2018 Big Ten Football Prospectus

2018 Football Prospectus Get Acrobat Reader

• Ohio State was crowned Big Ten Champion after its 27-21 win over Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship Game presented by Discover. It was the Buckeyes’ 36th Big Ten title and first since 2014. Ohio State will look to repeat as conference champions for the first time since winning five consecutive titles from 2005-09.

• Ohio State and Wisconsin will look to repeat as division champions this season, as the Badgers finished 9-0 to win the West Division for the second consecutive season and the Buckeyes completed the season with an 8-1 mark to claim the East Division, giving the Buckeyes at least a share of their sixth straight division title. Last season's divisional crowns marked the fourth for the Badgers and sixth for the Buckeyes.

• The 2018 campaign will feature 46 All-Big Ten players (11 first-team, 15 second-team, 20 third-team) and 60 honorable mention selections from last season.

• The winners of two of the 14 regular-season individual awards from last season will also hit the field again this fall. Wisconsin running back Jonathan Taylor was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year last season, while Ohio State's Nick Bosa was tabbed the Smith-Brown Defensive Lineman of the Year.

• The Big Ten will welcome one new head coach to the sidelines for the 2018 campaign in Nebraska’s Scott Frost. A member of two Husker national championship teams, Frost returns to his alma mater after two highly successful seasons as the head coach at UCF, where he guided the Knights to a perfect 13-0 season in 2017, and a 19-7 record in two seasons in Orlando.

• The eighth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game will once again determine the Big Ten Champion. The 2018 Big Ten Football Championship Game will be broadcast in prime time by FOX on Saturday, Dec. 1, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.

• Beginning in 2016, each school played three teams from the other division as part of its nine-game schedule. The cross-division games include one protected matchup on an annual basis between Indiana and Purdue. As a result of the nine-game conference schedule and the Big Ten's schedule rotation, every player will have the opportunity to play against every other team in the conference at least once during a four-year period. The Big Ten returned to a nine-game conference schedule for all teams for the first time since the 1983 and 1984 seasons.

• The Big Ten continues to feature the largest and most diverse postseason lineup in conference history this season, with 16 potential bowl destinations spread across the country. The Big Ten's bowl lineup is highlighted by games against quality opponents from the ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Conference USA and Mountain West in California, Florida, Michigan, New York, Tennessee and Texas, along with the opportunity to visit four other outstanding postseason venues as part of the College Football Playoff. The Big Ten's bowl lineup allows teams and fans to visit world-class cities while having the opportunity to experience 11 different NFL stadiums, along with some of the most iconic venues in the country, including Rose Bowl Stadium, Cotton Bowl Stadium and Yankee Stadium. These outstanding facilities have hosted or will host 30 different Super Bowls in 11 different stadiums.

• Thirteen Big Ten teams will square off against at least one non-conference team that participated in a bowl game last season, with 24 of all 39 non-conference games featuring opponents coming off bowl trips. Michigan State and Northwestern will each face bowl teams in all three of their 2018 non-conference contests, while Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska and Purdue will each play two bowl opponents outside the conference schedule.

• Counting conference and non-conference contests, every Big Ten team will face at least five teams that played in a bowl game last season. Nebraska leads the way with nine such contests, followed by Indiana, Michigan State and Northwestern with eight apiece.