Fiu, Cirminiello, Mitchell on TV - Campus Insiders | Buy College Football Tickets

2010 Big Ten Preview - Unit Rankings
Iowa SS Tyler Sash
Iowa SS Tyler Sash
CollegeFootballNews.com
Posted Aug 4, 2010


2010 CollegeFootballNews.com Preview - Big Ten Unit Rankings


Preview 2010

Big Ten Unit Rankings



- Illinois Preview | Indiana Preview | Iowa Preview | Michigan Preview
- Michigan State Preview | Minnesota Preview | Northwestern Preview
- Ohio State Preview | Penn State Preview | Purdue Preview | Wisconsin Preview

- 2010 Big Ten Preview | 2010 Big Ten Unit Rankings | 2010 Big Ten Schedules & Picks
- 2010 CFN All-Big Ten Team & Top 30 Players | Get Big Ten Tickets
- 2010 Big Ten Team By Team Looks & Predicted Finish

Big Ten Overall

Based on how good each team is and NOT the predicted finish

1. Ohio State
2. Wisconsin
3. Iowa
4. Penn State
5. Michigan State
6. Michigan
7. Purdue
8. Northwestern
9. Illinois
10. Indiana
11. Minnesota

Offenses

1. Wisconsin
The offense dominated against the mediocre teams on the schedule and struggled against the great defenses (Ohio State, Iowa, and Miami), and now it might be phenomenal against everyone. Ten starters return to the Big Ten’s No. 1 offense (finishing first in both yards and points), and as long as everyone stays healthy, look out. Heisman candidate John Clay leads a loaded stable of running backs, the receiving corps is experienced and talented, and the offensive line gets all five starters back and has just enough depth to be fine if injury problems strike like last year. The key will be keeping QB Scott Tolzien upright. The Big Ten’s most efficient passer last year, he’s now the type of leader who can carry the team to a BCS bowl, but with top backup Curt Phillips out with a torn ACL, the season goes in the tank if green redshirt freshman Jon Budmayr has to step in.

2. Ohio State
3. Penn State
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Michigan
7. Purdue
8. Indiana
9. Illinois
10. Northwestern
11. Minnesota

Quarterbacks

1. Ohio State
It’s all on Terrelle Pryor to carry the Buckeyes this year, but if something happens, JoeBauserman is at the point where he might be just good enough to tread water with. He’s not good enough to take the Buckeyes to a national title, but he could win a game or two if he had to. Kenny Guiton is the X factor with phenomenal speed and great upside. He’s like a smaller Pryor.

2. Michigan State
3. Wisconsin
4. Iowa
5. Minnesota
6. Michigan
7. Indiana
8. Purdue
9. Penn State
10. Northwestern
11. Illinois

Running Backs

1. Wisconsin
As long as everyone can hold on to the ball (a big problem at times throughout last year) and as long as John Clay can stay healthy, Wisconsin can challenge Alabama and Virginia Tech for the honor of having the nation’s best stable of backs. There are three runners (Clay, Zach Brown, and Montee Ball) able to crank out 100 yards at any time, and there should be a terrific rotation to keep everyone fresh. With all five starters returning up front, and with a good passing game to take the pressure off, anything less than 2,750 yards from this group would be disappointing.

2. Ohio State
3. Penn State
4. Iowa
5. Michigan State
6. Michigan
7. Illinois
8. Purdue
9. Indiana
10. Minnesota
11. Northwestern

Receivers

1. Wisconsin
Ultra-efficient last year, the UW passing game should be even better and even more explosive with Kyle Jefferson back in the mix, a great athlete in tight end Lance Kendricks to take over at tight end, a fun toy in David Gilreath to use in a variety of ways, and an all-star caliber duo in Nick Toon and Isaac Anderson. The receiving corps is loaded.

2. Ohio State
3. Indiana
4. Penn State
5. Purdue
6. Iowa
7. Michigan State
8. Michigan
9. Illinois
10. Northwestern
11. Minnesota

Offensive Lines

1. Wisconsin
If everyone is healthy, not a given, the UW line should be among the best in America. The starters are huge, experienced, and talented, and the backups are huge and talented. The pass protection could stand to be better (UW is ALWAYS overrated when it comes to protecting the passer), but this should be one of the team’s strongest units and it should dominate at times. This could be the best Badger line in over a decade.

2. Ohio State
3. Penn State
4. Michigan
5. Iowa
6. Michigan State
7. Northwestern
8. Illinois
9. Minnesota
10. Indiana
11. Purdue

Defenses

1. Iowa
The Norm Parker defense continues to work. The pass rush is fine, but nothing special, and the secondary doesn’t gamble and keeps the big plays to a bare minimum … and the results continue to be terrific. Everyone hits, everyone goes full-tilt all the time, and everyone goes for the takeaway and gets around the ball. While there are a few key losses in linebackers Pat Angerer and A.J. Edds, and corner Amari Spievey, everyone else is back from the nation’s tenth ranked defense including All-America playmakers Adrian Clayborn on the end and Tyler Sash at safety. The reserves are a bit green and there will be major problems if injuries strike, but if everything is working, this should once again be one of the nation’s top defenses.

2. Ohio State
3. Penn State
4. Michigan State
5. Northwestern
6. Wisconsin
7. Purdue
8. Michigan
9. Illinois
10. Minnesota
11. Indiana

Defensive Lines

1. Iowa
This might be the best defensive front in America as long as the starting foursome remains healthy. Adrian Clayborn is the star to build around, while Karl Klug, Christian Ballard, and Broderick Binns are all going to be all-stars. Good luck consistently running on this very active, very good group, but the one flaw might be the rotation. The backups have to prove early on that they can play.

2. Penn State
3. Ohio State
4. Northwestern
5. Purdue
6. Michigan State
7. Michigan
8. Wisconsin
9. Illinois
10. Minnesota
11. Indiana 

Linebackers

1. Michigan State
With Greg Jones and Eric Gordon, the Spartans have a tremendous twosome to solidify one of the best linebacking corps in the Big Ten. Throw in the potential of William Gholston and Max Bullough, and the Spartans have the makings for a devastating group if everything comes together. This is a great-tackling group of difference makers revolving around Jones, one of the best players in college football.

2. Ohio State
3. Purdue
4. Northwestern
5. Wisconsin
6. Penn State
7. Iowa
8. Michigan
9. Illinois
10. Indiana
11. Minnesota

Secondaries

1. Iowa
It’s not like the Iowa secondary isn’t beatable. It might have finished fourth in the nation in pass defense and third in pass efficiency defense, and it takes a desperate effort to produce big yards. When focused and with everything working, the secondary can be stifling, and if everyone is healthy and if Micah Hyde can shine, this will once again be a brilliant group. The Iowa secondary has been a brick wall over the last three seasons as one of the best in the nation in pass efficiency defense while coming up with plenty of picks. After taking the ball away 23 times in 2008, the defense picked off 21 last year. With three returning starters, there likely won’t be much of a drop off.

2. Ohio State
3. Wisconsin
4. Penn State
5. Michigan
6. Minnesota
7. Northwestern
8. Michigan State
9. Illinois
10. Purdue
11. Indiana

Special Teams

1. Iowa
The Hawkeye special teams are going to be fantastic as long as the kicking situation is settled (and it’s not like it was that bad). Punter Ryan Donohue is fantastic, the return game is great, and the coverage teams are outstanding allowing just 18.4 yards per kickoff return and 5.7 yards per punt return.

2. Michigan State
3. Wisconsin
4. Minnesota
5. Ohio State
6. Purdue
7. Indiana
8. Michigan
9. Penn State
10. Northwestern
11. Illinois

- Illinois Preview | Indiana Preview | Iowa Preview | Michigan Preview
- Michigan State Preview | Minnesota Preview | Northwestern Preview
- Ohio State Preview | Penn State Preview | Purdue Preview | Wisconsin Preview

- 2010 Big Ten Preview | 2010 Big Ten Unit Rankings | 2010 Big Ten Schedules & Picks
- 2010 CFN All-Big Ten Team & Top 30 Players | Get Big Ten Tickets
- 2010 Big Ten Team By Team Looks & Predicted Finish