Feldman: Barrett will start, Huskers win West, Ward underrated
Fox Sports college football analyst Bruce Feldman rolled out his annual Big Ten prediction column today.
Like everyone else on the face of the earth, Feldman has the Buckeyes repeating as national champs. He predicted that sophomore J.T. Barrett will be the Buckeyes’ starting quarterback but that Cardale Jones would also find a way to get his reps playing in blowout victories.
Feldman did suggest the possibility of the Big Ten landing two teams in the College Football Playoff, which would mark the first time for such an occurrence in its deep two-year history. A win against Oregon and battling until the end in Columbus, Feldman predicted, would give Sparty a chance to be in the discussion.
While Feldman forecasted strides from the likes of Michigan and Penn State to boost the East, he wrote that the West Division could be one of the Power 5 conference’s worst. He tabbed Nebraska as his pick to earn a Big Ten Championship berth, simply because the Huskers host Wisconsin this time around.
Illinois defensive end Jihad Ward cracked the column as Feldman’s most underrated player in the conference. The 6-7, 297-pound defensive end emerged in his first year with the Illini with eight tackles for loss.
Here are Feldman’s team-by-team predictions for 2015:
1. Ohio State 12-0 (8-0)
2. Michigan State 11-1 (7-1)
3. Penn State 9-3 (5-3)
4. Michigan 8-4 (5-3)
5. Maryland 6-6 (3-5)
6. Rutgers 6-6 (2-6)
7. Indiana 3-9 (0-8)
1. Nebraska 9-3 (6-2)
2. Wisconsin 9-3 (6-2)
3. Minnesota 7-5 (4-4)
4. Iowa 7-5 (4-4)
5. Northwestern 6-6 (4-4)
6. Illinois 4-8 (1-7)
7. Purdue 4-8 (1-7)
Championship: Ohio State over Nebraska