saturday in Indianapolis. Ohio State eviscerated seventh-ranked Michigan 62-39 to capture the Big Ten East Division title and vault into contention for a postseason spot, but No. 4 Georgia and fifth-ranked Oklahoma are potential roadblocks in their path to the playoff as the Buckeyes aim to win their second consecutive conference championship game.

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“When you start using terms like national championship and playoffs, that’s very rare air,” Ohio State coach Urban Meyer told reporters. “That’s why we have a job to do … to go win the Big Ten championship and worry about that down the road.” Northwestern is making its first Big Ten Championship game appearance after ending Wisconsin’s dominance in the West division. The Wildcats have won seven straight conference games, including a 24-16 victory over Illinois to capture the Land of Lincoln Trophy last week, and hope to ride the momentum by knocking off the Buckeyes for the first time since 2004. “I’m fired up to take the purple down to Indy as every year our goal is to win the Big Ten West and we’ve gotten over that hump,” Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald told reporters. “We have an opportunity to take the team to the Rose Bowl and if that doesn’t motivate you then I don’t know what does.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Ohio State -14

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (8-4, 8-1 Big Ten): Clayton Thorson completed 12-of-18 passes for 110 yards and a pair of touchdowns while adding another on the ground as the Wildcats downed the Fighting Illini for the fourth consecutive time. Linebacker Paddy Fisher earned All-Big Ten First Team honors after making 92 tackles and forcing three fumbles, while defensive end Joe Gaziano was named to the second team following six sacks and 11 tackles for loss in 2018. Fitzgerald was named the Big Ten Coach of the Year after guiding the Wildcats to eight conference wins, which matched a single-season program record.

ABOUT OHIO STATE (11-1, 8-1 Big Ten): Dwayne Haskins continued his push for the Heisman Trophy as he threw for 396 yards and equaled a program record with six touchdown passes in the win against Michigan. Haskins was named the Big Ten Player of the Week for a record sixth time after his dominant display against the Wolverines, breaking the old mark of five set by former Heisman Trophy winner and former Ohio State quarterback Troy Smith in 2006. Defensive tackle Dre’mont Jones was selected to the Big Ten First Team after registering 7.5 sacks and 12 tackles for loss to go along with a pair of touchdowns while Chase Young earned second-team honors.

EXTRA POINTS

1. Ohio State has won six consecutive meetings with Northwestern.

2. Haskins set Big Ten single-season records with 4,081 passing yards and 42 touchdowns.

3. The Wildcats have won 15 of their last 16 Big Ten games dating back to last year.

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Posted in CFB, Top Fantasy Picks

Preview: Wisconsin at Iowa

No. 15 Iowa looks to keep its perfect record intact when it hosts 22nd-ranked Wisconsin in the Big Ten opener for both teams on Friday. The Hawkeyes, who were picked to finish ninth in the preseason Big Ten media poll, edged Pittsburgh 69-68 in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday to improve to 6-0 for the first time since 2013-14, and hope to continue their encouraging start by beating the Badgers for the third consecutive time.

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“We’ve done some things we didn’t think we’d be able to do and that’s the kind of team we have,” Iowa coach Fran McCaffery told reporters. “The only game that matters is the next one and that’s how we handle it.” Wisconsin is exceeding expectations after an impressive start to the new campaign. The Badgers, who saw their streak of NCAA Tournament appearances end at 19 in a row last season, have won six games, with their only blemish a 53-46 setback to fourth-ranked Virginia. They hope to build on their 79-75 victory against North Carolina State in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge on Tuesday by knocking off the Hawkeyes for the first time since Feb. 24, 2016. “We’ve been able to find different ways to win and that’s usually the sign of a good team,” Wisconsin coach Greg Gard told reporters. “They understand as they have grown through last year and what it took when you had to dig a little deeper.”

TV: 8 p.m. ET, Big Ten Network

ABOUT WISCONSIN (6-1): Ethan Happ scored 19 points and pulled down 11 rebounds in the win against North Carolina State to record his seventh double-double in as many games this season. Happ also blocked four shots against the Wolfpack to move into a third-place tie with Rashard Griffith (124) on the program’s all-time list. D’Mitrik Trice drilled four 3-pointers en route to 19 points as the Badgers went 11-of-21 from beyond the arc to finish over 50 percent for the third time this season, while Brad Davison was the third Badgers player to finish in double figures with 12 points.

ABOUT IOWA (6-0): Freshman Joe Wieskamp led the way with 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win against Pittsburgh to register the first double-double of his career. Nicholas Baer provided a spark off the bench as he scored 14 of his 16 points in the second half, including 11 straight Hawkeyes points during a three-minute stretch, as the Hawkeyes held off the Panthers despite shooting a season-low 36.5 percent from the floor. McCaffery confirmed that Cordell Pemsl, who has averaged 7.2 points and 4.7 rebounds in 67 career games, will be sidelined for the remainder of the campaign as he gets set to undergo knee surgery in December.

TIP-INS

1. Wieskamp is averaging 19 points and eight rebounds over his past two games.

2. Happ leads the nation in double-doubles.

3. Trice is 24-of-40 (60 percent) from 3-point range this season.

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Complete Big Ten preview for 2018.

The Big Ten heads into the 2018 college football season with five candidates to reach the playoff. After winning the conference championship last year, Ohio State is the favorite in the Big Ten to win the league title once again. However, rival Michigan and division foes Penn State and Michigan State aren’t far behind. In the West, Wisconsin is a clear favorite over Iowa, Northwestern and Purdue. The Badgers face a tougher schedule than they had in 2017, but coach Paul Chryst’s program has the returning talent to push Ohio State or any of the teams from the East in the Big Ten Championship.

Penn State

Saquon Barkley is someone else’s problem now, but opponents should still be wary of this offense, especially if Trace McSorley displays the kind of accuracy he showed while completing all 12 of his third-down passing attempts vs. Washington in the Fiesta Bowl. Penn State is going to get its points. But can a graduation-depleted defense stop opponents from getting theirs? That’s what will determine whether this team earns its third consecutive New Year’s Six bowl berth.

Ohio State

OSU ended last season with a win over That Team Up North and a defeat of USC in the Rose Bowl, but the 55–24 setback at Iowa still can’t be explained. Plus, the late-season momentum was offset by the loss of a multitude of key players, QB J.T. Barrett atop the list. The Buckeyes will march onward with a new quarterback, a roster loaded with hungry talent and a defense that still plans to come after people.

Michigan

This is a pivotal season for coach Jim Harbaugh, whose struggles against his three main rivals are well documented. His fourth Michigan team will once again be outstanding on defense. If the offense, a trouble spot in recent years, shows any improvement, this team can compete for a spot in the College Football Playoff — even against a difficult schedule that includes the usual suspects from the Big Ten East as well as Notre Dame (on the road) and Wisconsin (the top team from West). However, if the quarterback play remains an issue and the offensive line doesn’t progress, it will be more of the same in Ann Arbor.

Indiana

Head coach Tom Allen landed Indiana’s best recruiting class in years and has upgraded the program’s athleticism. But depending on freshmen to win against Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State is not a winning formula. With questions at quarterback, the offensive line and across the defense, the ceiling for this team could be six wins.

Maryland

Coach DJ Durkin’s endless enthusiasm was tested last year. Injuries crippled a promising team that upset Texas in the opener. The Terrapins got pounded by the Big Ten’s biggest bullies. Now there’s a second straight top-30 recruiting class in tow, five new coaches, a new state-of-the-art indoor practice/sports medicine facility in New Cole Field House, and a whole new offense with some healthy quarterbacks. Big Ten foes may not have to “Fear the Turtle” just yet, but they’ll have to start paying attention.

Michigan State

Michigan State bounced back from a 3–9 season to reach double-digit wins for the sixth time in eight years. With 19 returning starters from a team that went 10–3, the Spartans are a dangerous contender in one of the best divisions in college football and will continue to be a problem for Penn State and Michigan. A return to the College Football Playoff for the first time since 2015 is unlikely but not impossible. No one is expecting Michigan State to leapfrog Ohio State, but that’s the way coach Mark Dantonio likes it.

Rutgers

A bowl game is the hope for coach Chris Ash’s third season — a goal he is not shying away from. But if bowl eligibility does happen, it will likely be achieved early. Six of the first seven opponents Rutgers faces were a combined 20-52 last season, including three that lost 10 games or more. The closing five-game stretch of Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Penn State and Michigan State — a combined 52-14 last year — isn’t conducive to making bowl headway. In the end, it all comes down to offensive improvement and the play at quarterback for this team.

Wisconsin

The defense has been the star for the first three years of the Paul Chryst era, a stretch that includes 34 wins. Now, the Badgers might have to light up the scoreboard if they’re going to make a run at the Big Ten title. A light non-conference schedule should give the defense a chance to grow, but that group needs to be ready for a Big Ten slate that includes road games against five bowl teams from a year ago.

Iowa

There is a lot to like but also a lot to question about this Iowa team. QB Nate Stanley and TE Noah Fant both have star potential, the defensive ends might be the best in the Big Ten as a group and the kicking game is solid. On the other hand, the top two running backs have to be replaced, along with all three starting linebackers and an All-America cornerback.
One of Iowa’s biggest strengths might be its schedule, which doesn’t include games against Ohio State, Michigan or Michigan State – three of the Big 4 from the Big Ten East.

Nebraska

Nebraska has been largely absent from the national discussion since 2001, and the Cornhuskers haven’t won a conference championship since 1999. Without overstating things, coach Scott Frost and staff were miracle workers at UCF, taking a program from 0-12 the season before they arrived to 13-0, including a Peach Bowl victory against Auburn, last year, their second in Orlando.
Whether they can work such magic in two seasons again is uncertain. Nebraska had better than 4-8 talent a year ago, and much of it returns. New systems are in place all the way around, causing growing pains, and the schedule is daunting. But the Cornhuskers will be up-tempo, aggressive, physical — and competitive.

Minnesota

For the third time in four seasons, Minnesota figures to enter November still in search of an elusive sixth win — and bowl eligibility. A year ago, in coach P.J. Fleck’s first season at Minnesota, the Gophers lacked depth and talent and finished at 5-7, including 2-7 in the Big Ten. It marked the first time Minnesota had missed a bowl since 2011.
“The outside people are going to say, “What about your wins?”” Fleck said during the spring. “Again, I’m not worried about all that. I’m not worried one bit about any of the wins and losses. I’m worried about developing this football team.”
Fleck, who took Western Michigan from 1-11 to 8-5 in Year 2 in Kalamazoo, received a one-year rollover contract extension at Minnesota during last season and now has five years remaining to build the program in his image.

Northwestern

With 27 wins in the last three seasons and a new lakefront facility, Northwestern clearly has momentum. Keeping it likely depends on QB Clayton Thorson, who, if healthy, can take the Wildcats a long way. But his uncertain status and key losses at running back, safety and defensive tackle increase the degree of difficulty. Northwestern needs line play to excel and for its star power on defense to shine again. Although the schedule is tough, Northwestern misses both Ohio State and Penn State and gets almost all of its marquee opponents at home.

Illinois

Coach Lovie Smith’s teams are 5-19 overall and just 2-16 in the Big Ten, including an unprecedented 0-9 in 2017. He has a six-year deal, so the administration is giving him time. The fans want to see some progress and some excitement. The schedule is challenging, with an early game against South Florida in Chicago, visits from Penn State and Iowa and trips to Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northwestern.
During the past two decades, the third year has been a charm for Illinois coaches. Ron Turner, Ron Zook and Tim Beckman earned bowl bids in their third seasons. If offensive coordinator Rod Smith continues to have a golden touch with quarterbacks, like he did at Arizona, the offense will improve. Enough to bump the win total to six? Probably not.

Purdue

Last year was supposed to be a rebuilding year. Coach Jeff Brohm exceeded those expectations by leading Purdue to its first bowl win since 2011. Veteran defensive leaders keyed the turnaround last year. Now, with so many of those players gone, the pressure is on the offense. Purdue could take a step back in Year 2 before it takes two steps forward in Year 3.

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Posted in CFB

ACC Games of the Week

Saturday lives for College Football and FanPicks has your fantasy football fix. If you are a fan of the Big Ten conference, then you’re in luck because we got the Big Ten Games of the Weeks contest. Only Big Tens matchups are allowed. With 6 games in line, there will be no shortage of draft picks. Check out all of the Big Ten Saturday games preview below and join the action for cash prize!!!   >>>Click here to join the game<<<

Iowa Hawkeyes vs Northwestern Wildcats

Northwestern looks to build on its first Big Ten win when it hosts Iowa on Saturday (Noon ET on ESPN2) The Wildcats kicked off conference play with losses to No. 5 Wisconsin (33-24) and second-ranked Penn State (31-7) before rebounding with a 37-21 road victory against Maryland, and they hope to notch back-to-back wins for the first time this season by knocking off the Hawkeyes for the second time in as many years.

The Hawkeyes hope to have ironed out a few wrinkles on offense during their bye week after beginning Big Ten play 1-2 for the first time since 2013. Iowa is averaging 24.7 points per game in conference action, but achieved its highest total of the season in the 45-16 win over Illinois on October 7 and looks to climb back into the race for first place in the West Division.

ABOUT IOWA (4-2, 1-2 Big Ten)

Nate Stanley threw for 247 yards and three touchdowns while Wadley rushed for 115 yards and a touchdown in the win over the Illini to finish with over 100 yards for the 12th time in his career. Running back James Butler practiced for the first time since suffering an elbow injury in the win against North Texas on Sept. 16, but likely needs another week to recuperate. Senior linebacker Josey Jewell continues to lead the defense and has 70 tackles, including 7.5 for loss, 2.5 sacks and an interception in six games.

ABOUT NORTHWESTERN (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten)

Senior running back Justin Jackson racked up a season-high 171 yards and two touchdowns in the win against Maryland to break the Wildcats’ all-time rushing record previously held by Damien Anderson (4,485). Jackson needs 38 more yards to move past Anthony Davis (4,676) into eighth place on the Big Ten’s career rushing list. Charlie Kuhbander was named the Big Ten’s Special Teams Player of the Week after becoming the first freshman in Northwestern history to kick three field goals in a single game.

Purdue Boilermakers vs Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Two improving teams with bowl aspirations must put this one in the win column to reach their goal when Purdue visits Rutgers for Big Ten matchup on Saturday afternoon (Noon ET on Big Ten Network). Purdue attempts to even its league record after playing No. 5 Wisconsin tough in a 17-9 loss last week and starts a stretch of four straight games against teams at .500 or worse while the Scarlet Knights are coming off an important victory at Illinois.

The Boilermakers lean on a defense that has forced 15 turnovers, including nine fumble recoveries (tied for second in the country), and has allowed just 20 total points in two road games – none in the second half. Rutgers rushed for 274 yards and rolled to a 35-24 victory over the Illini to snap a 16-game Big Ten losing streak last week.

ABOUT PURDUE (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten)

Coach Jeff Brohm told reporters he will keep using two quarterbacks even though sophomore Elijah Sindelar (52.9 completion percentage) has gotten most of the snaps of late while junior David Blough (68.9) did not attempt a pass last week. Sophomore running back Tario Fuller (foot) is expected to miss his fourth straight game after rushing for 261 yards in the first three contests. Senior linebacker Ja’Whaun Bentley had 12 of his team-high 46 tackles against Wisconsin and sophomore linebacker Markus Bailey boasts 41 (career-high 10 solo tackles last week) to go along with three sacks.

ABOUT RUTGERS (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten)

Junior Giovanni Rescigno replaced senior Kyle Bolin (three TD passes, six interceptions) at quarterback last week and threw for 89 yards while running for 41, but suffered an apparent knee injury and is considered day-to-day. Senior Gus Edwards rushed for a season-high 91 yards with two scores and freshman Raheem Blackshear gained 87 yards on just six carries, including a touchdown, against Illinois. Whoever is under center will be looking for top targets senior wide receiver Janarion Grant (15 catches, 162 yards, one TD) and junior tight end Jerome Washington (16, 141, one).

Maryland Terrapins vs Wisconsin Badgers

Top 10 teams seem to fall every weekend, but No. 5 Wisconsin just keeps rolling along on its way to the Big Ten championship game. The Badgers will try to stay undefeated and knock off another conference opponent when they host Maryland on Saturday (Noon ET on FOX).

Wisconsin, which does not have to face fellow top-10 teams Ohio State or Penn State in the regular season and gets No. 19 Michigan at home on Nov. 18, overcame three turnovers and leaned on the defense while fighting off Purdue 17-9 last week. The Terrapins have allowed 99 combined points in back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Northwestern and are surrendering an average of 36.5 points – 115th out of 130 FBS teams.

ABOUT MARYLAND (3-3, 1-2 Big Ten)

Terrapins running back Ty Johnson rushed for at least 124 yards in three of the first four games but was limited to 57 yards on 12 carries at Ohio State and slumped to a season-low 20 yards on 10 carries against Northwestern. The offensive star for Maryland is junior wide receiver D.J. Moore, who caught 12 passes for 210 yards and a pair of scores against the Wildcats to bring his total on the season to seven TDs.

ABOUT WISCONSIN (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten)

The Maryland defense is surrendering an average of 174.3 yards on the ground and this week has to go up against Badgers freshman star Jonathan Taylor, who is on the verge of a 1,000-yard season. Taylor upped his total to 986 yards with 219 on 30 carries last week – his third 200-plus game of the season – and scored at least one touchdown in each of the first six contests.

Indiana Hoosiers vs Michigan State Spartans

No. 19 Michigan State returns home Saturday looking to build on a pair of big road wins when it faces an Indiana squad still looking for its first victory in Big Ten play (3:30 p.m. ET on ABC). The Spartans have won three straight, including triumphs at Michigan and Minnesota the last two weeks, while the Hoosiers are coming off a tough overtime loss to the Wolverines and face their fourth straight nationally ranked conference foe.

Michigan State’s running game got a big boost last week with the re-emergence of junior LJ Scott, who recorded career highs in carries (25) and rushing yards (194) after sitting out the previous game with an undisclosed injury. The Spartans also are powered by one of the top defenses in the country, ranking in the nation’s top 10 in total defense (fifth, 263.8 yards per game) and rushing defense (eighth, 93.3). Indiana’s offense has been solid, with redshirt freshman Peyton Ramsey (815 passing yards, seven touchdowns) set for his third career start under center. Coach Tom Allen has been pleased with the play of the team’s defense, which has held its last two opponents (Charleston Southern and Michigan) under 100 yards passing.

ABOUT INDIANA (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten)

The feeling around the Hoosiers these days is one of confidence – despite the overtime loss to Michigan – because of the presence of Ramsey in the lineup. Indiana was down 10 points with less than four minutes to play against the Wolverines’ vaunted defense, but Ramsey was able to lead them to overtime and nearly a victory, even with a knee brace he had to put on in the second quarter after being injured. While senior Richard Lagow provides experience, as he led Indiana to a win over Michigan State last season, many around the program believe Ramsey provides the intangibles that can guide a good team to greatness.

ABOUT MICHIGAN STATE (5-1, 3-0 Big Ten)

Even though Indiana has played very good pass defense the last two weeks, quarterback Brian Lewerke likely will be happy to see the Hoosiers because it will mean playing in some better weather. Lewerke hasn’t been able to get into a groove over the last two weeks, throwing for a total of 214 yards, and Michigan State has kept the ball on the ground because of rainy conditions in both Ann Arbor and Minneapolis. But Lewerke has a plethora of receivers from which to choose and is itching to throw the ball more, and the Spartans’ coaches likely will try to open it up to keep Indiana from stacking the line against the run.

Minnesota Golden Gophers vs Illinois Illini

Minnesota and Illinois boast two of the youngest rosters in FBS, but while the former has given its fan base reason for hope by playing its Big Ten rivals close so far, the latter has not. The Golden Gophers attempt to end a three-game losing streak and give first-year coach P.J. Fleck his first conference win Saturday when they host the Fighting Illini (3:30 p.m. ET on Big Ten Network) in a battle of the only two winless teams during West Division action.

Fleck led his charges through an undefeated run in non-conference action before losing late to Maryland in the conference opener and giving up two touchdowns in the final 1:17 en route to a 14-point setback at Purdue two weeks ago. Minnesota continued to show its resolve in last week’s 30-27 defeat at No. 19 Michigan State, as the Gophers scored two late touchdowns to threaten the Spartans after trailing by as many as 17 midway through the fourth quarter. The same has not been true for Illinois, which is coming off a 35-24 home loss to a Rutgers team that had dropped its previous 16 straight Big Ten contests. The Illini have dropped six straight conference tilts by an average of 26 points and are 2-10 in Big Ten play overall under second-year head coach Lovie Smith.

ABOUT ILLINOIS (2-4, 0-3 Big Ten)

Ricky Smalling continues to be one of the few bright spots for the worst scoring offense in the conference (18.8 points), as he leads the league in yards per catch (19.4) while becoming the sixth player in program history to have a 100-yard receiving game as a true freshman last week after posting 111 yards. Sophomore quarterback Jeff George, Jr. threw for a career-high 308 passing yards against Rutgers and has the offense averaging 420 yards in his first two starts, but he has thrown at least two interceptions in all three games in which he has played. Smith announced leading rusher Mike Epstein will likely miss the rest of the season with a foot injury after the true freshman did not suit up last weekend.

ABOUT MINNESOTA (3-3, 0-3 Big Ten)

Sophomore receiver Tyler Johnson almost singlehandedly brought the Gophers back versus the Spartans, doubling his season total for receiving touchdowns with three fourth-quarter scores, allowing him to finish with a career-high eight catches for 106 yards. Fleck pulled struggling senior quarterback Conor Rhoda in the middle of the second quarter and replaced him with sophomore Demry Croft, who connected with Johnson on all three TD throws – the first of his career – and compiled 194 total yards. Although the duo was held to 51 rushing yards on 17 carries against Michigan State, junior running backs Rodney Smith (73.7) and Shannon Brooks (64.4) comprise one of the most productive running back tandems in the conference, ranking eighth and 14th in the Big Ten, respectively.

Michigan Wolverines vs Penn State Nittany Lions

No. 2 Penn State begins the most difficult portion of its schedule Saturday night when it hosts a Michigan team looking to prove it belongs among the Big Ten elites (7:30 p.m. ET on ABC). The 15th-ranked Wolverines are enduring a sluggish stretch that includes a home loss to Michigan State and an overtime win against East Division doormat Indiana, and they hope to hang around against a dominant Nittany Lions crew that’s coming off a bye week.

Penn State is coming off back-to-back routs of Indiana and Northwestern, but faces a daunting three-week run that also includes visits to No. 6 Ohio State and No. 19 Michigan State. The Nittany Lions have won 14 straight regular-season games since a 49-10 loss at Ann Arbor a year ago in which the Wolverines posted a 515-191 advantage in total yards – including 326-70 on the ground

ABOUT MICHIGAN (5-1, 2-1 Big Ten)

The Wolverines rank 11th in the Big Ten in passing offense and senior John O’Korn has struggled since taking over the starting job from the injured Wilton Speight. O’Korn has zero touchdowns, three interceptions and a completion percentage of 47.3 over the last two weeks. Michigan’s top three rushers – Ty Isaac, Karan Higdon and Chris Evans – combined for 211 yards and four TDs in last year’s rout of Penn State.

ABOUT PENN STATE (6-0, 3-0 Big Ten)

Stars like running back Saquon Barkley (Big Ten-leading 1,302 all-purpose yards) and quarterback Trace McSorley (Big Ten-leading 266.2 passing yards per game) get most of the headlines, but the Nittany Lions’ defense is gaining more credit with every week and tops the country with an average of nine points allowed. Linebacker Jason Cabinda leads the way with 40 tackles and defensive end Shaka Toney has three of the team’s 17 sacks and two of its nine forced fumbles.

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Big Ten Championship Preview

Penn State Nittany Lions vs Wisconsin Badgers

In a game that could be decided by who is not on the field rather than who is, a Big Ten championship title and possible berth in the College Football Playoff is on the line when No. 6 Wisconsin meets seventh-ranked Penn State on Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis (Enter Contest). Badgers quarterback Alex Hornibrook is questionable after suffering a concussion in the first half of last week’s win over Minnesota, while Nittany Lions star runner Saquon Barkley (1,219 yards and 15 touchdowns) sprained his ankle in the second half of last week’s 45-12 rout of Michigan State that secured the Big Ten East.

In order to gain a berth in the College Football Playoff, the winner will likely need a loss or two from No. 4 Washington and No. 3 Clemson in their respective conference title games, although an idle Michigan sits at No. 5 with wins over both Wisconsin and Penn State. After a 49-10 blowout loss at Michigan dropped the Nittany Lions to 2-2, fans weren’t pleased with third-year coach James Franklin. The following week against Minnesota, the game kick-started an eight-game winning streak that featured an offense that averaged 40 points. This stretch included Franklin’s signature 24-21 win over the Ohio State Buckeyes.

ABOUT PENN STATE (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten)

McSorley, who threw for career highs of 376 yards and four TDs last week, has completed 56.3 percent of his passes for 2,976 yards with 21 TDs against five interceptions , with just two of those picks during the winning streak. Junior Curtis Godwin is McSorley’s favorite target with 47 receptions for 762 yards and nine TDs, but Mike Gesicki set a Penn state record for tight ends with 44 catches, and DeAndre Tompkins, DaeSean Hamilton and Saeed Blacknall round out the conference’s best set of receivers. Since linebackers Brandon Bell (18 tackles against the Spartans) and Jason Cabinda returned from early-season injuries, the defense has moved up to 20th in total defense (346.8) and hasn’t yielded a touchdown in the last two games.

Penn State has won four of the last five with the last contest against the Badgers, being a 31-24 Lions victory in 2013. The Nittany Lions rank second in FBS in second-half scoring (22.83) and first in fourth-quarter scoring (13).

ABOUT WISCONSIN (10-2, 7-2 Big Ten)

Hornibrook lost a quarterback competition to Bart Houston in summer camp for the unranked Badgers, became the starter in a Week 4 win over Michigan State and held the job until Houston replaced him last week and rallied the Badgers to a 31-17 victory over Minnesota. Regardless of the quarterback, Wisconsin will try and batter the front seven of the Lions with Corey Clement (1,140 yards, 13 TDs), while the Lions will try and attack deep with quarterback Trace McSorley (Big Ten-best 150.9 passer rating and FBS-best 16.2 yards per completion) against one of the best overall defenses in the FBS.

After rambling for a season-high 164 yards in a 30-23 home loss to Ohio State, Clement ran for 100 yards five times during the Badgers’ season-ending six-game winning streak (657 yards, eight TDs). Hornibrook has completed 58.1 percent of his 179 passes for 1,243 yards with eight TDs and seven interceptions, while Houston is 69-of-108 for 912 yards with five TDs and three interceptions. The defense, spearheaded by outside linebacker T.J. Watt (9.5 sacks, 13 tackles for loss) and safety Sojourn Shelton (16 passes defensed, four interceptions) led the FBS in interceptions (21), ranked third in scoring defense (13.7), rushing yards allowed (100.8), third-down conversion rate (26.6 percent) and seventh in total defense (292 yards per game). Penn State will be a school-record sixth top-10 team that Wisconsin has played this season at the time of the meeting, going 3-2.

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Wisconsin (4-0) vs Michigan (4-0)

Fifth-ranked Michigan hosts No. 8 Wisconsin for the first time since 2010 in a battle of Big Ten unbeatens on Saturday (Enter Contest). The Wolverines rushed for 326 yards and six touchdowns in the 49-10 thrashing of Penn State last week and have scored at least 45 points in each of their first four games. They will face their biggest test of the season against Wisconsin, which is ranked seventh nationally in scoring defense (11.8).

ABOUT MICHIGAN

Michigan has won nine of its last 10 games dating back to last season and hopes to notch its first victory over a top-10 opponent since beating Wisconsin 27-25 on Sept. 27, 2008. They lead the country in tackles per loss with 45. The Wolverines’ running back by committee approach paid off as Karan Higdon rushed for 81 yards and two touchdowns while De’Veon Smith (107), Ty Isaac (74) and Chris Evans (56) all added a TD apiece last week.

Senior cornerback Jeremy Clark will miss the remainder of the season after tearing his ACL on a kickoff return in the fourth quarter against Penn State. Freshman defensive backs Lavert Hill and David Long are expected to see more meaningful snaps in Clark’s absence. Nose tackle Bryan Mone, who has been sidelined with a knee injury since the opening week, will return in time to face the Badgers.  Jim Harbaugh’s squad has dropped 11 consecutive games against top-10 opponents.

ABOUT WISCONSIN

The Badgers are in a confident mood after going on the road and knocking off then eighth-ranked Michigan State 30-6 in Week 4. Wisconsin has beaten two top-10 teams in a season for the first time since 1964. They’ve extended their road-winning streak to a program-best eight games but are still considered double-digit underdogs in Ann Arbor.

Freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook showed veteran poise in his first career start, throwing for 195 yards and a touchdown to lead the Badgers past Michigan State. T.J. Watt was named the Walter Camp National Defensive Player of the Week after registering six tackles, including 3.5 for loss, and 2.5 sacks against the Spartans. Offensive lineman Brett Connors will make his second straight start after an impressive performance last week. Left guard Jon Dietzen (right leg) and kicker Rafael Gaglianone (back) are listed as questionable after missing the victory against Michigan State. Wisconsin has given up 17 points or fewer in all four games this season.

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NCAA Preview 2016

NCAA BIG TEN WEST

The NCAA football season is near.  Get ready to play CFB at FanPicks (click to play). With the impending kickoff in Sydney on August 26th, FanPicks will cover every NCAA conferences and their teams for the 2016 season. If you’ve missed the Big Ten East CFB preview, click here. Now let’s get to the NCAA Big Ten West division.

Iowa was the only Big Ten program to have stayed undefeated (12-0) during the regular season. They represented the West into the championship game, but ultimately lost the one that counted the most against Michigan State 16-13. They got whomped even more at the Rose Bowl the following week versus Stanford 45-16. The division will be more explosive now that they’ve added a 9th conference game this season, something that the league hasn’t had since 1984. Will the west finally get the Big Ten championship title, after two years of losses since it’s 14 teams inauguration?

Illinois Fighting Illini Illinois logo

Illinois finished 5-7 last season, including 2-6 in the Big Ten. Bill Cubit took over as the head coach, after Tim Beckman was fired a week before the season. The project didn’t last long, as Cubit was fired after the season. Former NFL coach Lovie Smith looks to bring new life to this team. He’ll manage the squad star quarterback, Wes Lunt, on the youngster final college season.

Iowa Hawkeyes Iowa logo

The 2015 Hawkeyes were one of the biggest surprises in the country, going 12-0 in the regular season, winning the NCAA Big Ten West Division and coming within a couple of yards of the College Football Playoff. A better result is a great possibility with the central nucleus of the team coming back.  C.J. Beathard will be back at quarterback and should be one of the very best signal-callers in the Big Ten. The Hawkeyes will also have a strong running pair with LeShun Daniels and Akrum Wadley returning.

Minnesota Golden Gophers Minnesota logo

The Golden Gophers are coming off a 6-7 season. They extended their streak of making bowls to four seasons last year despite a 5-7 regular-season record, thanks to their high APR scores. Minnesota will be counting on the offensive back dynamic duo of Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith to carry the load. They’ve combined for 1,379 rushing yards and 5.0 yards a carry last season, and that was during their freshman campaigns. Brooks is coming off a season in which he won B1G freshman of the week three times, and Smith impressed against teams like Michigan with 12 carries for 74 yards.

Nebraska Cornhuskers Nebraska logo

The Cornhuskers finished last season 6-7 with a victory against UCLA in the Foster Farms Bowl, capping a nice turnaround in the final four games. Nebraska beat Big Ten champion Michigan State and hung tough with Big Ten West division winner Iowa in the regular-season finale. Mike Riley’s first season in charge featured its share of unlucky moments. The Cornhuskers’ first five losses came by a combined 13 points. With their loaded offense, this squad has the elements to be in the double-digit wins. Can’t be that unlucky, right!

Northwestern Wildcats Northwestern logo

Northwestern running back, Justin Jackson ran for 2,605 yards in two years in Evanston, only 94 fewer than Florida State’s Heisman hopeful RB Dalvin Cook and more than Shock Linwood (Baylor), Wayne Gallman (Clemson) and Jalen Hurd (Tennessee) in that same time. The Junior won’t dazzle you though but he is a workhorse. He averaged more than 6 yards per carry in just one outing last year and ran for 10-plus yards only 30 times. His 312 rushes (third most in the country) accounted for more than half of Northwestern’s ground game.

Purdue Boilermakers Purdue logo

The Purdue Boilermakers are coming off a 2-10 record and a last-place finish in the Big Ten West. They’ve had one winning season since 2008. If they have any chance of turning their misfortune around, it will be because of quarterback David Blough. The Big Ten’s most effective signal-caller in the red zone last season, Blough boasted an 87.2 QBR in the red zone, with five touchdowns and no picks. He was just a different player when the Boilermakers approached touchdown territory. Outside of the red zone, he had only a 39.1 QBR. Inside the red zone, he completed 72 percent of his passes. Now it’s Blough or bust.

Wisconsin Badgers Wisconsin logo

Wisconsin is coming off its second straight double-digit win season (under two different head coaches) and has won at least 10 games in seven of the past 11 seasons (under four different head coaches). That’s pretty impressive. With an insanely difficult schedule ahead, the Badgers will likely struggle to reach 10 wins this year. It doesn’t help that defensive coordinator Dave Aranda is gone, as well as three key starters in the secondary and the NCAA Big Ten linebacker of the year also.

CFB 2016 Other Previews

The American

ACC Atlantic

ACC Coastal

Big 12

Big Ten East

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