The Big 10 has been home to some talent disparity lately ,with Jim Harbaugh at Michigan and Urban Meyer at Ohio State upping the ante when it comes to recruiting talent. On the other side of the conference, Wisconsin has steadily and consistently found diamonds in the rough and developed players extremely well in order to compete at the highest level. At the bottom of the conference, however, things have been bleak. Illinois has been a disaster, Maryland has seen tremendous turmoil and Nebraska can’t ever seem to catch a break.
Let’s take a look at the expectations for the 2019 season and which teams have intriguing win totals.
Ohio State: Over/Under 10 Wins
This is a team that will be favored in every regular-season game it plays and with good reason. The Buckeyes have top-five talent and it’s hard to envision them slipping to 9-3. This line being at 10 rather than 10.5 makes it interesting.
Iowa: Over/Under 8 Wins
Kirk Ferentz has developed the reputation as a coach who racks up wins and always fields a competitive team, but he seems to have plateaued. Iowa consistently sends players to the NFL, and this speaks to their coaching, but this year’s schedule is very difficult, with road games at Iowa State, Michigan, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska. The Hawkeyes will likely be underdogs in all of those games and will have their hands full at home against Penn State and Purdue, as well.
Nebraska: Over/Under 8 Wins
Asking a team to more than double its win output from the previous year is a lot, but as Nebraska followers know, several of last year’s early season losses shouldn’t have been losses. The Cornhuskers snatched defeat from the jaws of victory in losses against Colorado, Troy and Northwestern. Adrian Martinez is the real deal, and head coach Scott Frost has changed the culture of a losing program. This team will struggle with defense, but it might score enough for it not to matter. I like Nebraska to win more than eight games this season. The Cornhuskers are preseason favorites in all but one of their games this year, should easily start the season 4-0 and will have all sorts of momentum to finish out the season above this number. And on July 3, one of the biggest Husker fans you will ever find, Timm Bauer, died from cancer at the way-too-young age of 36. In the last week of his life, he said Nebraska Over was a lock in 2019. This one’s for you, buddy.