Big Ten Football Preview: Best Bets, Picks & Predictions with Analytics


Along that thou board bet you ever bet you twenty bucks. Look for the end of the day. He'll fifteen grand tau they pay debts men his manny. It's the board. Podcast really like the end right back where i could still pick. Winners can still make money for all kinds of people back home and why mess up a good thing. Airs pain insider and todd to the beds the board podcast powered by fan duel. Sportsbook go to fan sportsbook. Sign up one thousand dollar risk-free back use the promo code. That the poor backslash bet the board and get you started for big time college and pro football season. i'm your host. Todd furman join as always by my esteemed colleague and co host. The one the only pain insider. How goes it this morning. My friend it goes back a week later after that huge podcast that we just released. I feel like we did. The lord's work in included notre dame in the acc preview this year which is something people have been clamoring for for a while. That's partly why went a little long last show i. It's always interesting. Because i feel like each of the last couple of years. We've tried to break down the conferences. Identify teams in brands. That are worth us doing deep dies. I'm not just from a national relevant standpoint but also from fan interest and it seemed for the first couple of years. We do these college football previews we get to the final. Show go shit. We didn't include notre dame and every year we kind of had to scramble to get them baked into the week one preview in some capacity. That's right we have done that. It just made sense there in the acc last year. Five acc games this year. Squeeze him in there. This is the reason we time stamp. Everything if you're fan of just one specific team your role straight to listen for fifteen twenty minutes and you're good to go. Yeah and the nice part about this. You got six weeks before the season kicks off. No one saying you gotta sit down and listen for the two of us ramble on and on for ninety minutes straight. Listen to a team here at team there. We all know when everyone's starting to return to the office. They're not paying attention at their desk. Throwing the headphones one preview at time you'll be all set and ready ago as it pertains to the five power conferences. Today's pain feels as good as any for us to do a little big ten. So we spend about an hour talking about ohio state and we partition out five minutes each on maybe six or seven other relevant teams in the league. I think ohio states the least interesting team of the entire big ten. I would go once that further and say that this may be the first year in recent memory that at least for me. The big ten west holds a lot more injury than the big ten east. Oh absolutely a lot so much more for grabs. I think there's just not a lot there in the big ten east but we'll see comes down to cj shrout and meakin You know what let's do it. Let's dive right into the scarlet and gray right off the top where the ohio state buckeyes find themselves a prohibitive favorite yet again. Rinse and repeat for the boys there minus two twentieth fan sportsbook to win the league. They are a robust two to nine favourite. Put up four dollars and fifty cents to get a dollar coming back if you believe. They're going to win the east their win total pegged at eleven. You do have to lay a buck and a quarter to go under and pain. When it comes to the buckeyes and what ryan days building assume the reins from urban meyer success. There is gauged entirely by national titles. It's not league championships. it's not division crowns or anything else along those lines and this is a program. That's one twenty-one straight over league opponents since losing purdue in west lafayette as a double digit favourite a few seasons ago and you mentioned the key change no longer justin fields calling the shots under center. They have to hand the baton. Most likely to cj stroud who comes in amid all sorts of hype. But let's see if he can go out there and materialize on the football field ryan day said something to your point in one of his off season pressures. He said every day wakes up scared because he knows it's championship robust. That's it right now so. Cj shroud is the question. Nobody on that roster has attempted meaningful pass and. It sounds like he's going to be the guy. None of us really know what it'll be this season we know the accolades are as high high level. Four star recruit the only quarterbacks that were rated higher in stroud class or starting for alabama and clemson this year. So it's like nice company got a massive arm can move real while. I think we saw that last year. He came in garbage time against sparty right and ran for that. Forty eight yard touchdown. So he's a dual threat. It's going to be thrown to the best receivers in the country. Ad helps in ryan days. Offense is also the guy's a genius. So i think he's going to be really comfortable at least try to make shroud comfortable by design. If you look there aren't a lot of throws in traffic rights. His spread offense vertical. The balls thrown outside. That's going to be helpful for young quarterback but we'll know a lot more thing about cj drought after the opening season. Ri- start seizing on the road at minnesota. It's not the best defense but it's going to be hostile environment. Then you get the home opener against oregon who were projecting a top ten defense and i know also loses best defender zaven collins. But i think they're gonna probably still fight to be a top thirty defense so there's some tests early for stroud out of the gate now you'll get the rest of the offense. Got great tackles in front of them. Probably a little drop off on the interior loose duds like white davis and josh meyers. But i think there's some nice veteran depth to fill in there on the interior day just have shown the last few years like this ability to mull you up front and i think they'll be good again this year last season. Six in line yards. Only twelve percent runs were stuffed. There's big nasty. They got a lot of veteran guys up there that are filling in that played in the sparty game when three. Oh linemen starters were out. I think trae sermon could be a little bit of a loss which was shocking to me. The way he played down the stretch on fire. So i think he'll be missed a little bit. Trayvon henderson's all. The hype is the impact freshman at running back. I think you'll help. Master teak shoulder that load thing at minimum. He's probably a really good help in the past game henderson. I mean he's just kind of freaky when you look at him but ultimately it comes back to where we started. It's it's cj drought. I think he determines ohio state ceiling offensively. But i will say this and you mentioned. There's a little bit of a a discrepancy on. What ohio state as you look at some places like eleven point two wins with juice. Look other places like ten point. Eight with juice were more like ten point four and we know all about the talent but what is. Cj shrimp right. he could be good but is he. Seventy five percent adjusted fields. What if some of the question mark defensively for aisles state aren't fixed so for me locking up money for five months hoping for a perfect season doesn't sound like the best use of funds and it doesn't surprise me that there is some small under money trickling in a little bit here on on on ohio state. I mean you briefly mentioned their schedule and we're going to know a lot about what ohio state is. After the first two weeks. I mean you go. Further on down the the home game you mentioned against tulsa week three. They'll get accurate at home. They go on the road to take on rutgers for their second conference road game in early october. But there aren't really a whole heck of a lot of landmines indiana. I know we'll get to. They'll go to bloomington for that game. And of course. They finished the season at michigan. But if they're able to get through the first two games. Cj stroud looks as good at his debut is maybe guy like jameis winston did and his debut for florida state. There can be a lot of optimism for this team. That game against oregon. It's going to be tremendous the second week of the regular season as will really get a great read on both of those teams and where they stand. And i think you raise an excellent point talking about how much this ohio state team even last year with. The veteran quarterback relied on their ground game. They didn't get going until trae sermon started to shoulder. The lion's share responsibilities master teague never really proved to be that burst fullbacks. We'll see retrieve and henderson provides and defensively. Hey look i think the biggest question carry coons has to ask pain that we were asking most last year. Secondary really can't get worse by ohio state standards. I mean this was a team that gave a shade less than six yards per. Play the worst in school history so from a defensive standpoint. I guess just the average and hope you're young quarterback as able to pick up right where you're veteran left off. Ohio says even seems to be much better than average. And i think they will but there is going to be a drop off because we're not quite sure what the secondary is going to look like the entire linebacking. Core is gone and candidly. As much as i love ryan day they have not shown defensively a willingness to adapt but it sounds like they may there are some discussions of shifting and adapting to a four to five so you mentioned the secondary got torched last year shaun wade finished his career on a downtrend savion on banks was supposed to be the guy twenty two catches in three touchdowns allowed in coverage the final three games on all allows day fifty eighth and passing success. Rate defense fifty ninth and explosive pass. Defense a hundred and five over on epa defense. That's secondary scotto improve when we did the national championship preview dot. I was explicit. That if ohio state stayed in their four three and felt linebackers were gonna cover bama wide receivers is gonna be a long long night and we gave out bama team total over. We didn't think ohio state would adapt. And sure enough. You've got guys like pete werner and tough borland are out there trying to cover devante smith and company in the slot and ohio state. It's torch might. Understanding is ohio state is going to try to adapt to the dimes and go with a four to five the season. They're gonna have a fifth man in the secondary likely a safety which they're going to call the bullet position. Part of this is getting torched by bama. The other part is losing your top four linebackers from last season so there are some holes defensively so i think some of those are the things defensively look for now. Ohio state obviously has like embarrassment of riches. Defensively i mean they got jack sawyer now this kid that they just signed tj. And i'm going to butcher the name to we mow alot in the last few days to five star is gonna be impact freshman. Oh i thought that was a game effort on the pronunciation. His name especially in the preseason. He's only been there less than a week. I didn't quite stick the landing. The russian judge may have discounted appoint there at the end. But i thought it was a good first effort but i just. I don't think there's going to be a dominant unit. I do see some regression from last year. But it's still going to be a top twenty five thirty defense. But i don't think it's there's some question marks there for sure. Yeah and and the one thing is. We've seen time and time again. As far as it pertains to the big ten and the proverbial gauntlet which is anything but for ohio state. That's secondary doesn't often get tested by nfl caliber quarterbacks until they get to the big stage which includes a semifinal games and potential championships. So maybe it's oregon and we to maybe. It is tanner morgan week. One or down the road if they face a healthy mike panics. But there aren't a lot of quarterbacks if you look through that buckeye schedule and go hey look these guys are going to carve us up week in week out so you have to take a wait and see and oftentimes. There can be some noise in the numbers but from ohio. State to the school up north with the michigan wolverines. They're twenty five to one to win the big ten fourteen to one to win the big ten east. Ed faneuil sportsbook and you look at their win. Total it seven you do have to lay a buck and a quarter to go over the total. I mean the reality of things for michigan pain is. This is a program that has a proud tradition. We know about coach harbaugh being on the hot seat and not getting those winds especially against the aforementioned ohio state buckeyes michigan this off season. They overhauled a lot of coaches. So there'll be a number of different faces out there but you josh gaddis returns as the offensive coordinator in conjunction with sharon. More you see. Mike mcdonald come in as the new defensive coordinator. Obviously a harbaugh tie as the former linebacking coach in baltimore. But when you look at the michigan. Wolverines from an offensive standpoint all signs are pointing at cade mcnamara being their starting quarterback. But maybe there's a little bit more that'll be decided in fall camp before we ultimately no the man taking snaps under centers for their opener against western michigan. It's not just a big year for the quarterback position. But josh gaddis this feels like a really crucial season for him and know we know. The offense has changed dramatically but the efficiency has improved. And so that was one thing that we banged the table for right. We just kind of need to get out of this bc. Type offense right this archaic offense but the year before god scott. Their michigan past forty percent of the time last year is fifty six percent pass. So we like that. The year before gas derived michigan used heavy formations at sixty five percent of time last year. Just thirty three percent so there was that stylistic shift that we were hoping for but the efficiency hasn't fallen in fact gone backwards so this is a huge year for gaddis because if the offense fails again he's probably out of town. You mentioned kate mcnamara. That's the question i know. It looks like he's the guy that's in the driver's seat heading into fall camp. Alan bowman said he didn't transfer not to start. And obviously jj mccarthy the five star prized quarterback is the most talented at bunch. But i think our understandings the same here. Todd it sounds like mcnamara is is the leader right now. He knows the offense best. These guys played it. And when i watch him right it's clear knows where the ball needs to go. Does kind of give off a game manager vibe but when michigan's o. Line kept them clean. Mcnamara's good when michigan through action. Mcnamara's good whoever starts under center. Though i think the offensive line will be improved. So that's going to help the injury lock. Last year was terrible. So i think they'll be a healthier unit upfront michigan's o. Line wasn't good last year because of those injuries creating room for its backs outside the top eighty in line yards and stuff rates. I'd like the running back room this year. I think haskins now. He's a fulltime. Starters can be really good. The freshman donovan edwards appears to be the kind of back like harbaugh has not had it michigan yet. He looks bursting. He looks. I can get outside. I think he's going to contribute at minimum in the past game out of the backfield. He just appears to be the type of back. That harbaugh has just been like hoping and praying for. This is by far the best back that he's recruited. I think question marks though receiver once you get past ronnie bell. You had josh jackson surprisingly transfer out after spring ball the washington's and not only do you lose probably your best your second best receiver but he transfers to a dean michigan place week too so i'm gonna spill the beans a little bit on. What josh gad is wants to do and then michigan did landale in baldwin. The jackson state transfer apparently worked out for both ohio. State and penn state and both offered baldwin shows michigan. So let's see what impact he has the fortunate thing for michigan's offense the first month of the season. You get western michigan. You get an you get rutgers defensively. All of those defenses. Were projecting outside the top eighty so michigan has a chance to at least get it going early. There are some brutal games on the schedule. Oughta conference as i mentioned washington. You're at wisconsin and penn state. You closed the earth. Ohio state but at least early on the offense has a chance to build some momentum. Get acclimated to whichever quarterback it is in this new system. Our number michigan seven point two. I know under eight was extremely sharp. There are other places out there that are still dealing like seven point. Seven seven point eight if you could find those in in you. Wanna fade michigan gopher. There is some value there. Not enough for me but there is some value there when you look at michigan pain on the defensive side of the ball. Were expecting a scheme. Change to go to three four. Don brown's defense. That looked old and antiquated. Not every week but every time they stepped up in class against ohio state will be a thing of the past. An uncharacteristically bad michigan stop unit last season. There are some playmakers in this particular group though but they have to be much more effective in creating havoc place last year. Defense struggle the force turnovers only two picks a takeaway. Excuse me coming every hundred fifty five snaps easy for me to say when you look at michigan defensively. Do we think we can expect a positive regression this year in ann arbor. Let's hope you know. At least you have the full offseason to implement this style change. And you mentioned. Dom brown's out mike mcdonald's in go into a three four. We have seen a mass exodus of defenders transferring out mostly at linebacker. That's what happens when you switch to a three or four. But what. I am hearing even if the scheme may look different. I think the principles are still going to be the same right. It's going to be a bunch of blitz. it's going to be playing man. Michigan was the most bullets abby team in college football last season. They played man at the success rate. And i think that's ultimately what they're gonna do. Because mike mcdonald is from the school of the baltimore ravens defense which is exactly that the question really for me is does michigan have the talent corner to hold up in that style and they just haven't shown that they're plentiful at that position over fifteen percent passes. Michigan faced last year ended up being explosive over six percent passes ended up in thirty plus yard gains last season. So it's fine if you wanna shift your scheme but if the principles are the same with constant blitzing and press coverage. I don't know if they have the jimmy's and joe's to pull that off the rest of the defense there is issues there too. It wasn't just the secondary. I mean hundred twentieth and havoc great so nothing was really happening at or behind the line of scrimmage a hundred twenty fifth in snaps between takeaway so they didn't turn anybody over one hundred and twenty third and stuff right so the guys up front weren't really penetrating all that. Well so it's one thing to get beat deep right. If you're playing if you're making plays behind the line of scrimmage you're going to sacrifice deep shot or two if you're going to turn someone over. I never happened in twenty. You're looking at the secondary. It's going to be basically vincent grain. Jim in green. They've take take their game to the next level great safeties dachshund hill and hawkins josh. Ross in the middle of solid and you have eight and hutchinson. He can be around one pick if he stays healthy and has a monster season. There's just not much depth past those five guys and we also saw michigan lost at secondary coach before fall. You brought in maurice linguist who everyone seems to rave about. He took the buffalo job michigan players. If you were listening reading some of the quotes there like maria came in just infused energy into the entire team and poof. He's gone he's having nine. It'd be there for a game. So i think there isn't quite the depth or the talent there for michigan yet to actually show a ton of improvement but if you can stay healthy on the offensive side of the ball if mcnamara can be a solid game manager if you can get the ground game going a little bit if the defense just isn't an abject disaster like it was last year and it's very tough to be as bad as last year. There is going to be some improvement for michigan. You just wonder how much that improvements going to be. Well if there are question marks surrounding the wolverines i think they're just as many surrounding their conference rivals that reside in happy valley. When you look at penn state pain they're listed nine to one to win the big ten fan duel sportsbook six to one to emerge from the big ten east and when their win total hovering. Right around nine you do have to a substantial price to go under james. Franklin has come in kind of selling that dream of optimism. At least he did when he arrived in happy valley. I'm not so sure it's as simple as waving a magic one. And there's no doubt. For penn state they righted the ship last year in a season. That can be rather difficult to do. So you start off. Losing what five straight games you finish with four straight victories. But if you dig into the opponent's they beat down the stretch for those four wins michigan rutgers michigan state and illinois not exactly who the navy and white have to knock off if they're going to be relevant in the conference discussion and again which seems to be a rinse and repeat approach and not necessarily for the best james franklin going to his fourth new offensive coordinator in just five seasons. When we look at penn state. Do we think they bounce back from last year or is it more trouble in the not so happy happy valley. Whatever james franklin is selling seems to be working on the twenty twenty two recruiting class. I am not a james franklin guy. I think you and i both hear rumblings outside of what we do. That is not the best human and these kind of phony. So i'm i'm not james franklin guy and i think we probably saw that again this off season but ultimately he's gotta figure out what he wants his offense of identity to be defensive coach. But you gotta figure out in the year twenty twenty one when offense equates to winning far more than defense what your programs offense of identity is going to be. You can't constantly change the foundation. Expect sustainability and firing your first euro see and a kovic shortened offseason without spring. Practice comes off is insane to me not being able to understand horrific turnover. Luck is the reason you got off to. The slow start is a little puzzling. And you mentioned it incomes. Mike pence fourth. Oh seen five years. The covered is in bear on offense. Let's put it that way. Penn state actually finished top. Twenty five offense of epa. They were just again. One of the unluckiest teams in college. Football poor fumble and clifford constantly airmail passes that led to picks but if you look at the entire body of work. Psu had the thirteenth best epa margin college football despite a losing record so you could make the case that the stock indicator if penn state is a stock is just pointing up because of those things. Offensively there's three key thinks sean. Clifford as you mentioned what is he. What can he be the o. Line which seems like. I don't know he just hasn't figured out the align situation there. There's always a question. Mark and then what. Receivers are going to emerge pass. John dotson clifford's the obvious asia's play better is pocket. Presence was terrible. Last year's footwork was terrible. It's why airmails all those passes then. He loses confidence in. Doesn't even try to get the ball deep. You got to a point where he just wouldn't even throw it. Nine percent of his passes went twenty or more yards. Clever wasn't gonna oppressor wasn't good. When his blitzed. I really think penn state would be better getting him to go back to being more of a game manager. Right get the ball out quickly and on time us more play action and if you look there is areas where clifford was elite. Last year he was very good with action adjusted. Completion percentage of seventy five percent ten and a half yards an attempt no picks one thirty passer rating when he knew where to go with the ball and got it out quickly in those intermediaries. Clifford was was damned. Good the running back room is loaded. The key is the offensive line. Getting better there wasn't a lot of push up front last season barely inside the dot fifty in line yards. And i think that number's really inflated when you look at the best runs coming from clifford creating that extra man advantage in the box so those numbers. I would kind of throw out a little bit in terms of line yards. Clifford had sixty designed runs lead. Psu rushing once you remove sack yardage in protection as he was outside the top one hundred and passing down sack raid a lot so when defenses can their ears back and get to the quarterback in these known passing situations they did the interior of the offensive line. Still unsettled had to bring in a harvard. Transfer at this point. They haven't named starting center. Let's see what happens here in fall camp but it's one of the most important position on the football field and then i mentioned john dawson very good receiver but who else is going to merge you know you have these two four star kids from twenty twenty in parker washington and k. l. s. brenton strange came on at tight end last season. When friar move got injured he showed to be pretty damn good when he was targeted quarterbacks at a one forty five passer rating so hopefully he becomes a nice security blanket for clifford there but there isn't really a sure thing passed johnson now. The other interesting barnier. Todd when i look at the schedule. Psu is gonna face five defenses. Were projecting to finish top twenty inefficiency. So it is a brutal schedule. From that standpoint for penn. State's offense. I mean the other thing too pain when you talk about penn state and their offensive line concerns their week one opponent. Probably not the team. You wanna face. When you're unsettled in the trenches. Going to camp randall in environment. And let's not ignore the fact that most of these kids last year played in venues. That were had a handful of fans. If that you're now going into hostile territory you talk about not being able to name a center to have that continuity things in my opinion for penn state and we'll get to their defense in a second could snowball quickly because not only. Do you play physical opponent week. One in wisconsin. You get two teams. That i think are going to be much better than people anticipate coming into your building in subsequent weeks ball state not going to be as physical in the trenches but hey there goodbye mac standards then you get the rare. Scc opponent coming on the road up. North i mean if things don't start well for penn state maybe the nittany lions are stared down the barrel of an owen three start in an absolute worst case scenario. That would be the worst case in our. Yes and that opening game i think is one that i'm going to watch pretty closely and i'll probably watch it multiple times because i think there's a lot of question marks about what wisconsin can be. Can penn state bounce back. I think we're going to find out a lot about those two teams in that week. One game and defensively when we look at penn state. Last year they allowed a school worst. Nearly twenty eight points per game. They gave up more than thirty plus in five games. Clearly that middle linebacking group was never settled. Mike parsons opting out defensive line. Even this year. In my estimation pain still a major concern is. There's not a lot of continuity there. They weren't able to generate pressure. What do we think we're going to see from the nittany lion. Stop unit the opposite of its offense penn. State's defense doesn't really face a gauntlet of schedule. And that's that's the positive our projectionist psu facing one offense in the top thirty this season and that teams ohio state in the replacing. Its its first round quarterback. You mentioned the big question. It is upfront. A little bit. Penn state loses a first round. Pick jason la shocking. Tony was also drafted antonio shell and transferred to florida. They were the three best. Defensive line in penn state had lesser. You get the temple. Transfer be akita is his name. I believe looks like he's the real deal. He may be softens. The blow of of oa in tony leaving. They added a duke transfer. Derek tanja leo. He's a depth guy he supposed to replace shelton. Let's say you basically have young guys that we haven't seen they're going to be required to contribute. And if penn state's going to improve defensively. It's going to be on those guys. Because i think there were some really dicey situations last year. At least defensively. That need improving. It wasn't just like sean. Clifford being a disaster Issues defense thirty or more points. In each of their first five games it would have been much worse. Had they not stopped so many four thousand temps when i deep dive into some of the important metrics. Psu is not their normal self down to down forty percent success rate a lot You know as hyped as the is on early downs. Psu torch through the seventy second defense pass efficiency and early downs. There wasn't a lot of negative plays being created pens seventieth in havoc fifty. Nine th and stuff right. That's why he only create nine takeaways. I know a lot of people look and say like and you kind of hinted at this at the top that us defense improved down the stretch only allowed seventeen points a game. The final four weeks is what i'm here but you mentioned that list of teams rutgers sparty illinois michigan average offense efficiency rank of those four teams last year's eighty fifth. Two of those teams michigan illinois started freshman quarterbacks in those games the season's lost his dot is over. There were transitioning next year right. So i mean. I've seen projections from others taught that have. Ps defense flirting with potentially being a top five unit. This season feels extremely aggressive Even with this offset schedule. I think a lot of people have bought in some of the penn state height by know what the team that we talked about off the air that felt like there are some real aggressive projections. Not just with their defense but their overall ceiling for this season. Hey maybe sean clifford me wrong. There's definitely been quarterbacks that things have clicked. I just hate the idea of now bringing in a new offensive scheme much like you mentioned at the top talking about you brought into no see that came with a good resume and kirk saroka out of minnesota. You can't after one season and you didn't have spring practice. You were interrupted with covert protocols in a variety of other things. I don't know maybe For me it's the glass half full at absolute best. But i'm not quite sure this bounceback season happy valley that a lot of people anticipate team lead. I don't think they're gonna have losing records so from that. Yes but i don't think they're reaching penn state levels or i guess we should probably say the perception of what penn state levels are known. And i'm not saying this is a team that's going to struggle to go six and six and make the music city bowl by any stretch of the imagination. But i think when you look at penn state and its pedigree people expect them to be a ten win. And if you're doing anything less than that somehow it's a disappointment. So we'll see if they can achieve some of those lofty goals team who clearly exceeded expectations. A season ago was the indiana hoosiers and a hat tip to tom. Allen and what he was able to do taking a early season upset at penn state and using that to kinda cress the momentum until you lost ohio state and then came up short in their bowl. Game against ole miss. When you look at indiana they are twenty two one at vandross sportsbook to win the big ten ten to one to emerge from the big ten east and their win total sits at seven and a half flat. I mean the one thing pain that i think was evident that we talked about was that this is now a program that appears to be built on camaraderie. There's a lot more chemistry. Everyone's pulling in the same direction. Kennett pay dividends against a much more difficult schedule at the hoosiers encounter in two thousand twenty one with a target on their back than what they were able to do a season ago. So right off the top. We have seen some under money on indiana depending on where you look. It's either eight under minus one fifty or the number. You mentioned there. It's really interesting. Because tom allen does seem to get more out of his everyone's bought in they love him and from our perspective writhing. You'd be hard pressed to find anyone not in the hoosiers building. That's been more bullish on indiana the last eighteen to twenty four months than us but there is expectation right. There's five million dollar contracts to live up to for tom allen. There's panic junior being anointed the best quarterback in the big ten by some despite not finishing a single season and tearing the same. Acl twice. When i dug in indiana there are two dramatically different sides to last season success and the optimistic and positive side is six and one of the big. Dan only loss on the highway to ohio state by one score and they made the championship. And now you look at indiana and they return over. Eighty percent of that on both sides of the ball towns bright. The other side of the coin is really ugly. Though in its that indiana finished one hundred tenth in epa differential last season which effectively means when you account for every single snap on both sides of the ball. Indiana's defense allowed a greater epa than its own offense achieved. Okay that's basically what that means. The offensive success was not very good. They're only successful on thirty eight percent snaps that was outside the top. One hundred five offenses indiana's trench play wasn't good either. Couldn't pass protect could open up holes in the ground. Game hundred eighteenth and rushing success rate hundred twenty first and explosive runs panics. There's a reason he's constantly getting injured. And it's because he's been thrown from his ass guy. Among quarterbacks with at least one hundred job dropback last season panics. The twelfth lease time to throw his pressure on forty one percent of dropbox. Yeah you had to treat the ball like a hot potato so many times that needs to improve because when when panics is able to throw the ball and this is what everyone loves about him and he doesn't have pressure in his face and he has time he's damned one eleven passer rating seventy four percent adjusted completion percentage last year when he was protected. Now i think the hope is that left tackle. Caleb jones plays more than sixty percent of games and he looks like an nfl tackle and that michigan transfers at carpenter makes an impact on the interior of the line. If indian is offensive line can go from five orange pylons to below average maybe maybe indiana can meet the eight win expectation or go over seven and a half word is some places but the schedule out of the gate isn't pleasant. I mean we're we're gonna know pretty early on pass. Protection is better if there's more running lanes being open because three of indiana's first five games. Todd were projecting those defenses to finish inside the top fifteen inefficiency. Yeah taking your show on the road week. One for a conference showdown at kinnock stadium against iowa. Probably not the way that you wanna break in and offensive line especially if michael panics isn't fully at one hundred percent and we'll get a better indication of where that niyaz when practice reports start to circulate throughout the course of the fall. I know jack tuttle filled informed. But let's not kid ourselves. Pennock is the guy that makes that offense go largely because they have some in. Our opinion underrated weapons out there in the likes of tie fry fogel. Dj matthews fsu transfer. And of course the big fella in titan peyton hendershot. You mentioned dj matthews. So we get storytime. Ati source. Awesome unfortunate news with tomorrow and terry Dj matthews is the one that gave tomorrow interiors nickname of of scary terry and we now see potentially why. And so. that's an interesting fellow to bring to bloomington so interesting to see a dj matthews works there. Yeah you have to hope that he buys in to who he the we over me concept that tom allen is trying to foster their miles marshall another guy who we saw a few explosive plays last year but just wasn't consistent enough in that offense defensively. You talked about what this group was able to do for stretches We know they bring back a ton of continuity for their four to five defense. Taiwan molin probably the player to watch in the secondary. I mean in absolute ball. Hawk that can eliminate huge portions of the field and while indiana last year. You talked about their epa metrics. I mean this was a group that kind of epitomized the true bend but don't break mantra. They allow just three point three points per drive and had a thirty six percent stop rate inside the twenty paint. I don't have to be a math wizard to figure out that. That's probably not going to be sustainable. If you continue to let your opponents into the green zone let alone the red zone. Oh you're absolutely correct and you know you also dealing with a new defensive coordinator charlton warrant and the pedigree's pretty good. You spent the last few seasons in the. Sec has the db coach for georgia. And indiana's gonna play a four to five so it's predicated on good dv's a good db coach and what players are saying from what i've read and poked around and heard is that the defense might actually be a little bit more aggressive despite keeping that scheme. It's a really quirky defense. You know it's undersized. The front seven isn't all that great the last few years. We've seen them get bullied in the trenches. Last year was pretty much the same hundred and thirteenth in line yards hundred and seventeenth stuff right but the secondary is the strength in. Indiana's gonna play to that strength formation. Which makes a ton of sense. Most of the pressure generated is from exotic blitzes and stunts. Natural pressure has not really happened for indiana. The last few years forty seven percent bullets rate last year. But what's interesting is when they started to manufacture that pressure it got home. A bunch and secondary made a ton of place. And that's how indiana survived on defense last season by creating havoc. But as you're kind of hinted at here it it's tough to replicate a lot of these various metrics which helped indiana survived defensively. You mentioned the red zone for instance. Typically that has a ton of various season season. Indiana face twenty five red zone trips last year. Nine of them teams came with zero points. Less than half resulted in. Touchdowns batted balls galore. Almost twenty percent of of opponent possessions ended turnovers. But yet it all up in you. Actually dig into some of these Predictive metrics indiana seventy eighth in defensive. Epa which is well below the national average and so you know despite all the the luck metrics grossly in their favor. It wasn't the best down to down. Defense fortunately indiana only place to offense. Is this year that we're projecting the finish in the top thirty. So maybe maybe. That's the saving grace that allows indiana over chief again. Hey it's an interesting team. There's a lot to be said about culture and being able to defy the metrics but we talk time and time again you can sneak up on league opponents when nobody's expecting much from you. It's a little bit different once you've arrived so to speak and being able to maintain that personal you're gonna get everyone's best shot and you talked about the schedule. We can just look at the first three weeks going to kenneka. Take on iowa. Home game against idaho and a game that will go a long long way in defining not only the and but also their opponents when they play host to cincinnati the third week of the season. So we'll keep tabs on the hoosiers probably one of the more relevant teams in the east but as we pivot from the east to the west again remind. All of you are loyal listeners. Go to fan. Duel sportsbook backslash. Bet the board sign up news. Our code take advantage of the thousand dollar risk-free bat is the perfect way to build your bankroll for football season. Use it for our best bet win. Totals you name it. A variety of ways to get in on the action even before the season gets here. Encourage you to follow pain on twitter at paine insider firm and you can follow me there as well most importantly they'll follow the podcast at the board pot for all sorts of great updates as we inch ever so close to meaningful football about six weeks away pay no. We begin to look at the landscape in the west. I think this is where there's a lot of injury because there's question marks. None of these teams appear to be airtight on paper offering an explosive offense and complementary defense to go along with it. Wisconsin is the favourite at least on paper. They're six to one to win the entire conference at fan duel sportsbook their minus one. Twenty five to win the west. You look at their win. Total nine and a half over minus one twenty and not to drudge up painful memories but a lot of our listeners. From season to go remember that the badgers were the bane of our existence when it came to best bets as we continue to watch them struggle to move the ball three to five yards a pop but last season didn't include spring practice in was interrupted by a major covert outbreak grammar. It should be healthier going into the season. The receivers that weren't on the roster or available late in the campaign specifically danny davis the third kendrick prior should be healthy and ready to go along with jalen burger as a game-breaker or running back. But when you look at this wisconsin team do we think that what we on paper can translate to real world football success so the reason for optimism and it sounds like you're extremely optimistic based on kind of your tone you know i love you know i love college. Football teams. can't score wisconsin michigan state. The list goes on grim. Merch is interesting right. We all saw the opener against illinois where he didn't throw a single inaccurate passion. We're like i see what the five star hype is about. But that was as good as it got was really bad after that now. You mentioned some of the reasons right injured throwing shoulder. He missed multiple games because of co videoed and getting spring ball. The receiver group wasn't great. And then it got injured and the wisconsin's running back room. Todd was that maybe the worst. I've seen in two decades. I don't even know that mean that maybe ever running on this season it was terrible so you know. You hate to make excuses. But there's validity to what wisconsin went through offensively last season. Now where the conundrum is here is how much positive projecting can you do. And so there's a wide range of opinions on wisconsin. That i've seen from winning the conference and fighting for a playoff berth. If cj stroud isn't the guy to is like an eight windy without question wisconsin's offense is improving. But how far is the leap in. I mean it was ugly last year. Hundred eleven in in offense of epa less than thirty eight percent of offense of snaps great successful outside the top one hundred explosiveness merchant terms of epa per pass attempt was worse than adrian. Martinez has a passer. So you have to take this large leap of faith in manually adjust for merz not having spring ball and again with the shoulder and the series bout of cove at any missed almost three weeks and so those are some things right. Didn't have good. Running backs had suspect receivers. But how far can you manually adjust wisconsin's projection upwards is the question because actually have to do and so. That becomes really interesting to me. Paul chris i think knows. This is a big season that there needs to be offensive improvement. It's why he's taken on. The the added role of quarterback coach and play caller. Said tells you. I think a lot. There's zero excuses this year right. I mean merch is going to be pressured on. Like less than twenty percent of his drawbacks. Because the outline is elite. And you mentioned jalen burger. I think he's got the potential to be the next great wisconsin back. But i'll be candid. As i as i said before like that opener against penn state another team that had a you know w t.f season. It's going to be one that i watched closely and probably gonna watch it. Multiple times wisconsin. Though looking at the schedule they evade ohio state and penn state notre dame michigan in the iowa games are either home or neutral site only four road games this season so there is real potential. If graham is the quarterback that he looked like against illinois there's reason to To have some optimism for wisconsin. This year yeah i mean. I knew that the offense was bad last year. Because of what is told us when we watch them to week i had no idea it was actually as bad from an explosive play standpoint in terms of when i looked at the overall history six plays of thirty or more yards in four hundred ninety five offensive snaps pain. That might have been good in one thousand nine hundred fifty two but in twenty twenty. That's not really going to get it done. Especially when you have a grand total of three plays that covered forty plus yards now. Fortunately for wisconsin. You mentioned that offensive line. That's a big reason for the optimism but defensively while. This may be a big season for paul chris. They'd better get the most out of their stop unit. Because jim leonard's not going to be there for long i'm honestly surprised he decided to spurn. Nfl overtures to come back to camp randall and madison and to be the architect behind this defense but this is a group that led the league in total defense a season ago. Finish ninth and scoring defense and that was despite an offense that really gave them no silver lining as it felt they were constantly behind the eight ball and spending a lotta time out there after that. Badgers offense went three and out. You think there's something jim. Leonard knew that a lot of people didn't know. I think there's always some things that jim lender knows end up. I don't think it's coincidence. When you talk about making the potential three to four hour career shift heading up. I ninety four into northern wisconsin. Yeah jim leonard is going to have another really good defense. He's one of the best coach in football. And that's why you start to wonder if he knew something before many others because no clue how the packers didn't close him on that pitch but he's got a lot returning in immediate turn down floor state like a year ago. He's been turning down jobs. Well turning florida state's just a smart move. Let's not kid ourselves here. That's a prudent career decision. That jim leonard mate. So i'm not gonna fault the guy for that. So when you look at wisconsin. Top twenty five returning production. The linebacker groups elite and leonard seems to get the most out of a secondary because there's a former secondary guy so he coaches up the position. Really well he also brought in hank petite a nfl corner to help with the secondary. This year i think the question for wisconsin becomes is upfront you know. They seem to do very well. Transitioning but guys like kiana. Benton james thomson. Kate mcdonald that step up and be consistent along that defensive line. What impact is forced our freshman. Tj bowlers can have will isaac towns in the organ transfer being immediate impact guy on the edge. So those are the guys up front. That are really going to have to make some. Hey they have to be able to get natural pressure. I think jim lennon we look at his defense very aggressive. But i don't think he wants to bullets that much. He's he's willing to plan an aggressive defense. And he does like the press likes to blitz but wisconsin blitz on more than forty four percent. Snap slashers to top twenty rate in college football. We did see. It left his his secondary. Expose on the back in a bit. And you know. Wisconsin finished fifty eighth and explosive pass defense so by nature. It's an aggressive defense. But i don't think. Leonard wants to bullets that much. Twenty twenty one the the positive though when you start to project out ahead and you start to look at the schedule. Wisconsin is not going to face a top twenty offense all season based on our projections. Not one so. obviously something. Offense could emerge but when we're looking at our preseason projections were putting in her numbers. Jim leonard is not going to face. Top twenty offense this year. Which is Bodes for wisconsin. So there are some positive things here. If you do get graham mertz back in the saddle and he looks like the five star quarterback in and looking at the schedule of offenses that jim leonard is gonna have to face. There's there's a reason why this windows nine and a half. They are the clear cut favorite on this side of the big ten. One thing that does provide a little bit of concern for me with wisconsin more so than other big ten teams not necessarily the opponents that they'll face over the course of the regular season but wisconsin is the only team in the conference that has to play ten straight games. Because they're buying them come so early so they'll open up with a huge game against penn state in their own building. They'll take on eastern michigan. They'll have that by week. They'll have notre dame on a neutral which will jump start a long stretch in for team. Who's running back. Depth could be a concern after jalen burger. You wonder how healthy they'll be able to be this year. Compared to all the misfortunes they dealt with on the injury site a season ago no question about it. That's schedule is pretty interesting. How lays out obviously in an ideal world. You'd like to have that by middle of the season that is for sure at least on paper pain. The biggest competition to wisconsin for big ten west supremacy appears to be kirk appearances iowa hawkeyes iowa listed at nine to one at fan duel sportsbook to win the big ten their plus. One seventy five to win the big ten west and the wind. Total for the hawks. That's eight and a half eight and a half flat will call it right now. This was an iowa team that started extremely slow last year but finished with six straight wins the close out the campaign when you look at iowa figuring out when they're going to be successful well it's been a pretty straightforward formula iowa fifty one in six when they run for one hundred yards two and fifteen when they don't over the last six years. Fortunately for the hawkeyes. This offense is built around a potential all american running back in tyler. Goodson and hey. A lot of people are optimistic about what we could see out spencer petrous in his second season in iowa city. You're not supposed to encourage brian. Farance to call more runs with that little nugget. I think you may have well. I'm not encouraging the call more runs. Maybe use the passing game to open up the ground game. You have to think counter-intuitively outside the box instead of slamming your head into a brick wall on first and second down and setting up third intermediate every single time you play team above average defense and i think that's the question for me because we've talked about iowa's offensive ceiling only being so high with how they play in how brian farance calls. A lot of predictable runs unpredictable downs. And there's this unwillingness to have quarterbacks feet play a role within the offense. And i was still a team that punts plus territory in short yardage situations more than they probably should and you know last. Season's the perfect example of all this. Because you have a great one you have to receivers that are going to be on. Nfl rosters you have the first team all big ten running back and yet you only finished sixty eighth and offensive. Epa and sixty first explosiveness. Last season brian farance puts a governor on his own offense. With how antiquated is. Now i look at. I was offense this season. You mentioned spencer patriots. I think it comes down to him. I think it comes down to the offensive line. You know you'll lose a left tackle. You'll lose your top. Two right tackles you lose a starting guard. There's also a new o line coach. The projected left tackle missed the entire spring. So i do think we see downgrade with iowa's offensive line. The big question becomes is. How large is the debt. And then of course spencer patriots. He finished last season strong. Final two games against illinois wisconsin. Really only two that he finished with a passer rating above one hundred. His teammates are saying all the right things. They respect him for his work ethic. They claim is the first one in the building in the last one to leave. Guys like tracing regaining in the receiver rumor claiming that the timing's much better that his accuracy and pocket presence has improved in that. He's learned to be a leader. He commands the huddle now. Kirk vari- has been saying peaches praise. Basically all offseason says night and day and that he had a great spring start to finish. Let's hope that's the case because his accuracy was really poor last season. And i mean. I guess you give him the deserved crutch that. We give a lot of other teams and quarterbacks for last year is that it's a first time starter and a shortened offseason but no spring because of the the cova chaos but peter has had like this really bad combination of not pushing the ball downfield while also being inaccurate. It's not a good combination to be. Can you know this conservative game manager. That's also not accurate. Almost fifty five percent of his throws reader short. Or behind the line of scrimmage. He only attempted deep throat. Twelve percent of the time and going back to his pocket presence patriots was a disaster when he was pressured aligned at a really good job keeping them clean zone pressure twenty three percent of dropbox but when he was pressured twenty nine passer rating four point one yards per attempt. So for me. Qb align are still the two question marks. i have. I don't know if patriots is just going to automatically become this accurate. Passer obviously does have a full off season to improve on that. But i would say the receiver room while. I don't think it's going to be glaring. Issue is certainly going to take a little ticked back as well. Yeah this is an interesting team. I mean from an offensive line standpoint. They have arguably one of the best centers in the country in tyler. Her mom but i'm not quite sure. They have much beyond that and while we can say we want about iowa needing to do what had to be done with coach doyle being let go. He was an integral part of their strength and conditioning program. In terms of getting these guys to be the lynchpin building blocks not only the translated every saturday throughout the fall. But the reason that iowa's put so many offensive lineman into the national football league and when you talk about trenches for the hawkeyes there aren't just questions on the offensive side pain there. Plenty of questions defensively where they'll have to reload as well. You lose guys like chancy. Golsen david nixon jack. Heflin big shoes to fill in a defense that led the conference in fewest yards per play at four point. Three a pop when you look at the hawk is on that side of the ball. Where do some of your biggest question marks come from or what maybe on the converse where you most confident they're going to excel. I mean you hit a perfectly. I think the question mark is defensive. Line losing those two guys in nixon but it just oddly seems to be rinse and repeat for that position group at iowa so i didn't downgrade that unit as much as i probably would. If it wasn't iowa and candidly it wasn't a unit last year. That got a ridiculous amount of pressure either. Now it's damn near impossible to replicate last season just based on various. I mean i was defensive. Top eight inefficiency and epa explosiveness. Pass the defensive line. The linebacker room looks damn good jack. Campbell has potential to be a star secondary returns all four starters from a group that was top ten in yards per pass attempt to let you get what you get with. Iowa's defense it. It's very meat and potatoes phil. Parker lives in zone. Any dials up. Let's not all that often right. It's it's really this like kinda sit back Beat us by one. Thousand paper cuts kind of defense. That we're just gonna we're gonna hang out here zone and we're gonna see if we get natural pressure we're not gonna leave ourselves exposed it just very bend but don't break keep everything in front passed the in state game though against iowa state. I only face one other offense at were projecting inside the top thirtieth season. You know you miss ohio state. They get indiana penn state and minnesota at home and looking at our preseason numbers iowa's projected to be a favourite in ten of twelve games. Now there's a slew of tossup games in there but even like the trips i was state wisconsin as it stands. Now i was less than a touchdown dog and both of us. We're projecting more of like the four to five point dog range in each of those games. So when i look at at iowa like i think they're going to be solid again. The floor seems to be really high. But i'm looking at our projections. Eight point two wins with juice the markets at like eight point three so. There's not a ton of reason to tie up money for for many months. But i could see a lot of variance right i if this were any other team. That was replacing you know. Three starters along the align and bowl tackles and hadn't inaccurate quarterback in you know as replacing to nfl receivers and to all big ten defensive lineman. We'd be calling for regression but just iowa's seems to live in this ballpark of of seven to nine wins. So it's it's tough to gauge their a model of consistency in for a lot of iowa fans Sometimes it can be more frustrating than anything else with that occasional ten and two season there but rarely six and six is like you said seven and five. You can pencil iowan in good years. They can go plus or minus a game or two in that particular department from the iowa. Hawkeyes pain in. I believe the rivalry is the floyd of rosedale The minnesota golden gophers who are listed at thirty to one to win the big ten at fan duel. Sportsbook tend to one to come out of the big ten west and their win. Total sits at seven flat. I mean when you look at this minnesota team clearly last year was not exactly what golden gophers hopeful had anticipated. The defense was downright dumpster. Fire the offense never really seemed to find it swagger you get rashad bateman opt out and the rest is more or less history. Tanner morgan returns. They have a reliable starting quarterback there but other than that for minnesota all admit the more i dug into this team the more confused i became because i'm not quite sure if they have a high ceiling if they have a high floor or where it's going to land for. Pj flex next trip around the sun in the twin cities. I'm not quite sure in. Minnesota is one of our largest regression candidates last season and i was just looking at some power numbers this morning from their peak in two thousand nineteen to their floor last year in twenty twenty are downgrade was eleven points and i mean it was just i know you and i talked and the new. Oh see that was downgrade. You'll lost to starting a lineman that weren't available last year. In you mentioned bateman opting out in tyler. Johnson obviously moved onto the nfl along with seven starting defenders. Now i've moved minnesota backup a tick since they're twenty twenty four but offensively. They're they're still two huge questions for me. And it's it's mike. Sanford junior the the oc is he any good and obviously who emerges from a receiver group of othman bel and daniel jackson and eleven freshman. Whether they're roger freshman true freshman. What is that receiver group. Look like i am not a mike sanford junior guy. Think our listeners. Know that wasn't quite sure what. Pj flack was doing. When he hired him that might be one of his first missteps. You look at his last few stops western kentucky utah state. Neither good western kentucky was ninth and offensive efficiency. The year before. Mike sanford junior got there by the time he left one hundred twenty and then he took the utah state. Oc job in the aggies were twenty second offense efficiency of the year before he got there. He's there one year utah state finished seventy seventh. And toughish. wonder what chucky keaton's up to these days my favorite utah state quarterback of all time. I'm convinced was on campus for about nine years. He feels like he was also so. I mean you're looking at him. And obviously inherits the minnesota job and there wasn't as much talent there. But the offense arrests again and mike sanford junior just to me isn't a great play caller. He's shown struggle within game adjustments. So i think that's a big thing to watch this season. And i when you look at that i mean what are team's going to do when they attempt to defend minnesota. They're gonna load the box because when you just look at how they're built right now. Five massive oh linemen and they returned one of the most consistent running backs in the entire country and hebron but what happens when defense. They're gonna love the box. Can sanford adjust right. And that's going to be the interesting thing to me. I'm not quite sure. And you're looking. At least tanner. Morgan is going to be in year. Two of the system so he's got to be able to figure out how to keep defenses honest with that receiver it. It's different when you're throw into two. Nfl receivers and tyler johnson reshad bateman. And even bateman. You opted out. Last year. came back. Played a few games in those games. Us responsible fifty percent of minnesota targets. They naveh anybody else in the passing game was just not good. Year-over-year massive decline minnesota's a hundred and fifteenth in epa per pass differential from two thousand nineteen to twenty twenty only twelve other teams in college. Football saul worst decline year over year in. Epa per pass by and so a lot of that is on sanford. A lot of that is on. Tanner morgan did regrets. But he's got a full offseason. So there's no excuses issue. I think we'll see obviously an uptick. You can't be worse than you were last year. And i think you will see some improvement right with with morgan. Learn more comfortable in the system. Brian were also going to have to make a pretty large adjustment. More than normal game to game. I i really believe that because the gophers are going to be able to run the ball and certain teams right there. There's to be able to just overpower certain teams. And it's gonna look like everything's fine offensively but then there's going to be gains were minnesota just can't believe defenses and there's gonna be a massive drop off in offense of production being able to make that manual game to game adjustment. I think's going to be really really important if you plan on betting minnesota this year. Well i can tell you one thing. Minnesota's opener when they welcome in ohio state will be one worth watching with ohio state. Right around a two touchdown favored as things stand right now. Fan duel sportsbook rare. That the buckeyes will play on a thursday night. You know go for stadium will be absolutely electric in that type of environment. Biggest question though pain for as many as we have on the offensive side. Ken this defense get better. I mean the magic number last year was eighteen. And i don't say that in a good context they recorded. Eighteen tackles for loss the entire season that accounted for less than five percent of the total defensive snaps that the gopher stop unit was out there and while the offense regressed some the defense completely fell off a damn cliff. Yeah i mean. I felt that was to be expected. We knew there is massive regression. Defensive lesson you can't replace seven on defense and foreign. Nfl draft picks from a program like minnesota nazi decline and last season flat out like minnesota just got bullied on defense. Just beat up. They could not stop a nosebleed. They were shoved around the trenches. They're outside the top. One hundred line yards stuff right and have a great literally in you. You you mentioned this. Four percent of opponent plays ended in a tackle for loss teams were successful in fifty percent of their offense of snaps against minnesota over fifty two percent of runs grade successful. I and they were just trounced a hundred eleven in explosive. Run defense ball. Carriers contacted on average of three and a half yards downfield. But i i mean it was just one of the worst defensive performances of the entire season from power. Five group hundred and sixteenth in defensive. Epa but. i don't listen your play. Seven starters four on four that that go to the nfl like minnesota just doesn't recruit at that level even with pj flack. It's just not that type of program so expect to drop off. I did not expect that. I mean that was that was horrific. The scary part for context. Todd the schedule wasn't all that difficult season. Minnesota didn't play the top. Three big dent offense as either they evaded. Ohio state and penn state and indiana minnesota. Didn't face offense inside the top thirty five and efficiency last season. So you know. I be improved because they have to be. There's only one direction to go. But it wasn't like they played this murderer's row schedule last year. I don't really like the way the defenses constructed either like. I hate the bend but don't break philosophy. I just don't like right in. Minnesota doesn't play aggressively. They sit back and coverage minnesota's sent blitz less than fifteen percent of the time last season. Now they go out they get niles pinkney the transfer from clemson who should help with that run game that we mentioned that was abysmal. He was had the top run. Stop percentage in the acc in two thousand nineteen was the team captain so maybe he helps improve the run defense some again. I'm expecting improvement here. Todd but obviously nothing remotely close to to their two thousand nineteen form when they made that run for expecting improvement in minnesota. That fan base isn't as devout as the next program were about to dissect and that would be the nebraska cornhuskers who see themselves forty two one outsiders to win the big ten fourteen to one to win the big ten west at fan duel sportsbook and their win total will it would make nebraska barely bowl eligible as it sits at six. You do have to lay dollar twenty to go over. I think it suffice to say that the honeymoon for scott frost coming back home is officially over at this particular point. And when you've said it time and time again when it teams dna doesn't reflect that of their head coach. It's a bit problematic and last year the silver lining for nebraska was. The defense actually had a pulse. I'm still not quite sure. How many times. That offense had to be resuscitated. Especially when you consider. The cornhuskers had two quarterbacks one of which was no longer on campus We're one of only a handful of teams that found it difficult to score more than twenty points against that vaunted golden gophers defense that you just basically shredded. I have no idea what's happening to nebraska's program. Do i don't but i can tell you. From reading some of the quotes and all of that that the bush has been improved culture in buying from those guys still theoretically wanting to be members of the program the reason why find out a little bit troublesome why are so many of the programs top talents transferring out. I mean. I think we knew they weren't going to compete for national championships. But when scott frost went this is the perfect combination. Cause a great coach. Good offensive coach can have ties to florida. Which is an area that you know doesn't really recruit but scott frost winning less than thirty eight percent of his games. The first three seasons and offense as you alluded to being the reason why shocking to me. I mean i was so hopeful. Knowing that wisconsin the top dog in the big ten west didn't recruit at this insurmountable level. I literally thought year three nebraska be fighting for being top dog in that division. I really did and right off the bat issue. Scott frost quarterback rights is four star quarterback his is adrian martinez and you think like the trajectory is going to be in one direction and it might happen quicker than we all think and it just hasn't happened and for nebraska to have a winning record and go over there window the season. I think you hit it. Like it's on the offensive side of the ball it specifically on adrian martinez to figure it out. He just got to improve as a passer simple as that. Hundred in thirty second last season in epa per pass attempt out of one hundred seventy four quarterbacks he was benched at one point even when the offensive line kept them clean. it wasn't good eighty-eight passer rating scott. Frost tries to make life as easy as humanly possible on adrian martinez over forty one percent of throws come with play action. Martinez couldn't even execute that eighty four passer rating withdrawing the play action. There's absolutely zero pop to the past game nebraska's one hundred and fourth explosive. Passing last year four passes went more than thirty arts all season and then you mentioned the talent right. Wendell robinson he leaves he was best receiver. He upgrades to the sec. They do bring in marquee step. Transfer from us's nebraska's projected lead back hasn't been healthy for any of his three seasons you know at us's already missed the spring with an injury. Now he's out of rehab and apparently working in the white room so be ready for fall camp but how reliable is he and yeah. Where does the ground game go. If step isn't the guy we think he can be. If he isn't healthy. I mean it's basically martinez has been the ground game. One of the biggest anomalies in nebraska's rushing metrics. I think because it looks great and excel sheet right. Twenty eighth explosive runs last year. Nineteen th and rushing accessory all is well and then you realize vast majority of that was a byproduct of its quarterbacks running and not running backs so i think it's a little fu gezi that background and the love. It's been getting the positive is that nebraska's offense should start hot. And they have to write the have to build that early confidence they get illinois fordham in buffalo's defense out of the gate those are all substantially below average defenses a murderer's row. I'm trying to be this little kinder gentler. Version of me. Well see below average. It's still also only july. By the time we get to the middle of august. There won't be a kinder gentler pain. Let's not kid ourselves. Yes that's probably accurate but you know nebraska's offense doesn't get into form early. I think things get ugly because you do. Have this difficult for game. Stretch against defenses. All projected to be insider top third and. I hate to over simplify things. Todd but this season and i think it success is is all on adrian martinez thrown. Are you know. Turner cochran looks to be the guy the four star twenty twenty freshmen. He's going to be the starting left tackle. Everyone's raving about the the twenty twenty freshman receiver xavier betts. Who is this homegrown product. If those two can be major. Contributors i think you know the offense takes that that leap but relying on like to really really young is at key positions. It's tough this. This is all on ager martinez. He's got to figure out how to be an accurate passer. And it's it's tough to say that reich. His accuracy is one thing. It's probably the toughest thing to improve on his quarterback. Yeah you mentioned. How prolific the quarterbacks were in the ground game quarterbacks accounted for fifty five percent of the rushing yards that nebraska was able to generate last season. While that might be fine. If eric crouch or scott for us is leading an option offense. Not what you want to see now. With thirty seven of the fifty five explosive runs that group generated. Also coming from that quarterback spot now for all the questions and concerns. We have about the team offensively. Maybe a little bit of optimism on the defensive signed side pain. They bring back a slew of six year. Starters returned to run defense. That was surprisingly stingy last year. By what we anticipated coming into the season and with that string schedule of opponents they can potentially build some confidence right out of the gates and if the offense gets clicking hey who knows. Nebraska starts three and and suddenly. We're talking about this team. Being semi relevant as far as the conference landscapes concerned the six year. That's like jeff's becali territory there. But you are. you're right. There's there's lots of optimism. I think defensively for for nebraska in the coaching staff sounds super pumped and nebraska's top ten in returning production. Because of all those old guys coming back. Five super seniors coaches do think the d. line is bulked up a bit and they're not going to be pushed around as much of the season the trenches. I just wonder you know how good good means for nebraska's defense in twenty twenty one. You know. I guess if nebraska finishes top thirty five in defensive efficiency. That's a really good season so it's always important to kind of conceptualize because you know there's a lot of nebraska fans out there that think they have a chance to win the jamie jeff every air and you say like defense can be good. And they're like a blackshirts or back baby top five. I think a good year is like top thirty five here. And that's the reason why i always try to use the word relative because the todd you read these articles you read a lot of the preview. Content ninety five percent of what you read is is rainbows and pots of gold. And so you kind of have to be able to to separate that as you're going through things and nebraska's defense it's it's going to be a better unit and we saw major improvement last year. But they still don't create a lot of havoc eighty third in the country. It's partly why they didn't turn anyone over. Defenses eighty seven explosive pass defense and on throws twenty or more yards hundred and fifteens in the country when nebraska got teams in known passing situations. They rarely disrupted the quarterback one hundred second passing down sack rate. So you know no doubt nebraska's a ton of experience and we did see a nicely. They went from sixty two top forty last year and defensive efficiency over your but you know. Is that experience this season going to actually take the next step so again. I think like if you're fighting to be like a top thirty or thirty five defense awesome. I mean the reality is. There's a reason why you have to come back for your six year and then you might want to be doctors pain. Maybe they're starting their medical degrees on campus. You always got to be some rural. All of them are meyer enroll So you know you kind of have to like figure out also was the improvement a byproduct of poor offenses. You know you remove ohio state from the equation. Nebraska playing in a power five conference ended up facing offense with an average efficiency rank of sixtieth last season. This year were projecting schedule about ten to fifteen percent more difficult than last season. So you also have to kind of put that into the equation of was last year. The best we're gonna see from from nebraska defense. Yeah and i mean. I think this is a program that really has to break it all down before they can build a back up for those folks that believe much like we did that. They were going to be competing for big ten west. Titles that doesn't appear to be the case is they're recruiting right now isn't even on the same level of wisconsin. Who's actually gotten better in that department. Which is a credit to paul chris. As he's finally started bringing in top twenty recruiting classes so the road to relevance for the nebraska cornhuskers to be a little bit more of an uphill battle than what scott frost even thought he was going to encounter when he left orlando to make his way there. I mean paying. Those are probably the most eight most relevant teams. I know there will be a couple of loyal listeners ago. I can't believe you guys didn't dive in to last year's big ten west champions in the form of the northwestern wildcats and the simple reality of it is. This is the north northwestern team on paper. Doesn't appear to be as good as what we saw last year. We'll see how the quarterback battle plays itself out with ryan who linski opposite hunter. Johnson and a pat fitzgerald's credit. This team typically does more with less but northwestern a team that probably got lost in the cutting floor. There was one other team though. And i kind of wanted to get your take real briefly on them because when you look at the big chinese we know how tough it is to compete with the ohio state. The penn state's theoretically michigan and now indiana but a team has really raised its overall recruiting profile and level of onfield talent would be the maryland terrapins. I mean this was a group last year who combined from an offense passing offense. Look legitimate under little to the passing. Defense was one of the teams biggest strengths but largely because nobody had actually try to run the ball into their defensive. Everyone excuse me. Everyone did run. The ball into their defensive. Front and maryland finds themselves at one hundred to one to win the conference. Fifty two one win the east. Neither of those things are going to happen. They brought in one of your favorite guys is their offensive coordinator dan enos so clearly there ties to the two of family. And i'm sure that played a major role. And while i might not think the most mike loxley as head coach when it comes to axes does. This is a team on mildly intrigued. By because the talent level far better than what you'd expect him to get in college park and starting to get back to a semblance of what they were under ralph region. I'm just not sure loxley could be that guy to get them over the hump. Yeah there is some talent there. And they're recruiting at a level. That is certainly better than what most think maryland can recruit to. I think we're projecting them hire. You just wonder when you look at the schedule. Where are the winds gonna come from. They had a couple outburst last season where they won some games. It might Projected to win. I'm looking right now. Are wind total projections. Like five point. Eight five on maryland. So i think you're going to see that that leap forward in terms of the onfield product. But there's always this saying like. I you lose big than you lose small than you win small then you win big and i think maryland's probably in that lose small territory before they ventured to the next tier but ultimately there is some talent here. There are some guys that locks leaves brought in that have just a slew of talent. And i think this is the year that they make that improvement on the field and it might not necessarily show itself in the win column and then you're hoping that trajectory to next year's there the season where it's really put in the win column. Yeah i would agree completely. And i think when you look at maryland if they're going to have a successful season as far as the win. Total is concerned. We're going to get a pretty good indication of what the terrapins will bring week in week out with their week. One date a defacto coin flip game in their own building. We'll be about a four four and a half point underdog as they welcome in west virginia. If you're able to pull off the upset there the potential to start forno before you host iowa's very realistic with games against howard at illinois state and playing host to kent state. So if you're coach loxley. I think you go in treating the west virginia game like your super bowl As you need to build confidence with some of these guys and we saw italia taegu vilo could produce what he had time in the pocket. The receiving core is extremely deep in my opinion only the number one running back to emerge and the defense well. It's not going to be great by any stretch of the imagination. You just can't give up two hundred and thirty plus yards per game on the ground. So they're going to need a little bit more proven depth. So i think maryland for me One of the more intriguing teams not necessarily for the best reasons But one that will bear watching. I think the market could struggle with proper valuations if they start hot or if the converse is true that they start cold and don't adjust down fast enough with them. Yeah ultimately i think there's there's some variants in the past game with two in that receiver group a lot of talent. Let's see if it's comes to fruition so this is a pass unit that could be damn good or could struggle. I actually think their defense is going to improve greatly. So if you get that combination of a much improved defense in the past game flying high you you have a chance to blow through that win total even though the schedule is is difficult. But it's it's really an interesting team see locks building there. He feels like maybe not. The best action knows coach but if he just takes on the role as ceo and uses those relationships to kenny. Continue to bring in talent. That probably is better than the maryland. Football program should things are heading in a positive direction. No doubt about it. And i think you know as we kind of put a bow and encapsulate slate everything. We've broken down in a little bit more than an hour in the big ten. I don't want to say that it's necessarily the case. But it feels like this is a lead going through a bit of a transitional period. Not only with the top dog in ohio state but some questions surrounding teams in the west. And it feels that when michigan isn't quite of national relevance and people can say what they want over the last couple of years. Sure they have been ohio state. But they've at least been in the discussion that the complete talent that we're gonna see from top to bottom in the big ten maybe a step down or to as they go through a transitional year. I think what we would call. This is the acc. I mean basically you have ohio state being your clemson and then there's just a lot of mediocrity in the middle where variants and you know close game situations are going to prevail here and so you're seeing some of those mid tier teams have the potential to have a little bit of an outburst this season but ultimately there's just a lot of middling stuff going on here from the other teams within this conference. He should be fun to watch as we try and figure out how these teams will go in. There pecking order not necessarily at the top of more that middle of the pack. And what team can pull the indiana type. Surprise through the big ten encourage folks to follow pain on twitter at paine insider on todd firm and you can follow me there. Most importantly follow the podcast app. At the board pod go to fan duel dot com slash. The board take advantage of all those generous sign up bonuses. That are there just in time for football season thousand dollar risk-free bet all the details in the click. The link with this podcast and pain as has become tradition around here. Is we do all of these conferences from top to bottom. Sometimes they avail themselves to a best bet opportunity. Sometimes they don't. Is there an opportunity for us to make a dollar or two as it pertains. The big ten play this upcoming season. Not at the moment. But what i'm going to say. Is this our goal is to churn out thirteen previous podcast. Eight in the nfl. Five in college football. I don't know if we're going to get to thirteen best pats. I'm just being honest. However i do want to spit out. Best bets as we're betting them in before the market move so we do have a best bet. It's just not going to be in the big ten in. It's not going to be in college football. But i think it's one we need to attack now because by the time we get to it for. Nfl season the line is not going to be there. And i think it has the potential to actually get to nine and a half from where it sits now and we're going to stick to a team in the mid west. I wanna go the minnesota. Vikings over eight and a half wins. There is some juice attached to it. But i truly believe aaron rodgers know. Aaron rodgers has the potential to get the nine and a half and it's a little bit of an advantage there because if aaron rodgers is not there then you feel supremely confident about this so i think we want to attack this before. Nfl camp starts. And that's the best way to approach. It will dive into minnesota obviously in deeper detail when we get to the nfl side of things. But i really like what the offense doing this season. Kirk cousins gonna have a little bit pressure now. They drafted quarterback you pick up your ten year. Starting left tackle in the draft. Think the receiver group continues to improve and defensively. The thing we've hated about minnesota. The last few years feels like everything that i am seeing. It's going to be basically a brand new defense you know. You're getting healthier with pearson. Neil hunter the linebackers will be much healthier in the question. Mark we had last year is young. Cornerbacks learning zimmer system in a shortened. Offseason a what we did see last year was that absolutely came to fruition. They struggled but they also showed the ability to make a ton of place. I think in another year in his system one. That's very difficult to learn. Those young guys will emerge lewitt better so we want to get out ahead. Grab the minnesota. Vikings over eight naff wins. It is a little juicy. But i do believe we're going to get to nine and a half by the time. The season kicks off. Look at data curveball. Even i didn't anticipate coming on this fine podcast for all that one in the glove. Nobody saw you know. That's the hidden ball trick right there. you know the pitcher you walk up to the bomb. You see the rosin bag. Hendro rohan garner slips. The ball was first baseman and applies the tag knowing that he doesn't have the same arm to try and throw heat by some of the mets hitters rookie of the year. Yes yes perfect. Analogy minnesota vikings over eight and a half now. I do have to ask the question because we know it's going to be time. Yes yes what. Is the acceptable. Cut off. Price at eight and a half. Just bet the thing. I know you're from like a different school. i'm from the i'm from the school of there's an edgier and it's going to be nine and a half just make sure you bet i'm not from that school. I'm just trying to cut it off at the pass because we know our listeners that we thought i think rights it and we're gonna fire your thing is. We'll we'll discuss this when we get to the nfl side but with the seventeenth game. You're looking at half winds decreasing a little bit in value or at about forty five cents in value there so you are looking depending on where you get it right. Like nine hasn't quite materialized yet. It's basically and a half minus seventy. Do i wanna go over nine. Not really but If you're going to get nine around even like that's that's perfectly fine again. I do think this is probably going to get to nine and a half potentially juiced And so it's just one of these things where we've bet it. We want to get out there and attack it and Most numbers at this current pointer are still really good. Take full advantage. Sometimes you don't have to get to the window of the college football best. Bet all money pays just the same with the nfl least. We stayed in big ten country so a hat tip to you. Mr pain any final. All words of wisdom advice apologies to those folks that may find themselves rooting for rutgers perdue illinois and a couple of the other big ten teams that we didn't decide. Were worth us delving into today. No i don't have much other than illinois. Might be a little bit better than their wind projection. That's about it. Look at you by over lama. Nothing else back next week with. I believe the big twelve. What did we decide for next week. Which direction are we going. Yeah big twelve is what it is that four pain insider you can follow pain on twitter at paine insider. I'm todd firm and you can follow me there as well. Best of luck with all of your preseason handicapping and while we didn't have a big ten best bet didn't keep us from invading the. Nfl ranks in big ten country. But the minnesota vikings and come the month of december. Hopefully we'll see you at the wind. Thanks for listening to the board. You can catch todd and pain every monday. Wednesday and thursday during football season. Breaking down the biggest. Nfl and college football games and to make sure you don't miss any free best. Bets subscribe to bet the board on itunes google. Play spotify or wherever. You listen to podcasts.

Coming up next