Buckeye Wire Big Ten Preseason Power Rankings

Buckeye Wire Big Ten Preseason Power Rankings

BuckeyeWire

Buckeye Wire Big Ten Preseason Power Rankings


Each week, the staff at Buckeye Wire submit their picks from one to fourteen in the conference. We tally them up and give you a weekly snapshot of what we feel the pecking order is collectively. We’re kicking it off with the preseason baseline.


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It’s officially game week which means we can stop publishing the greatest lists of all-time and start to react to actual, live-football on the field. Each week we’ll bring you our stack-ranking of the teams in the Big Ten.

We’re starting it off with the baseline of the preseason. Get in on the action and let us know where you agree or disagree by contacting us on Twitter or Facebook.

14. Illinois

It’s good to be unanimous, but not in this case. Every member of our staff voted the Illini dead last to kick off the season. If Lovie Smith doesn’t show progress this year after playing a slew of freshman in 2018, things could get ugly.

13. Rutgers

Rutgers was almost the pick for everyone at No. 13, but we had one outlier plugging Maryland in this spot. Playing in the big, bad Big Ten East certainly doesn’t help, and head coach Chris Ash needs to show continued momentum after a bit of an uptick last year.

12. Maryland

The talent has been upgraded under D.J. Durkin, but injuries at quarterback have held the ‘Terps back. Now we wonder if the off-the-field stuff will have an impact.

11. Indiana

We just keep waiting for the Hoosiers to take that next step, but there’s a clear drop off in the Big Ten East beginning with them. You have to like Tom Allen’s energy, but we’ll reserve judgement until we see Indiana break through with a big win.

10. Minnesota

Las year can be chalked up to a turn-the-page affair, and the expectation is that P.J. Fleck gets the boat rowing away from the rocky shore this year. There’s still a long way to go though, with the Gophers needing to show improvement under center first and foremost.

9. Nebraska

Perhaps no team is more of an unknown than the ‘Huskers. Freshman Adrian Martinez will have to learn on the fly as a true freshman quarterback in Scott Frost’s offense, but the new head coach is a proven winner that turns things around quickly. We think it’ll take a little more time in Lincoln.

8. Iowa

This may turn out to be a little low for the Hawkeyes with Nate Stanley returning to a team that has a lot of good, returning pieces. But, it’s Iowa, and Iowa doesn’t normally handle expectations well. We’ll see.

7. Purdue

Jeff Brohm made the Boilermakers instantly better in 2017, but the schedule is a little tougher in 2018. We still think there’s progress in year two to be seen, just not much better of a record because of the competition.

6. Northwestern

We’ve lamented about trying to predict things with both the Wildcats and Hawkeyes, because the only thing consistent about those clubs are the inconsistencies. But as long as Clayton Thorson is healthy, he’ll sling it around the field and make secondaries look foolish. The front seven on defense will be one of the best in the league.

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