Dienhart: 70 questions for Big Ten Football Media Days

Dienhart: 70 questions for Big Ten Football Media Days

Big Ten Media Days begin Monday, and my mind races with plenty of questions. Here are 70 that I’ll be mulling over and asking as I cover both media days in Chicago.

Don’t forget: BTN will have 13 hours of coverage across Monday and Tuesday as coaches and players from all 14 Big Ten head football coaches meet the media in Chicago. You can also watch on BTN2Go. Just click this “Watch Live” link when the events begin or make sure you have the BTN2Go app.

1. Can the Big Ten win the national championship?
2. Can Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers be as good at linebacker as he was at safety?
3. Is Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett the best QB in the Big Ten?
4. Who will win the East? Ohio State? Michigan State? Michigan?
5. Who will win the West? Iowa? Nebraska?
6. Who is the sleeper team in the East? Penn State?
7. Who is the sleeper team in the West? Minnesota?
8. Will Penn State’s offensive line finally get a consistent push?
9. Will the new nine-game league schedule have any impact on the title chase?
10. Can Illinois assemble a solid group of linebackers, where big questions loom?
11. Will Iowa be able to deal with big expectations and having a target on its back?
12. Is Michigan State true freshman wideout Donnie Corley as good as advertised?
13. How will Rutgers LB corps look with three new starters?
14. Will Michigan’s defense be as good as advertised?
15. Any playmakers at defensive end for Northwestern?
16. How quickly can a rebuilt Wisconsin secondary with three new starters develop?
17. Can Minnesota’s offense have more balance with new coordinator Jay Johnson?
18. Who will rush the passer for Nebraska?
19. Does the rushing attack at Illinois have some teeth?
20. Will Wisconsin miss defensive coordinator Dave Aranda, who left for the same post at LSU?
21. Will Indiana’s defense be better with new coordinator Tom Allen?
22. Is Ohio State redshirt freshman RB Mike Weber the next Ezekiel Elliott?
23. Will Michigan answer its riddle at quarterback as well as it did last season?
24. Will new coordinator Joe Moorhead inject life into the Penn State offense?
25. Who will be the Scarlet Knights’ go-to wideout?

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26. Who will be quarterback at Wisconsin?
27. Is Badger RB Corey Clement back to his 2014 form after injury ruined last season?
28. Does Minnesota have a legit No. 1 receiving threat?
29. Will QB Tommy Armstrong put it all together as a senior at Nebraska, increasing his completion percentage and reducing his picks?
30. Will Northwestern QB Clayton Thorson take the next step in his evolution?
31. Does Maryland have any playmakers on its defensive line?
32. Can Indiana find a good QB to replace Nate Sudfeld?
33. Who is the best running back in the Big Ten?
34. Can Purdue get better play in the trenches?
35. Will Michigan’s linebacking corps emerge as a strength on a defense with few questions?
36. Is Northwestern’s Anthony Walker the best linebacker in the Big Ten?
37. Will Nebraska’s luck in close games be better?
38. Can Lovie Smith guide Illinois to a bowl in his maiden voyage?
39. Who will win the Rutgers’ QB battle?
40. Who will emerge as studs at defensive end at Michigan State?
41. Can Penn State replace standout DTs Austin Johnson and Anthony Zettel?
42. Which new coach in the Big Ten East will impact sooner: Maryland’s D.J. Durkin or Rutgers’ Chris Ash?
43. Can the Northwestern receivers provide some plays after two disappointing seasons?
44. Does Iowa’s offense have enough big-play ability to not have to plod along too often?
45. Will the often-torched Maryland secondary improve with three new starters?
46. Who will be the QB at Penn State?
47. Will the Boilermakers switch QBs during the season for a fourth year in a row?
48. Who will bring the heat off the edge of the d-line for Penn State with end Carl Nassib gone?
49. Who will be Ohio State’s big-play receiver?
50. Will Tyler O’Connor be a reasonable facsimile of Connor Cook under center for Michigan State?

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51. Who will be Wisconsin’s No. 1 target?
52. Who will take snaps under center at Maryland?
53. Is Nebraska’s attack gonna commit to a physical ground game?
54. Can DE Ohio State’s Sam Hubbard be the next Joey Bosa in Columbus?
55. Can Indiana make it to back-to-back bowls for the first time since 1990-91?
56. How soon will a rebuilt Spartan o-line with three new starters gel?
57. Will Minnesota’s rebuilt secondary hold up?
58. Will Penn State miss DC Bob Shoop, who left for the same post at Tennessee?
59. Will the Buckeyes’ secondary experience growing pains with three new starters?
60. After being a disaster in 2015, will place kicking become decent at Purdue?
61. Is there pass rush better at Minnesota?
62. Can an Indiana offensive line with three new starters develop quickly?
63. Is Illinois QB Wes Lunt finally ready put it all together as a senior?
64. Will Darrell Hazell’s radically altered staff make a big impact, as he has new coordinators on both sides of the ball?
65. Will Michigan’s defense continue to thrive under new coordinator Don Brown?
66. Can Wisconsin survive what arguably is the toughest schedule in the conference?
67. Can Nebraska build on its 3-1 finish?
68. How will Tracy Claeys do as head coach at Minnesota?
69. Does Nebraska have the best sets of wideouts? Or is it Penn State? Or Michigan?
70. Will Wisconsin’s o-line be up to its usual standards after a tough 2015?

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

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, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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