Big Ten Predictions as Conference Play Begins

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Sep 26, 2015; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines players celebrates in the student section after the game against the Brigham Young Cougars at Michigan Stadium. Michigan won 31-0. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Who is a sleeper team to perform well in the Big Ten East?

Erik Buchinger: I was tempted to go with Michigan here, but coming into the season as the most hyped five-win team in the history of college football, nobody is sleeping on the Fightin’ Harbaughs in 2015. Let’s go with Penn State. After an embarrassing opening-weekend loss to Temple, the Nittany Lions took down a few non-conference opponents and won the lone Big Ten game so far this season against Rutgers. With the schedule ahead for Penn State, which features road contests at Ohio State, Michigan State and Northwestern with a home game with Michigan, making an appearance in the conference title game would be difficult. However, the Nittany Lions have the talent to pull off an upset or two and make a surprising run in the East.

Wisconsin Badgers
Wisconsin Badgers /

Wisconsin Badgers

Taylor Johnson: At the beginning of the year if I told you that Michigan could very well be a sleeper in the East you would have thought I was crazy. Well call me crazy, but after a huge blowout win against BYU this team seems to be on the right track. Head coach Jim Harbaugh just might be on to something in Ann Arbor and it looks as if Jake Rudock is the answer for the Wolverines. Also having a stout, second-ranked defense doesn’t hurt either.

Jim Oxley: I’ll hesitantly choose Michigan for my sleeper pick out of the East. The BYU win looks really nice, but I’m not convinced they were that good to begin with after a couple of crazy wins. Either way, every team in the East not named Ohio State or Michigan State will struggle to come out on top, so in picking a sleeper I’ll take a team with history and an experienced wuarterback on its side.

Rayan Vatti: Don’t look now, but Indiana is off to a piping hot 4-0 start. They have decent wins over one of the top mid-majors, Western Kentucky, and at Wake Forest. They are led by the leading rusher in the FBS, Jordan Hall, who is currently one pace for over 2,000 yards, after rushing for 1,587 yards last year. I’m warning you. Do not sleep on Indiana. Ohio State may find that out the hard way this Saturday.

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