Big Ten Conference Prediction
There’s a lot of shaking up in the Big Ten Conference over the last two years. How will things shake out in 2019 in regards to who will claim the Big Ten Championship?
According to oddsmakers, Ohio State is favored to win the Big Ten again, as the Buckeyes are getting odds of +175 to win. Michigan has the next-shortest odds at +200, while Nebraska is listed at +800 and Michigan State and Penn State each have +1200 odds.
Ohio State has won the Big Ten Championship Game the last two years and three times in the last five years. The Buckeyes have a big change this year with Urban Meyer retiring and Ryan Day taking over as coach. He has a talented group to work with that has 13 starters back. Offensively, Ohio State has a new starting QB, but returns a talented RB in J.K Dobbins. Defensively, Ohio State has seven starters back.
Michigan has yet to ever make the Big Ten Championship Game as the Jim Harbaugh-era has yet to produce championships. The Wolverines have 14 starters back this year, including quarterback Shea Patterson to lead an offense that averaged 35.2 points per game. On paper, this looks like Michigan’s best chance to win the conference.
Nebraska started 0-6 last year, but came on strong to build momentum. Scott Frost is in his second year as head coach and he has 15 starters back in 2019. Adrian Martinez is a sophomore QB that could be a contender for Player of the Year in the conference. Nebraska hasn’t won the Big Ten Championship Game, but did play in 2012
Michigan State has won the Big Ten Championship Game twice and appeared a third time in program history. The Spartans struggled offensively last year, but brings back eight starters this year. On defense, MSU was one of the best in the nation and has eight starters back.
Penn State won the Big Ten Championship Game in 2016, its only appearance in the annual game. The Nittany Lions were 6-3 in Big Ten play last year. This year’s team has 13 starters back, but has to replace a productive QB.
Ohio State is without Urban Meyer, but the Buckeyes should still be strong. The big question is how the team will respond in close games. I think Michigan State is a nice dark horse to consider. The Spartans had a great defense last year and injuries just ate up the offense, along with bad play-calling. If that improves this year, MSU is a real threat. The big question is, can Michigan finally get it done under Jim Harbaugh. I just don’t think it happens. The Wolverines are still lacking in those clutch moments and Harbaugh hasn’t adjusted well to the top teams in this conference. I will stick with Ohio State, as the Buckeyes are sure to score points at a pace nobody else in this conference can.
Big Ten Conference Championship Prediction: Ohio State +175