The Top 8 College Football Teams In The Big Ten For 2017 According To Vegas

The college football season is still months away, but that doesn't mean the excitement around the season isn't there. The goal for the top Big Ten teams is once again to win a conference title and hopefully make it to the College Football Playoff. And Vegas has now revealed which Big Ten teams it thinks are in the best position to capture a conference crown. 

The teams are based on the over/under win totals for several college football teams in 2017 as compiled by CG Technology, a Vegas Sportsbook. The cut-off for the top teams was eight, as any other team had less than six wins. Just for fun, I've also included a brief write-up. The teams are based on reverse alphabetical order if they are tied. With that in mind, here are the five teams Vegas thinks are the best in the Big Ten

8. Nebraska Cornhuskers (6 wins) 
This is the quite the drop-off for a Nebraska team that won nine games last year. Vegas clearly thinks there's going to be regression, in large part because of their schedule. Oregon wasn't good last year, but it's still a tough road game. Heck, even Arkansas State played well, especially late, last year. The Huskers get both Wisconsin and Ohio State at home, but they'll be the underdogs in both. They also visit Penn State. The key games for Nebraska getting over the six win mark are home games against Iowa and Northwestern. Still, six wins seems low for the Huskers.  

7. Michigan State Spartans (6.5 wins)
MSU was terrible last year, going just 3-9. But Vegas expects a return to form for Mark Dantonio's squad, who missed his first bowl game with Michigan State last year. MSU will have a better idea of how they'll play early, with three games in a row against Notre Dame, Iowa and at Michigan. Then there's another key three-game stretch at Northwestern, vs. Penn State and at Ohio State. Michigan State might need to win at least one of those games to reach seven wins. 

6. Iowa Hawkeyes (6.5 wins)
Vegas projects Iowa to continue to slide the wrong way after a 12-win season that was followed by a 8-win year. Outside maybe of a rivalry game road trip to Iowa State, the non-conference schedule sets up well. But Iowa plays both OSU and PSU this year, though both are at home. The road game schedule isn't very kind either, with trips to Michigan State, Northwestern, Wisconsin and Nebraska. 

5. Northwestern Wildcats (7 wins) 
The Wildcats won only six regular season games last year, so Vegas thinks there will be improvement. Provided Northwestern gets past a road game against Duke early in the year, the Big Ten schedule isn't too tough. They play Michigan State and Penn State in the crossover games, but they are both at home. Wisconsin and Nebraska are both road games, but Northwestern could be a sneaky Big Ten west pick. 

4. Michigan Wolverines (9 wins)
After a 10-win season, Vegas has Michigan taking a step back. The team lost a ton of talent and the Wolverines don't get an easy start against Florida. Penn State is a road game, while Michigan hosts Michigan State. But the real test will be at the end of the year, when Michigan visits Wisconsin and then hosts OSU. 

3. Wisconsin Badgers (9.5 wins) 
The out-of-conference schedule isn't too tough for Wisconsin, with only a road game to BYU standing out as a potential upset. And with no Ohio State on the schedule, the toughest Big Ten games are a road trip to Nebraska and home games against Michigan and Iowa. It's easy to see why Vegas as the Badgers approaching 10 wins. I like the over here, with Wisconsin a real threat to win 11 games this year. 

2. Penn State Nittany Lions (9.5 wins)
Pittsburgh is the lone notable out-of-conference game for PSU. Road games against Iowa, Ohio State and even Michigan State could be tricky. The toughest home games are Michigan and maybe Nebraska. Getting to the 10 wins for PSU assumes they fall against OSU and Michigan and avoid (or at least balance out) any potential upsets. 

1. Ohio State Buckeyes (10 wins)
The Oklahoma game will be tough for both sides, as previously mentioned. Three conference road games against Nebraska, Iowa and Michigan won't be easy, although the first two really should be wins. OSU also gets Penn State at home. The Buckeyes are again flush with talent and a win over OU would put them in perfect position not just to get to 10 wins but to get back to the College Football Playoff. 

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