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SI projects Big Ten records and division winners

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Michigan State has the potential to make a run at the College Football Playoff, but first, they have to just get out of their own division.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Predicting who will win the Big Ten this year is no easy task.

Between all of the losses suffered by Michigan State and Ohio State, winners of the past three Big Ten Championships, you could make a good argument for 3-5 different teams winning it this year. Most expect the winner to come from the Big Ten East, though there may not be a tougher division in any Power 5 conference to pick the winner of.

Over at Sports Illustrated, Rohan Nadkarni did his Big Ten projected order of finish, and he has Michigan State finishing in a tie with Ohio State for the Big Ten East crown. Those two, along with Michigan, finish with a 10-2 overall record, but it's the Buckeyes who Nadkarni has winning the division.

Here are the full Big Ten projections by SI:

East

West

TEAM

RECORD

TEAM

RECORD

Ohio State Buckeyes

10-€”2 (8-€”1)

Iowa Hawkeyes

10-€”2 (7-€”2)

Michigan State Spartans

10-€”2 (8-€”1)

Wisconsin Badgers

9-€”3 (7-€”2)

Michigan Wolverines

10-€”2 (7-€”2)

Nebraska Cornhuskers

8-€”4 (6-€”3)

Penn State Nittany Lions

7-€”5 (4-€”5)

Northwestern Wildcats

8-€”4 (5-€”4)

Indiana Hoosiers

6-€”6 (3-€”6)

Minnesota Golden Gophers

6-€”6 (3-€”6)

Maryland Terrapins

4-€”8 (2-€”7)

Illinois Fighting Illini

3-€”9 (2-€”7)

Rutgers Scarlet Knights

3-€”9 (1-€”8)

Purdue Boilermakers

2-€”10 (0-€”9)

Personally, I can't see Ohio State finishing the season with just one loss in conference play. They've really fallen back to the pack with all of their defections and graduations, and I won't be surprised if the finish third in the East.

But hey, it's hard to argue with a 10-2 record for Michigan State, given how difficult their 2016 schedule is while they also lost a ton this offseason.

If I told you Michigan State would win 10 games but not win their division, do you take it or leave it?