Where I think Jon and Deace are right and wrong (Big 10 West)


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Where I think they are right:
-This is a no brainer, but the Wisconsin Offense will be really really good and I think they are underselling how good Wisconsin will be at WR. In terms of talent, it's probably as deep of a group as they've had in recent memory with Quintez Cephus, AJ Taylor, and Danny Davis. All three averaged over 15 yards per catch and caught 5 or more TD's last season.
-How fast Nebraska will improve on offense will depend on the type of player they have at QB. I'll assume a culture change will improve the OL enough that they can be an average to above average unit next season. If Tre Bryant doesn't suffer ill effects from his injury a year ago, they'll have a RB capable of hitting 1,000 yards. Morgan, Spielman, and Lindsey will give the offense a lot to work with at WR. The only unknown variable is QB.
-The Purdue defense is likely to take a step back next season. They do have a couple of really good players coming back in LB Markus Bailey and Lorenzo Neal could be an immovable object next year at NT, but they lose a ton of production overall and they have too many holes to fill to expect them to reload with capable players at each of those spots.
-Northwestern's season really comes down to whether Clayton Thorson can come back from injury. He's the difference between a team that could go something like 10-3 or 6-6.
-I think Iowa will do fine making up for the loss of Wadley because the rest of the offense will be better next year than they were last season. But the losses on defense will be tough to overcome. It's one thing to lose Jewel or Jackson, it's another thing to lose both. But Ben Niemann probably didn't get the credit he deserved because he was overshadowed by Jewel. Iowa didn't just lose a big 2, I think they lost a big 3. I could see a CB emerge in place of Jackson, I could see a LB we don't know about yet emerge as another high end player, but I can't see Iowa replacing all 3.

Where I think they're wrong:
-I'm not ready to assume that Wisconsin will simply be able to reload on defense or at least not reload in the way that they'll be a top 5 defense again. They lose a ton on defense including 3 multi year starters on the DL and all four of their starters in the secondary. The losses on the DL could really have an impact because they are the guys that allow their LB"s to be the play makers they have been by eating up blockers. They do have a couple of guys that have game experience on the DL and at DB, but I don't know if they'll fill the spot occupied by last years starters without skipping a beat. The Badgers have earned the benefit of the doubt that the defense will be a solid unit, but not a great one.
-Deace said he thought that Michigan was better prepared for a major change on offense back when they hired Rich Rodriguez than Nebraska will be this year and I think that's false. As mentioned earlier, Nebraska has talented enough players to make the offense work. But mainly, the offense they ran over the past couple of years ran elements of what Scott Frost will run this year so it won't be a brand new thing the way that it was for the Wolverines after they hired Rodriguez. Most offenses now a days are somewhat multiple and borrow themes/concepts from other schemes and add them to their own. As mentioned before, I don't know what Nebraska will have at QB just yet, but I don't think the transition will be as painful for the Huskers in 2018 as it was for the Wolverines in 2008.
-I actually think Northwestern will be able to adequately replace Justin Jackson. Jeremy Larkin has a lot of the same skill set that Jackson does and will probably be the next great RB there. He alone probably won't carry the entire load left behind by Jackson, but John Moten has a couple of 100 yard games on his resume from 2016. The drop off in their running game could be somewhat miniscule.