Discussion in 'Football' started by GVGiant44, Jun 10, 2019.

  1. GVGiant44

    GVGiant44 Well-Known Member

    With the opening kick-off now less than 82 days away, and a bunch of overpriced magazines hitting the shelves (Athlon's is out, Lindy's is hitting this week), I'm curious what folks think of the B1G West. I know the temptation would be to start by placing Illinois 7th. But even if you do, trying to pick the other six is going to be a real test. Every team has things working both for and against them. Okay, here's my first guess:

    (B1G's worst teams in 2019 - Rutgers, Maryland; B1G's most improved - Indiana, Minnesota; B1G champion - Michigan)

    7. Northwestern 2-7, 4-8 I know, they won the West last year. But with few meaningful starters returning, and a killer schedule taking away their momentum quickly, I see them returning to Mildcat status at least for this year. Patty Fitz's teams after big years are far less so - but they don't stay that way for long. They probably even lose at home to ... Iowa;
    T5. Illinois 3-6, 6-6 (bowl) I know, what's this guy been smokin'?? But EVERYONE who was anyone in last year's starting line-up is back. This team, that lost 63-0 to Iowa also fell just short in the B1G finale last year at champion Northwestern. They still don't quite meet expectations, largely because of their schedule. But I will say this - the Hawkeyes can be grateful for the schedule quirk that has the Illini returning to Kinnick for the second year in a row. If the game was in Champaign, it would be an 'L';
    T5. Wisconsin 3-6, 6-6 (bowl) By now, half of you probably quit reading. But something isn't right at Wisconsin, and suddenly they don't have typical up-and-coming Wisconsinites to fill their losses. This does not look like a year they can live either on their defense or running game. The only saving grace is no September road game - in fact, they don't have their first B1G road game until 10/19 - crazy. It won't help, as they even lose at home to ... Iowa - and other teams as well;
    4. Purdue 4-5, 7-5 (bowl) When you have nine starters returning on defense, and Rondale Moore (if only him) returning on offense, you should be better than this. And of the B1G coaching hires of the last few years, nobody - not Fleck, not Harbaugh, etc. has had more success than Jeff Brohm. And this guy, so far, owns Iowa. So why this? An Auburn mega-slaughter in their bowl last year painted the way. And this year, teams can focus on Moore a lot more (pun intended), and they will struggle to stop top passing games. A good season for them, not a great one, especially since they lose to Iowa;
    3. Nebraska 6-3, 8-4 (bowl) Am I one of the bozos drinking the Scott Frost kool-aid? No. And if they had Northwestern's schedule, I don't think they'd fare as well as the Mildcats. But their schedule is almost custom-made for a jump up in the standings this year. In fact, if it weren't for a stumping season-ending loss in Lincoln to ... Iowa, who knows what kind of year they can have;
    2. Iowa 7-2, 10-2 (major bowl) Has anyone (outside of this thread) even noticed what is building in Iowa City? When you have two potential all-American tackles, THE best defensive lineman in the country, and a school that is as rapidly becoming "DEFENSIVE BACK U" as much as TIGHT END U, you have the makings of a team that may FINALLY have a record to match their NFL-bound talent. Their schedule may indeed just be a tad too murderous to expect more than this. But still, a bowl win like Mississippi State usually transcends into something special the next season;
    1. Minnesota 8-1, 10-2 (major bowl) OK, I admit, I can't believe I myself am writing this. And it could well be that this team, like other good Minnesota teams through the last four decades, just can't get out of their own way, losing games they have no business losing, even as they show themselves to be potentially the class of the conference. But the signs are there. The only toughie from the east they play is Penn State, and they get them at home (and I don't see Penn State being very good this year). And I think the light comes on for the Fleck system this year. Yes, THE key west game may be November 16th in Iowa City.
  2. vegashawki

    vegashawki Well-Known Member

  3. 1hawkeye1

    1hawkeye1 Well-Known Member

    Minnesota "potentially the class of the conference." :confused::confused::confused:
  4. Xerxes

    Xerxes Well-Known Member

    I think Illinois finishes last and everyone else in the West beats up on each other.

    The other 6 teams all have reason to be optimistic of winning the division. 6-3 could easily be enough.

    Wisconsin might the best team but they have a brutal schedule.
    Nebraska has the best QB, great WR, and an easy schedule, probably the worst D too though.
    Northwestern has a great coach and possibly the best D.
    Minnesota has good RBs, good WRs, but QB is a bit unsettled. D has to be more consistent.
    Purdue is the ultimate Jekyll & Hyde. Smoke Ohio St, get smoked by Minnesota.
    Iowa looks great along the LOS and is upgrading the skill spots. Will game day coaching hold them back?
  5. pythagoras

    pythagoras Well-Known Member

  6. Stanzi

    Stanzi Well-Known Member

    Wisconsin, NW and Purdue each lose a multiple year starter at QB. I have to think that will lead to some early losses for each of them. If Illinois finishes anywhere but last in the division I will be shocked.
    eledmonster likes this.
  7. AreWeThereYet

    AreWeThereYet Well-Known Member

    I doubt if Northwestern dips below 5, or Minnesota above 8.

    10-2 for Iowa is exceedingly optimistic.
  8. WinOneThisCentury

    WinOneThisCentury Well-Known Member

    I'm going to tell you...if you take Illinois from your list and move it to last. You then could flip your list and you would be pretty accurate.

    I think the sleeper is Iowa though. If the interior of our offensive line proves itself...we are going to be a really tough out. Why I say that is that you have a few seniors in the 5th year (paulsons) and up and coming star at center (linderbaum) and a few others (Banwart, Kallenberger) that will be in the mix. It seems like whenever you have that scenario...you get those older guys to have a stalwart season.

    Defensively, we could be top 10 for sure. It's going to be interesting. This is definitely one of those years where you could see things gel and we have a special season. It just seems like we have more talent than I can remember at key positions (DE, OT, LB, CB, etc).
  9. hawkdrummer1

    hawkdrummer1 Well-Known Member

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

    But...I could see 1-5 all coming in at 6-3 in conference. Definitely expect some "ties" in 1-5. Prediction: our head to head game with Nebraska and/or Minnesota will determine who goes to the B1G title game.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2019
  10. 4thngoal

    4thngoal Well-Known Member

    1 Iowa
    The rest, who cares.
    I will say that I don't get the same vibe from PSU as almost everyone else gets.
    I'm thinking they could win the East.
    Just like Iowa, the stars are sort of lining up for them. They definitely have the opportunity.

    Wouldn't that be something? Iowa and PSU in the championship game.
    SmokeTownHawk and eledmonster like this.
  11. guffus

    guffus Well-Known Member

    Purdue played 2 QB's last year. One of them is gone. One of them is coming back. Probably the better of the 2 is coming back.

    Idk, if Purdue was really going to be that bad this year, would Jeff Brohm had come back?
  12. westender

    westender Well-Known Member

    Wisky supposedly has a wonder boy QB going to start just like ISU. NW's QB's just seem to be cloned year after year.
  13. 4thngoal

    4thngoal Well-Known Member

    There is definitely a log jam in the west this year.
    That's why I said after #1 who cares.
    We are top heavy this year and 1-4 or 1-5
    Is pretty tight.
    We will know more during fall camp.
    The question I am wondering is, the East has been top heavy, now how does the top 3 of West match up to the top 3 of the East?
    It's no secret that everyone has been wanting and working towards bringing the west up to the east standard. Are we on the precipice of that?
    Again we will know more during fall camp.
  14. WinOneThisCentury

    WinOneThisCentury Well-Known Member

    I'm telling you...the more I look at the talent on the defensive side of the ball...I really think we could have just a stifling defense.

    AJE, Golston, Waggoner, and others at DE means you are not going to have time to throw the ball downfield. If Nixon lives up to the hype and Lattimore does what seniors typically do at Iowa (perform at high level)...you have a DL that is deep and can stay fresh.

    Then you have a logjam of linebackers...several with experience and the competition is only going to make them better. There could be only two guys playing too with the CASH position so prevalent.

    Then the secondary...at safety...Stone proved himself...he will be better too. Merriweather is a freak athlete...that if he can get the reads and be in position...he could be a playmaker. We are deep at corner with some promising youth...damn...Hankins, Brents, Moss, Ojemudia, and others.

    Where is the weakness? You could point to DT...but honestly...you could argue, if Nixon or Shannon emerge...that it's a strength. If you didn't think you had talent at DT, why would you move Linderbaum to center? You just wouldn't do that and a coach like KF wouldn't do that...as he is a field position, let your defense win it for you coach at heart.

    Defense still wins championships in my book. What I see looks deep and special.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  15. hawkdrummer1

    hawkdrummer1 Well-Known Member

    Defense plus a mature QB and tough OL...even better.
    HuckFinn likes this.
  16. racerhawk

    racerhawk Well-Known Member

    I like your picks, but until it happens (and I'll love it if it does), I would never pick Becky Badger to finish 5th in the West. Seriously, I hate them and hope they finish last, but they almost always finish first. Maybe this is the year they finish 5th we roll them. That would be sweet.

    It will really be interesting to see if Minny and Nebby live up to the hype.
  17. hawkdrummer1

    hawkdrummer1 Well-Known Member

    Yeah. This year is as "up for grabs" as any in recent memory. There really isn't a clear favorite...Iowa has as good a case as any team.

    I think we go 10-2 or 9-3, 7-2 in conference...with a couple teams tied at 6-3 or 5-4. We could end up in a 3-way tie at 6-3. The game @ Nebby will be a must win.
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2019
  18. eledmonster

    eledmonster Well-Known Dog

    If the gilded rodents win the west, I will eat an oar. Not gonna happen.
  19. SCHawkeye2

    SCHawkeye2 Well-Known Member

    B10 West 4-2
    B10 5-4
    Overall 7-5
  20. hawkdrummer1

    hawkdrummer1 Well-Known Member

    The Goophs are @ Iowa, @ Northwestern, @ Purdue, home against Wiscy, Nebraska and Penn St (with Rutgers and Maryland as their other cross overs)...a pretty favorable B1G schedule. (also @ Fresno St...who was 10-2 last year)