Power remains centered in Big Ten East Division
The big change in the Big Ten this coming football season is the move to a 9-game conference schedule. What doesn’t figure to change is the dominance of the East Division.
Ohio State, Michigan and defending champion Michigan State all are positioned to make runs at being national top-10 teams, if not College Football Playoff contenders.
Last season, Michigan State went to the playoff and was joined by fellow East members Ohio State and Michigan among the top 12 teams in the final Top 25. Iowa, at No. 9, was the only West team among the top dozen.
Commissioner Jim Delany says shuffling the divisions is not in the plans. He terms the East’s recent dominance of the conference a “little cyclical.”
Iowa is projected to repeat as the top team in the eastern division. Wisconsin gets running back Corey Clement back from injury, but the Badgers are unsettled at quarterback and they play one of the most brutal schedules in the country.