No team in the West is talented enough to "power through" a tougher schedule, so my approach with the West is to look for the most favorable in-conference schedule = Minnesota. The Gophers play at PSU in their Big Ten opener (Oct 1), and if they can grind out a win there, they have a good shot at going 3-0 in inter-divisional games because they also play @Maryland and Rutgers.
The next most favorable schedule for teams in the West is probably Nebraska. They do play at Ohio State, a very likely loss, but then get @Indiana and Maryland. Iowa has a manageable schedule, too: Michigan, @Penn St, @Rutgers, but project to win about 1.5 games in that stretch.
Purdue has the easiest schedule: @Maryland, Penn St., @Indiana, but since they suck so bad, this schedule will only help them to "surprise" folks by finishing mid-pack in their division.
Both NW (@MSU, Indy, @Ohio St) and Wisc (@MSU, @Mich, Ohio St) have brutal schedules and thus will get buried this season. Media hacks will say that these teams struggling during a "disappointing" season, but that won't really be true. They'll just be busy getting acquainted with reality.