It’s that time of week when I reach into my mailbag. It looks like my unit rankings are generating quite the interest, based on the amount of cards and letters I have received. I always enjoy hearing from Big Ten fans! So, please stay in touch. Let’s get started.
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.
Indiana continues to improve under Kevin Wilson, who debuted with a 1-11 mark in 2011 but improved to 4-8 last season. And, a big reason for that was the play of a prolific offense led by coordinator Seth Littrell. The Hoosiers had one of the Big Ten’s top offenses last season, ranking No. 2 in total offense (442.0 ypg); No. 1 in passing (311.2 ypg); No. 4 in scoring (30.8 ppg). But it wasn’t enough to carry the program to its first bowl since the 2007 season.
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.
We’ve reached the championship of the 2013 Big Ten helmet bracket, and based on the matchup, either BTN.com readers are bigger fans of Indiana’s helmet than others or Michigan fans stuffed the ballot box to create a favorable pairing. Either way, BTN.com readers have spoken, and it’s between Legends Division champ Michigan and Leaders Division champ Indiana. See all the tourney’s results and vote for your 2013 champion in this post. Voting ends June 5.
One of the more indelible moments from the 2012 football season was Devin Smith’s ridiculous one-handed touchdown grab in Week 1 vs. Miami (OH). The catch (watch it below) is now part of a pretty cool piece of artwork. Check it out above.