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247Sports’ Director of Scouting picks Michigan to win the Big Ten in 2018

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Predictions to win the Big Ten have been a topic this week after media days. Barton Simmons with 247Sports likes Michigan to win in 2018 — find out why.

NCAA Football: Big Ten Football Media Day Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

Some of the media covering college football this week reminded Jim Harbaugh at Big Ten Media Days about his record against rivals after an 8-5 season. He knows the record, he just didn’t live in the past.

But despite the 1-5 record against Ohio State and Michigan State, one national analyst is still rolling with the Wolverines to win the Big Ten.

Barton Simmons, Director of Scouting for 247Sports and a national writer for CBS Sports college football, went on a Facebook live session Thursday with Josh Ahler and Trey Scott with 247Sports to discuss the Big Ten and their prediction to win the conference.

Barton went with Michigan, while Trey picked Ohio State.

247Sports

Barton discussed how Michigan was really good two years ago and how he expected Michigan to take a step back last year. Now this is the year the Wolverines could make a run and beat their rivals with Jim Harbaugh finally getting over the hump.

Barton has warmed up to this idea about Michigan winning when he thought it would be Ohio State during this past offseason. Simmons added saying, “This was always supposed to be the year, so now here we are. We’re in the year where they’re supposed to be good. Why is it so hard to believe they will be good?”

His explanation is at the beginning of the Facebook video below and he makes the following six arguments on why:

  1. Michigan’s defense will be very tough, likely better than last year, could average around 15 points given up per game. Their defense had one returning starter last year and averaged 18 points given up per game.
  2. Offensive line and new coach Ed Warriner will help it be a better than 2017.
  3. Wide receivers coach Jim McElwain coming in not as their offensive coordinator helps.
  4. The duo of Tarik Black and Donovan Peoples-Jones has a chance to be special.
  5. Reality is it’s all about about the quarterback play in 2018. What’s held them back the last two years is the quarterback position, and that’s what it’s all about. The position is Shea Patterson’s to win but he doesn’t think he automatically get the job. It’s not a given he’s this perfect Michigan quarterback and definitely has some competition in that position group.
  6. Eventually, Jim Harbaugh gets over the hump and beats the rivals.

This may be the best overall and complete team Michigan’s had since Jim Harbaugh arrived in Ann Arbor, but the gauntlet of a schedule may play a huge factor. Sept. 1 is right around the corner and can’t get here soon enough.

You can watch the full video here:

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LIVE: Big Ten Conference breakdown and predictions for 2018, and more!

Posted by Michigan Wolverines on 247Sports on Thursday, July 26, 2018