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2005 SCS.com College Football Preview
2005 BIG TEN FOOTBALL PREVIEW
powered by GREATSEATS.COM
August 9, 2005

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PROJECTED STANDINGS TEAM PREVIEWS
CAN'T MISS GAMES ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

PROJECTED STANDINGS

TEAM BIG TEN OVERALL
Michigan 7-1 10-1
Ohio State 7-1 10-1
Purdue 6-2 9-2
Iowa 5-3 8-3
Minnesota 4-4 7-4
Wisconsin 4-4 7-5
Michigan State 4-4 6-5
Penn State 2-6 5-6
Northwestern 2-6 4-7
Illinois 2-6 4-7
Indiana 1-7 3-8

TEAM PREVIEWS

SCS.com MICHIGAN
Last Season: 9-3 / 7-1
Starters Returning: 8 offense, 7 defense
Projected wins: NIU, EMU, at WISC, at MSU, MINN, PSU, at NW, IND
Projected losses: (none)
Toss-Ups: ND, at Iowa, OSU
PROJECTED RECORD: 10-1 / 7-1
BOTTOM LINE: The Wolverines have a load of playmakers on offense, big-time threats on special teams, and a defense that should recover from a lousy end to 2004. Every game on the schedule is winnable.

SCS.com OHIO STATE
Last Season: 8-4 / 4-4
Starters Returning: 9 offense, 9 defense
Projected wins: MIA(OH), SDSU, Iowa, at PSU, MSU, at IND, at MINN, ILL, NW
Projected losses: (none)
Toss-Ups: TX, at MICH
PROJECTED RECORD: 10-1 / 7-1
BOTTOM LINE: It was yet another chaotic off-the-field offseason for Ohio State, but the Bucks should put that behind them come September. The league title likely comes down to a season-ending trip to Ann Arbor.

SCS.com PURDUE
Last Season: 7-5 / 4-4
Starters Returning: 7 offense, 11 defense
Projected wins: Akron, at AZ, NW, at PSU, MSU, ILL, at IND
Projected losses: (none)
Toss-Ups: at MINN, ND, Iowa, at WISC
PROJECTED RECORD: 9-2 / 6-2
BOTTOM LINE: The Boilers return every starter on defense and a solid portion of the offense. If the offense comes together, this is a top ten team. Biggest plus is no Michigan or Ohio State on the schedule.

SCS.com IOWA
Last Season: 10-2 / 7-1
Starters Returning: 6 offense, 4 defense
Projected wins: BallSt, NIU, ILL, IND, at NW
Projected losses: at OSU
Toss-Ups: at ISU, at PUR, MICH, at WISC, MINN
PROJECTED RECORD: 8-3 / 5-3
BOTTOM LINE: The Hawks are probably better than their projected record shows, but the schedule (road trips to Ohio State, Iowa State, Purdue, and Wisconsin) is tough. QB Drew Tate is a winner, and the LBs are ferocious.

SCS.com MINNESOTA
Last Season: 7-5 / 3-5
Starters Returning: 8 offense, 7 defense
Projected wins: at Tulsa, CSU, FAU, at IND, MSU
Projected losses: at MICH, OSU, at Iowa
Toss-Ups: PUR, at PSU, WISC
PROJECTED RECORD: 7-4 / 4-4
BOTTOM LINE: Half of the twin-killer RBs are gone, but Laurence Maroney sees it as his chance to shine. If QB Brian Cupito improves in finding his excellent WR corp, you could add a couple wins to this projection.

SCS.com WISCONSIN
Last Season: 9-3 / 6-2
Starters Returning: 5 offense, 4 defense
Projected wins: BGSU, TEMP, IND, at ILL
Projected losses: MICH, PUR, Iowa
Toss-Ups: at NC, at NW, at MINN, at PSU, at HAW
PROJECTED RECORD: 7-5 / 4-4
BOTTOM LINE: The Badgers are always solid yet never great, but that will certainly be tested this fall. This looks like a team that is riding the fence, a squad that could either win or lose seven games this fall.

SCS.com MICHIGAN STATE
Last Season: 5-7 / 4-4
Starters Returning: 8 offense, 5 defense
Projected wins: KentSt, HAW, at ILL, NW, IND
Projected losses: at ND, MICH, at OSU, at PUR
Toss-Ups: at MINN, PSU
PROJECTED RECORD: 6-5 / 4-4
BOTTOM LINE: Michigan State, like UW, is also a squad that will be right around the .500 mark in 2005. MSU should be able to grab five of the six home games, meaning it will take just one road victory to go bowling.

SCS.com PENN STATE
Last Season: 4-7 / 2-6
Starters Returning: 8 offense, 9 defense
Projected wins: USF, CIN, CMU
Projected losses: OSU, at MICH, PUR
Toss-Ups: at NW, MINN, at ILL, WISC, at MSU
PROJECTED RECORD: 5-6 / 2-6
BOTTOM LINE: Though seventeen starters return this fall, the Lions still lack the talent of the top half of the conference. Six wins is possible but will be a struggle, likely leaving PSU sitting at home for the holidays yet again.

SCS.com NORTHWESTERN
Last Season: 6-6 / 5-3
Starters Returning: 5 offense, 6 defense
Projected wins: Ohio, at ILL
Projected losses: at ASU, at PUR, at MSU, MICH, Iowa, at OSU
Toss-Ups: NIU, PSU, WISC
PROJECTED RECORD: 4-7 / 2-6
BOTTOM LINE: A regular season finale overtime win over Illinois vaulted the 'Cats into a 2004 bowl game. QB Brett Basanez will set records this fall, but don't look for NU when it's time to bowl in 2005.

SCS.com ILLINOIS
Last Season: 3-8 / 1-7
Starters Returning: 7 offense, 7 defense
Projected wins: SJSU
Projected losses: at CAL, at Iowa, WISC, at OSU, at PUR
Toss-Ups: RUT, MSU, at IND, PSU, NW
PROJECTED RECORD: 4-7 / 2-6
BOTTOM LINE: It wasn't that long ago that Illinois was playing in the BCS. New head coach Ron Zook won't return his squad to that status anytime soon, but he has provided a new spark to an almost lifeless program.

SCS.com INDIANA
Last Season: 3-8 / 1-7
Starters Returning: 5 offense, 7 defense
Projected wins: at CMU, NichSt
Projected losses: at WISC, at Iowa, OSU, at MSU, MINN, at MICH, PUR
Toss-Ups: KY, ILL
PROJECTED RECORD: 3-8 / 1-7
BOTTOM LINE: The Hoosiers continue to try to drag themselves out of the Big Ten cellar, but things do not look promising. New head coach Terry Hoeppner is a proven winner, but it will take a while in Bloomington.

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FIVE CAN'T MISS GAMES

November 19 Ohio State at Michigan
October 22 Michigan at Iowa
October 8 Iowa at Purdue
October 29 Ohio State at Minnesota
October 22 Purdue at Wisconsin

ALL-CONFERENCE TEAM

OFFENSE
OL Greg Eslinger SR Minnesota
OL Zach Strief SR Northwestern
OL Mark Setterstrom SR Minnesota
OL Adam Stenavich SR Michigan
OL Jake Long SO Michigan
RB Mike Hart SO Michigan
RB Laurence Maroney JR Minnesota
WR Santonio Holmes JR Ohio State
WR Clinton Solomon SR Iowa
TE Charles Davis SR Purdue
QB Drew Tate JR Iowa
DEFENSE
DL Tamba Hali SR Penn State
DL Ray Edwards JR Purdue
DL Gabe Watson SR Michigan
DL Brandon Villarreal SR Purdue
LB Abdul Hodge SR Iowa
LB A.J. Hawk SR Ohio State
LB Chad Greenway SR Iowa
DB Nate Salley SR Ohio State
DB Bernard Pollard JR Purdue
DB Calvin Lowry SR Penn State
DB Antwan Allen SR Iowa
SPECIAL TEAMS
K Kyle Schlicher JR Iowa
P Brandon Fields JR Michigan State
AP Ted Ginn, Jr. SO Ohio State

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Photos Courtesy: jamesshirley.com, usatoday.com, purdueexponent.org, detnews.com, jsonline.com, cumberlink.com, nusports.com, iuhoosiers.com

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