Football

Big-10 Football 2021 Predictions

big-10 football 2021 predictions
COLUMBUS, OH – APRIL 17: The Ohio State Buckeyes take the field to warm up before their Spring Game at Ohio Stadium on April 17, 2021 in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

Before diving into our Big-10 football 2021 predictions, make sure you check out our previous conference previews:

Next up on our conference preview list – the Big-10.

Can Ohio State win their fifth straight Big-10 championship or will a challenger finally step up to challenge them for the title? I will say this is one of the tougher seasons to predict coming off the COVID impacted season. Will Indiana and/or Northwestern have another good season? Will Michigan and/or Penn State rebound from the mess that was last season? Or will any other team step up and surprise?

Here are your Big-10 Football 2021 predictions:

Projected order of standings

East Division

  1. Ohio State
  2. Indiana
  3. Penn State
  4. Michigan
  5. Michigan State
  6. Rutgers
  7. Maryland

West Division

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Iowa
  3. Northwestern
  4. Minnesota
  5. Purdue
  6. Illinois
  7. Nebraska

Big-10 Awards and Post Season

Predicted Big-10 Championship

Ohio State over Wisconsin

Awards

  • Offensive POY – Michael Penix Jr., QB, Indiana
  • Defensive POY – Brandon Joseph, CB, Northwestern
  • Coach of the Year – Tom Allen, Indiana
  • Freshman POY – CJ Stroud, QB, Ohio State
  • Transfer of the year – Samori Toure, WR, Nebraska

Top 5 Teams Breakdown

See all of the teams and their schedules here.

Ohio State

  • 2020 Record: 7-1
  • Preseason Prediction: 12-0
  • Big-10 Prediction: 9-0
  • Predicted losses: None
  • Big wins predicted: Oregon, Penn State, Michigan

With Justin Fields off to the Chicago Bears, does that mean that Ohio State will be taking a step back this year? For most teams it would mean that, but for this team, I fully expect them to reload with CJ Stroud and run through the Big-10.

But I am concerned, a QB can be a great recruit but never succeed on the field and that is something to watch for here. Though I am not that worried about Stroud, besides, if he does struggle, there are 3 top tier QBs behind that can step in.

What will help this transition to Stroud will be this receiving core, this could be the best receiving core in professional football, let alone the college game.

Wisconsin

  • 2020 Record: 4-3
  • Preseason Prediction: 11-1
  • Big-10 Prediction: 9-0
  • Predicted losses: Notre Dame
  • Big wins predicted: Iowa, Penn State, Minnesota

Last year was a struggle, but I tend to blame that on COVID and injuries. I think this is the year that Wisconsin has its best shot at the Big-10 title.

My questions would be can the running game take back off again? Will Graham Mertz show that he really is an elite quarterback or will he fall back to earth a bit?

One thing I don’t have a question on is that defense, that should be dominant.

Indiana

  • 2020 Record: 7-5
  • Preseason Prediction: 10-2
  • Big-10 Prediction: 7-2
  • Predicted losses: Ohio State, Michigan
  • Big wins predicted: Cincinnati, Penn State, Michigan State, Iowa

Was last year’s team the start of the future for the Hoosiers? Or will they slide back down the conference that I see many are predicting? I honestly think they will keep this thing going and be a tough out for all of the elites in the Big-10.

My biggest question is on Michael Penix Jr’s knee. Is it ok and will he return to form? If so this team will surprise many again this year.

Penn State

  • 2020 Record: 4-5
  • Preseason Prediction: 8-4
  • Big-10 Prediction: 6-3
  • Predicted losses: Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, Auburn
  • Big wins predicted: Michigan, Iowa, Michigan State

I have read many predictions mentioning not to get to hung up on last year, it was all due to COVID. I just have a hard time seeing it with this team. Since Saquan Barkely left, it has felt like they are slowly sliding back down to just an ok team. This will be the year to prove that wrong and challenge for the title, but I’m just not sure they can.

Iowa

  • 2020 Record: 6-2
  • Preseason Prediction: 8-4
  • Big-10 Prediction: 6-3
  • Predicted losses: Iowa State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Indiana
  • Big wins predicted: Louisville, LSU, Mississippi State

I am having a tough time reading Iowa. It seems like every other year they are good and then they are middle of the pack again. I think if there is anything happening with the deep passing game (which would be strange to see in Iowa) then this could be a successful year for them.

I do expect Tyler Goodson to have a fantastic year behind that O-line and as usual the defense should be pretty good. It’s time for the offensive to catch up.

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  1. Pingback: Wisconsin Badgers Most Important Matchups - Championship Sports Media

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