Big Ten Football: Prediction for 2011 Division Winners

Gary BrownCorrespondent IIApril 9, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - DECEMBER 04:  Quarterback Taylor Martinez #3 of the Nebraska Cornhuskers looks for an open receiver against the Oklahoma Sooners at Cowboys Stadium on December 4, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

It will be a big year of change for the Big Ten in football in 2011.

Start with the obvious. Nebraska will join the conference, Michigan has a new coach and Ohio State will be without its head coach, plus several key players, for the first five games of the season.

What might not be as obvious? Penn State has a young but talented receiving corps. Michigan will feature quarterback Denard Robinson in a new offensive set. Wisconsin returns a productive stable of running backs but loses vital leadership in several key positions.

Before our predictions, here are a few Big Ten tidbits for you:

  • Last season, eight Big Ten teams played in bowl games with Ohio State, Illinois and Iowa walking away with wins
  • Wisconsin, Michigan State and Ohio State tied for the conference crown last season. It is the fifth time in 10 years the conference has had multiple champs.
  • Eighteen players in the Super Bowl between Green Bay and Pittsburgh had Big Ten ties

Now for the predictions:

Legends Division

  1. Nebraska
  2. Michigan State
  3. Michigan
  4. Iowa
  5. Northwestern
  6. Minnesota

Leaders Division

  1. Wisconsin
  2. Penn State
  3. Ohio State
  4. Purdue
  5. Indiana
  6. Illinois

Wisconsin and Nebraska will square off at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis in the first Big Ten football championship game. Nebraska will win all the marbles in their first year.

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