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2023 Big 10 Conference Football Preview

Updated: Aug 7, 2023




Predicted Order of Finish


East Division


1. Michigan- there is no QB controversy this year with junior J.J. McCarthy (2,719 yards, 22 TD’s) back and on defense 7 starters return from last year’s unit that ranked in the top 10 in points and yards allowed, leading receiver Ronnie Bell is gone and losing 4 defensive starters to the NFL is tough even at Michigan OVER/UNDER Total Wins 10.5


2. Ohio State- the Buckeyes have an embarrassment of riches at both running back and receiver while on defense there is no shortage of talent for second year coordinator Jim Knowles, who will replace Heisman finalist C.J. Stroud at QB remains a question and the offensive line was hit hard by the Draft OVER/UNDER Total Wins 10.5


3. Penn State- former 2022 top QB prospect sophomore QB Drew Allar will be joined in the backfield by sophomore RB Nick Singleton (1,061 yards, 12 TD’s) and the defense, which ranked 10th in FBS in points allowed last season, is deep and talented at nearly every position, special teams must break in both a new kicker and punter OVER/UNDER Total Wins 9.5


4. Maryland- offensively the Terrapins return 3-year starting senior QB Taulia Tagovailoa (3,008 yards 18 TD’s), leading rusher sophomore RB Roman Hemby (989 yards, 10 TD’s), and top receiver Jeshaun Jones (44 catches, 4 TD’s), both the offensive and defensive lines have holes to fill after major roster turnover OVER/UNDER Total Wins 7.5


5. Michigan State- the Spartans have plenty of depth at RB and returns 3 year starting LB and leader on defense Cal Haladay (120 tackles, 11 tackles for loss), QB Payton Thorne (46 career TD’s) along with top receiver Keon Coleman (798 yards, 7 TD’s) both left the program in the offseason OVER/UNDER Total Wins 5.5


6. Rutgers- HC Greg Schiano brought back Kirk Ciarrocca, his former coordinator from 2008-10, to turn around the offense which finished 123rd in scoring (17.4) while the defense returns key pieces from last year’s stingy unit that ranked 37th in total yards allowed per game (347.9), the Scarlet Knights must travel to Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, and Penn State OVER/UNDER Total Wins 3.5


7. Indiana- the Hoosiers added Western Michigan transfer senior DE Andre Cater (7 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss) to bolster the D-line and will again have the services of senior LB Aaron Casey who led the team with 86 tackles in 2022, the rest of the defense is unproven and on offense the starting QB spot remains undecided OVER/UNDER Total Wins 3.5



West Division


1. Iowa - 7 starters return from last year’s defense that finished 2nd in the nation in both points and yards allowed while senior Michigan transfer QB Cade McNamara hopes to invigorate the Hawkeyes’ offense, the O-line gave up 38 sacks in 2022 and the top 2 returning WR’s from last year had just 1 combined TD OVER/UNDER Total Wins 8.5


2. Wisconsin- senior SMU transfer QB Tanner Mordecai (3,524 yards, 33 TD’s) will operate the Badgers’ new Air Raid attack and junior LB’s Maema Njongmeta and Jordan Turner (163 combined tackles last year) are back to lead the defense, how quickly the personnel adapt to the new offensive approach remains to be seen OVER/UNDER Total Wins 8.5


3. Illinois- the Illini defense, which ranked first in points allowed last season (12.8), is elite up front led by junior DT Jer’Zhan Newton (5.5 sacks, 13 TFL), the secondary lost 4 starters to the NFL and the absence of QB Tommy DeVito and star RB Chase Brown (1,643 yards, 10 TD’s) on offense will be felt OVER/UNDER Total Wins 6.5


4. Minnesota- sophomore QB Athan Kaliakmanis gained valued experience at the end of last season and sophomore LB Cody Lindenberg (71 tackles) is back to lead the defense, HC P.J. Fleck lost his longtime offensive coordinator Kirk Ciarrocca and the backfield must replace the school’s all-time leading rusher Mo Ibrahim OVER/UNDER Total Wins 7.5


5. Nebraska – junior Georgia Tech transfer QB Jeff Sims should fit nicely in new HC Matt Rhule’s power run, ball control offense and the secondary will be a strength on defense with 4 returning starters, the Huskers ranked 108th in rush yards allowed in 2022 (189.1) and will be relying on a mostly unproven D-line OVER/UNDER Total Wins 6.5


6. Purdue- the Boilermakers have a proven RB in sophomore Devin Mockobee (968 yards and 9 TD’s last season) along with 4 returning starters on the O-line, Ryan Walters has no head coaching experience, and the schedule offers no favors with crossover matchups against both Ohio State and Michigan OVER/UNDER Total Wins 5.5


7. Northwestern- the Wildcats added a reliable QB in senior Cincinnati transfer QB Ben Bryant and leading tackler senior LB Bryce Gallagher is back on defense, the Wildcats are 4-20 the past 2 seasons and must overcome a tumultuous offseason that saw HC Pat Fitzgerald fired over hazing allegations OVER/UNDER Total Wins 3.5



Buy- None


Sell- Maryland- rebuilt lines on both sides of the ball could foil the Terrapins run at a 3rd consecutive winning season


Purdue- Walters is the 8th HC at Purdue since 1982 and only 2 have left West Lafayette with a winning record (Joe Tiller-1997-2008, Jeff Brohm-2017-2022)

Best Bet- Maryland UNDER total wins




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