Big Ten Media Days are just days away, so we wanted to breakdown a few of the top storylines in the conference and what everyone will be talking about heading into fall camp.
There are tons of storylines in the Big Ten heading into the 2019 season, but these are my top three:
Who is the dark horse in the Big Ten?
Northwestern and Nebraska likely have something to say. College football preseason guru Phil Steele has Northwestern at No. 6 in his list of surprise teams for 2019. He also has Nebraska at No. 19 in his preseason rankings, calling it the most improved team in the country capable of a huge turnaround. Both are looking for a bigger year than last, especially Northwestern after winning the West division and making it to Indianapolis. Other teams like Iowa and Michigan State also have been in preseason conversations and polls looking to crash the party.
Will this be the year Michigan wins the East division?
If you look at the roster, coaching staff and schedule on paper, it may be Michigan’s best shot since Jim Harbaugh took over. The Wolverines also have the most returning all-Big Ten players in the league.
How will the first year go for Ryan Day in Columbus?
Last year, Ryan Day had the keys to the car for a few weeks, but now he owns the car. Expectations are very high for Ohio State, so how will its first season go under a new head coach? Day will want to avoid a common theme for Ohio State in recent years — to have one blowout loss on the road (Iowa in 2017 and Purdue in 2018). I’m looking at Week 5 on Sept. 28 when the Buckeyes travel to Lincoln, Nebraska. I wouldn’t look past playing at Indiana in Week 3 because they always play tough at home, as Michigan can relate to lately.
Many teams in the Big Ten have question marks and a lot to prove in 2019. The league also has been snubbed from the College Football Playoff over the last couple years, so no matter who wins in Indianapolis, that team wants a resume good enough to make the top four in the final rankings.
Our own Trevor Woods will be at Big Ten Media Days, so be sure to come back to Maize n Brew for all our coverage in Chicago.
Follow on Twitter: @DavidRNoe/@MaizenBrew