The 2018 season did not end the way a lot of Big Ten teams would have preferred. Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State all lost their bowl games, while Big Ten champion Ohio State was left out of the College Football Playoff.
Heading into the 2019 season, the usual suspects are all expected to contend for the Big Ten title. But FanDuel thinks that there are a few teams that are very overrated.
In an article by Zack Brunner of FanDuel, he identified a trio of Big Ten titans that he feels are being given too much credit: Michigan, Nebraska, and Penn State. Brunner wrote that the win totals of the three teams is a bit high considering what they did last year.
Regarding Nebraska, he pointed out that the 8.5 win line on their season is inconsistent with what they did last year.
“…As one of the country’s most anticipated breakout teams, the Cornhuskers’ over/under is currently set at 8.5, more than double their win total of last season. Their 88th-ranked scoring defense from last season is simply not good enough to consistently compete in the Big Ten if it’s the same story this year, especially considering they gave up nearly 200 rushing yards per game last season.”
As for Michigan, going over the 9.5 win line would similarly be too difficult, even with arch-rival Ohio State going through a potentially difficult coaching change.
“The Wolverines have built their success around defense, and they’ll likely hang their hat on that side of the ball again. However, their offense has been inconsistent in recent years and they have to travel to Wisconsin and Penn State, while also playing Michigan State, Notre Dame and Ohio State at home…”
Finally, Penn State was given a 8.5 win line that he noted the Nittany Lions only barely crossed last year. He also added that with a brand new quarterback set to take over for Trace McSorley, that the team will have a hard time navigating their schedule.
“The Nittany Lions will be fielding a new quarterback and running back this season, with Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders departing to the NFL. While there is plenty of returning talent on this offense, they cannot afford a misstep to hit the over.”
Nevertheless, all three of those schools are expected to contend for the Big Ten title next season. That tasks becomes a lot tough if they don’t hit their respective overs in win totals.
With only a few hiccups, Ohio State has largely ruled Big Ten football for several years now. Will that change in 2019?