The Big 10 Get Two Teams In The College Football Playoffs(?): 2017 Big 10 Preview

  • By TBelcher
  • August 24, 2017
  • 0

The Big Ten has been on top of college football for some time now and it doesn’t look like it’s going to change anytime soon. They are equipped with some of the best coaches in College Football and constantly turning out top notch NFL talent every year. It’s pretty clear why the Big Ten is on top. This year seems no different.

This conference feature three possible teams that can play for a National Title (Ohio State Buckeyes, Michigan Wolverines, Penn State Nittany Lions). Not to mention, the other quality teams can line up against some of the nations best and win. If all plays out, the Big Ten could send a nice amount of teams to a bowl game.


The conference has had a rocky off season this year. A total of six players were dismissed from their respective teams (Michigan State Spartans, Illinois Fighting Illini). Let’s not forget the headlines from the Joe Paterno-Jerry Sandusky era coming from Penn State.

The conference features a number of first round picks. The Big Ten could possibly send 20-plus players to the next level in this upcoming draft including some Heisman Trophy candidates. Big Ten football is back in full effect. If you like defensive smash mouth football that is well coached, then this conference is for you.


East Division

Indiana Hoosiers: 4-8 (2-7)

Michigan Wolverines: 10-2 (7-2)

Michigan State Spartans: 8-4 (6-3)

Ohio State Buckeyes: 12-0 (9-0)

Penn State Nittany Lions: 11-1 (8-1)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights: 4-8 (2-7)


West Division

Illinois Fighting Illini: 4-8 (3-6)

Iowa Hawkeyes: 7-5 (4-5)

Minnesota Golden Gophers: 7-5 (5-4)

Nebraska Cornhuskers: 6-6 (5-4)

Northwestern Wildcats: 9-3 (6-3)

Purdue Boilermakers: 5-7 (3-6)

Wisconsin Badgers: 10-2 (8-1)


Conference Championship Game

Wisconsin Badgers vs Ohio State

On paper, this looks like a blowout. And it could possibly be but Big Ten football is competitive until the end. Ohio State will win this game but it won’t be easy. The Buckeyes have the talent on both sides of the ball. Do it all quarterback, JT Barrett, will be looking to finish his legacy at OSU a winner. Barrett came to Colombus with a ton of hype and has delivered.

Wisconsin, on the other hand, plays a style tailor made to beat Ohio State. They can run the ball while controlling the clock which will keep JT and the offense on the sideline. Also, their defense is well disciplined and can create turnovers. This should be a low scoring affair. The x-factor for the Badgers will be the play of Alex Hornibrook. If Hornibrook can manage the game and make very few to no mistakes, Wisconsin could possibly find a spot in the Playoffs.

Ohio State Buckeyes 27- 14 Wisconsin Badgers


Conference Champion

Ohio State

The Buckeyes hands down have the most talent top to bottom in this conference. Not only that, this group is well coached by Urban Meyer and his staff. Meyer features one of the nations best defense led by linebackers Chris Worley and Jerome Baker. The Buckeyes ended last season losing 31-0 to eventual National Champions Clemson. You know coach Myer will have this team focused.

Barrett has had a terrific career but winning a National Championship by actually being on the field should be the goal. Barrett also has the tools to possibly win the Heisman. If he can return to electric form in new offensive coordinator Kevin Wilson’s system, Barrett could possibly be the best the player in College Football this season. Ohio State has had high expectations before and failed to live up to them. This year is different. This is a veteran team that knows what it takes to win. Staying healthy, staying focus and making good decisions will be the recipe for success for coach Meyer and his football team.


Coaches on the Hot Seat



Offensive Player of the year

Saquon Barkley, Junior Running back; Penn State Nittany Lions

Barkley won the award last year rushing for 1,496 yards on 272 touches with 18 touchdowns. Not only can Barkley beat you on the ground, he can catch as well. Finishing last year with 28 reception 402 yards and four touchdowns, a lot of college football writers have Barkley as one of the top three Heisman candidates, and rightfully so. Barkley has been the best running back since Ohio State’s Ezikel Elliot. Like the star NFL running back, Barkley has the skill-set to be a franchise back. Barkley will be looking to make his mark on the rushing records at Penn State. He definitely has a chance to break a couple of records. With each touch of the ball, the more the legend of Saquon Barkley grows. Hopefully, his last year is one to remember as he strives to be the second running back in Penn State history to take home the Heisman Trophy in New York this holiday season.


Defensive Player of Year

Josey Jewell, Senior Linebacker; Iowa Hawkeyes

The Iowa linebacker has made a name for himself in this conference during his tenure. One of the best linebackers in the country, Josey Jewell could be in for a big year. The leader of this Hawkeyes defense has been named to the Butkus and Bednarik Award preseason watch list. Jewell’s career has been a success at Iowa. When he finishes his senior year, he should be in the top 10-15 in total tackles in school history. This unit will go as far as the senior linebacker can take them. With their schedule, he will show why he has been regarded as one of the best defenders in the Big 10. If Iowa expects to have success this year, Jewell will need to have his best year.

Possible NFL Draft picks

Saquon Barkley*, RB, Penn State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 223.
Projected 40 Time: 4.49.
Projected Round (2018): Top-20 Pick

Akrum Wadley, RB, Iowa
Height: 5-11. Weight: 191.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3.

Justin Jackson, RB, Northwestern
Height: 5-11. Weight: 193.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

L.J. Scott*, RB, Michigan State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.56.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6.

Khalid Hill, FB, Michigan
Height: 6-2. Weight: 263.
Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7. 

Parris Campbell, WR, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 208.
Projected 40 Time: 4.44.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Simmie Cobbs Jr.*, WR, Indiana
Height: 6-4. Weight: 220.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

Troy Fumagalli, TE, Wisconsin
Height: 6-6. Weight: 248.
Projected 40 Time: 4.67.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3. 

Mike Gesicki, TE, Penn State
Height: 6-6. Weight: 252.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Marcus Baugh, TE, Ohio State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 258.
Projected 40 Time: 4.71.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5

Brandon Lingen, TE, Minnesota
Height: 6-5. Weight: 250.
Projected 40 Time: 4.76.
Projected Round (2018): 5-7.

Jamarco Jones, OT, Ohio State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 310.
Projected 40 Time: 5.20.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Ike Boettger, OT, Iowa
Height: 6-6. Weight: 307.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 

Grant Newsome*, OT, Michigan
Height: 6-7. Weight: 318.
Projected 40 Time: 5.19.
Projected Round (2018): 6-FA. 

Brendan Mahon, OT/G, Penn State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.28.
Projected Round (2018): 7-FA. 

Billy Price, G, Ohio State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 315.
Projected 40 Time: 5.34.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3

Beau Benzschawel*, G, Wisconsin 
Height: 6-6. Weight: 321. 
Projected 40 Time: 5.20. 
Projected Round (2018): 2-4.

Brian Allen, G/C, Michigan State 
Height: 6-2. Weight: 304. 
Projected 40 Time: 5.12. 
Projected Round (2018): 5-7

Mason Cole, C, Michigan
Height: 6-5. Weight: 305.
Projected 40 Time: 5.09.
Projected Round (2018): 2-3

Sam Hubbard, DE, 3-4 OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-5. Weight: 266.
Projected 40 Time: 4.78.
Projected Round (2018): 1-2. 

Tyquan Lewis, DE, 3-4 OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-4. Weight: 260.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

Dre’Mont Jones*, DT, Ohio State
Height: 6-3. Weight: 295.
Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
Projected Round (2018): 1-3 

Maurice Hurst, DT, Michigan
Height: 6-2. Weight: 282.
Projected 40 Time: 4.95.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Jerome Baker*, OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 225.
Projected 40 Time: 4.55.
Projected Round (2018): 2-4

Jack Cichy, OLB/ILB, Wisconsin
Height: 6-2. Weight: 233.
Projected 40 Time: 4.77.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

Josey Jewell, OLB/ILB, Iowa
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.72.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Mike McCray, OLB, Michigan
Height: 6-4. Weight: 248.
Projected 40 Time: 4.68.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

Chris Worley, OLB, Ohio State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 230.
Projected 40 Time: 4.70.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5.

Jason Cabinda, OLB, Penn State
Height: 6-1. Weight: 232.
Projected 40 Time: 4.75.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

T.J. Edwards*, ILB, Wisconsin
Height: 6-1. Weight: 244.
Projected 40 Time: 4.74.
Projected Round (2018): 3-5. 

Marcus Allen, S, Penn State
Height: 6-2. Weight: 205.
Projected 40 Time: 4.63.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4. 

Damon Webb, S, Ohio State
Height: 5-11. Weight: 195.
Projected 40 Time: 4.50.
Projected Round (2018): 3-4.

Godwin Igwebuike, S, Northwestern
Height: 6-0. Weight: 200.
Projected 40 Time: 4.59.
Projected Round (2018): 4-6. 


All prospects come courtesy of





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