Greetings all, welcome to part 1 of our 4 part Pre-Season Big Ten Power Rankings (Hell yeah I’m gonna try to milk this for what it’s worth). In our first edition we will tackle the bottom feeders of the Big Ten. And yes I know this will probably be the most boring of the posts but come on; bear with me. First let’s begin with the team that takes the prize of starting with the worst ranking.
Rank 12. Big Ten: Minnesota
Yes I remember, relative for the Gophers they finished strong last season. Keep in mind, however, they capped the incoming recruiting class as the worst in the Big Ten per Scout (technically Purdue ranks lower but that’s because amount of commits not avg star rating which I like to go by). The future really doesn’t look very bright. Not to be a complete downer, I do like the RB DeLeon Eskridge, I look for him to get more touches and have a solid season. My main issue is the defense which gave up about 33 points a game last year. I expect it to be about the same if not worse. Minnesota just does not recruit the caliber player to turn this around. They luck out and don’t have to play O$U but I have them as the underdog in each of their Big Ten games (even @Purdue).
Rank 11. Big Ten: Indiana
With Ben Chappell finally leaving (I swear I think he played 10 seasons there) Indiana will go from the scrappy bunch with Chappell at the helm to the joke of a division one program that Indiana really is. I believe they will only be returning 6 starters on defense, a defense that was on the field a lot and reminded me very much of the Michigan defense (in the sense that each team only had a defense in theory). They do have some cupcakes in their non-conference schedule but even there I don’t see them going better than 2-2 and getting perhaps a win or two in Big Ten play.
Rank 10. Big Ten: Purdue
With Purdue returning 9 starters on defense I expect that group to be the side that has to carry this team to any wins they get this season. Yes, they lost the All-American Kerrigan and he was a special player, but they just have a ton of experience coming back in the unit. Much like Michigan they were hit with a ton of injuries last year that helped contribute to a pretty bad year. I don’t feel like talking about it so I’ll just say I don’t have faith in their QB situation or their offense in general. On the bright side they have just as easy a non-conference schedule as Indiana. If they win the games they are suppose to that’s five wins there and then they would just need a little luck in one of their other games to become bowl eligible.
That raps it up for Part One, look for part two (Ranks 9, 8, 7) next week.