2012 Big Ten Football Predictions
Now it’s time to get a little dirty…for weeks..hopefully…you have been reading our Big Ten previews on each and every team….it gave some pretty good information and what to look for…but it’s time I throw some specifics at you….so here is how I think the Big Ten will shake down in 2012.
What goes into this?…well…a lot of research…I study each team…their history vs their opponents, their tendencies, a lot of statistical information…especially the last 5 years or so. But I also take into consideration returning starters, seniors on each team and schedules..coaching plays a big role too….but I also go with my gut…so while many of you may bash whatever you don’t agree with or don’t like…and that’s fine. To each his own…I hope you find it informational and entertaining….Read on Big Ten football lovers!!!
Week one preview is up next…look for it early next week….
- Michigan 9-3, 7-1 Michigan will be a better team than the 2011 edition, but due to the brutal schedule…not many people will see it that way…they will improve their record each month as the season progresses…2-2 in September, 3-1 in October and 4-0 in November..Denard Robinson will improve and only throw single digit INT’s in 2012…but it’s all about who they play..
- Michigan St 9-3, 6-2 The Spartan defense will keep them in each and every game in 2012 and will probably win them more games than their offense will…they will get a scare vs Boise and then the usual injuries that plague teams will hit…they have virtually zero experience at WR but the group is very athletic and talented..the O line is a strong point and should make the running game very effective…QB is the big question…there will be a substantial dropoff from Cousins…be ready for it Spartan fans.
- Nebraska 9-3, 6-2 I was honestly surprised when I did my research and broke down the schedule and this is what I came up with..I have the Corn’s conference losses coming on October 6th at Columbus and November 3rd at East Lansing…14 starters return to a team that learned a lot what it’s like to be a Big Ten team…I can only assume that Bo Pelini will use the experience of 2011 so I am giving him the benefit of the doubt here until he proves otherwise..I am just not yet sold on the fact that this team is physically ready for prolonged success in the Big Ten.
- Iowa Hawkeyes 8-4, 4-4 The Hawks will roll through September…or they should..the biggest adjustment may be for the entirely new offensive and defensive coordinators…I really can’t wait to see how much different both units will be in 2012…will Kirk Ferentz give his new coaches control or not? Should be fun to watch….keep an eye out for James Vandenberg to light up the corn-filled skies throwing the ball.
- Northwestern Wildcats 6-6, 3-5 The Cats should win four of its first five games…if not all five but Vanderbilt may be an issue…but Pat Fitzgerald has emphasized defense this camp…unfortunately we won’t be able to tell until the Big Ten slate starts…until I see it on the field…this team will struggle with mediocrity in the standings.
- Minnesota Golden Gophers 5-7, 1-7 This will be the year that Jerry Kills team shows its biggest improvement…they have one of the best athletes at QB in MarQueis Gray and he alone should win them more games than they did last season..but the defense is where they need to get better to win Big Ten games…they will come close to a couple conference wins…but after 2012, the Gophers will need to begin anew with a QB that runs Kill’s system…so it could be a while before they flirt with .500 again…Gopher fans…have patience..Kill will win there…just give him time.
What to look for in the LEGENDS…
The game of the year not only in the Legends but in the entire conference is on October 20th in Ann Arbor when Michigan plays Michigan State…Hoke needs to get the inherited monkey off his back…but it should be a defensive struggle and the intensity will build each and every week….despite possibly both teams from Michigan losing to Notre Dame.
The Spartans only leave the state of Michigan three times in 2012…trips to Bloomington, Madison and MarQuinneapolis…
Four of the six Legends teams begin the season away from home…Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota and Northwestern…while none of the Leaders teams begin with a road game..
The last time MSU opened a season playing a ranked team was in 1998 when they lost to #15 Colorado State 23-16 in East Lansing…
James Vandenberg is almost a lock to become only the 7th QB in Iowa history to pass for 5,000 yards…he needs just under 1500 yds to do so….he was only the 3rd QB in Iowa’s history to throw over 3,000 yds and 20 TD passes in a single season in 2011…joining Ricky Stanzi (3004 & 25) in 2010 and Chuck Long (3297 & 27) in 1985…
Only twice in 2011 did Minnesota have a HB gain over 100 yards in a game…Duane Bennett both times….in the victory over Iowa and the loss to Northwestern….that needs to change for the Gophers to become a threat.
Michigan plays 6 home games and 6 road games in 2012…this is the first time UM has played 6 times away from Ann Arbor in the regular season since the 1998 season when UM went 4-2 on the road with losses to Notre Dame to open the season and Ohio State to close it…
If Corn (Nebraska, not Iowa…I know…there is so much corn in the Big Ten it’s hard to keep ‘em straight…work with me) QB Taylor Martinez throws for 2131 yards in the next two seasons….seems like a gimme, he might even do that this year…he will become the all-time leading passer in Nebraska history….passing the all-time greats like Jerry Tagge, Dave Humm and Joe Ganz…he’s already passed Tommie Frazier.