Latest Unit Rankings News

Unit Rankings: OSU headlines Big Ten East offensive backfield list

Ohio State Spring Game

Ezekiel Elliot spring game interview

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten East is home to two of the conference’s top backfields at Ohio State and Michigan State. In fact, the Buckeye backfield may be the best in the nation. Quarterback issues loom at Michigan, Rutgers and Maryland, while Penn State, Indiana, Michigan and MSU need to solidify their running back spots.

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Backup QB rankings: Illini in good hands

Reilly O'Toole

Spencer Harris Touchdown Catch vs. Wisconsin

He’s often one of the most popular men on campus. Fans often clamor to see him buckle his chinstrap and trot onto the field: He’s the backup quarterback. When an offense is struggling, the No. 2 signal-caller is a favorite. Who is your school’s backup quarterback? How confident should you be in him? Get my ranking in this post.

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Spartans rule special teams unit rankings

Macgarrett Kings Jr.

Bentley's 100-Yard Kickoff Return vs. SIU

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Specials teams are often the overlooked area of teams, but they’re the essential third component that can make or break a game or a season. That big return, booming punt that flips the field or clutch last-second field goal often looms large in any game. Here’s a look at the Big Ten special teams units.

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DB rankings: Spartans' 'No Fly Zone' tops B1G

Trae Waynes

Kurtis Drummond's Awesome 1-Hand Interception vs. Western Michigan

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Few schools have played defense as well as Michigan State in recent years. And a big reason for the success has been the secondary, a unit known for its aggressive, press-man coverage. MSU will have another talented secondary in 2014. In fact, it will be the best in the conference. Here’s a look at Big Ten defensive backfields.

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Nebraska paces linebacker unit rankings

David Santos

Chi Chi Ariguzo Interception

Linebackers are the heart and soul of any good defense. Speed, strength, athletic ability, toughness … they must embody all of it. And no Big Ten team has a better collection of linebackers than Nebraska.

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Buckeyes lead defensive line unit rankings

Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

Noah Spence with the Sack vs. Miami (OH)

The Big Ten unit rankings continue with a look at the defensive lines. And, there are three standout fronts in the league, paced by Ohio State. In fact, the Buckeyes may have the best d-line in the nation.

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Terps top Big Ten pass-catcher rankings

Big Ten Wide Receivers

Bell Goes Up Top for the One-Handed Grab, Touchdown vs. Illinois

I continue my Big Ten unit rankings with a look at the receiving/tight end corps. There is no shortage of good targets, with Big Ten newcomer Maryland featuring a monster collection of pass-catchers.

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Penn State tops offensive backfield rankings

Christian Hackenberg

Zwinak's 50 Yard Touchdown Rush vs. Nebraska

The dog days of summer are settling in. That means two things: The Cubs’ season is officially over, and it’s time to look at the Big Ten units. I’ll begin with a look at the offensive backfields. And, as you’ll see, there is a lot of talent at running back—as well as some top-flight quarterbacks.

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Dienhart: Big Ten backup QB rankings

Cameron Coffman

Cody Latimer 30 Yard Touchdown vs. Iowa

Often, the most popular player on campus is the backup quarterback. The guy holding the clipboard and wearing a baseball cap typically is perceived as being the answer to every struggling offense. On that note, here’s my ranking of the Big Ten backup quarterback situations.

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Dienhart: It's time to rank Big Ten secondaries

Bradley Roby

Bradley Roby Interception Touchdown vs. Nebraska

There are some nice defensive backfields in the Big Ten. And none is better than Ohio State’s. In fact, the Buckeyes may have the top secondary in the nation, which is one of many reasons why Ohio State is a legit national title contender. Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten defensive backfields.

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Dienhart: How do Big Ten LB units stack up?

Max Bullough

Max Bullough Sacks Danny O'Brien

The last two seasons, no Big Ten defense has played as well as Michigan State’s. A big reason for that has been the play of the linebackers. And that unit should continue to excel and be the bellwether of the conference’s linebacking corps in 2013. Here is my ranking of the Big Ten linebacking units.

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Dienhart: Here's how I rank Big Ten defensive lines

Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports

Wildcats Force Sack-Fumble to Seal Win

The biggest difference between the SEC and Big Ten isn’t speed at the skill-positions on offense. Nope. It’s on defense—along the line, in particular. The Big Ten has some big fellas who can make plays and get up the field—just not the depth and breadth of the SEC. But, the situation is improving. Here is my ranking of the Big Ten defensive lines.

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Dienhart: Let's rank Big Ten offensive lines

Taylor Lewan

Taylor Lewan Staying at Michigan

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

It all begins up front. Ask any coach. Without good blockers, skill talent is diminished—and offenses flounder. The Big Ten has some potentially strong blocking units, which has hopes high in several precincts. Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten offensive lines, starting with two of the conference’s biggest powerhouse programs.

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Dienhart: Huskers pace Big Ten receiving corps

Kenny Bell

Kenny Bell 30 Yard Touchdown vs. Minnesota

When you think of Nebraska, you don’t typically think of receivers. You think ground-pounding offenses that play physical football behind big lines and star running backs. Well, this year’s edition of the Cornhuskers has some very good receivers. In fact, it’s the best collection in the Big Ten. Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten receiving units.

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Dienhart: Which Big Ten team tops our RB ratings?

November 24, 2012; University Park, PA, USA;Wisconsin Badgers running back Melvin Gordon (25) catches a pass on the way to a 57 yard touchdown in the first quarter against the Penn State Nittany Lions at Beaver Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

James White Interview

Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE

The Big Ten lost its top two rushers in Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball. And Nebraska standout Rex Burkhead also is gone. But most of the conference’s other top running backs are back. Here is how I rank the Big Ten running back units, and it’s my latest look at how the various football teams units stack up by position. Read the others right here. Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments below, email me about here, or track me down on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).

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