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Big 10 Football Leaders Division Conference Preview and Predictions

It's finally happened. The Big Ten has been divided up into two divisions, and the winners each division will do battle in the first ever Big Ten Title Game in 2011. The divisions, named Leaders and Legends, respectively, are both very tough and full of teams rich in college football tradition. Let's take a look at the Leaders!

Ohio State Buckeyes - They say when you fall, it happens fast. Just ask the Buckeyes. HC (now former) Jim Tressel was forced to resign after the world learned he lied to the NCAA and is letting his players run wild. At this point in time we do not know who the new coach is, but with QB Terrele Pryor gone as well as several other stars it's safe to say this team is in hot water. The offense will need young players to step up and succeed quickly. The defense as a whole seems OK. Even if they win a few ball games, it is doubtful the NCAA let's them reach the post season. That would lead us to believe the Big Ten will also shun them.


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Wisconsin Badgers - For a team that was prolific at getting points on the board, they could only manage 19 in their Rose Bowl loss. There was no shame in defeat though as the Badgers ended 2010 11-2. Bret Bielema gets back 6 starters on each side. The offensive line will be rock solid as always and coach Bielema will seek to POUND the rock with his RBs Monte Ball and James White. QB is a serious question mark as they have just two scholarship players with little to no experience. The defense is strong on the line with a ton of experience. Antonio Fenelus is back at CB after getting 4 INTs last year and making 1st Team All-Big Ten. Look out for the Badgers if they solve their problem at QB.

Penn State Nittany Lions - Last year wasn't good for this team as they ended up 7-6 with a bad loss to Florida in the Outback Bowl. Coach Paterno will have them rolling in 2011 though! He gets back QBs McGloin and Bolden who are both good players. Bolden is the early favorite to take the starter job. On defense the Nittany Lions will look a much improved secondary and a rejuvenated line to keep points off the board. They are the dark horse to take the Leaders division of the Big Ten.

Illinois Fighting Illini - 2010 was a step in the right direction as this once proud team finished 7-6. Ron Zook may finally have this team in the right spot as he enters his seventh year on the job. OC Paul Petrino is an absolute genius and with 7 starters back he will helping this team light up the scoreboard every game.  The offensive line looks stellar and the RBs are quicker. On defense Illinois has 6 back and is a bit tough to read. The secondary will move up FS Trulon Henry running the show in his senior year. On the line and with the linebackers there is a lot of uncertainty. This team will score points so if the defense shows up they will improve on last years mark of 7 wins.

Purdue Boilermakers - It isn't easy being HC Danny Hope right now. In his third year, he has to take a team that went 3-9 and try to win in one of the best conferences around. The defense gets back 9, but loses Big Ten Defensive POY Ryan Kerrigan. The offense will move forward because QB Rob Henry is in his second year. With games against Middle Tennessee, Rice, SE Missouri State, Minnesota and Indiana it wouldn't be hard to top last year's 3 win total.

Indiana Hoosiers - Former Oklahoma OC Kevin Wilson takes over as the HC at Indiana after the team finished 5-7 last year. He gets back 6 starters on each side, but coming in and improving the first year on the job will be a tough task.

Additional resource - Betfirms Big 10 Football Preview 

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