Chart: Big Ten Legends Division storylines

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: August 25, 2013 - 9:21 PM
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Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald and his Wildcats finally got to celebrate a bowl victory last season. Now, they want more in 2013.

Photo: Stephen Morton, Associated Press

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1. FOUR-TEAM RACE

The Leaders Division probably will turn into a two-team race between Ohio State and Wisconsin. They meet Sept. 28. The Legends Division could be a four-team scrum between Nebraska, Michigan, Northwestern and Michigan State. Michigan narrowly edged Nebraska as the division favorite in a preseason poll of 28 Big Ten writers.

 

2. KEY MATCHUPS

There are six key matchups: Nov. 2 — Michigan at Michigan State, Northwestern at Nebraska; Nov. 9 — Nebraska at Michigan; Nov. 16 — Northwestern at Michigan, Michigan State at Nebraska; No. 23 — Michigan State at Northwestern.

 

3. NORTHWESTERN, REALLY?

Even after returning most of the firepower from last year’s 10-3 squad, Northwestern was picked to finished fourth in the media poll. But hard-fought losses against Nebraska (29-28) and Michigan (38-31) and a victory over Michigan State (23-20) last year proved the Wildcats can compete.

 

4. TIME TO REBOUND

Michigan State won the Legends Division in 2011. The Spartans have enough talent on defense to stay in every game, and once they pick a quarterback, that player could gain confidence from this inviting October schedule: at Iowa, Indiana, Purdue, at Illinois.

 

5. GOOD RIDDANCE

The Leaders and Legends Divisions are going away after this season, as the Big Ten splits into East and West. The Gophers will be in the West with Illinois, Iowa, Nebraska, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Purdue. The East will have Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State, along with Indiana, Rutgers and Maryland.

 

A LOOK AT THE LEGENDS

In predicted order of finish by Star Tribune college football writer Joe Christensen

 

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Chicago Cubs - T. Wood 6:05 PM
Pittsburgh - F. Liriano
St. Louis - L. Lynn 6:05 PM
Washington - G. Gonzalez
Miami - D. Haren 6:05 PM
Philadelphia - J. Williams
Baltimore - B. Norris 6:07 PM
Toronto - M. Buehrle
NY Yankees - N. Eovaldi 6:08 PM
Detroit - K. Lobstein
Atlanta - T. Cahill 6:10 PM
NY Mets - J. Niese
Boston - W. Miley 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - C. Archer
Cincinnati - J. Marquis 7:10 PM
Milwaukee - M. Fiers
Cleveland - C. Carrasco 7:10 PM
Chicago WSox - H. Noesi
Minnesota - T. Milone 7:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Vargas
San Diego - B. Morrow 7:40 PM
Colorado - T. Matzek
Texas - N. Martinez 8:40 PM
Arizona - C. Anderson
Oakland - D. Pomeranz 9:05 PM
LA Angels - H. Santiago
Houston - C. McHugh 9:10 PM
Seattle - T. Walker
Los Angeles - B. Anderson 9:15 PM
San Francisco - T. Lincecum
Boston 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Washington 7:00 PM
Toronto
Dallas 8:30 PM
Houston
Tampa Bay 6:00 PM
Detroit
Washington 6:30 PM
NY Islanders
Nashville 8:30 PM
Chicago
Vancouver 9:00 PM
Calgary
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