When it comes to predicting the Big Ten champion, James Laurinaitis knows that his opinion will be taken with a grain of salt – at least if he picks Ohio State.
Well, Laurinaitis is doing just that.
“Everyone’s going to call it biased and call me a homer, but I think Ohio State is top to bottom the most talented roster in the Big Ten,” the former Ohio State All-American and NFL linebacker said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “Penn State has more returning production – I’m talking about guys who have actually played and put stats on the field – than Ohio State does, (but) that game’s in Columbus this year. That’s why I like the Buckeyes to win the East.”
Ohio State, ranked No. 2 in the preseason, will host No. 6 Penn State on Oct. 28. The Buckeyes also host No. 7 Oklahoma on Sept. 9 and play at No. 11 Michigan on Nov. 25.
In the Big Ten-West, meanwhile, Laurinaitis likes Wisconsin, which has played in the Big Ten Championship in four of the last six years.
“It’s pretty remarkable to see the consistency that they’ve had,” Laurinaitis said. “But I’m going to be a homer and say Ohio State (wins the Big Ten). That’s not just because I played there. They have the game versus Penn State in Columbus, Ohio.”
A Big Ten championship would likely give Ohio State its third playoff berth in four seasons.