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Big Ten Odds: Michigan Early Favorite

With Ohio State ineligible due to NCAA penalties, Michigan climbs to the top in earlu Big Ten football odds menus across America.

Here's a quick look at the field in the fight for the 2012 Big Ten championship.

Michigan, after a fine first season under head coach Brady Hoke, is the favorite to win the Big Ten this season at +180.

The Wolverines have 11 starters back from a team that went 6-2 in conference play last year, led by dynamic QB Denard Robinson.

But they did lose both starting DTs from a much-improved defense. Michigan plays at Nebraska and at Ohio State, but gets Michigan State at home and doesn't have to play Wisconsin.

Those two-time defending Big Ten champion Badgers are getting +260 to win a third-straight league title. UW only gets back 10 starters from last year, and they'll miss QB Russell Wilson.

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But they still have 1,900-yard rusher Montee Ball and added transfer Danny O'Brien, a former ACC Rookie of the Year, to step in at quarterback. Wisconsin has to play at Nebraska, but gets Michigan State and Ohio State at home and avoids Michigan.

Defending Legends Division champion Michigan State is listed at +350 to win the Big Ten this year T 5Dimes. The Spartans return 14 starters, including nine on defense, from a team that went 7-2 in conference play last year. But MSU loses QB Kirk Cousins and most of his top targets, and they have to play at Michigan and at Wisconsin back-to-back in October.

And Nebraska is getting +500 to win the Big Ten championship this season. The Huskers have 16 starters back from a team that went 5-3 in its first season in this conference last year, including QB Taylor Martinez and leading rusher Rex Burkhead.

But they'll have to replace three starters on the O-line and their top two defensive players. They do, however, get Michigan and Wisconsin at home.

Elsewhere on the 5Dimes 2012 Big Ten championship board Illinois, in its first season post Coach Zook, is getting +1200; Iowa is getting +1600; Penn State, under a new head coach for the first time since the late 1960s, and Northwestern are both getting +2000; Purdue is lined at +2300; Indiana, with 17 returning starters, is getting +3500; and perpetually pathetic Minnesota is being offered at +8000 to win the Big Ten title this season.

Remember, folks, Ohio State is ineligible to win the Big Ten championship this season.