By Joe Coughlin
Let's start with the cream of the crop — the Ohio State Buckeyes.
OSU is a preseason favorite for the BCS title game, meaning any loss is devestating. The Buckeys theoretically could make the title game with one loss, but realistically, SEC, Big 12 and Pac-12 teams will secure better strengths of schedules that could push their BSC scores.
With no prestigious non-conference matchups, Ohio State's big tests come early in the Big Ten season when it hosts Wisconsin (Sept. 28) and travels to Northwestern (Oct. 5). If you ask me, the Wildcats are the bigger threat here. With a versatile offense that can hold the ball, Northwestern can really slow down the Buckeyes, who may be overlooking the Cats after the Badgers and before a bye week.
And this is certainly a game coach Pat Fitzgerald has circled for his Cats, who want a Big Ten title.
Prediction: The Buckeyes prevail and put away a tough two-game stretch leading into the bye before Iowa and Penn State at home and Purude on the road. Northwestern's defense isn't as strong as Ohio State's, and by the way, neither is its offense.