2019 B10 Football Boilerplate on the Hourglass - records, projections and more
It’s been since 2016 that a Big10 team played in the College Football Playoff and only Ohio State has represented the Mid-West league twice since the inception of the playoff in 2014.
2019 is a make or break year for Michigan and Jim Harbaugh and a rebirth of sorts for Ohio State with new head football coach Ryan Day. The league has a ton of intrigue this year from over 20 players from Penn State in the transfer portal, to if Nebraska can really “be back” under Scott Frost.
Can Justin Fields be the next Tua and will Wisconsin bounce back to form - all questions that will be answered in the coming months. Today we look at the conference as a whole and drop our predictions in the B10 - we have already dropped every team’s record in college football in one piece and you can see that here.
We start out with the overall conference power rankings for 2019 and they look like this.
Michigan sits atop the conference this year and again, it is now or never for Jim Harbaugh and his team. With a senior quarterback coming back, a schedule to boot and tons of questions among Penn State and Ohio State - now is the time. Speaking of those two, in Penn State and Ohio State, both will of course have a lot to say about who hoists the trophy come late November.
Wisconsin, Nebraska and Purdue, along with Michigan State are all next in line in the conference, followed by quality football from number eight down to 11.
Quarterback play will as always be huge in determining what happens in this league and this year could be a year of surprise on many levels at that position.
Again - there is Shea Patterson at the top of the list, but how will Justin Fields pan out in Columbus? He has the talent to be sitting at the top of this list come November. Adrian Martinez at Nebraska is in position to be a star in the league and this year is a big year for big red. Lots of young quarterback play around the league like new faces at Penn State, Maryland and elsewhere could bode for some great story lines at the position this fall.
Coaching - again we go back to Michigan, as Harbaugh has a chance this fall to call this his league.
While we have him the third best coach in the league on our three year metric, he is just a point behind Paul Chryst at Wisconsin and James Franklin at Penn State. Kirk Ferentz continues to just win year in and year out, decade in and decade out. As does Pat Fitzgerald at Northwestern and Mark Dantonio at Michigan State.
Mike Locksley will try to keep Maryland moving forward and can Jeff Brohm continue to move the needle at Purdue? Scott Frost is down our list at 11, but has a chance to make a big jump this fall.
What about talent and scheduling in the league? Both your roster talent and scheduling make a huge difference in your outcome on a given season. Take Texas A&M in the SEC - they have top four roster talent in that league in 2019, but the second hardest schedule, which throws them to an 8-4 season, when they could have 10 win talent.
In the B10, the three year roster talent looks like this.
Not surprising at the top three, but Nebraska continues to make a climb and is now ahead of anyone in their league as far as three year roster talent. It’s not by a lot, but they are moving the needle.
Scheduling though will be a big deal in the conference to watch this fall and our 2019 SOS in the league looks like this.
For Michigan to win the conference or Ohio State, they will play the league’s toughest schedules; but for teams like Iowa, Minnesota and Nebraska, they get the benefit of much easier schedules - which means take a team that ranks high on our talent list like Nebraska and a nice schedule, should equal a nice season.
For Michigan and Ohio State, while the talent is high, and the schedule, they should still muster really good years.
Our final rankings have Michigan advancing to the B10 Championship - finally under Harbaugh and the College Football Playoff. It is now or never for Mr. Steak and Milk - if he can’t do it this year, he may never do it.
Editors Note: All photos courtesy of 247sports.com