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Phil Steele Picks Michigan Wolverines Second in Big Ten East

“Can anybody beat Michigan or Ohio State? (Hint: No).”

Michigan Football Spring Game Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

Phil Steele has made his preseason picks for who will win the Big Ten, and he says the Michigan Wolverines have a pretty good shot.

Steel definitely likes the East division champion to win the conference, with the only question being whether that will be Michigan, Ohio State or Michigan State.

In a post for ESPN, Steele says Ohio State has the best shot, saying "They beat Michigan on the road 42-13 last year and get them at home. I will call for the Buckeyes to get to their third Big Ten Title game in four years."

But he’s got the Wolverines at No. 2:

The Wolverines have 14 returning starters and rank among the league's top units in almost every category this year, the most among the Big Ten contenders this year. Last year the Wolverines were plus-62.3 in yards per game differential in conference play (fourth best). This year they add Wisconsin and Iowa out of the West to their schedule and face both Michigan State and Ohio State on the road. Back in 2006, No. 2 Michigan traveled to face No. 1 Ohio St in a titanic battle. This year's clash in Columbus could not only determine the East champ but the Big Ten champ and a playoff berth.

There's a long way to go before the OSU game, but we could be looking at an epic showdown in Columbus.

Steele has Sparty third, followed by Penn State, Indiana, Maryland and Rutgers. Out west he picks Iowa as the winner, followed by Nebraska, Wisconsin, Northwestern, Minnesota, Illinois and Purdue.