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Expert College Football Picks - Big Ten Predictions

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The Big Ten has always been thought of as a power conference.
The media has always had a love affair with them and it used to be for good reason.
However, the past few years, they have been on the down slide.
The SEC and Big 12 have run away with the bragging rights to college football supremacy.
For example, last year the Big Ten boasted a 1-6 record in their bowl games.
Some might argue that it's great that they got seven teams into a bowl game.
This is true, but when you lose six out of seven, your conference leaves a little something to be desired.
For the last several years its been Ohio State at the top.
This year should be no different as they reload with another talented team.
Let's check out these free college football picks and see just how "Big" the conference will be this year.
1.
Ohio State -
The Ohio State University has been a powerhouse in football for many years.
With Jim Tressel at head coach, he always seems to reload quickly.
They lost "Beanie" Wells, James Laurinaitis, and many more players, but they have a lot left in the stable.
One of the most exciting things for Buckeye fans is new starting quarterback Terrelle Pryor.
He is a Michael Vick-like player (minus the baggage) with a huge upside.
If he can put together a good year, the rest of the Big 10 better watch out.
2.
Penn State Nittany Lions -
Joe Paterno has another very talented team this year.
They've been good the last few years and this year will be no different.
They lost three of their top receivers from last year, but with stud quarterback Daryll Clark coming back they should be fine.
They will also be in good shape in the running game with Evan Royster toting the rock.
They also have a fantastic schedule with the other two top teams in the conference playing at their place.
3.
Iowa Hawkeyes -
They're coming off of a decent season last year and they should be improved this time around.
With quarterback Ricky Stanzi at the helm, the Hawkeye offense should be pretty good.
Although they lost running back Shonn Greene to the league, they still have enough to be productive on the ground.
4.
Michigan Wolverines -
The Wolverines aren't quite ready to contend with the Buckeyes just yet, but that won't stop them from winning a few games this year.
At the moment, Rich Rodriguez is in the middle of some scandal.
He's facing allegations that his program has practiced more than the allowed limit.
Despite the controversy, Michigan will still be decent this year with more of Rodriguez's recruits in the fold.
5.
Michigan State Spartans -
Mark Dantonio seems to be creating a stronger team every year.
His recruiting efforts have really started to pay off and he's steadily built a solid nucleus up in Lansing.
Expect them to struggle at times, but overall, they'll have a solid year as well.
6.
Northwestern Wildcats -
The Northwestern Wildcats are the epitome of the word "overachiever".
Despite not ever getting any top flight recruits, they always seem to be solid.
Either Pat Fitzgerald is one of the best coaches in the country or he is one of the luckiest men alive.
I'm going to go with the former.
Prediction: 8-4 7.
Illinois Fighting Illini -
Over the last few years, Ron Zook's squads have been a little up and down to say the least.
They have all the talent in the world, but they never can put it all together.
Juice Williams is very athletic, a great passer, and great leader.
However, they never can quite put it all together.
Expect the Illini to have some extremely high highs, and some extremely low lows.
8.
Wisconsin Badgers -
If Northwestern is the overachievers of the conference, Wisconsin has to be the underachieving team.
Last year they started out in the top ten in the polls, then quickly plummeted out of the top 25.
They're very talented, but don't seem to be very well coached.
Expect them to win a few games and lose a few to teams that they shouldn't.
9.
Minnesota Golden Gophers -
The best thing that happened to the Golden Gophers recently was getting their own new stadium.
While that always helps, it's not going to be enough to allow them to challenge anybody in the Big Ten.
They do have several key guys returning this year, but it's not going to be enough to get the job done.
10.
Purdue Boilermakers -
The Purdue Boilermakers have had some nice teams in recent years.
However, the mastermind behind those teams is now retired.
With a new coach in the fold, it might be a bumpy ride this season.
Usually it takes a few seasons once a new coach takes over and this is not going to be the exception.
11.
Indiana Hoosiers -
Indiana had a pretty decent team two years ago.
Then last year came along and had to ruin the party.
All of the promise that they showed was quickly erased with a terrible 2008.
Don't expect much out of the Hoosiers this year.
They'll easily be the worst team in the conference this time around.
The Big Ten is going to be an up and down roller coaster ride all season.
If you're wanting some free football picks, use this information to give yourself an idea of what to expect.
While you never know how everything will play out until the season is over, we should have a pretty decent idea.
Expect the Buckeyes and Penn State to battle it out for the top spot in the conference again.
There could be a dark horse team like the Michigan Wolverines or Michigan State Spartans make a run, but it would be surprising.
Just expect the unexpected this time around and there's a good chance it will happen.
Check out Vernon Croy's Expert College Football Picks this season.
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