With Big Ten football finished for the 2016 season, how early is too early to look ahead for next season? If you’re like Sporting News, then now would be early enough.
SN released its “way-too-early” college football top 25, and those rankings include three Big Ten teams in the top 10. Those three teams are Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan at No. 4, No. 7 and No. 8, respectively
Wisconsin is the only other Big Ten team which makes an appearance in the rankings. The Badgers come in at No. 13 overall after a Cotton Bowl victory and an 11-win season.
In SN’s rankings, Ohio State comes in at No. 4 overall due to J.T. Barrett returning for his senior season. Interestingly enough, SN ranks Penn State seventh over Michigan, which ranks eighth.
SN cites Penn State quarterback Trace McSorely and running back Saquon Barkley as potential Heisman candidates, while also being the reason why the Nittany Lions jump the Wolverines. SN also points out Michigan is losing key talent on its offensive line and secondary with its graduating class.
Wisconsin’s ranking at No. 13 could be considered too low, considering the Badgers’ three losses in 2016 were all one-score games and they were one of only three Big Ten teams to win their bowl game.
While these rankings are based off of the end of the 2016 season, things can change over a long offseason.