With the close of spring practices across the Big Ten, the offseason officially has begun. And, questions still pepper the conference landscape. Here are my 50 Most Pressing Big Ten Offseason Questions. We won’t get answers to them until September–or maybe later … or never at all.
1. Is Tommy Armstrong the answer at quarterback for Nebraska?
2. Will the Michigan offensive line be better?
3. Can Northwestern’s Venric Mark regain his form after injury ruined his 2013?
4. How will the Ohio State linebackers look without Ryan Shazier?
5. Can new coordinator Brian Knorr and his 3-4 scheme make the Indiana defense better?
6. Does Iowa have a go-to wideout?
7. Will Purdue play better in the trenches on both sides of the ball?
8. Can Minnesota’s offense develop more verticality?
9. How much will the Gophers miss DT Ra’Shede Hageman?
10. Will Michigan State still be hungry after its season of glory?
11. Who is the Wolverines’ top running back?
12. How will the rebuilt Wisconsin front seven perform?
13. Who will be Christian Hackenberg’s top target at Penn State? Geno Lewis?
14. Who will be Ohio State’s top running back? Ezekiel Elliott?
15. How will the overhauled Iowa linebacking corps perform with three new starters?
16. Can the Hoosiers’ adequately use both Tre Roberson and Nate Sudfeld?
17. Will Illinois’ defense have more bite?
18. Can Joel Stave take the next step as a quarterback for the Badgers?
19. Will Northwestern’s offensive line step up after a disappointing 2013?
20. Who is Michigan’s go-to wideout with Jeremy Gallon gone?
21. Will Minnesota’s David Cobb have another 1,000-yard season?
22. Will Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford have another 1,000-yard season?
23. Can Braxton Miller stay healthy?
24. Can Braxton Miller continue to evolve as a passer?
25. Will the Michigan State linebackers evolve after losing Denicos Allen and Max Bullough?
26. Is Danny Etling the real deal for the Boilermakers?
27. How will the Illinois quarterback situation sort out? Will Wes Lunt win the job?
28. What type of impact will offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier have on the Michigan attack?
29. Can the rebuilt Penn State offensive line get a consistent push and protect Christian Hackenberg?
30. How will a retooled Michigan State offensive line look with three new starters?
31. Will new Ohio State co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash make the secondary more aggressive?
32. Can an anemic Illini pass rush develop some teeth?
33. Who will be Wisconsin’s downfield threat with Jared Abbrederis gone?
34. Will Northwestern’s secondary be as good as advertised?
35. Will Maryland have a physical running game behind that strong line?
36. How will a rebuilt Buckeye offensive line with four new starters perform?
37. Will Rutgers be undone by poor quarterback play?
38. Will a lack of depth undermine Penn State in James Franklin’s debut?
39. Will the Badgers’ commitment to a smaller, faster defense pay dividends?
40. Can Nebraska’s overhauled offensive line protect all of that skill talent in Lincoln?
41. Is Devin Gardner’s job safe at Michigan?
42. Will the Terrapins be tough vs. the run?
43. Will Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon be the Big Ten’s top back?
44. Or will it be Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah?
45. Can Connor Cook take Michigan State’s offense to yet another level?
46. Will the Scarlet Knights sew up what was a horrid pass defense?
47. How will a reworked Penn State d-line hold up? Can it get a rush?
48. Will the linebacking play be better at Purdue?
49. Will Northwestern pass more with Trevor Siemian at quarterback?
50. Is Mitch Leidner the answer at quarterback for the Golden Gophers?
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
And if you want to leave a comment on this post, use the box below. All comments need to be approved by a moderator.