This is the week that college football fans have been waiting for because there is finally a full slate of action on the schedule. In preparation for Week 1 of the regular season, ESPN released its win-loss predictions for every team in the Big Ten.
Last season, Ohio State defeated Northwestern in the Big Ten Championship. Although the defending champs have to get past the loss of Urban Meyer, there is a growing belief around the country that Ryan Day is a worthy successor.
Clearly, ESPN isn't lacking any confidence in Day's ability to lead the Buckeyes.
ESPN has Ohio State winning the Big Ten yet again, but not without a few blemishes on its overall record. As for the entire conference, it turns out that just about every program will deal with their share of losses.
Here is how the ESPN projects each Big Ten program this season:
- Ohio State (10-2, 7-2)
- Penn State (10-2, 7-2)
- Michigan (9-3, 7-2)
- Iowa (9-3, 6-3)
- Wisconsin (9-3, 6-3)
- Michigan State (8-4, 5-4)
- Nebraska (8-4, 5-4)
- Northwestern (7-5, 5-4)
- Minnesota (7-5, 5-4)
- Purdue (6-6, 4-5)
- Indiana (5-7, 2-7)
- Illinois (4-8, 1-8)
- Maryland (3-9, 2-7)
- Rutgers (2-10, 0-9)
This projection would have Ohio State representing the Big Ten East and Iowa representing the Big Ten West.
It's fascinating to see ESPN place Michigan at third in its division despite all the hype surrounding the program. On the flip side, Penn State owning a 10-2 record would be impressive considering the loss of Trace McSorley at quarterback.
You can see how ESPN projects other 'Power Five' conferences to shape out here.