2016 College Football Preview: BIG 10

Day four of previewing college football’s POWER FIVE conferences continues with a look at a conference that has multiple contenders for a spot in the College Football Playoff. Remember a few seasons ago when the BIG 10 was widely considered “Ohio State and a bunch of scrubs”?

Not anymore.

With teams like Michigan State, Michigan, Penn State, Iowa, and Nebraska all turning into real contenders, the BIG 10 has turned into one of the toughest conferences in college football.

So, who’s going to take the BIG 10 crown this year? And can the conference make another appearance in the CFP like it has every year since it’s inception?

LET’S FIND OUT!!!!!!!!!

 

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14. Purdue Boilermakers

purdueboilermakers

Last Year’s Record: 2-10

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Darrell Hazell (6-30 at Purdue)

Top Returning Players: Markell Jones (RB), Jason King (OG), Jake  Replogle (DT), Ja’Whaun Bentley (LB), Joe Schopper (P)

Top Incoming Players: Kamal Hardy (DB), J.D. Dellinger (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Cincinnati, Iowa, @Nebraska, Penn State, Northwestern, Wisconsin

Predicted Record (for 2016): 2-10 (0-9)


13. Rutgers Scarlet Knights

rutgers-logo

Last Year’s Record: 4-8

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Chris Ash (0-0 at Rutgers)

Top Returning Players: Janarion Grant (WR), Chris Muller (OG), Darius Hamilton (DT), Quanzell Lambert (DE), Sebastian Joseph (DT), Anthony Cioffi (S)

Top Incoming Players: Tylin Oden (QB), Trey Sneed (RB), Nick Krimin (OL), Solomon Manning (LB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Washington, Iowa, @Ohio State, Michigan, @Michigan State, Penn State, @Maryland

Predicted Record (for 2016): 4-8 (2-7)


12. Indiana Hoosiers

2000px-indiana_hoosiers_logo-svg

Last Year’s Record: 6-7

Last Year’s Bowl: Pinstripe Bowl vs. Duke

Head Coach: Kevin Wilson (20-41 at Indiana)

Top Returning Players: Devine Redding (RB), Simmie Cobbs (WR), Ricky Jones (WR), Dan Feeney (OG), Marcus Oliver (LB), Griffin Oakes (K), Mitchell Paige (PR)

Top Incoming Players: Peyton Ramsey (QB), Kiante Enis (RB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Michigan State, @Ohio State, Nebraska, @Northwestern, Maryland, Penn State, @Michigan

Predicted Record (for 2016): 5-7 (2-7)


11. Illinois Fighting Illini

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Last Year’s Record: 5-7

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: Lovie Smith (0-0 at Illinois)

Top Returning Players: Wes Lunt (QB), Christian DiLauro (OT), Dawuane Smoot (DE), Hardy Nickerson (LB)

Top Incoming Players: Eli Peters (QB), Tre Nation (RB), Zarrian Holcombe (TE), Andrew Trainer (TE), Griffin Palmer (TE), Dele Harding (LB), James McCourt (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): North Carolina, Western Michigan, @Nebraska, @Michigan, Michigan State, @Wisconsin, Iowa, @Northwestern

Predicted Record (for 2016): 5-7 (3-6)


10. Minnesota Golden Gophers

minnesotagoldengophers

Last Year’s Record: 6-7

Last Year’s Bowl: Quick Lane Bowl vs. Central Michigan

Head Coach: Tracy Claeys (2-4 at Minnesota)

Top Returning Players: Jonah Pirsig (OT), Steven Richardson (DT), Jalen Myrick (CB), Ryan Santoso (K)

Top Incoming Players: Seth Green (QB), Sam Schlueter (OL), Carter Coughlin (LB), John Mack (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Penn State, Iowa, @Maryland, @Nebraska, Northwestern, @Wisconsin

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (3-6)


9. Wisconsin Badgers

2000px-university_of_wisconsin_waving_w-svg

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl: Holiday Bowl vs. USC

Head Coach: Paul Chryst (10-3 at Wisconsin)

Top Returning Players: Corey Clement (RB), Dan Voltz (OG), Olive Sagapolu (DT), Vince Biegel (LB), Jake Cichy (LB), Sojourn Shelton (CB), Rafael Gaglianone (K)

Top Incoming Players: Kare’ Lyles (QB), Sam Brodner (RB), A.J. Taylor (WR), Jake Hescock (TE), Cole Van Lanen (OL), Patrick Kasl (OL), Garrett Rand (DL), Noah Burks (LB), Eric Burrell (DB), Anthony Lotti (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): LSU, @Michigan State, @Michigan, Ohio State, @Iowa, Nebraska, @Northwestern

Predicted Record (for 2016): 6-6 (4-5)


8. Maryland Terrapins

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Last Year’s Record: 3-9

Last Year’s Bowl: No bowl game

Head Coach: D.J. Durkin (0-0 at Maryland)

Top Returning Players: D.J. Moore (WR), Michael Dunn (OT), Jermaine Carter Jr. (LB), William Likely (CB)

Top Incoming Players: Tyrell Pigrome (QB), Laderrien Wilson (RB), Lorenzo Harrison (RB), Tino Ellis (WR), D.J. Turner (WR), Terrance Davis (OL), Richard Merritt (OL), Adam McLean (DL), Wade Lees (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Penn State, Michigan State, @Michigan, Ohio State, @Nebraska

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (4-5)


7. Penn State Nittany Lions

penn20state20logo201986

Last Year’s Record: 7-6

Last Year’s Bowl: TaxSlayer Bowl vs. Georgia

Head Coach: James Franklin (14-12 at Penn State)

Top Returning Players: Saquon Barkley (RB), Chris Godwin (WR), Saeed Blacknall (WR), DaeSean Hamilton (WR), Mike Gesicki (TE), Brendan Mahon (OG), Andrew Nelson (OT), Garrett Sickles (DE), Nyeem Wartman-White (LB), Brandon Bell (LB), Jason Cabinda (LB), John Reid (CB), Marcus Allen (S), Tyler Yazujian (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Jake Zembiec (QB), Miles Sanders (RB), Danny Dalton (TE), Michael Menet (OL), Connor McGovern (OL), Will Fries (OL), Shane Simmons (DL), Ellison Jordan (DL), Daniel Joseph (DL), Tyrell Chavis (DL), Cameron Brown (LB), Shaka Toney (LB), Zechariah McPhearson (DB), Blake Gillikin (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Pittsburgh, Temple, @Michigan, Maryland, Ohio State, Iowa, Michigan State

Predicted Record (for 2016): 7-5 (5-4)


6. Nebraska Cornhuskers

blockn_huskers

Last Year’s Record: 6-7

Last Year’s Bowl: Foster Farms Bowl vs. UCLA

Head Coach: Mike Riley (6-7 at Nebraska)

Top Returning Players: Tommy Armstrong (QB), Jordan Westerkamp (RB), Nick Gates (OT), Freedom Akinmoladun (DE), Nathan Gerry (S), Drew Brown (K), Sam Foltz (P)

Top Incoming Players: Patrick O’Brien (QB), Tre Bryant (RB), J.D. Spielman (RB), Jack Stoll (TE), John Raridon (OL), Matt Farniok (OL), Bryan Brokop (OL), Quayshon Alexander (DL), Pernell Jefferson (LB), Lamar Jackson (DB), Marquel Dismuke (DB), JoJo Domann (DB), Caleb Lightbourn (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Oregon, @Northwestern, @Wisconsin, @Ohio State, Maryland, @Iowa

Predicted Record (for 2016): 8-4 (5-4)


5. Northwestern Wildcats

northwesternwildcats

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl: Outback Bowl vs. Tennessee

Head Coach: Pat Fitzgerald (70-56 at Northwestern)

Top Returning Players: Justin Jackson (RB), Eric Olson (OT), Anthony Walker (LB), Matthew Harris (DB), Godwin Igwebuike (S), Hunter Niswander (P), Solomon Vault (KR)

Top Incoming Players: Aidan Smith (QB), Jeremy Larkin (RB), Eric Eshoo (TE), Nik Urban (OL), Roderick Campbell (DB)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Nebraska, @Iowa, @Michigan State, @Ohio State, Wisconsin

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-3 (6-3)


4. Iowa Hawkeyes

iowa_hawkeyes_logo

Last Year’s Record: 12-2

Last Year’s Bowl: Rose Bowl vs. Stanford

Head Coach: Kirk Ferentz (127-87 at Iowa)

Top Returning Players: C.J. Beathard (QB), George Kittle (TE), Boone Myers (OG), Cole Croston (OT), Sean Welsh (C), Jaleel Johnson (DT), Josey Jewell (LB), Desmond King (DB), Tyler Kluver (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Nathan Stanley (QB), Toks Akinribade (RB), Toren Young (RB), Noah Fant (TE), T.J. Hockenson (TE), Alaric Jackson (OL), Cedrick Lattimore (DL), Caleb Shudak (K), Keith Duncan (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Northwestern, Wisconsin, @Penn State, Michigan, Nebraska

BIG 10 Championship Game: vs. Michigan (L)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 9-4 (6-3)


3. Ohio State Buckeyes

2000px-2013_ohio_state_buckeyes_logo-svg

Last Year’s Record: 12-1

Last Year’s Bowl: Fiesta Bowl vs. Notre Dame

Head Coach: Urban Meyer (50-4 at Ohio State)

Top Returning Players: J.T. Barrett (QB), Mike Weber (RB), Curtis Samuel (WR), Pat Elflein (C), Billy Price (OG), Sam Hubbard (DE), Tyquan Lewis (DE), Raekwon McMillan (LB), Dante Booker (LB), Gareon Conley (DB), Cameron Johnston (P)

Top Incoming Players: Dwayne Haskins (QB), DeMario McCall (RB), Antonio Williams (RB), Binjimen Victor (WR), Austin Mack (WR), Jake Hausmann (TE), Luke Farrell (TE), Kierre Hawkins (TE), Michael Jordan (OL), Tyler Gerald (OL), Malcolm Pridgeon (OL), Jack Wohlabaugh (OL), Gavin Cupp (OL), Nick Bosa (DL), Jonathan Cooper (DL), Malik Barrow (DL), Keandre Jones (LB), Tuf Borland (LB), Jordan Fuller (DB), Wayne Davis (DB), Drue Chrisman (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Oklahoma, @Wisconsin, @Penn State, Northwestern, Nebraska, @Maryland, @Michigan State, Michigan

Predicted Record (for 2016): 10-2 (8-1)


2. Michigan State Spartans

883px-michigan_state_spartan_helmet-svg

Last Year’s Record: 12-2

Last Year’s Bowl: College Football Playoffs vs. Alabama

Head Coach: Mark Dantonio (87-33 at Michigan State)

Top Returning Players: L.J. Scott (RB), Josiah Price (TE), Brian Allen (C), Malik McDowell (DT), Riley Bullough (LB), Vayante Cooper (DB), Demetrious Cox (S), Montae Nicholson (S)

Top Incoming Players: Messiah deWeaver (QB), Donnie Corley (WR), Justin Layne (WR), Cam Chambers (WR), Trishton Jackson (WR), Noah Davis (TE), Thiyo Lukusa (OL), Matt Allen (OL), Auston Robertson (DL), Josh King (DL), Naquan Jones (DL), Mike Panasiuk (DL), Brandon Randle (LB), Demetric Vance (DB), Matt Coghlin (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): @Notre Dame, Wisconsin, BYU, Northwestern, @Maryland, Michigan, Ohio State, @Penn State

Predicted Record (for 2016): 10-2 (8-1)


1. Michigan Wolverines

2000px-michigan_wolverines_logo-svg

Last Year’s Record: 10-3

Last Year’s Bowl: Citrus Bowl vs. Florida

Head Coach: Jim Harbaugh (10-3 at Michigan)

Top Returning Players: De’Veon Smith (RB), Jehu Chesson (WR), Amara Darboh (WR), Jake Butt (TE), Erik Magnuson (OT), Kyle Kalis (OG), Mason Cole (C), Chris Wormley (DE), Ryan Glasgow (DT), Jabrill Peppers (LB), Mike McCray (LB), Jourdan Lewis (CB), Jeremy Clark (CB), Scott Synpniewski (LS)

Top Incoming Players: Brandon Peters (QB), Kareem Walker (RB), Chris Evans (RB), Kingston Davis (RB), Ahmir Mitchell (WR), Dylan Crawford (WR), Brad Hawkins (WR), Eddie McDoom (WR), Devin Asiasi (TE), Nick Eubanks (TE), Ben Bredeson (OL), Michael Onwenu (OL), Stephen Spanellis (OL), Rashan Gary (DL), Ron Johnson (DL), Michael Dwumfour (DL), Carlo Kemp (LB), Devin Bush (LB), Elysee Mbem-Bosse (LB), Josh Uche (LB), David Long (DB), Lavert Hill (DB), Khaleke Hudson (DB), Quinn Nordin (K)

Toughest Games (for 2016): Penn State, Wisconsin, @Michigan State, Maryland, @Iowa, @Ohio State

BIG 10 Championship Game: vs. Iowa (W)

Predicted Record (for 2016): 12-1 (8-1)

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