On the eve of the 2012 college football season, we wanted to share some thoughts as Big Ten teams wrap up their preseason camps and approach their opening games.
The Big Ten galaxy of stars includes OSU's Braxton Miller, Wisconsin's Montee Ball, UM's Denard Robinson and MSU's William Gholston.
We will share some postcards from each camp as well as our game-by-game prediction and records for each Big Ten team. Finally, we will throw out some bowl projections as well as some links to other season preview content. Here we go with how we see each division race playing out:
* Last Year: 11-3 overall, 6-2 Big Ten (tied for first in Leaders Division), defeated Michigan State 42-39 in Big Ten championship game, lost to Oregon 45-38 in the Rose Bowl.
* Postcards From Camp: Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema took to Twitter to announce that Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien had won the quarterback job, as expected. O’Brien will not approach what Russell Wilson did last year, but should do a nice job nonetheless … RB Montee Ball had a monster junior year and opted to come back. He seems to have recovered from being attacked on-campus prior to the start of camp … The Badgers will be as good as their revamped pass rush and secondary allow them to be.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 10-2 overall, 6-2 Big Ten (first in Leaders Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Northern Iowa (W); Sept. 8, at Oregon State (W); Sept. 15, Utah State (W); Sept. 22, UTEP (W); Sept. 29, at Nebraska (L); Oct. 6, Illinois (W); Oct. 13, at Purdue (W); Oct. 20, Minnesota (W); Oct. 27, Michigan State (W); Nov. 10, at Indiana (W); Nov. 17, Ohio State (W); Nov. 24, at Penn State (L).
* Steve Says: The nonconference schedule – other than a road trip at Oregon State (3-9 last year) – is about as easy as it could possibly get. UW also must visit Nebraska, which will be itching for revenge after a 48-17 loss at Madison last year. Wisconsin does not play Michigan (unless they meet for the championship in Indy). The Badgers get Illinois and Ohio State at home in the division and also play Michigan State at home as well. Add it up and if Wisconsin does not rep the Leaders Division in Indy, there should be a federal investigation.
* Last Year: 6-7 overall, 3-5 Big Ten (fourth in Leaders Division), lost to Florida 24-17 in Gator Bowl.
* Postcards From Camp: It sounds like new coach Urban Meyer has almost complete faith in sophomore QB Braxton Miller to pilot the spread option offense. Miller reportedly threw for 350 yards and two touchdowns in a recent scrimmage … RB Carlos Hyde seems like a new man after an up-and-down 2011. Getting senior RB Jordan Hall back from a foot injury will help … Senior Jake Stoneburner has moved from tight end to receiver and may lead the team in catches … Defensively, the line (with DE John Simon and DT Johnathan Hankins) and the secondary (with CB Bradley Roby and others) will be the strengths. They will live and die with the play of LBs Etienne Sabino and Ryan Shazier, though.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 10-2 overall, 6-2 Big Ten (tied for first in Leaders Division; ineligible for championship or bowl game)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Miami (Ohio) (W); Sept. 8, Central Florida (W); Sept. 15, California (W); Sept. 22, UAB (W); Sept. 29, at Michigan State (L); Oct. 6, Nebraska (W); Oct. 13, at Indiana (W); Oct. 20, Purdue (W); Oct. 27, at Penn State (W); Nov. 3, Illinois (W); Nov. 17, at Wisconsin (L); Nov. 24 Michigan (W).
* Steve Says: NCAA sanctions mean Ohio State can’t win the Big Ten or play in a bowl game. So Meyer is using this free pass year to establish his program. The seniors have bought in and that has helped. The nonconference is about as easy as any in recent memory. The four swing games are at Michigan State, home with Nebraska, at Wisconsin and home with Michigan. Win two of those four, get to 10 wins and get on with the business of contending for championships again in 2013.
* Last Year: 7-6 overall, 2-6 Big Ten (fifth in Leaders Division), defeated UCLA 20-14 in Fight Hunger Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: First-year head coach Tim Beckman will stick with junior Nathan Scheelhaase as his quarterback. Scheelhaase had been battling Reilly O’Toole during camp … Senior Graham Pocic has settled in at center with senior Hugh Thornton at the all-important left tackle spot … RBs Josh Ferguson, Donovonn Young and Dami Ayoola are all expected to see action … But DE Justin Staples will miss the opener due to an off-season DUI arrest and safeties Steve Hull and Supo Sanni could also miss the opener due to injuries … DE Michael Buchanan and LB Jonathan Brown could be All-Big Ten performers on defense.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 7-5 overall, 4-4 Big Ten (third in Leaders Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Western Michigan (W); Sept. 8, at Arizona State (L); Sept. 15, Charleston Southern (W); Sept. 22, Louisiana Tech (W); Sept. 29, Penn State (W); Oct. 6, at Wisconsin (L); Oct. 13, at Michigan (L); Oct. 27, Indiana (W); Nov. 3, at Ohio State (L); Nov. 10, Minnesota (W); Nov. 17, Purdue (W); Nov. 24 at Northwestern (L).
* Steve Says: I like Beckman a lot. He worked under some good coaches previously (namely Urban Meyer, Jim Tressel and Mike Gundy) and breathed life into a tough situation at Toledo. The schedule is not all that tough because Illinois does not face Michigan State or Iowa in crossover games. The two swing games I see are Week 2 at Arizona State, which also has a new coach in Todd Graham, and the season finale at instate rival Northwestern. Supplanting Wisconsin as the division champion is a noble goal, but with their meeting with the Badgers in Madison it will be a daunting task. Still, a Jan. 1 bowl bid could be within reach (especially with Penn State and Ohio State ineligible).
* Last Year: 9-4 overall, 6-2 Big Ten (tied for first in Leaders Division), lost to Houston 30-14 TicketCity Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: The NCAA sanctions that brought scholarship restrictions and a four-year bowl ban may sap some of the life from the Penn State over the long haul. But new head coach Bill O’Brien has done the best he can to keep a stiff upper lip … Senior Matt McGloin has a hold on the quarterback job, but O’Brien probably won’t hesitate to go with soph Paul Jones or impressive freshman Steven Bench if need be … Soph Bill Belton has stepped forward to replace 1,200-yard rusher Silas Redd, who defected to USC after the sanctions were announced … PSU will look to some younger guys (sophs Allen Robinson and Alex Kenney and others) to step in at wide receiver after Justin Brown also transferred out … The Lions need senior OLBs Michael Mauti and Gerald Hodges to lead the defense.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 7-5 overall, 3-5 Big Ten (tied for fourth in Leaders Division; ineligible for championship or bowl game)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Ohio (W); Sept. 8, at Virginia (W); Sept. 15, Navy (W); Sept. 22, Temple (W); Sept. 29, at Illinois (L); Oct. 6, Northwestern (W); Oct. 20, at Iowa (L); Oct. 27, Ohio State (L); Nov. 3, at Purdue (L); Nov. 10, at Nebraska (L); Nov. 17, Indiana (W); Nov. 24, Wisconsin (W).
* Steve Says: There are untenable situations and then there is what’s going to unfold at Penn State. O’Brien and his staff are doing their best to stabilize things. The hope has to be that the offense can improve, although Redd’s departure will definitely hurt. The nonconference is negotiable, although the game at Virginia could be a tester. Penn State does not have to play Michigan or Michigan State, which is a good thing. If the Lions can beat Ohio State and/or Wisconsin at home, it would be huge. In fact, I think they ride emotion and knock off Wisconsin at the end of the year.
* Last Year: 7-6 overall, 4-4 Big Ten (third in Leaders Division), defeated Western Michigan 37-32 in Little Caesars Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: Purdue may have the best three-man tandem at quarterback in the country. It looks like Caleb TerBush will remain on as the starter, but Robert Marve and Rob Henry are standing at the ready and coach Danny Hope still says all three could play (we will see about that) … RB Ralph Bolden is still slowed by a knee injury, but Akeem Shavers and Akeem Hunt will handle the load until he can get back … It’s not a good sign that left tackle is unsettled between Kevin Pamphile and Justin Kitchens … The defense has a pair of All-Big Tenners in DT Kawaan Short and CB Ricardo Allen. But it may take a hit as top returning tackler MLB Dwayne Beckford has apparently been given the boot after an arrest earlier this week.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 6-6 overall, 3-5 (tied for fourth in Leaders Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Eastern Kentucky (W); Sept. 8, at Notre Dame (L); Sept. 15, Eastern Michigan (W); Sept. 29, Marshall (W); Oct. 6, Michigan (L); Oct. 13, Wisconsin (L); Oct. 20, at Ohio State (L); Oct. 27, at Minnesota (W); Nov. 3, Penn State (W); Nov. 10, at Iowa (L); Nov. 17, at Illinois (L); Nov. 24, Indiana (W).
* Steve Says: The three home nonconference games are all winnable. The game at Notre Dame will be tough, though. Purdue has won there once (in 2004) in 17 visits since 1974. Purdue opens Big Ten play at home against Michigan and Wisconsin. Stealing one of those (particularly Wisconsin) could help the Boilers contend in the Leaders Division. Road games at Iowa and Illinois would also be huge wins. I’m not sure why I haven’t bought in here, but I have Purdue treading water at 6-6 and scraping into a bowl for the second year in a row.
* Last Year: 1-11 overall, 0-8 Big Ten (sixth in Leaders Division)
* Postcards From Camp: More than 20 scholarship players have left since Kevin Wilson took over as the IU coach in December 2010. As a result, Wilson grabbed eight JUCO transfers with seven coming in on defense. The hope is that these older players will help fix a defense that struggled mightily last year. LBs Jaccari Alexander and David Cooper will be counted upon heavily … Soph Tre Roberson has strengthened his hold on the quarterback job. The next step is surrounding him with talent and putting him in positions to succeed … Freshman RB Tevin Coleman could push returning starter Stephen Houston at running back … Sophs Nick Stoner and Cody Latimer each performed well at receiver during camp.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 3-9 overall, 0-8 Big Ten (sixth in Leaders Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Indiana State (W); Sept. 8, at Massachusetts (W); Sept. 15, Ball State (W); Sept. 29, at Northwestern (L); Oct. 6, Michigan State (L); Oct. 13, Ohio State (L); Oct. 20, at Navy (L); Oct. 27, at Illinois (L); Nov. 3, Iowa (L); Nov. 10, Wisconsin (L); Nov. 17, at Penn State (L); Nov. 24, at Purdue (L).
* Steve Says: Coming off a 1-11 season, Indiana deserves an easier schedule and some good news. The good news is the Hoosiers have a chance to win their first three games – one against a I-AA team (Indiana State) and the other two against schools from the MAC (Massachusetts and Ball State). The fourth nonleague game at Navy (played on Oct. 20) will be tough just because the Midshipman favor the option attack nobody else really uses. In the Big Ten, IU misses Michigan State and Nebraska as well as a potentially winnable game against Minnesota. The Hoosiers’ Big Ten home schedule is brutal. IU’s best shot at a conference win could be in the last two weeks at Penn State or at Purdue.
* Last Year: 11-2 overall, 6-2 Big Ten (second in Legends Division), defeated Virginia Tech 23-20 (OT) in Sugar Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: The pace in preseason camp was frenetic for two reasons – familiarity with second-year coach Brady Hoke and his staff as well as the light at the end of the tunnel (Saturday’s season-opener against defending national champion Alabama) … Senior QB Denard Robinson, back for his third year as the starter, sounds like he is poised to have a big year … Hoke has listed RB Fitzgerald Toussaint, arrested for DUI just before the start of camp, as his starter for the Alabama opener … WR Roy Roundtree is also due to play despite missing some time in camp after knee surgery. Backup QB Devin Gardner could also rep at receiver as well to get he and Robinson on the field together … Quinton Washington won a battle with Jibreel Black at defensive tackle, moving Black to end.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 9-3 overall, 6-2 (tied for first in Legends Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, vs. Alabama (at Cowboys Stadium; Arlington, Texas) (L); Sept. 8, Air Force (W); Sept. 15, Massachusetts (W); Sept. 22, at Notre Dame (W); Oct. 6, at Purdue (W); Oct. 13, Illinois (W); Oct. 20, Michigan State (W); Oct. 27, at Nebraska (L); Nov. 3, at Minnesota (W); Nov. 10, Northwestern (W); Nov. 17, Iowa (W); Nov. 24, at Ohio State (L).
* Steve Says: You have to respect Michigan for sacrificing a home game for a chance to tackle Alabama in a made-for-TV game down in Texas. The Wolverines will gain even more respect if they come back from the Metroplex with a huge win, but that may be hard to do. The game at Notre Dame --- another prime time affair – also looms large. UM gets division rivals Michigan State and Iowa at home, but must visit Nebraska and Ohio State. I see Michigan tying with Iowa and MSU for the division title, but head-to-head wins over those two will send the Wolverines to Indianapolis (and a win there over Wisconsin will send them on to Pasadena).
* Last Year: 11-3 overall, 7-1 Big Ten (first in Legends Division), lost to Wisconsin 42-39 in Big Ten championship game, defeated Georgia 33-30 (3 OT) in Outback Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: How much does Mark Dantonio like new starting QB Andrew Maxwell? He named the junior as a team captain. That tells us Maxwell has done everything asked of him and then some in his bid to replace departed starter Kirk Cousins … It looks like junior Bennie Fowler may have emerged as the top wide receiver target … RB Le’Veon Bell platooned with Edwin Baker last year, but is ready to emerge as the lead back this year … The defense should stay stingy with DE William Gholston, three battle-tested LBs (including Denicos Allen) and CB Johnny Adams leading the way.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 10-2 overall, 6-2 Big Ten (tied for first in Legends Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Aug. 31, Boise State (W); Sept. 8, at Central Michigan (W); Sept. 15, Notre Dame (W); Sept. 22, Eastern Michigan (W); Sept. 29, Ohio State (W); Oct. 6, at Indiana (W); Oct. 13, Iowa (W); Oct. 20, at Michigan (L); Oct. 27, at Wisconsin (L); Nov. 3, Nebraska (W); Nov. 17, Northwestern (W); Nov. 24, at Minnesota (W).
* Steve Says: Michigan State will open with a bang by defeating multi-time BCS buster Boise State in Friday night’s opener. The Spartans will also take the measure of Notre Dame at home two weeks after that. A 7-0 start is not out of the realm of possibility if MSU can hold serve at home against Ohio State and Iowa. But late-October road trips to Michigan and Wisconsin will be the swing games for MSU. The Spartans will get to double digits in wins for the third year in a row, but it won’t be easy. MSU plays as many preseason top-25 teams (six) as anybody in the country. And, although I don’t have the Spartans repping the Legends Division in Indy, I think that long-awaited first BCS bowl bid is finally in MSU’s future.
* Last Year: 7-6 overall, 4-4 Big Ten (fourth in Legends Division), lost to Oklahoma 31-14 in Insight Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: It sounds like 3,000-yard passer James Vandenberg will be given every opportunity to fling it in new coordinator Greg Davis’ offense. Some are saying he could push for Chuck Long’s single-season passing mark (3,738 yards) … Top targets Keenan Davis, Kevonte Martin-Manley and TE C.J. Fiedorowicz all seem primed for a big year … That Iowa running back jinx shows no signs of letting up anytime soon. Barkley Hill (season-ending knee injury) was the latest casualty. Soph Damon Bullock and freshman Greg Garmon will be given every chance to take over there, though … Defensively, the big concern is on the line. Will they be able to get pressure? Moreover, can Iowa get back to its lofty standards after surrendering its most points in 11 years?
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 10-2 overall, 6-2 (tied for first in Legends Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, vs. Northern Illinois (at Soldier Field, Chicago) (W); Sept. 8, Iowa State (W); Sept. 15, Northern Iowa (W); Sept. 22, Central Michigan (W); Sept. 29, Minnesota (W); Oct. 13, at Michigan State (L); Oct. 20, Penn State (W); Oct. 27, at Northwestern (W); Nov. 3, at Indiana (W); Nov. 10, Purdue (W); Nov. 17, at Michigan (L); Nov. 23, Nebraska (W).
* Steve Says: The nonleague slate isn’t all that hard with one I-AA team, two MAC teams and a home game with instate rival Iowa State. That sounds like 4-0. And the Hawkeyes can also thank the Big Ten computer that spit out a schedule without Wisconsin, Ohio State or Illinois. Yes, the Legends Division road games at Michigan State and Michigan will be tough. But a win at home over Nebraska on Black Friday could be the ticket to a share of the division title and a Jan. 1 bowl bid.
* Last Year: 9-4 overall, 5-3 Big Ten (third in Legends Division), lost to South Carolina 30-13 in Capital One Bowl
* Postcards From Camp: Nebraska’s offense could be poised to explode. QB Taylor Martinez has improved as a passer and the emphasis for coordinator Tim Beck has been on finding ways to exploit RB Rex Burkhead and getting him the ball in space … The big question comes on defense, where the Huskers’ revamped front seven must do better against the run … Kicker/punter Brett Maher is, single-handedly, the best kicker/punter tandem in the Big Ten.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 9-3 overall, 5-3 Big Ten (fourth in Legends Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, Southern Miss (W); Sept. 8, at UCLA (W); Sept. 15, Arkansas State (W); Sept. 22, Idaho State (W); Sept. 29, Wisconsin (W); Oct. 6, at Ohio State (L); Oct. 20, at Northwestern (W); Oct. 27, Michigan (W); Nov. 3, at Michigan State (L); Nov. 10, Penn State (W); Nov. 17, Minnesota (W); Nov. 23, at Iowa (L).
* Steve Says: I like Nebraska and I like coach Bo Pelini, I really do. But the Big Ten brought Nebraska in and handed them a murderer’s row type schedule. Any analysis would make Ohio State, Wisconsin and Penn State the three top football programs in the Leaders Division, and the Huskers play all three of them. Road games in the division with Michigan State and Iowa make things that much tougher. This team is good enough to win the division – provided the defense comes along. But the schedule makes it very difficult.
* Last Year: 6-7 overall, 3-5 Big Ten (fifth in Legends Division), lost to Texas A&M 33-22 in Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
* Postcards From Camp: Kain Colter has apparently taken to his new role as the full-time quarterback. He had quite a season last year as a part-time QB, runner and receiver … NU coach Pat Fitzgerald concentrates on the defense, which must improve after finishing 10th in the Big Ten against the run and 11th in overall defense … The key will be whether the front four, undersized by Big Ten standards, can exert any pressure … USC transfer Kyle Prater, once a prized wide receiver prospect from Chicagoland, will try and jump start his career at Northwestern.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 6-6 overall, 3-5 Big Ten (fifth in Legends Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Sept. 1, at Syracuse (L); Sept. 8, Vanderbilt (W); Sept. 15, Boston College (W); Sept. 22, South Dakota (W); Sept. 29, Indiana (W); Oct. 6, at Penn State (L); Oct. 13, at Minnesota (W); Oct. 20, Nebraska (L); Oct. 27, Iowa (L); Nov. 10, at Michigan (L); Nov. 17, at Michigan State (L); Nov. 24, Illinois (W).
* Steve Says: Northwestern’s upset win at Nebraska last year showed that the Wildcats are capable of big things. But week in and week out, the tough Big Ten schedule will take its toll. The opener at Syracuse could give Colter and NU some tremendous momentum. The home games with Vanderbilt and Boston College will not be easy, either. Late-season road games at Michigan and Michigan State will be difficult. NU may need a season-ending win over Illinois just to get to 6-6 and become bowl-eligible for what would be a school-record fifth straight year.
* Last Year: 3-9 overall, 2-6 Big Ten (sixth in Legends Division)
* Postcards From Camp: The Gophers will go as far as QB MarQueis Gray can take them. He has juggled his team responsibility with raising his 9-month-old twin sons … Finding playmakers to go with Gray could be a season-long issue … It helps to have CB/return man Troy Stoudemire in the fold after he came back from an injury.
* Steve’s Projection For 2012: 3-9 overall, 0-8 Big Ten (sixth in Legends Division)
* Game-By-Game Picks: Aug. 30, at UNLV (W); Sept. 8, New Hampshire (W); Sept. 15, Western Michigan (W); Sept. 22, Syracuse (L); Sept. 29, at Iowa (L); Oct. 13, Northwestern (L); Oct. 20, at Wisconsin (L); Oct. 27, Purdue (L); Nov. 3, Michigan (L); Nov. 10, at Illinois (L); Nov. 17, at Nebraska (L); Nov. 24, Michigan State (L).
* Steve Says: Like Indiana, Minnesota could get to 3-0 … before the wheels probably fall off. The pivotal game is Week 4 at home against resurgent Syracuse. A win could spur Minnesota to a couple of Big Ten wins that may make the Gophers bowl-eligible for second-year coach Jerry Kill. There just aren’t any easy games on the Big Ten schedule.
Big Ten Championship Game
* Wisconsin vs. Michigan (at Indianapolis Lucas Oil Stadium), Dec. 1, 8:17 p.m. (FOX) -- This has shootout written all over it with Ball on one side and Robinson and Toussaint on the other. This should be similar to last year’s Wisconsin-MSU title game. I’m taking Michigan to win here 42-37 in a wild shootout. UM’s Big Ten title drought ends at eight years.
Bowl Championship Series
This will be the 15th year the BCS has been used to determine the national champion. This format will be retired after next year and (finally) replaced with a four-team playoff. Here is the BCS bowl schedule for this season:
* Rose Bowl (at Pasadena, Calif.), Jan. 1, 5 p.m. (ESPN): Michigan (Big Ten champion) vs. Oregon (BCS at-large) – Michigan gets back to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 2004. Oregon, probably with just two losses to USC this year, will replace the Trojans here and will be going for a second straight Rose Bowl win.
* Orange Bowl (at Miami Gardens, Fla.), Jan. 1, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN): Florida State (ACC champion) vs. Louisville (Big East champion) – Louisville is a borderline top-25 team, but may gain more respect if the Cardinals can dominate in the Big East. The ACC used to be Florida State’s personal playground. But the Seminoles have not won a league title since 2005.
* Sugar Bowl (at New Orleans), Jan. 2, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN): Alabama (BCS at-large) vs. West Virginia (BCS at-large) – Alabama replaces LSU here in the Sugar Bowl. West Virginia should be rewarded for a 10-win season (or better) in its first year in the Big 12.
* Fiesta Bowl (at Glendale, Ariz.), Jan. 3, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN): Oklahoma (Big 12 champion) vs. Michigan State (BCS at-large) – MSU, with 10 wins, will finally get its BCS bowl bid. Oklahoma will be back in Arizona for its bowl game for the third year in a row.
* BCS National Championship Game (at Miami Gardens, Fla.), Jan. 7, 8:30 p.m. (ESPN): LSU (BCS No. 1; SEC champion) vs. USC (BCS No. 2; Pac-12 champion) – No Honey Badger, no problem for LSU. The Tigers have a long, tough road to the championship game, though. USC’s toughest challenges could be not one but two home games with Oregon.
Big Ten Bowl Tie-Ins
And the rest of the potential Big Ten bowl assignments:
* Capital One Bowl (at Orlando, Fla.), Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ABC) -- Wisconsin vs. Georgia
* Outback Bowl (at Tampa, Fla.), Jan. 1, 1 p.m. (ESPN) -- Iowa vs. South Carolina
* Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl (at Tempe, Ariz.), Dec. 29, 10:15 p.m. (ESPN) -- Nebraska vs. TCU
* Gator Bowl (at Jacksonville, Fla.), Jan. 1, noon (ESPN2) -- Illinois vs. Florida
* Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas (at Houston), Dec. 28, 9 p.m. (ESPN) -- Purdue vs. Texas Tech
* TicketCity Bowl (at Dallas), Jan. 1, noon (ESPNU) -- Northwestern vs. Central Florida
Note: The Big Ten will not have a ninth bowl-eligible team to fill the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Stay tuned for details on our second weekly Big Ten message board Chat later in the week.
Here are links to more season preview material from 247Sports.com:
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