2015 Big Ten Conference West Preview College Football From Mitch on Tonys Picks TV 8-4-2015

August 6, 2015

Mitch from Sports Chat Place guests on the Tonys Picks TV Show and offers previews from the Big Ten Conference East for the upcoming 2015 campaign.

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Big Ten Conference West Previews:

Illinois Fighting Illini: 6-7 overall and 3-5 versus the Big Ten in 2014.
The team ended their year losing 35-18 to Louisiana Tech in the Heart of Dallas Bowl. The Fighting Illini returns 15 starters. Head coach Tim Beckman is on the hot seat with no winning seasons in his three years with Illinois.
The road schedule includes stops at North Carolina, Iowa, Penn St, Purdue and Minnesota. In the non-conference Illinois faces Kent St, Western Illinois and Middle Tennessee at home. Wes Lunt returns under center. He hit on 63% of his throw for 1763 yards as he missed five games due to injury. Also returning is senior back Josh Ferguson who ran for 5 yards per carry. The defense gave up 34 points per game a year ago.
Regular Season Win Total: 4 1/2
Iowa Hawkeyes: 7-6 overall in 2014 and 4-4 against the Big Ten.
The team was defeated 45-28 to Tennessee in the Tax Slayer Bowl. Iowa returns only 12 starters. Kirk Ferenz is another coach on the hot seat but seven wins last year was a disappointment.
The Hawkeyes schedule includes road trips at Iowa St, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Indiana and Nebraska. In the non-conference they are home to Illinois St, Pittsburgh and North Texas. It looks like C.J. Beathard will get the start at quarterback. They lose their stud running back in Mark Weisman who was signed by Cincinnati.
Regular Season Wins: 7 1/2
Minnesota Golden Gophers: 2014 were 8-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Ten.
Head coach Jerry Kill has improved the team in his tenure. Though his health has took a shot in doing so. The Golden Gophers were in the hunt for the West title but a bad road loss to Illinois then losses to Ohio St and Wisconsin eliminated the team from contention.
Minnesota travels to Colorado St, Northwestern, Purdue, Ohio St and Iowa. In the non-conference the Golden Gophers will play at home TCU, Kent St and Ohio.
Minnesota was a run offense last year rushing for 215 yards per game with 4.7 yards per attempt. Mitch Leidner returns as the starting quarterback. The team returns just 12 starters. The Golden Gophers defense kept the club in many games last year by allowing just 24.2 points per game.
Regular Season Win Total: 6
Nebraska Cornhuskers: 9-4 overall in 2014 and 5-3 in the Big 12.
Bo Pelini was let go in favor of Oregon St former head coach Mike Riley. Oregon St tapered off in the past few years for Riley. Nebraska played in the Holiday Bowl and lost 45-42 to USC.
Nebraska hits the road to play at Miami, Illinois, Minnesota, Purdue and Rutgers. In the non-conference they open at home to BYU then play South Alabama and Southern Miss.
The Cornhuskers put up points in 2014 as the run game greatly aided the offense. Defensively the team allowed 27.4 points per game. Riley abandoned the run at Oregon St so expect the club to throw heavily. Tommy Armstrong returns under center but was not very accurate hitting on 53% of his throws.
Regular Season Win Total: 8
Northwestern Wildcats: 5-7 overall in 2014 and 3-5 in the Big 12.
The Wildcats should have been a bowl team last year. They simply blew a lot of games with an experienced lineup. They had shocking wins at Penn St and beat Wisconsin. They had a road win at Notre Dame. Fourteen starters return in 2014.
The Wildcats go on the road to Duke, Michigan, Nebraska, and Wisconsin. In the non-conference Northwestern will host Stanford, Eastern Illinois and Ball St.
The Wildcats are touting red shirt freshman Clayton Thorson to start under center. Running back Justin Jackson had a good freshman year in 2014. The offense scored just 23 points per game last year. That must improve. The defense held their owl surrendering 25 points per game in 2014.
Regular Season Win Total: 6
Purdue Boilermakers: 3-9 overall in 2014 and 1-7 versus the Big Ten.
The Boilermakers are just 4-20 under head coach Darrell Hazell. The team returns 15 starters.
The road schedule for Purdue has games at Marshall, Michigan St, Wisconsin, Northwestern and Iowa. In non-conference they are home to Indiana St, Virginia Tech and Bowling Green.
The offense ran the football better in 2014 with 157 yards rushing for a 4.7 yards a carry average. Red shirt freshman David Blough looks to get the start as Austin Appleby and Danny Etling have the looks of backups. Purdue allowed nearly 32 points a game in 2014 which was better than the 38 a game they allowed in 2013.
Regular Season Win Total: 4
Wisconsin Badgers: 11-3 overall in 2014 and 7-1 in the Big Ten.
The Badgers bounced back from a 59-0 loss to Ohio St in the Big Ten title game by beating Auburn 34-31 in the Outback bowl. They lose Gary Anderson to Oregon St. Paul Chryst takes over the former Pittsburgh Panthers coach.
The schedule features road games at Nebraska, Illinois, Maryland and Minnesota. In the non-conference they open against Alabama in Arlington Texas then home games to Miami Ohio, Troy and Hawaii.
Last year the Badgers pounded the rock for nearly 7 yards per carry and 320 yards per game. Signal caller Joel Stave returns under center. He completed just 53% of his throws last year. The defense held opponents to nearly 21 points per game in 20-14.
Regular Season Win Total: 9 1/2
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