2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings ... Big Ten
Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan
Purdue DE Ryan Kerrigan
Posted Feb 11, 2010

The very, very early look at the teams before spring ball kicks in - The Big Ten

2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings

Big Ten Teams

CFN 2010 Pre-Preseason Rankings 
No. 1 to 15 | No. 16 to 30 | No. 31 to 45 | No. 46 to 60 
No. 61 to 75 | No. 76 to 90 | No. 91 to 105 | No. 106 to 120

Pre-Preseason Rankings By Conference
ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind.
MAC | M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC

- 2009 CFN Final Rankings
- 2009 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
- 2008 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
- 2007 CFN Pre-Preseason Rankings
- 2010 CFN Recruiting Rankings  

4. Ohio State
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 7
The Buckeyes are the far-and-away favorites to the win the 2010 Big Ten title and will be in the mix for the national title from the start. Miami is coming to Columbus, but there isn’t any USC to deal with this year. There are only two dangerous road games, Wisconsin and Iowa, but if the team really is national title-good, it needs to win those. The offense is loaded with experience and the defense should be solid once again as the tremendous recruiting classes of the last few years restock the shelves.

9. Wisconsin
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 19
Look out. There are a few key replacements to make but the Badgers should be considered among the favorites to win the Big Ten title. Last year’s team was good and young, but the 2010 squad should be good and experienced. Now the key will be to see if Bret Bielema’s club can play up to expectations. For all the good things that happened in 2010, the bowl win over Miami was the only victory of note and the Badgers failed in their three big regular season tests against Ohio State, Iowa, and Northwestern. They’ll be in just about everyone’s preseason top 15, and they’ll have to play like it from the start.

12. Iowa
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 8
Preseason top ten … maybe? Only four starters are back on offense, but the backfield is intact and Iowa is always great at filling in the holes with no-name players who come from out of nowhere to produce. The defense returns loaded, PK Daniel Murray and P Ryan Donohue could form one of the nation’s best kicking tandems, and the schedule isn’t all that bad with just two road games in the first eight. The toughest games, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Ohio State, are at home.

13. Penn State
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 15
It’s Penn State, so the team is going to be good, it’ll go to a great bowl game, and it’ll be in the hunt for the Big Ten title, but it’s more of a Big Ten X factor than a sure thing contender going into 2010. Ohio State is loaded, Iowa should be even better, and Wisconsin should be terrific. Penn State has to replace Clark and has to hope for Kevin Newsome or Matt McGloin to be good enough to keep the passing game going while RB Evan Royster gets a heavier workload. There’s work to do to replace several key players on defense like DT Jared Odrick and linebackers Sean Lee, Navorro Bowman, and Josh Hull, but there are several decent prospects on the way ready to step up. This will be a good team that no one will put at the top of the Big Ten preseason pecking order, but it could surprise and be great with a little luck.

44. Michigan
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 82
This might work if Rich Rodriguez got more time and there wasn’t so much pressure, but it’s win now or else. His top offensive players are young and he has good recruiting classes to work with, but it all has to translate into wins. The offense should only get more productive with more experience, but the Wolverines aren’t going anywhere unless the defense makes a night-and-day improvement. There’s one slight problem: the schedule. There are eight bowl teams on the slate including three in the first four weeks. Rebuilding time is over.

49. Michigan State
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 66
This could be the sleeper in the Big Ten race with so many starters returning. The Spartans get back most of the key players on both sides of the ball and have a nice schedule that shouldn’t be the reason if things don’t go as well as planned. The key will be to get more from the running game and some semblance of production from the pass defense. The offense was great at throwing the ball because it had to be with the defense struggling so much. More offensive balance would be nice, but head coach Mark Dantonio has to make his D tighter.

56. Northwestern
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 47
The departure of QB Mike Kafka and DE Corey Wootton takes away the team’s two best players, and the secondary is going to be a concern, but the team should be just as strong if Dan Persa can emerge as a steady quarterback. The offense will look for more balance while the defense will need to get even more from the front seven led by a linebacking corps that could quietly be among the best in the Big Ten. The schedule is just light enough to demand nothing less than another bowl game.

58. Purdue
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 71
Last year’s team needed to do some major rebuilding and it came up with a strong season, but this year’s team has to do some work in the defensive back seven and has to hope for Caleb TerBush to be ready at quarterback. The offense should be explosive with Smith, RB Ralph Bolden, and most of the top skill players back to bomb away. This might not be a Big Ten title contender, but it’ll be a dangerous team that throws a wrench into the season.

62. Indiana
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 99
The schedule isn’t bad early, but it’s brutal late with Iowa, at Wisconsin, Penn State (played in Landover, Maryland), and at Purdue to make for a fun November. Enough starters return on offense to hope for even more production and more consistency, while the defense should be better at corner, or at least more experienced, while the tackles should grow into a strength. It might be a bowl game or bust season for Bill Lynch who should be able to get six wins out of this team and with the not-that-bad schedule.

69. Illinois
2009 Final CFN Ranking: 98
It’s not exactly start from scratch time, but 2010 is going to be a rebuilding year, and that’s not a plus coming off a 3-9 season. The Illini will hope that Jacob Charest can get the passing game going, but the bigger concern will be a defense that has to find playmakers in a hurry. The schedule will be rough early and easy late so any success before mid-October will be a big surprise for a team that everyone will have in the bottom three of the preseason Big Ten pecking order.

73. Minnesota
2009 Final CFN Ranking: D
Almost everyone is back on offense, and while Eric Decker is graduating, ten starters are back from the Insight Bowl squad not including MarQueis Gray, a weapon who’ll get more time in the quarterback rotation with Adam Weber. The defense is going to undergo a wholesale change with everyone gone but the two starting safeties, but it’ll be an athletic group. The schedule, at least in Big Ten play, misses Michigan and Indiana in a bad break, while the non-conference schedule is light and breezy … outside of the September 18th visit from USC.

No. 1 to 15 | No. 16 to 30 | No. 31 to 45 | No. 46 to 60 
No. 61 to 75 | No. 76 to 90 | No. 91 to 105 | No. 106 to 120

Pre-Preseason Rankings By Conference
ACC | Big East | Big Ten | Big 12 | C-USA | Ind.
MAC | M-West | Pac 10 | SEC | Sun Belt | WAC