Some have already penciled in Wisconsin as the Big 10 champion, but with four sophomores starting on the offensive line, a yet to be determined quarterback and a would-be star runner returning from injury and off field problems, we’ll see. In the meantime, expect Michigan to surprise Ohio State and Michigan State in the East.

Penn State was once noted as Linebacker U because of all of the outstanding linebackers it produced. The Big 10 was once noted for all of the superior runners, and offensive linemen, it produced. While the linemen are still there, linebackers Jabrill Peppers (Michigan), Raekwon McMillan (Ohio State) and Anthony Walker (Northwestern) are on the preseason All-American lists.

After going 5-5 in bowl games after the 2015 season, and seeing conference champ Michigan State and Iowa suffer embarrassing losses in the Cotton and Rose bowls, one might reasonably ask if the Big 10 is all that.

Is defense enough?

Wisconsin (10-3, 6-2) returns six players in a 3-4 alignment that was ranked the nation’s second best defense. While Vince Biegel (8 sacks), Jack Cichy, Chris Orr and T.J. Edwards (84 tackles) are not on all-America watch lists at the moment, combined they are the Big 10's best set of linebackers. Corey Clement is expected to be the key to the Badgers' offense. A sports hernia and off field fight limited his playing time in 2015. Whoever is running behind Dan Voltz, Beau Benzshawel, Michael Deiter and Jacob Maxwell should find plenty of daylight.

Dare Ogunbouwale, who ran for 819 yards, also returns.

Seize the day

If Michigan (10-3, 6-2) plans to move past OSU or MSU this is the chance. Both of the powerhouses have lost eight starters on offense. The Buckeyes also lost eight defenders. All-American tight end Jake Butt (51 catches) will anchor the offensive line along with fifth-year seniors Jehu Chesson and Amara Darboh.

Last year’ s leading runner De’Veon Smith (753 yards) is back. Although the Big 10 is loaded with linebackers the Wolverines lost three starters and have none. Coaches are moving All-American safety Jabrill Peppers, 6-1 and 205-lbs, to linebacker. He recorded 45 tackles in 2015. Big Blue also return All-American corner Jourdan Lewis.

He had 20 passes defended in his junior season, recorded 52 tackles and two picks.

Don’t count us out

Indiana will score points. Dan Feeney, 6-4, 305, returning first team All-American guard did not allow a sack in 475 pass attempts. The Hoosiers led the conference in total yards and scoring. Nate Sudfeld returns after throwing for 27 TDs last year against 7 picks. The Hoosiers (6-7, 2-6) return eight on defense, but that dee ranked 121 in the NCAA. Don’t be surprised when Nebraska appears in the Top 25. The Cornhuskers (6-7, 3-5) get a fresh slate after being the hard luck team of 2015. Nebraska lost five games by a touchdown or less. The defensive and offensive lines were depleted by graduation, but everyone else is back.

Finally, Northwestern’s 10-4 (6-2) year was not a fluke. The entire o-line returns along with 1,400-yard rusher Justin Jackson. Only half of the 13th ranked defense in the land returns, but it includes Walker.

Follow the page NFL
Follow the page Donald Trump
Don't miss our page on Facebook!