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Dienhart: Big Ten West linebacker unit rankings

Dec 30, 2015; San Diego, CA, USA; Wisconsin Badgers head coach Paul Chryst (right) shakes ahnds with linebacker Vince Biegel (47) during the fourth quarter against the USC Trojans in the 2015 Holiday Bowl at Qualcomm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

New DC Justin Wilcox talks Badgers' defense

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Talented, quick, deep … those are just three words that aptly describe the linebacking corps at Wisconsin, which tops my ranking of Big Ten West linebackers. But the LBs will have to adjust to a new coordinator. What impact will that have?

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Dienhart: Big Ten West defensive line unit rankings

Nov 27, 2015; Lincoln, NE, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes linebacker Parker Hesse (40) returns a pass for a touchdown during the first half against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Parker Hesse picks it, and returns it for 6

Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Ask any coach, and he’ll tell you the most difficult spot to recruit is defensive line. It is very difficult to find players who are big AND quick. Teams that can build good lines typically have a shot to win league titles. Iowa is one of those teams.

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Dienhart: Ranking the Big Ten's top 7 quarterbacks

Apr 16, 2016; Columbus, OH, USA; Ohio State Scarlet Team quarterback J.T. Barrett (16) high fives fans after the Ohio State Spring Game at Ohio Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

J.T. Barrett runs for TD at Michigan

Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports

Without a good quarterback, a team has little chance to enjoy a glorious season. The Big Ten will feature several good signal-callers in 2016, led by Ohio State’s J.T. Barrett. In fact, Barrett just may be the league’s best hope to win the Heisman.

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Dienhart: Big Ten West offensive backfield unit rankings

Oct 17, 2015; Evanston, IL, USA; Iowa Hawkeyes running back Akrum Wadley (25) runs the ball during the second half of the game against the Northwestern Wildcats at Ryan Field.

Akrum Wadley takes it for the score at Indiana

Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports

This time last year, few could have envisioned the historic season Iowa was about to enjoy. The Hawkeyes started the season 12-0, a first, and went to the Rose Bowl for the first time since the 1990 season after playing in their first Big Ten title game. This season shapes up well, too, beginning with a loaded backfield.

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