1. Would you rather have Michigan and Ohio State in the same division or separate divisions, and what would you do with The Game assuming that Michigan and Ohio State are in separate divisions?
SCS100: Same, just because there’s no threat of the game being moved from its current date, and that way there will be no chance for a rematch. It may be ideal, but it won’t happen often. Nebraska appears to be on the way back to glory, Iowa and Wisconsin are always a threat, and Penn State could disrupt things on the other side. Factor in all of that, plus State possibly actually winning one season, and you’d have a mess trying to create a rematch. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but follow the SEC model. They managed to keep most of their rivalries (and all of the important ones) in the same division. There’s no reason the Big 10 can’t strive for this.
If the game is actually moved, I’d probably do it the second to last game. Yes, it may seem dumb in the end, but it is still in November and it is as close as one can get to what we have now. Besides, the TV Networks can then not panic about having the same game twice in a row and be happy that they got what they want. Honestly, there is no good place for the game to be moved, and I just hope that they leave it where it is.
Seth9: Michigan and Ohio State should absolutely be in the same division. I don't think that splitting the teams and using protected rivals would necessarily weaken the rivalry, but it would take away from The Game. In my opinion, some traditions should not be messed with and The Game is one of them. By splitting Michigan and Ohio State, it inherently weakens the tradition. If Michigan and Ohio State are split, keeping The Game at the end of the season ceases to be a viable option because of the strong likelihood of one or both teams playing in the Big Ten Championship game the next week, making The Game somewhat less important for at least one of the teams. As The Game would no longer be at the end of the year, an important tradition would be lost. As a substitute, I would make the teams open their conference schedules against each other, so as to make The Game a way to set the tone for the year. Also, if we lose Ohio State as our end-of-year game, I'd try to put Notre Dame in that spot, because Michigan State isn't a strong enough program to end the year with, in my opinion.
Shredder: Have them in separate divisions and have them play the last game of the year. I don't see the big deal. There will probably be a handful of times that they will play each other back to back. UM has a way to go to be at the top of the big 10 again and the big 10 will only get better with Nebraska joining so the odds of UM and OSU playing back to back is pretty low. It's always a possibility with any teams who play each other the last week assuming they are the top two teams that they could play again. I really don't get too fired about this topic since it's so out of the fans hands.
Dark Blue: I want Michigan and Ohio State in the same division. I think Jim Delaney and the rest of the Big Ten owe it to us to keep it that way. If they move the teams to separate divisions then I think you still play the game the last day of the regular season. So what the two teams may have to play the following week. I think most people (and by most people I mean me) would welcome a rematch. Truthfully I don’t really care when the game is played because even if we play OSU in the middle of October, its still OSU and our kids will be up for it.
2. Which team is most likely to upend Ohio State and become the Big 10 champion?
SCS100: Both Iowa and Wisconsin have the potential to pull off the upset, but I’ll say Iowa. They nearly pulled off the upset last year in the Shoe and that was without Stanzi as their QB. Stanzi may not be the most consistent of QB’s, but he can get the job done, which is all that matters in the end. Iowa also has Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State at home, which makes their schedule a little more bearable. Wisaconsin does not play Penn State and has Ohio State at home, but that trip to Iowa could end up derailing their chances if OSU doesn’t do them in the week before.
Seth9: Wisconsin, as they are probably the strongest team top to bottom outside of OSU. While Iowa probably has a better defense, I give Wisconsin the edge because they have a stronger and more consistent offense than Iowa with interception-prone Stanzi.
Shredder: That's pretty easy. Wisc is gonna be tough for anyone to stop including OSU. I think they lost no one on either side of the ball and have a giant rock biter at running back. Seems that Wisc does have a rep for not living up to their pre-season hype from years past but this team is a real threat to keep OSU from the Big Ten title and a NC game and oh the good news? We play both back to back.... Yay!
Dark Blue: I have 3 teams that could make some noise in the Big Ten this year. The first is Wisconsin, they have those 573 lb offensive lineman, a half ass competent quarterback, and what should be a decent defense. This will be a very good football team. The second is Iowa, Iowa returns that All American (figuratively speaking not literally) Rick Stanzi. Iowa also has a very good defense and should give team fits. However Michigan almost beat this team last year so I don’t know if they are quite as good as people give them credit for being. The last team I have that could possible win the Big Ten is Northwestern. All of the Northwestern love at the WLA led me to doing some research on the Wildcats. This is a team that doesn’t have to play Michigan or Ohio State this year, return a bunch of talent on both sides of the ball, and have pwnd Iowa the last few years. I think Northwestern could make a shit ton of noise.
3. Which team is currently the most overrated in the conference according to preseason polls?
SCS100: Penn State. Breaking in a new QB could prove disastrous, especially if they switch QB’s halfway through the season for whatever reason. They won’t be horrible, but I don’t expect them to be as much of a contender as they have been made out to be.
Seth9: I would have to go with Iowa, as they have a very weak offense that makes me question whether they are a top 10 team. That, combined with their tremendous luck last year (the close call with Northern Iowa looms in my memory), makes me think that they are probably the most overrated team in the Big Ten. They could finish where they're at now, but I personally think they'll be in the 15-20 range at seasons end.
Shredder: This is another easy one for me. It's gotta be Penn State. They finally don't have a house hold name in the LBing core and the QBs look like UM 08(alright not that bad but still). I have been saying for sometime I can see them really falling on their face and winning only 6-7 games. Which isn't a awful season but not what PSU fans and the team is expecting. Joepa's health is about as great as the QBs at the moment and thats not good. Should be a huge issue for them all year.
Dark Blue: Penn State bottom line. Penn St. reminds a bit of Michigan in 2008. I’m not saying Penn St. will be terrible but I think being ranked in the preseason top 25 of ludicrous. QB that has never played a down, is usually not a good thing.
4. Does Boise State have a shot at playing in the BCS Title Game?
SCS100: Yes, but that is assuming that either Alabama or Ohio State don’t go undefeated. If Boise State defeats Virginia Tech and either Bama or OSU slip up, Boise could very well end up in the title game. However, I predict that Bama and OSU meet in the MNC with undefeated records, while Virginia Tech manages to knock off Boise in the opener, thereby eliminating Boise from contention.
Seth9: Boise State definitely has a shot. Their strong opening position in the human polls gives them a clear shot at finishing in the Top 2, especially if fewer than two other teams finish undefeated. They also might survive the computer polls with two games against preseason Top 25 teams (Virginia Tech and Oregon State) and a WAC schedule that isn't completely terrible with games against Nevada and Fresno State.
Shredder: Yes as long as they win out. You start 3rd in the polls you have a great chance. If Bama and OSU run the table than no. But I dont see that happening. Bama has a hard as they come schedule and OSU gonna have to run through the B10 with out a hiccup.
Dark Blue: Hell yeah Boise St has a shot at making the BCS Title Game, and anyone who doesn’t think so is nuts. They will need some help to get there, but this is a team that people no longer consider Cinderella. If they manage to beat VT and Oregon St, and then go undefeated the rest of the year I think they deserve to play in the BCS Title Game just as much as anyone else does.
5. Which out of conference rivalry is the most important (after M/OSU naturally)?
SCS100: There are several good rivalries in college football such as the World’s Largest Cocktail Party (Georgia vs. Florida), the Iron Bowl (Auburn vs. Alabama), and the other Game (Stanford vs. Cal), but I would say that the most important (and best) outside of The Game is Texas and Oklahoma. The Red River Shootout is the date circled on both Texas’ and Oklahoma’s calendars every year and that won’t change. It usually determines which team will represent the Big 12 South in the championship game (and the Big 12 for that matter). Add in the Texas State Fair and the entire atmosphere is one giant party. It has a great location, an exciting game, and is nothing to be sneezed at.
Seth9: The most important rivalry is probably Texas-Oklahoma, in terms of its annual impact on the National Championship picture, as the winner of the game often wins the Big 12. This gets the narrow edge over the arguably more intense Alabama-Auburn game, which is comparatively less important in the SEC, due to the parity of the league. Also, an honorable mention should go to perhaps the most intense rivalry in the country, namely Army-Navy.
Shredder: Calvin vs Hope, as the Grand Rapids News 13 anchor Juillet Drages said "it's the biggest rivalry in the state of Michigan". ..
Dark Blue: I love the Army-Navy rivalry. These serviceman who are brothers in battle, for this one day in the beginning of December are bitter enemies on the field. It is a time honored tradition and I honestly wished more people gave a shit about this game. A close second for me is Texas-Oklahoma, these two teams have given us some memorable games over the course of the last decade.
6. Name your conference winners from the 6 major conferences plus the Mountain West.
SCS100: Big 10: Ohio State Big 12: Nebraska (Plays Texas in the Big 12 Championship) Pac 10: Stanford ACC: Virginia Tech (Plays Boston College in the ACC Championship) SEC: Alabama (plays Florida in the SEC Championship) Big East: UCONN Mountain West: TCU
Seth9: ACC: North Carolina - Their defense may well be the best in the country and the conference isn't really that strong.
Big 12: Oklahoma - I give them the edge over Texas as they look to have the better offense, with Texas losing McCoy and Shipley.
Big East: Pittsburgh - They had a strong team last year and return a lot of key pieces.
Big Ten: Ohio State - Their offense is stronger than any other Big Ten team and their defense looks to be good as usual.
Mountain West: TCU - They return a bunch of players from last year's outstanding team.
Pac 10: Oregon - Even without Masoli, they return the strongest core in what looks to be a rather weak Pac 10.
SEC: Alabama - Despite losing a ton of defensive starters, the Nick Saban oversigning machine should be able to replace them and the offense will likely improve with a ton of returning starters. They get the edge over Florida, who will suffer slightly as they transition to life after Tebow.
Shredder: ACC:Miami Big10:Wisc Big East:Pitt SEC:Gators Big 12:Texas Pac 10:Standford MWC:TCU
Dark Blue: ACC: Virginia Tech Big Ten: MICH Big East: Pitt SEC: Florida Big 12: Nebraska Pac 10: Oregon MWC: TCU