Ohio State Favored to Win Big Ten College Football Title in 2014

By: Monte Scates | Saturday, July 5, 2014
Big Ten

With so many teams moving conferences every year in college football, it's hard to keep track of them all these days. The Big Ten is not immune to it, adding Maryland and Rutgers to their newly-made East and West divisions after ditching the Legends and Leaders names they previously had. The total number of teams in the conference is now 14, and the East looks to be the tougher side this year.

The Big Ten will again be one of the top conferences in the country this year and looks to be extremely top heavy.

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Here's a look at some of the conference's future odds from CG Technology in Las Vegas while previewing each team heading into the 2014 college football season...

EAST

OHIO STATE
National Title Odds:
7/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 10/11
O/U Win Total: 10.5 OVER -150

The Buckeyes lost the Big Ten Championship Game last season to Michigan State but return as the favorites to win the conference. The running game may take a step back with the departure of running back Carlos Hyde to the NFL, but expect quarterback Braxton Miller to pick up the slack, as he is an early-season Heisman Trophy favorite, and a big season from him could carry the Buckeyes all the way to the NCAA Championship Game.

MICHIGAN STATE
National Title Odds:
25/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 13/5
O/U Win Total: 9.5

The Spartans were winners of the Big Ten last season and primed to repeat. They have huge home games against Michigan and Ohio State, as well as a big out of conference game at Eugene, Oregon against the Ducks. Sparty has lost a lot on defense, but their schedule is manageable, and they should be in contention to win the conference again.

MICHIGAN
National Title Odds:
60/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 5/1
O/U Win Total: 8 UNDER -140

Head coach Brady Hoke has named Devin Gardner starting QB for the Wolverines, which could be a major problem if he does not cut down on his turnovers. The loss of their top two offensive linemen, Taylor Lewan and Michael Schofield, to the NFL will not help. They also now have former Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier and a new offensive system to learn. There could be some growing pains for the Wolverines this season.

PENN STATE
National Title Odds:
NA
Big Ten Title Odds: NA
O/U Win Total: 8 UNDER -135

The Nittany Lions are in their third year of NCAA sanctions and still have one more to go after this season. They will have a new head coach in James Franklin, who is taking over for Bill O'Brien after his departure to the NFL's Houston Texans. Franklin built a nice resume at Vanderbilt and will rely on sophomore QB Christian Hackenberg for success this season. Because Penn State is not eligible for postseason play, the only future bet available for them is their Win Total, which is set at 8.

INDIANA
National Title Odds:
75/1 (Field)
Big Ten Title Odds: 50/1
O/U Win Total: 5 OVER -140

The Hoosiers will rely on their explosive junior RB Tevin Coleman to carry the load. For those who may not know him, Coleman had 131 attempts for 958 yards with 12 touchdowns in 2013. That's an amazing 7.3 yards a carry, and a touchdown scored every 11 times he carried the ball. Problem is, their defense is beyond pathetic, and they will struggle versus the big boys of the conference because of it.

MARYLAND
National Title Odds:
75/1 (Field)
Big Ten Title Odds: 50/1
O/U Win Total: 6.5 UNDER -135

This is the first season in the Big Ten for the Terrapins, and it will be tough. Their schedule has a stretch of Ohio State, Iowa, at Wisconsin, at Penn State, Michigan State and at Michigan all in a row. Maryland does have talent though. Stefon Diggs and Deon Long could be the best wide receiver tandem in the nation. We'll have to see just what impact they have in the new conference though.

RUTGERS
National Title Odds:
75/1 (Field)
Big Ten Title Odds: 100/1
O/U Win Total: 4 OVER -125

The Scarlet Knights are also new to the Big Ten this year and have been rewarded with the toughest schedule in the conference. The team has regressed six of the last seven seasons and doesn't appear to be ready for the step up in class that this league requires. This will be a long season for head coach Kyle Flood and his Scarlet Knights.

WEST

WISCONSIN
National Title Odds:
30/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 11/5
O/U Win Total: 9.5 UNDER -120

The Badgers really lucked out with the conference draw. They are clearly on the weaker side of the new alignment and don't have to play Ohio State, Michigan State, or Michigan this year until potentially the Big Ten Championship Game. The Badgers only have eight starters returning from last year, but the formula will remain the same for Wisconsin with their ground-and-pound running game.

NEBRASKA
National Title Odds:
50/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 3/1
O/U Win Total: 8 OVER -120

Cornhuskers head coach Bo Pelini may be coaching for his job this season. He was under fire last year, but a win in the Gator Bowl over Georgia eased some of the pressure. Things don't get any easier this year with road games at Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Iowa. The team will lean on star RB Ameer Abdullah again this season and need him to play at a Heisman level in order to win the conference.

IOWA
National Title Odds:
90/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 3/1
O/U Win Total: 8.5 OVER -120

Hawkeyes head coach Kirk Fehrentz has his QB Jake Rudock, left tackle and projected first-round pick Brandon Scherff, as well as RB Mark Weisman all back on offense. And after a seven-point loss in the Outback Bowl to LSU, he is feeling like his team can compete with anyone in the nation. But he will need to improve on their eight-win season of last year to take the next step.  With vast experience on offense, Iowa is certainly a threat to come out of the West in the Big Ten this year.

MINNESOTA
National Title Odds:
75/1 (Field)
Big Ten Title Odds: 20/1
O/U Win Total: 6.5

Head Coach Jerry Kill's health issues were a major concern for this Minnesota squad last season. Many wonder if it has become more of a distraction, but Kill will be back in charge of his Golden Gophers, and they will need to overachieve in a major way if they are to take the West. It is very likely they will miss a bowl game for the first time in three seasons because the team just does not have the talent needed to compete with the top teams in the conference.

NORTHWESTERN
National Title Odds:
250/1
Big Ten Title Odds: 30/1
O/U Win Total: 6 OVER -165

The Wildcats won just one of their eight games in conference play last season, and that lone victory came in the last game versus Illinois. They don't have to face Ohio State this year and get to play Wisconsin, Nebraska and Michigan all at home. If they can defend their home field better this year than last, Northwestern will have an outside shot at taking the division.

ILLINOIS
National Title Odds:
75/1 (Field)
Big Ten Title Odds: 50/1
O/U Win Total: 5

The Fighting Illini had just four wins last season, with only one of those coming in conference play. They have a very tough conference road schedule this year, facing Ohio State, Wisconsin, Nebraska and Northwestern away from Champaign.  It would be a shock to see them win more than one of those games, as the team is definitely looking at an uphill climb to top last year.

PURDUE
National Title Odds: 75/1 (Field)
Big Ten Title Odds: 200/1
O/U Win Total: 3.5 OVER -150

The Boilermakers were the worst team in the conference last year and among the worst in in the country with one win all season and none in conference play. Second-year head coach Darrell Hazel will need to get things going in the right direction quickly if he hopes to keep his job. This team lacks the necessary talent to win the division, but improving on last season's one win is certainly a reasonable goal. 


 
 
 
 
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