The 2017 Daly Dose College Football Preview: The Big 10

The Big 10 Conference

It was just a few seasons ago that the Big 10 was being talked about as being too slow, and too out of date. Then Urban Meyer went to Ohio State, and the Big 10 won a national title, and has been to all three of the College Football Playoffs. Just forget the fact that they have been outscored 69-0 in the past two. Okay?

Big-Ten-Teams

East Division

1. Penn State Nittany Lions

Predicted finish: 11-1

The Nittany Lions are for real. After going 11-3 in 2016, and beating Ohio State, they are looking for more in 2017. Penn State returns 16 starters from that team, including QB Trace McSorley, but this team will see something this year that they haven’t seen since like 2009. Actual expectations. So, a 7-5 season is probably coming.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes

Predicted finish: 10-2

Urban Meyer will return a ton of talent from a team that went to the College Football Playoff last year including a terrific defensive front and QB JT Barrett. The Buckeyes should once again find themselves in the…wait a second…JT Barrett? He’s still around? How old is that guy? What is he, like a seventh-year redshirt senior? I think he was handing off to Eddie George as a freshman.

3. Michigan Wolverines

Predicted finish: 9-3

2016 has to feel like a missed opportunity for the Wolverines, who probably lost too much to contend in 2017. The schedule looks to be too difficult for this team, that will be talented, but inexperienced. But at least Michigan has head coach Jim Harbaugh. Remember when that used to be worth getting excited about?

4. Indiana Hoosiers

Predicted finish: 9-3

The Hoosiers are heading into unfamiliar territory this year, as they actually have an aggressive, stingy defense. If the offense could generate a running game, IU could find themselves in even stranger territory, with a shot at a big bowl game. If not, they will struggle to finish above .500. Now that, they’re used to.

5. Michigan State Spartans

Predicted finish:: 7-5

The Spartans knew they would need to rebuild in 2017 anyways, so they decided to  go 3-9 in in 2016 too, just to hurry the process along. Now they actually don’t have much talent returning. If you thought head coach Mark Dantonio was grouchy before…

6. Maryland Terrapins

Predicted finish: 5-7

Head coach DJ Durkin inherited a mess when he took the job in College Park, but he somehow got the Terrapins to be competitive, in his first season at the helm. Durkin’s enthusiasm helped bring in a solid recruiting class, and could propel this team back to another bowl game. Unfortunately, the schedule has visits to Texas, Ohio State, and Wisconsin on it. That should sap that darned enthusiasm.

7. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Predicted finish: 4-8

The Scarlet Knights still have a ton of work to make themselves look like an actual Big 10 football program, but we are saying that they are going to double their win total from a season ago. So that’s something.

 

West Division

1. Wisconsin Badgers

Predicted finish: 10-2

Don’t be surprised to see the Badgers have an excellent season, as they return talent on both sides of the ball. The defense should be terrific, and the offense could take some major strides, if they can develop a running game. A more manageable schedule, could be a recipe for another loss in the conference championship game. Keep your fingers crossed!

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers

Predicted finish: 9-3

The Cornhuskers haven’t been to a conference championship since 2012 when they lost to Wisconsin 70-31. They have a fair amount of transition to overcome this season, so at least they shouldn’t have to worry about another embarrassing loss like that in a championship game for a few more years.

3. Northwestern Wildcats

Predicted finish: 8-4

Northwestern just keeps surprising everyone, going to back-to-back bowl games in 2015, and 2016. Could this be the year that they actually contend for a Big 10 championship? Considering their first two conference games will be against Wisconsin, and Penn State, no….no, it will not.

4. Iowa Hawkeyes

Predicted finish: 7-5

As a true Kirk Ferentz team should be, the 2017 Iowa Hawkeyes football team will be tough. They will have a physical defensive front, and a solid running back tandem in Akrum Wadley, and transfer James Butler. That should be enough to get them to another crappy bowl game that no one cares about.

5. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Predicted finish: 6-6

New head coach PJ Fleck has proven himself up to the challenge of getting a program like Western Michigan into the national conversation. But that change didn’t happen overnight, and neither will this one. The Golden Gophers have a number of questions on both sides of the ball, but could be scrappy enough to go 9-3, or thin enough to go 3-9. So we will just save some time, and split the difference.

6. Purdue Boilermakers

Predicted finish: 4-8

Purdue hired what may have been a steal in Western Kentucky coach Jeff Brohm. He has proven to be a very capable offensive mind, and could eventually get the Boilermakers back to a level of respectability. At least, until he leaves for a better job.

7. Illinois Fighting Illini

Predicted finish: 3-9

How can a football program located in such a talent-rich state like Illinois manage to be terrible every single year? Focus and determination, mostly. And you probably thought we were going to say something negative here, didn’t you? Nope. We are glass half-full at the Daly Dose.

 

Did you miss the Daly Dose ACC preview?

Coming tomorrow: the Daly Dose Big 12 preview!

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Daly Dose #139 Our Fifty States Tour

This week on the Daly Dose we begin our 50 States Tour!

We make a brief stop in each state across the nation, and look at their greatest athletes, the best moments, and the most disappointing losses. From Alabama and their heated in-state rivalry, to the amazing athletes that the states of CaliforniaFlorida, and Illinois have produced, to some of the most memorable wins and losses in ColoradoIdaho, and Kentucky, we are touring the USA sports world!

We know that Massachussets has had some memorable wins with the Celtics, Red Sox, and Patriots, but what is the worst moment in their sports history? The state of Mississippi has given us some of the greatest athletes in the world, and Maryland has a few sports moments that we will never forget!

Be sure to check out the first installment of our 50 States Tour, as we remember some of the best and worst in sports from across this nation!

Listen here to Daly Dose #139 Our Fifty States Tour!

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Daly Dose #92 The 2016 College Football Preview

This week on the Daly Dose Sports Podcast we bring you our 2016 College Football Preview!

Clint takes a look at the upcoming college football season, discusses some of the top returning players, and which teams will contend for titles in theAtlantic Coast Conference, the Big 10, the Big 12, the Mountain West, the Pac 12, and the Southeastern Conference.

Plus we have some NFL talk. How will the Dallas Cowboys do without Tony Romo? Why did the Denver Broncos go with an unproven 7th round draft choice at quarterback? And our thoughts on the Colin Kaepernick protest.

We finish the show with the Daly Dose Top 5 triple option college quarterbacks of all time!

You have to check out Episode 92!

Listen here: Daly Dose Episode 92

Dowis

 

Our top 5 triple option quarterbacks of all time!

5. Dee Dowis

4. Jamelle Holieway

3. Keenan Reynolds

2. Darian Hagan

1. Tommie Frazier

The Daly Dose College Football Preview: The Big 10

We now turn our attention to the heart of America. The Midwest. The Heartland. This is Big 10 country.

It was just a few years ago that the Big 10 was getting beat again and again in National Championship games.

But then Ohio State restored the conference reputation by winning it all in 2014. And just like that, the Big 10 was back in a big way.

Of course, Michigan State burned that reputation to the ground last year in the Cotton Bowl, but nevermind that. Let’s look at what will happen this season.



Big 10 East

1. Michigan Wolverines

Predicted finish: 11-1   

It isn’t that we think the Wolverines are more talented than everyone else, but they have enough talent and an early soft schedule should get them off to a fast start. Plus, this is the type of season where Jim Harbaugh excels: when the expectations are still low, and the hatred and loathing for him hasn’t yet reached its eventual peak.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes   

Predicted finish: 10-2

Urban Meyer lost a number of talented players from a year ago. So now we see whether he is up to the challenge of transforming this young roster into a contender, or if he starts clutching his chest and talking about “spending more time with the fam” again.

3. Michigan State Spartans

Predicted finish:: 9-3   

The Spartans offense will get a new look this year as three year starter Connor Cook is gone. They will miss his leadership, his poise, and his ability to rip the Big 10 trophy from legendary Ohio State players without the slightest remorse.

4. Penn State Nittany Lions

Predicted finish: 7-5   

Gone is Happy Valley favorite quarterback Christian Hackenburg, who the Nittany Lions allowed to be sacked 39 times last season alone. So maybe they didn’t like him all that much afterall.

5. Indiana Hoosiers

Predicted finish: 6-6   

The Hoosiers are showing some signs of improvement under head coach Kevin Wilson, as they averaged nearly 37 points per game last year. Of course the defense allowed nearly 38 points per game. So don’t pass yourself on the back too much there, Kev.

6. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

Predicted finish: 6-6   

Rutgers finished 4-8 in 2015 and head coach Kyle Flood was suspended and then dismissed amid numerous off the field transgressions by players. New head coach Chris Ash will have enough to worry about just keeping his kids in line, let alone winning. Of course, this is Rutgers, no one really  expects them to win anything anyway.

7. Maryland Terrapins

Predicted finish: 5-7   

Last June, Maryland administration gave head coach Randy Edsall a $3 million dollar extension and told us what a bright future he had. Just four months later, they fired Edsall after the Terps started off 2-4. Now they have hired DJ Durkin and are telling us that he will lead them back to prominence. And I believe them. Don’t you?

Big 10 West

1. Iowa Hawkeyes

Predicted finish: 9-3   

Iowa had a historic season last year. They finished the season 12-2 and went undefeated in the regular season for the first time in 93 years. So I guess they should be due for another big season in about 2108. Can’t wait.

2. Nebraska Cornhuskers   

Predicted finish: 8-4   

Nebraska found new and inventive ways to lose games in 2015, dropping five games by five points or less. The schedule starts off with some winnable games early on and then the Husker can revert to their creative ways down the stretch.

3. Minnesota Golden Gophers

Predicted finish: 8-4

Minnesota was 6-7 last year, but that was against one of the toughest schedules in the nation. This season will be more manageable,  but I mean, this is Minnesota and much like the hometown Vikings…I think we all know this will probably end in disappointment.

4. Wisconsin Badgers

Predicted finish: 7-5   

The Badgers are hoping their defense can stay stingy, and they are hoping for big things from Jr linebacker TJ Watts – brother of NFL great JJ Watt. Can TJ bring QB pressure like his brother? Can he force fumbles? Will he wear a t-shirt two sizes too small? Stay tuned!

5. Northwestern Wildcats

Predicted finish: 7-5   

Northwestern exceeded expectations last year, winning 10 games for the first time in 20 years. But the schedule won’t be quite as forgiving this year, so get ready for a return to reality, you purple wearing geeks.

6. Illinois Fighting Illini

Predicted finish: 6-6   

How tough is it to win at the University of Illinois? Head coach Lovie Smith actually misses working with Jay Cutler and winning five games in a single season.

7. Purdue Boilermakers   

Predicted finish: 3-9   

Purdue football is so bad that they are going to finish 14th in a conference called the “Big 10”.

Did you miss the Daly Dose ACC preview?

Coming on Tuesday: the Daly Dose Big 12 Preview!

The Daly Dose Sports Big 10 College Football Preview

We now bring you a free preview of the Big 10 Conference! Can Ohio State go back to back? Can Jim Harbaugh make Michigan relevant? Can we get through an entire season without Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez naming himself to coach another game? We answer those questions and more!

Big-Ten-Teams

Team Predicted finish Outlook
East

Ohio State Buckeyes

12-0 Did head coach Urban Meyer completely revive Ohio State? Did he bring back the Big 10 conference from the dead? Will he be retiring soon to spend more time with his family? The answer to all three questions is most likely “yes”.
Michigan State Spartans 11-1 The Spartans feel like they never get the respect that they deserve simply because their name isn’t Michigan or Ohio State. Well I am picking them to go 11-1 but only because their name is Michigan State.
Penn State Nittany Lions 8-4 Head coach James Franklin did an admirable job of solidifying the Nittany Lions last season but they are probably a year away from really competing for a Big 10 crown. So sorry Penn State fans, but you should just wait until next year to watch any games.
Michigan Wolverines 7-5 Jim Harbaugh comes back to Michigan which is exciting for the Big 10 conference and for Michigan fans. But let’s be honest…we would all rather have his brother John, right?
Maryland Terrapins 6-6 The Terrapins actually beat Penn State and Michigan last year. Okay they weren’t really the strong Penn State and Michigan teams that we traditionally think of but I mean come on…this is Maryland. And this isn’t lacrosse.
Indiana Hoosiers 6-6 If QB Nate Sudfeld can stay healthy, and the defense can hold up, the Hoosiers could give their fans something to half-heartedly watch until basketball season starts.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights 5-7 The Scarlet Knights lost to Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin last season by a combined score of 180-44 but here at the Daly Dose we are all about keeping it positive this year. I am positive that Rutgers will get pounded by each one of those teams again this year too.
West

Wisconsin Badgers

9-3 Wisconsin returns a number of starters from last year including senior QB Joel Stave but the Badgers are going to be inexperienced on their offensive line. Ironic that Wisconsin is a little thin on big white guys, isn’t it?
Minnesota Golden Gophers 8-4 Minnesota returns some talent this season from a very efficient team that went 8-5 in 2014 and hopes are high. Unfortunately their schedule includes TCU, @Ohio State, and Wisconsin. Dreams dashed.
Nebraska Cornhuskers 8-4 Nebraska won nine or more games in each of Bo Pelini’s seven seasons and he was run out of town by a fan base that is both totally rational and completely realistic. Enter Mike Riley who won nine or more games just four times in 15 seasons at Oregon State. Mike, I’ve got some bad news for you…
Iowa Hawkeyes 7-5 Remember when the Hawkeyes were winning 10 games every season and head coach Kirk Ferentz was one of the hottest prospects in football? I didn’t think so.
Northwestern Wildcats 6-6 I’m betting big money that at some point this year head coach Pat Fitzgerald screams the sentence “maybe you should have spent a little more time practicing and a little less time unionizing!”
Illinois Fighting Illini 6-6 The Fighting Illini allowed 456 yards per game last season. Offensive players on opposing teams are calling their friends and family with start times for the Illinois game this year.
Purdue Boilermakers 3-9 Sorry, Purdue just doesn’t have the playmakers to compete in the Big 10 this season. Or any other season. Or any other conference.

Did you miss the ACC preview?

Read it here: ACC Preview

Coming on Thursday: The Big 12 Conference!