College Football Big Ten Preview Podcast NCAA Predictions Odds From Mitch on Tonys Picks TV 8-8-2017

August 8, 2017

Mitch from Sports Chat Place guests on the Tonys Picks TV Show and offers his picks, predictions, previews and odds from the Big Ten Conference.

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Big Ten Preview
East Division
Penn St—
Finished 11-3 and earned a trip to the Rose Bowl where they lost a thriller to USC. Notable wins against Ohio St at home and to Wisconsin in the Big 10 title game. Junior Trace McSorley returns as starting quarterback as the offense returns nine starters and six to the defense. They face Pittsburgh at home in the non-conference along with Big Ten games at home to Michigan and Nebraska. They travel to Ohios St, Iowa and Michigan St.
Ohio St—
Team finished 11-2 a season ago. Lost to Clemson 31-0 in the playoff semis. Eight starters return on offense with seven on defense. JT Barrett returns under center for his senior season with an experience line and inexperience at the wide receiver position. The face Oklahoma at home in the non conference and face Michigan St and Penn St in the Big Ten at home. They travel to Iowa, Nebraska and Michigan. Their opener is at Indiana on a Thursday night on August 31st.
Michigan—
Wolverines were 10-3 in 2016 with a 33-32 loss to Florida St in the Orange Bowl. Only four starters back on offense and one to the defense. Junior Wilton Speight starts at quarterback. Hurt his shoulder late in the season as he missed the Hoosier game and had ill effects from that injury against Ohio St. They open with Florida at Arlington Texas and have home games against Cincinnati and Air Force. In Big Ten play the Wolverines host Michigan St, Minnesota and Ohio St. They travel to Penn St, Indiana and Wisconsin.
Indiana—
It was a 6-7 season for the Hoosiers in 2016. They lost to Utah 26-24 in the Foster Farms Bowl as they go bowling two straight season. Tom Allen is a first year coach. Big man Richard Lagow returns for his senior season at quarterback. He is 6 foot 6 inches tall but the strong armed signal caller had problems with interceptions. Six starters are back offensively and 9 to the defense. They travel to Virginia in the non-conference and have Big Ten road games at Penn St and Michigan St. They host Ohio St in the opener along with Wisconsin.
Maryland—
The Terrapins wrapped up play in 2016 at 6-7 overall. They lost to Boston College 36-30 in the Quick Lane Bowl. Starting quarterback job is between Caleb Henderson a junior and true freshman Kasim Hill. Six starters are back on offense with seven to the defense. DJ Durkin enters his second year as head coach. The travel to Texas in the opener and have Big 10 road games at Ohio St, Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan St. They host Michigan, Indiana, Northwestern and Penn St.
Michigan St—
A surprising 3-9 year for the Michigan St Spartans a year ago. They are an inexperienced squad with four starters back on offense and to the defense. Sophomore Brian Lewerke will start at quarterback. He had two starts in 2016. Defense gave up 365 yards and 27.8 points per game. They host Notre Dame and face at home in the Big Ten Penn St, Iowa and Indians. Spartans travel to Michigan, Minnesota, Northwestern and Ohio St.
Rutgers—
Rutgers is coming off a miserable 2-10 mark last year. Chris Ash enters his second year as head coach. The offense produced just 283 yards and 15.7 points per game in 2016. Six starters return on offense with eight to the defense. Senior quarterback Kyle Bolin is under center and is a grad transfer from Louisville. He does have experience in the running back and wide receiver position. The defense was torched last year allowing 37.5 points and 451 yards per game. They open at home to Washington and have conference games at home to Ohio St and Michigan St. Scarlet Knights travel to Nebraska, Michigan, Penn St and Indiana.

Big Ten West—
Wisconsin—
Badgers were 11-3 a season ago and defeated Western Michigan 24-16 in the Cotton Bowl. Paul Chryst is in his third season and will have eight starters return on offense and seven to the defense. Sophomore Alex Hornibrook is at quarterback and will have experienced playmakers. Defense allowed only 15.6 points per game a year ago. Badgers travel to BYU and have Big Ten road games at Nebraska, Indiana and Minnesota. They host Iowa, Northwestern and Michigan.
Iowa—
Hawkeyes were and 8-5 team a season ago. They were routed against Florida losing 30-3 in the Outback Bowl. Six starters return to offense with nine to the defense. Head coach Kirk Ferentz must decide on a starting quarterback It will be either sophomore Nathan Stanley or junior Tyler Wiegers. The offensive line is experienced. Scoring was down for Iowa last year as they averaged 24.9 points per game. Defense led the Hawkeyes to the a bowl game as the unit held opponents to 18.8 points per game. They face Wyoming at home and battle in the Big Ten at home Penn St, Minnesota and Ohio St. Hawkeyes travel to Wisconsin, Northwestern, Michigan St and Nebraska.
Nebraska—
Mike Riley is in his third season. It was a 9-4 year for the Cornhuskers last year. They fell to Tennessee 38-24 in the Music City Bowl. Only four starters are back on offense and six to the defense. Junior Tanner Lee is tabbed as the starting quarterback after a good spring. He is a transfer from Tulane. Under Reily the defense improved just a little last year. Offensive production was down as Nebraska produced 26.5 points per game. They travel to Oregon and have Big Ten games on the road to Penn St and Minnesota. They host Iowa, Northwestern, Ohio St and Wisconsin.
Minnesota—
Golden Gophers were a 9-4 team last year. They beat Washington St 17-12 in the Holiday bowl. PJ Fleck is in his first year with Minnesota and will have seven starters back on offense and five to the defense. Job is wide open at quarterback as Demry Croft, Conor Rhoda and freshman Tanner Morgan compete. The defense was good again last year as the held opponents to 22.2 points per game. Minnesota travels to Oregon St and has Big Ten games on the road to Michigan, Northwestern and Iowa. They host Nebraska, Michigan St and Wisconsin.
Northwestern—
It was a 7-6 mark for the Wildcats last year. They beat Pittsburgh 31-24 in the Pinstripe Bowl. Pat Fitzgerald is in his 12th year with the program and will have eight starters back on offense and defense. Defense kept Northwestern in games as they held opponents to 22.2 points per game. Offense saw improvement last year as they gained 398 yards and scored 26 points per game. Junior Clayton Thorson is at quarterback. The team is experienced at the line but inexperience at the wide receiver position. They travel to Duke in the non-conference and play against the Big Ten on the road to Wisconsin and Nebraska. They host Minnesota, Iowa and Penn St.
Illinois—
Head coach Lovie Smith returns for his second season after a 3-9 mark in his initial run with Illinois. Smith will have five starters return on offense and six to the defense. Chace Crouch is the favorite to win the job at quarterback but his running style can lead to injury. Offense produced only 19.7 points and 315 yards per game. On defense the Fighting Illini allowed 32 a contest. They travel to South Florida in the non-conference and face on the road in the Big Ten Ohio St, Minnesota and Iowa. They battle Indiana, Northwestern, Nebraska and Wisconsin at home.
Purdue–
Jeff Brohm makes his debut at Purdue. He inherits a team that finished 3-9 overall in 2016 and will have five starters back on offense and eight to the defense. David Blough returns for his junior season at quarterback with an inexperienced offensive line. He threw for good yardage but had too many interceptions. Defense was atrocious allowing 38.3 points and 446 yards per game. They open with Louisville on a neutral field and travel to Missouri. In the Big Ten the Boilermakers are at Northwestern, Iowa and Wisconsin. They face Indiana, Minnesota, Michigan and Nebraska at home.
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