Big things could be in store for the Big Ten in 2017, according to some of the nation’s top college football analysts.
Sports Illustrated released its list of championship predictions, Heisman Trophy picks and breakout stars on Wednesday. Bruce Feldman predicted a national title for Ohio State with the Buckeyes taking down Alabama in the title game.
“This team is loaded with athletes on both sides of the ball,” Feldman wrote. “Meyer loves the leadership of the team, and I feel like they will respond well to the humiliating shutout loss to Clemson in the playoff last year.”
Another one of the five writers, Joan Niesen, had the Crimson Tide beating Penn State in the championship game.
As for the Heisman Trophy, the Nittany Lions star running back got two of the five picks. Both Feldman and Neisen picked Saquon Barkley to take home the sport’s most-coveted individual prize. Barkley was four rushing yards shy of 1,500 in 2016.
While Barkley is expected to put up huge numbers, Nebraska fans still are not exactly sure what to expect from quarterback Tanner Lee. A transfer from Tulane, Lee is in his first year under center with the Huskers. Feldman says he could be one of the best QBs in the Big Ten, predicting him as college football’s biggest “breakout star” of the season.
“The former Tulane starter has everything NFL scouts look for in terms of size, smarts, arm strength and accuracy,” he wrote. “He also has quite a bit of speed to work with at the skill positions (keep an eye on spectacular freshman receiver Tyjon Lindsey). With all the preseason hype on Wisconsin, Lee and the Huskers could make things very interesting in the Big Ten West.”
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.