Hopes are high in Lincoln for the program’s first conference championship since 1999. The defense looks like it could be the strongest part of Bo Pelini’s seventh Nebraska team. The front seven looks especially stout. The offense has some great building blocks, paced by a nice collection of running backs and receivers.
The Big Ten’s best football player? It has to be Braxton Miller, the two-time reigning Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year, right? Right. The Lincoln Journal Star’s Brian Christopherson is no fool, and he recently ranked the dual-threat quarterback No. 1 in his gallery of the Big Ten’s top 10 football players.
Jerry Kill has Minnesota on the rise. His win total has improved in each of his three seasons in the Twin Cities, going from three, to six to eight victories with bowls in each of the last two seasons. The best looks like it is yet to come.
Now that spring football is in the books, we are slowly starting to see preseason rankings trickle in for the 2014 season. Our friends over at ESPN recently created an automated set of preseason ratings for every team. The ratings are designed to predict how strong each team will be in the upcoming season.
Everything came up roses, literally and figuratively, for Michigan State last season. The Spartans won their first Big Ten title since taking a share of the 2010 crown. And Michigan State went to its first Rose Bowl since the 1987 season, beating Stanford to finish 13-1 overall en route to ranking No. 3 in the polls.
One of the biggest questions facing Nebraska’s football team this season is who will replace Taylor Martinez? It looks like the leading candidate right now is sophomore Tommy Armstrong Jr., who played in nine games last season as a redshirt freshman following an early-season injury to Martinez.