2020 College Football Win Totals: Big Ten

This is the second edition of my weekly college football wins total articles. Last week was the ACC and this week I will go over the Big Ten. For the totals used in this article, and all future college football win total articles, we will be using DraftKings. Each week I will do a new conference until we cover all the FBS conferences.


2019 Record: 6-7

2020 Win Total: 5

Projected Wins: Illinois State, UCONN, Bowling Green, Rutgers, Northwestern

Projected Losses: Nebraska, Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Indiana, Ohio State

Over/Under: Push

Notes: Despite a 6-7 record last season, Illinois was a solid team that even had a big win against Wisconsin. This year, things won’t be any better. A couple of easy scheduled games won’t be a problem for the Illini but the big name teams in the conference and even the middle of the pack teams will be too much for Illinois to handle. Five wins seems about right.


2019 Record: 8-5

2020 Win Total: 7

Projected Wins: Illinois, Western Kentucky, Ball State, UCONN, Maryland, Rutgers, Michigan State, Purdue

Projected Losses: Wisconsin, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan

Over/Under: Over

Notes: Last year, Indiana did well to beat up on the weaker teams but struggled to perform against the better teams, with the exception of Penn State, who they only lost to by a touchdown. I expect the same to happen this season, take down the weaker competition and lose to the elite teams. I see five or six easy wins here and I expect them to end up with eight all together.


2019 Record: 10-3

2020 Win Total: 7.5

Projected Wins: Illinois, Northern Iowa, Iowa State, Minnesota, Northern Illinois, Michigan State, Northwestern, Nebraska, Purdue

Projected Losses: Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin

Over/Under: Over

Notes: Iowa is a solid team every season. They can always run the ball and they always play good defense. That is a solid recipe for success, especially in the Big Ten. I don’t see the Hawkeyes having much trouble this season outside of their three elite opponents. I expect nine wins but even if they falter against one subpar team, they will still cover the Over.


2019 Record: 3-9

2020 Win Total: 4

Projected Wins: Towson, Rutgers, Northern Illinois

Projected Losses: Indiana, West Virginia, Minnesota, Northwestern, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan State

Over/Under: Under

Notes: Maryland scored 142 points in their first two games and the world was ready to make them an ACC contender. Then reality hit and the Terps crashed back to earth. The Terps could steal a game from a team like an Indiana or a Minnesota, but I don’t think it’ll happen at this point. I really only see three wins here and only getting to four if they are lucky.


2019 Record: 9-4

2020 Win Total: 9

Projected Wins: Indiana, Maryland, Washington, Ball State, Arkansas State, Penn State, Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Rutgers

Projected Losses: Wisconsin, Ohio State

Over/Under: Over

Notes: Michigan lost their entire offensive line to the NFL Draft this past weekend. For most teams that is a big blow and yes, it will be a blow to Michigan. However, a blue-blood school like Michigan with another solid recruiting class and plenty of talent still on their roster, I like the Wolverines to be atop the Big Ten again. Nine wins shouldn’t be an issue, even if they lose to their three toughest opponents. I expect them to win at least one of those games and get to 10 wins.

Michigan State

2019 Record: 7-6

2020 Win Total: 6

Projected Wins: Maryland, Northwestern, Toledo, Rutgers

Projected Losses: Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, BYU, Miami FL, Ohio State, Minnesota, Penn State

Over/Under: Under

Notes: Michigan State continued to disappoint last season with just a 7-6 record and I expect that fall to continue this season. I see six almost certain losses for this team with Indiana and Minnesota also taking down the Spartans. Six wins are way too many for this team.


2019 Record: 11-2

2020 Win Total: 8

Projected Wins: Illinois, Maryland, Michigan State, Florida Atlantic, Tennessee Tech, Purdue, Northwestern, Nebraska

Projected Losses: Iowa, Michigan, BYU, Wisconsin

Over/Under: Push

Notes: Minnesota has a pretty even schedule this season with some tough opponents and some fairly easy ones. The total is set at eight and I have to agree with that. If anything, I would roll with the Under before the Over. Minnesota had luck on their side last season late in games, I don’t see that happening again this season.


2019 Record: 5-7

2020 Win Total: 8

Projected Wins: Illinois, Purdue, Central Michigan, South Dakota State, Cincinnati, Northwestern, Rutgers

Projected Losses: Iowa, Minnesota, Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin

Over/Under: Under

Notes: After years of terrible play in Nebraska, it appears this year the Cornhuskers may actually put together a solid season this year. However, I still only see them getting seven wins this season. Still, making a bowl game is a small victory for this school after their 5-7 record last season. Nebraska would have to take down at least one of Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State or Wisconsin to hit the Over and that is highly unlikely.


2019 Record: 3-9

2020 Win Total: 5.5

Projected Wins: Maryland, Tulane, Central Michigan, Morgan State

Projected Losses: Illinois, Iowa, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Penn State, Purdue, Wisconsin

Over/Under: Under

Notes: Northwestern has some easy non-conference games this season but reaching six wins is still out of the question. Even the Wildcats’ conference schedule isn’t the toughest. Despite this, I like the Under as Northwestern will struggle to score throughout the majority of the season.

Ohio State

2019 Record: 13-1

2020 Win Total: 11

Projected Wins: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Bowling Green, Oregon, Buffalo, Rutgers

Projected Losses: Penn State

Over/Under: Push

Notes: Ohio State would have to go 12-0 to hit this Over and while I think they could 100% do that, I think at least one team between Penn State, Michigan or Oregon will take them down. However, Oregon is without Justin Herbert now and Ohio State is their second opponent of the season and I don’t think the Ducks will be ready. If anything, the Under is the better play than the Over. While they are still as talented as any team in the country, the Buckeyes did lose a lot of talent to the Draft as well.

Penn State

2019 Record: 11-2

2020 Win Total: 9.5

Projected Wins: Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan State, Nebraska, Northwestern, Ohio State, Kent State, Virginia Tech, San Jose State, Rutgers

Projected Losses: Michigan

Over/Under: Over

Notes: Penn State has four tough opponents this season in Ohio State, Michigan, Virginia Tech and Iowa. If they go 2-2 in those four games, they should hit the Over with ease as I expect them to win those other eight games with moderate ease. I think Penn State will get the better of Iowa and Virginia Tech and take one of two between Michigan and Ohio State. Give me the Over here.


2019 Record: 4-8

2020 Win Total: 5.5

Projected Wins: Illinois, Northwestern, Air Force, Rutgers

Projected Losses: Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Memphis, Boston College, Wisconsin

Over/Under: Under

Notes: Purdue is coming off of a rough 4-8 season and while the books think they should improve this season, I don’t think it will be by much at all. In fact, I expect another 4-8 season with a 5-7 season being the ceiling. If anything, I see a worse record this season than last before I see them winning six or more games. Of their four wins I am giving them, I really am only comfortable with two of them (Northwestern and Rutgers).


2019 Record: 2-10

2020 Win Total: 2.5

Projected Wins: Monmouth

Projected Losses: Illinois, Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue, Syracuse, Temple

Over/Under: Under

Notes: Sorry Rutgers, it’s going to be another long season. Aside from a “gimme” against Monmouth, I don’t see this team winning another game. Even if they find a way to upset a team like Temple or Syracuse, they will still only end up with two wins.


2019 Record: 10-4

2020 Win Total: 9.5

Projected Wins: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue, Southern Illinois, Appalachian State

Projected Losses: Notre Dame

Over/Under: Over

Notes: Wisconsin will benefit from an easy schedule this season. Iowa, Michigan and Notre Dame are the only real competition on their schedule. All they have to do is win one of those to hit their Over and I think they could take two of the three. Wisconsin could take the Big Ten this season, even with the departure of Jonathan Taylor.

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