Athlon has come out with its 2012 Big Ten predictions, and the magazine sees Michigan and Wisconsin playing for the league championship. But neither will be the best team in the conference.
Athlon bestows that honor upon Ohio State, which it forecasts to finish 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the conference. But the Buckeyes, of course, are ineligible to play for the Big Ten championship. The magazine predicts that Michigan will go 11-2 and 7-1 in the league and beat Wisconsin (9-4, 5-3) in the conference championship game.
The predictions also have Nebraska (10-2, 6-2) finishing second in the Legends Division, ahead of Michigan State (9-3, 5-3). They are followed by Northwestern and Iowa at 7-5 each, while Minnesota comes in last but goes 5-7.
In the Leaders, Athlon has Penn State finishing 7-5 with a 4-4 conference record, followed by Illinois and Purdue at 6-6 each. Indiana is predicted to go winless in the conference again but to improve by two victories over last year's 1-11 mark.
Do I agree with all these predictions? No, and particularly not on Michigan State or Ohio State. But Athlon is officially on the record with its picks. What do you think?