Texas A&M Aggies [7.5] John Chavis takes over the defense. Kevin Sumlin’s touted recruits get another year of seasoning. The Aggies’ schedule is about as favorable as one could ask. Three non-conference games are body bags. They leave Texas once before Nov. 21. The cross division draw was South Carolina (home), Vanderbilt (away). They get Bama and Auburn at Kyle Field. If Sumlin is a $5m per year coach, the Aggies should be able to get 8 wins.
Kansas State Wildcats  In Bill Snyder we trust. Kansas State has been consistent, despite personnel losses. They’ve finished in the SRS top 25 the past four years. Their non-conference schedule is a joke. They get TCU, Oklahoma, Baylor and West Virginia in Manhattan. A 5-4 conference record seems attainable. That will hit the over.
Oklahoma State Cowboys  Mike Gundy has a stellar track record. Last season was derailed by abnormal attrition, but closed with solid wins over Oklahoma and Washington. This team returns a lot of experience. The Cowboys have a similar schedule to Kansas State: nothing non-conference and they get Kansas State, TCU, Baylor and Oklahoma in Stillwater. If Gundy can’t bounce back with that…
Penn State Nittany Lions [7.5] Second year in a new system under James Franklin. Penn State at least has experience coming back on the offensive line and a talented QB, if he can get any protection. If we can assume Penn State can get off to a 6-0 start without leaving Pennsylvania, they need two of the remaining six games. Even penciling in losses to Ohio State and Michigan State away, that would mean splitting Maryland (A), Illinois, Northwestern (A), Michigan.
Wisconsin Badgers  The Badgers would have to be perfect, after losing to Alabama opening weekend. Their schedule is bad enough to make that quite reasonable. The only tough games are at Nebraska (rebuilding) and at Minnesota (just lost four NFL draft picks). Wisconsin has a lot coming back on defense, as much Wisconsin continuity as possible with Paul Chryst taking over. If we can presume the Badgers will be able to run the ball, they should be set, until the rematch with Ohio State, of course.