Predicted order of finish, with current AP ranking in parentheses.
1. Wisconsin (14): The Badgers have won four of the past six West titles because the talent pool never seems to run dry.
2. Gophers (21): Those rivalry losses to Iowa and Wisconsin last season were the Gophers’ undoing and will again bar them from the Big Ten championship game.
3. Iowa: Grad transfers on offensive line (Coy Cronk) and defensive line (Jack Heflin) will keep the Hawkeyes a division contender.
4. Purdue: All-America receiver Rondale Moore opted back in while defensive end George Karlaftis is primed to become the conference’s next great pass rusher.
5. Illinois: Coach Lovie Smith took the Illini to a bowl game last season for the first time since 2014, and that momentum will continue in 2020.
6. Nebraska: Too much hype last season led to a 5-7 showing, and leading receiver JD Spielman, an Eden Prairie native, left for TCU.
7. Northwestern: The 2019 offense was abysmal, leaving a lot for Indiana QB transfer Peyton Ramsey to fix in one season.
1. Ohio State (5): The Buckeyes made it to the national semifinal last season and return QB Justin Fields, who finished third in last year’s Heisman Trophy voting.
2. Penn State (8): LB Micah Parsons opting out of the season isn’t going to help the Nittany Lions overcome Ohio State after a three-year drought.
3. Michigan (18): It’s yet again not Jim Harbaugh’s year to beat Ohio State, but maybe the sixth time’s the charm in 2021?
4. Indiana: The Hoosiers are on the rise with many returning starters coming off last year’s eight-win season.
5. Maryland: Alabama transfer Taulia Tagovailoa, Tua’s younger brother, could be the QB to lead the Terrapins out of obscurity.
6. Michigan State: New coach Mel Tucker has a tough schedule, playing at Michigan in Week 2 before ending the season against Ohio State and at Penn State.
7. Rutgers: The team won only two games last year, both nonconference, and there aren’t any of those this year, so …
BIG TEN title GAME
Ohio State over Wisconsin