All information on schedules and teams are credited from ESPN and the Big Ten
As we all know, the Big Ten recently welcomed Rutgers University and the University of Maryland to their fold, marking up 14 teams to vie for the crown in Indianpolis on December 6th. The 2014 season is almost upon us, so let's break down the Top 5 games to watch in this upcoming season in the Big Ten Conference! (please not these )
1. Week 9: Michigan State vs Ohio State-"The Rematch" as I'm calling it. The Spartans put a major dent in Ohio State's bid for a second straight undefeated season with a win in the Big Ten Championship game last year (after Michigan couldn't get the job done with a 42-41 loss in Ann Arbor). Both teams have their quarterbacks returning, Braxton Miller for the Buckeyes and Connor Cook for the Spartans. Looking at the schedules for both teams, Michigan State has more of a tougher road, because in Week 2 they play Oregon. Don't expect both teams to enter Spartan Stadium undefeated. But defense is going to be key, and Michigan State has many of their defensive players back from last season. Also expect Braxton Miller to have a heck of a game as well, both in the air and on the ground. Going wire to wire in this one, there's gonna be more couches burning in East Lansing. Michigan State 35, Ohio State 28
2. Week 12: Maryland vs Rutgers-Welcome recruits to the Big Ten! As the new teams, you have to wait a few years to contend. Playing in the ACC and American conference were all fun and games, but now it's serious. I honestly feel bad for both of these teams, because they are not going to make a major impact in their first years. Both teams will have losing records entering this game, and maybe it will be a win or go home for a bowl game. The QB matchup will be interesting, with seniors Gary Nova for Rutgers and C.J. Brown for Maryland making their final appearances in the college football landscape. But I gotta give the edge to Rutgers because they've played against tougher opponents in the AAC. Rutgers 21, Maryland 10.
3. Week 12: Michigan vs Ohio State-The Game is dead! It's not going to mean anything! So why is this game #3? Because it's still a rivalry. And well it's because of the possible QB match ups. Braxton Miller vs Shane Morris.....err, Devin Gardner.....err, Shane Gardner (not real). Devin Gardner had an unbelievable game, going 32/45 in passing, with 4 TD's and 0 INT. But is he going to be able to pull something off again this season? Probably not. Shane Morris has a lot to prove this season, so I wouldn't be surprised if he gets the nod for this game. I would love it if Michigan gets the victory, and hopefully knocks out Ohio State from the division title. But sadly, I don't see it this season. Don't expect a high scoring game this season, but expect another fight and birds being flipped! Ohio State 27, Michigan 17
4. Week 8: Michigan vs Michigan State-Last season was an ass kicking, and so began the downhill descent for Michigan. After starting the year 5-1 going into the game, the Wolverines stumbled down the stretch after a 29-6 whipping in Spartan Stadium. The game will be played in East Lansing again, but I think this will be a closer game than last time. If any game is going to mean anything to the Wolverines, it's this one. This game could change the landscape of the East Division. Shane Morris will get his first career start against the Spartans, but it won't be the same Morris like it was when he was at De La Salle. The defense will be the difference in this game. Michigan State 17, Michigan 13
5. Big Ten Championship: Michigan State vs Minnesota-The defending champs with an 11-1 record return to Indy to take on....Minnesota??? Yes, the Golden Gophers will edge out Northwestern (sorry Eric) to play for the Big Ten crown. The Gophers went 8-5 last year, losing to Syracuse in the bowl game. This year, they will be the team to beat in the West Division, coming in with a 9-3 record and an upset of Ohio State (no I didn't stutter.) Connor Cook will be coming in off a career game, while Minnesota will counter with Phillip Nelson. This game will be an all out offensive war, the defensive sides of the ball doing little to help their teams. Cook will best Nelson though, and Sparty will reclaim their crown and (possibly) go to the College Football Playoffs with the win. Michigan State 52, Minnesota 49
To all of the teams in the Big Ten this season, good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor.