2006 Big 10 Conference Preview
2006 Big 10 Football Predictions
When Penn State joined the Big 10 many years ago, becoming the eleventh team in the conference, the decision was made not to change the name to accurately reflect the group’s new content. So the conference always seems a bit out of kilter—11 teams and 10 of them are BIG.
The Big 10 scores a lot of points and about half of the teams give up a lot of points. With thin and struggling defenses, the haves are those who can shut down opponents—Ohio State, Iowa, Penn State, and Michigan. Iowa has moved up the food chain and will give top-rated foes in the confrence fits. The Nittany Lions of Penn State aren’t the team they were last season, but Joe Paterno, despite his age, still have the fire in his belly.
Minnesota, Michigan State and Wisconsin will put in respectable seasons and Purdue will be somewhere between good and mediocre. Northwestern, Illinois and Indiana all have a chance to beat one another within the conference (all three do not meet, but Northwestern and Illinois meet and Indiana and Illinois will play one another). With Wisconsin being a sleeper in the group.
Penn State, Michigan, Michigan State and Purdue must all play against Charlie Weiss and the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. The independent Notre Dame should handle each with aplomb.
When you consider this conference at this point it’s really the Big 8, with 3 smaller cousins trying to grow up. It’s a good conference, but it can be a great one with an upgrade of the bottom tier.
Look for Ohio State to dominate and Iowa to last the season as a thorn in their side with a chance to pull the upset when they meet midseason.
Big Ten Predictions
1) Ohio State
5) Penn State
8) Michigan State
All individual team previews are listed below. You will find info on the team by clicking on the team links including last years conference and overall record, schedule and overview and predictions of the university. For more on the 2006 Big 10 university's view the NCAA's Big Ten website, or keep reading on the entire Big10 conference team previews below.