2014 Big Ten Conference Preview: East Division

Written June 30th, 2014 by Patrick
Part two of our conference preview looks at the “group of death” and a likely conference title game:

2014 EAST DIVISION PREVIEW

Many feel the east will be a battle of 2 teams and the winner of the November 8th battle in East Lansing between Ohio State and Michigan State can go ahead and make plans for Indy.

EAST PREDICTION

  1. Ohio State
  2. Michigan State
  3. Penn State
  4. Michigan
  5. Indiana
  6. Maryland
  7. Rutgers

OHIO STATE 12-2 (8-0)

Heisman Run?

There is no doubt that all of Buckeye nation is still reeling from the 10 point loss to Michigan State in last year’s B1G Championship game.

There are so many “what if’s” from that game: What if they don’t have the 3 personal fouls on the Spartans first drive? What if they give the ball to Hyde on 4th and 1? What if……..okay, I’ll stop. There’s no doubt Urban Meyer will use that loss as motivation for the 2014 Buckeyes.

The turnover for this squad was quite large. Gone are 4 5th’s of an offensive line that many believed was one of the best in the nation last year as is its work horse back Carlos Hyde. Also gone are Philly Brown, Ryan Shazier, Bradley Roby, Christian Bryant, and C.J. Barnett.

Now, some will say that losing players on defense isn’t such a bad thing. The front seven should be very very solid. Joey Bosa, Noah Spence, Adolphis Washington, and Michael Bennett should keep a ton of pressure on B1G qb’s while the secondary led by Doran Grant and Von Bell begin to mesh.

The best news of the offseason was most surely the return of Braxton Miller. Miller is considered by many to be a preseason top 5 Heisman candidate but will have to do it behind a rebuilt offensive line and with a new running mate in his backfield. Ezekiel Elliott is the odds on favorite to take the torch from Hyde. Elliott showed glimpses of greatness when given a chance last year. The Buckeyes B1G portion of their schedule shapes up rather nice.

Home games against Rutgers, Illinois, Indiana, and TSUN seems rather easy and to most, their only tough road test will fall on November 8th as they travel to East Lansing for a date with Sparty. Other road games include Maryland, Penn State, and Minnesota putting the Buckeyes in a great position for a return trip to Indy and a date with Wisconsin.

MICHIGAN STATE 13-1 (8-0) Read More

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