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Looking ahead (Big 10)

Discussion in 'The Redshirts' started by ryalaman, Aug 17, 2013.

  1. ryalaman

    ryalaman Walk On

    Jul 21, 2010
    A look at the Big 10 should start with the defending conference champs. Northwestern shocked everyone this year to win the conference and go to the Rose Bowl with only the singular blemish being a loss to Maryland. Kain Colter and Kyle Prater have paced the offense while Tyler Scott and Ibraheim Campbell were instrumental to their defensive success. The big question in Evanston is whether or not this success is repeatable.

    Key Losses:
    QB Kain Colter, HB Venric Mark, MLB Damien Proby, LE Tyler Scott

    Key Decisions: WR Kyle Prater, SS Ibraheim Campbell

    Prognosis: This Northwestern team only loses 12 seniors, and while Kain Colter graduating will hurt, there is some confidence in Evanston about the abilities of Trevor Simien. The Prater and Campbell decisions are big for this team, but I think both end up coming back to Northwestern for their senior years. This team is one that should be able to challenge for the Big 10 title again next year.

    Prediction: 10-2 (8-1)

    The next highest ranked team in the Big 10 this year was Iowa. A loss to Northwestern prevented them from having a chance to represent the conference in the Rose Bowl, but this team was one that was in the national title hunt for most of the season.

    Key Losses: TE CJ Fiedorowicz, MLB James Morris, ROLB Anthony Hitchens, LOLB Christian Kirksey, RE Dominic Alvis, CB BJ Lowery, FS Tanner Miller

    Key Decisions: DT Carl Davis, HB Mark Weisman

    Prognosis: Notice a trend in the key losses for this team? The Hawkeyes were #102 in total offense this year, but finished #12 in points per game. How did that happen? A huge positive turnover differential. With 7 defensive starters gone to graduation and an 8th in Carl Davis seriously considering leaving (and he should, pass rushing DTs are rare), this Iowa defense should take a step back. If they can't force turnovers at the same rate as this season, it could be difficult in Iowa City.

    Prediction: 8-4 (5-4)

    The winners on the other side of the conference were the West Virginia Mountaineers. They beat Maryland in triple OT to claim the division crown before eventually falling to Northwestern in the conference title game. WVU was very good against the run on the year, but they did just enough everywhere else to eek out 9 wins.

    Key Losses: LOLB Tyler Anderson, SS Darwin Cook, CB Brodrick Jenkins, MLB Doug Rigg, RE Will Clark, DT Shaq Rowell, RB Pat Eger

    Key decisions:
    HB Andrew Buie, LT Quinton Span

    Prognosis: WVU is in an interesting spot next year. They return their major playmakers on offense (most notably Buie, Ford Childress, and Kevin White) and their OL should be better despite the loss of Eger. But with the loss of 6 starters on defense, it could be tough for the rednecks to maintain their top 25 defensive ranking on the year. Despite my prediction that the defense will take a step back, I think WVU's offense will be much more explosive and put up more than the 28 points per game they put up this year.

    9-3 (6-3)

    The team that WVU beat to get to the title game (and the 3rd highest ranked team in the conference) was Maryland. Coming off a year in which there was QB turmoil because of injuries, the Terps had some controversy this year too, but this time it came because of the coach's decision to go with Ricardo Young over CJ Brown halfway through the year. This Terps team was both great offensively (leading the nation in points per game) and terrible defensively and at holding onto the ball. These competing factors made it a fairly interesting year on the way to 10 wins in College Park.

    Key Losses:
    CB Dexter McDougle, LG De'onte Arnett, CB Isaac Goins, TE Dave Stinebaugh, RT Nick Klemm, LOLB Marcus Whitfield

    Key decisions:
    WR Deon Long, ROLB Alex Twine

    Prognosis: Very good. This Terps team only loses 5 total starters from the 10 win team and most of them will be replaced by underclassmen who pushed them for their jobs this last year. The two big concerns for the Terps this coming year will be at CB (where they lose 3 of their top 4 CB) and at WR (where the Terps desperately hope that juco phenom Deon Long will return for his senior season). While the Terps certainly struggled at defending the pass last year (and losing DBs doesn't help), the entirety of their explosive offense is back for another run. This is a team that could be very dangerous.

    11-1 (8-1)

    Michigan State was one of the most talented teams in the conference this year, and some had them as a sleeper team on the national level. Unfortunately, things went south quickly in East Lansing and the Spartans struggled to a 7-5 record. There were plenty of problems (they couldn't hold onto the ball, they couldn't establish anything on the ground, and they weren't good defending the pass) and not a whole lot of answers this last year.

    Key losses:
    ROLB Denicos Allen, SS Isaiah Lewis, CB Darqueze Dennard, MLB Max Bullough, RT Fou Fonoti, LG Blake Treadwell, LT Dan France, QB Andrew Maxwell

    Key decisions:
    LE Marcus Rush, HB Nick Hill

    Prognosis: We may have a problem here. While losing your starting QB usually hurts, it can't really get much worse for MSU, as Maxwell averaged over 2 INTs per game for them. The problem for MSU is everything else that's leaving. Multiple NFL caliber players are graduating and one (Marcus Rush) seems like a good bet to leave school early. An average team replacing all of that talent may make things difficult on the Redshirts newest coach. This may be the first user team to miss a bowl if things don't break right for them.

    Prediction: 6-6 (4-5)

    Last and totally and 100% least is the Purdue Boilermakers. A good 6-0 start with great wins over Maryland and Oregon State quickly went south for the Boilermakers this year, as they followed that first 6 game run up with a 4 game losing streak to WVU, OSU, Iowa, and a dreadful Penn State team. Purdue fans sure hope that:
    1) they actually exist and
    2) they don't repeat that brutal month from this year.

    Key losses:
    WR Gary Bush, TE Gabe Holmes, RT Trevor Foy, LG Justin Kitchens, LT Kevin Pamphile, DT Bruce Gaston, CB Ricardo Allen, CB Nordmondo Harris

    Key decisions: LE Ryan Russell, SS Landon Feichter

    Prognosis: The good news is that true frosh Danny Etling showed real promise as Purdue's QB this year. That's obviously a great sign going forward. The bad news? He lost his 2 favorite weapons and most of his OL. Look at it in combination with the #120 rushing attack in college football this year, and he will need to put together a special sophomore campaign to overcome those losses. Defensively, Purdue loses both of their corners and almost certainly loses Lombardi and Nagurski award winner Ryan Russell. Its obviously difficult when you lose players of that caliber, but the Purdue defense was very very stout last year, and while they may take a small step back, I expect them to still be a top 25 unit next year.

    Prediction: 8-4 (6-3)
  2. PAgamer07

    PAgamer07 We're the ship without a storm

    Nov 11, 2009
    Dude. This was fantastic. Thanks a ton for doing this. Appreciate the read.

    Northwestern- I think with Colter gone its going to be a completely different team. I dont think they repeat in that division again

    Iowa- Really impressed with their year, don't think they can have the same success this year. They lose a ton of talent on defense.

    West Virginia- Buie hopefully leaves. If he does, I dont like their chances. If he stays, and Eric doesn't quit, theyre legit.

    Maryland- I think the losses on defense hurt more than you let on. But yes, that offense is very good.

    Michigan State- Their best player is Hill. Without him, youre right. 6 wins tops

    Purdue- My offensive line is gonna be hella bad. If we lose Russell like you said, we're done for.
  3. ZCar352

    ZCar352 Keep Pounding...Go Panthers!!!

    Aug 26, 2010
    Also for Iowa there head coach will be gone for 11 days as he has to drive to California for his real job...gonna be a lot of L's next season.
    • Like Like x 2

    BDSDIGITAL One Time for your Mind

    Jun 5, 2009
    This is corny
  5. bawvu97

    bawvu97 Let's Goooooo Mountaineers

    Jul 26, 2010
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