With the season rapidly approaching it’s about time for most publications to start publishing their preseason magazines, with Athlon Sports seeing their 2018-19 preview starting to hit newsstands already.
When it comes to the Big Ten it appears that Athlon Sports believes that Michigan State will repeat as Big Ten champs in 2018-19, with the publication predicting Michigan State to finish first in the conference ahead of in-state rival Michigan. The full predictions can be seen below:
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
- Penn State
Athlon includes three Big Ten teams in their top 25, with Michigan State at 10th, Michigan at 24th and Nebraska at 25th. They also project five Big Ten teams to make the NCAA Tournament, with Indiana and Purdue being the other teams to make the tourney in 2019. That’s an interesting take as it’ll leave out Ohio State, Wisconsin and Maryland.
Things could also get interesting this winter with Athlon listing four Big Ten coaches as being on the hot seat this season. Those coaches are Pat Chambers (Penn State), Fran McCaffery (Iowa), Tim Miles (Nebraska) and Richard Pitino (Minnesota). Last season Athlon listed Chambers and Miles on the hot seat, with both coaches making it another year at their respective schools.
Also of note is their pick for Big Ten player of the year being Carsen Edwards (Purdue), who they also list as the second best player in college basketball heading into the 2018-19 season.
Of course it’s still summer so some of these predictions should be taken with a grain of salt. Even more so when you realize that last year Athlon predicted Minnesota to finish second and Northwestern fourth in the Big Ten, with Ohio State and Nebraska projected to finish 12th and 13th. When everything was said and done Minnesota finished tied for 11th, Northwestern finished 10th, Ohio State tied for second and Nebraska tied for fourth.