Big Ten Football: Projected Top Teams in 2012

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Big Ten Football: Projected Top Teams in 2012
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The Big Ten Conference was a big disappointment this season.

Early on, six teams were in the Top 25, with the Wisconsin Badgers, Nebraska Cornhuskers and Penn State Nittany Lions contending for a national championship. The Badgers looked unbeatable for the first six weeks of the season before dropping two games in a row. To make matters worse, both losses came against conference foes in the Buckeyes and Spartans.

Even as a Big Ten apologist myself, I have to say that the Big Ten was overrated this season. There are a lot of good teams, but no great teams like LSU. Consistency is a problem when you blow a good team out one week and then lose to a bad team the next. Nebraska beat a good Penn State team and then got pounded 45-17 by the Michigan Wolverines the following week.

That being said, I think next season will be a big one for the Big Ten. A lot of teams are young and can only get better with experience. There also seems to be a lot more speed in the Big Ten than in the past, especially on offense. Look no further than Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson, who is one of the most explosive players in the country.

Here are my projected top five teams in the Big Ten looking to next season.

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