2012 Big Ten Recruiting Class Rankings
#1 Ohio State
#5 Michigan State
#7 Penn State
Top Freshman to Watch Big Ten 2012
#1 Noah Spence DE Ohio State
#2 Kyle Kalis OL Michigan
#3 Vince Biegel LB Wisconsin
#4 Ifeadi Odenigbo DE Northwestern
#5 Eugene Lewis WR Penn State
Big Ten Coaching Rankings
#1 Urban Meyer Ohio State
#2 Brett Bielema Wisconsin
#3 Mark Dantonio Michigan State
#4 Bo Pelini Nebraska
#5 Brady Hoke Michigan
#6 Kirk Ferentz Iowa
#7 Pat Fitzgerald Northwestern
#8 Bill O'Brien Penn State
#9 Jerry Kill Minnestoa
#10 Tim Beckman Illinois
#11 Kevin Wilson Indiana
#12 Danny Hope Purdue
Big Ten Awards 2012
Offensive Player of the Year
Denard Robinson QB, Michigan
Defensive Player of the Year
William Gholston DE/OLB Michigan State
Coach of the Year
Brady Hoke Michigan
Offensive Freshman of the Year
Micheal Thomas WR Ohio State
Defensive Freshman of the Year
Ifeadu Odenigbo DE Northwestern
2011 Big 10 Standings
#2 Penn State
#4 Ohio State
#1 Michigan State
My 2011 Big 10 Predictions
#1 Wisconsin ( Big 10 winner)- Correct
#2 Penn State-Correct
#3 Ohio State-Wrong
#3 Michigan State-Wrong
How I Ranked Using the Stassen Rating
Leaders: 1st out of 14 with 4 points.
Legends: tied at 2nd with 4 others out of 14 with 4 points.
2012 Big Ten Leaders Predictions
Coach: Bret Bielema
Returning Starters: 11; 5 offense, 6 defense
Stadium: Camp Randall ( 80,321) #5 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: Heisman hopeful Montee Ball is back in the backfield after a great 2011 season. Ball had a total of 39 touchdowns last year. The Badgers will have another transfer QB under center. Danny O'Brien was the ACC's Freshman of the Year in 2010. Outside of Abbrederis the WR core is inexperienced. Tight end Jacob Pendersen will be a factor in the passing game. Despite losing two All-American's from last year's O-line Wisconsin will be solid up front.
Defense: The linebacker position is the strength of the team. Borland and Taylor led the Big Ten in tackles a year ago. Two players from last year's team return from injuries that forced them to redshirt last season, junior DE David Gilbert and senior corner Devin Smith. If these two come back to form this defense will be as tough as last year's team. In 2011 the defense only gave up 19 points a game. In Wisconsin's three loses last season they gave up over 33 points a game.
Special Teams: New faces at kicker and punter after 4 years of kicker Philip Welch and punter Brad Nortman. Kyle French is the kicker for 2012. Freshman Drew Meyer is at punter.
Overview: The offense will need to find a second WR to help Abbrederis. The pass rush depends on David Gilbert's return. Even though the Badgers lost 11 players to the NFL draft, Montee Ball returns. Ohio State visits Camp Randall in Nov.
#2 Ohio State
Coach: Urban Meyer
Returning Starters: 16; 7 offense, 7 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Ohio Stadium (102,329) #3 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: Braxton Miller should be a better fit in the spread offense. He needs to improve his accuracy. The WR core needs to improve. Look for Micheal Thomas, Devin Smith, or Corey Brown to be go to guys by the end of the year. RB Jordan Hall will miss a few games at the beginning of the year due to an injury. The O-line lost 3 starters and is not very deep.
Defense: The defensive line returns 3 starters including John Simon and Johnathan Hankins are first team Big Ten performers. The Buckeyes don't return one starter at LB. All four starters return in the secondary.
Special Teams: K Drew Basil returns after a solid 2011 season. Ben Buchanan returns at punter.
Overview: Braxton Miller should improve in the spread offense. The offensive line and linebacker pose depth issues and could hold the Buckeyes back in 2012. Underrated games for OSU this year are UCF and California.
Coach: Danny Hope
Returning Starters: 16; 8 offense, 7 defense, punter
Stadium: Ross-Ade Staium (62,500) #9 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: The offensive line is talented, but an injury to a starter could be tough to overcome. Danny Hope will elect to go with two possibly three QB's this season. Terbush looks to be the starter with Marve and Henry off the bench. Running back Akeem Sayers played well in his starting role vs. Western Michigan. Ralph Bolden suffered an injury vs. Indiana last year and his return is up in the air for 2012. The WR core should be fine with Edison and Ross returning.
Defense: All-American candidate DE Kawann Short decided to return to school for his senior year. Russell and Gaston are underrated and are coming off a solid 2011 season. The Boilermakers have good depth in the secondary and are led by corners Allen and Johnson. LB Dwayne Beckford is back with the team after being suspended last season. It's a good thing he returns due to LB being very thin.
Special Teams: Freshman Griggs and Meadows will compete for the kicker job. Punter Cody Webster returns.
Overview: Purdue's defense has the potential to be great. The offense could struggle with a possible 3 QB rotation and a thin O-line. October will make or break the Boilermakers season with games vs. Michigan, Wisconsin, and Ohio State.
#4 Penn State
Coach: Bill O'Brien
Returning Starters: 9; 3 offense, 4 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Beaver Stadium (106,572) #2 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: Will finish once fall camp begins.
Coach: Tim Beckman
Returning Starters: 14; 6 offense, 7 defense, punter
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (62,870) #8 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: The spread attack that will be imputed by new head coach Tim Beckman should help an Illinois team that only scored 22 points a game. Nathan Scheelhaase didn't improve much after an encouraging freshman year. The spread attack should improve his game as long as a WR steps up. Of the returning WR not one has over 30 catches. RB Josh Ferguson will likely lead the team in rushing yards and receiving yards. The O-line could have issues at tackle where they have two sophomores starting. The interior will be the strength of the line with a combined 51 starts between Pocic and Thornton.
Defense: The defense which ranked 7th in the nation last year shouldn't fall off to much. The D-line is tough with Buchanan returning and Spence. Jonathan Brown had 108 tackles last season and moving to middle LB should increase his chances for more tackles. The secondary returns three starters and has solid depth behind them.
Special Teams: The punt and kick return teams ranked last in 2011. Justin DuVernois is back at punter. A kicker battle will be decided in the fall between Zalewski and Immekus.
Overview: Defensively the team is great. The problems are on offense. Wide receiver and O-line could hold this team back. If they find answers at both spots this team could compete for the top with Tim Beckman's offense. Big Ten play opens vs. Penn State.
Coach: Kevin Wilson
Returning Starters: 16; 7 offense, 8 defense, kicker
Stadium: Memorial Stadium (52,929) #10 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: The offense should be improved with Tre Robinson in his second year at QB. He may be pushed by Cameron Coffman and freshman Nate Sudfeld may be the future. The WR core is solid all-around with depth. Kofi Hughes may be the best out of the bunch. Running back Stephen Houston is ready for a breakthrough year after last season's emergence at the position. Three players return at the middle of the O-line.
Defense: Outside of DT the Hoosiers have major issues. Indiana ranked 109 last year in total defense. The incoming JUCO players will all get looks even with 8 players returning from last year's team. JUCO LB David Cooper looks to be the best of the group and will need to make a major impact in stopping the run.
Special Teams: Mitch Ewald is back at kicker. The punter position will be filled by Mitchell Voss.
Overview: IU was one of the youngest teams in the nation last year. Indiana may improve a bit on offense, but defensively they will need the JUCO players to make a big difference if they want to get out of the bottom of the Big Ten. Favorable Big Ten schedule, but it won't matter.
2012 Big Ten Legends Predictions
Coach: Brady Hoke
Returning Starters: 15; 6 offense, 7 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Michigan Stadium (109,901) #1 in Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: Denard Robinson is one of the most exciting players in the game. If he can continue to work on his decision making he could be a Heisman candidate. Fitz Toussaint was recently suspended from the team. It's up in the air if he will return to the team. Look for Rawles and Smith to get carries if Toussaint stays suspended from the team. Roy Roundtree is back at WR for his senior season. Three starters return on the line.
Defense: The line will need to replace 3 starters. Will Campbell should be able to clog the middle with his 6-5 322 pound frame. All three LB's return from a good season and LB Kenny Demens is the leader of the defense and had 94 tackles a year ago. The secondary gave up big plays, but they still only allowed 190.5 yards per game last season.
Special Teams: Brendan Gibbons is back at kicker. Punter Will Hagerup returns, but it could be Matt Wile that starts.
Overview: This team is poised for another big year. Offensively it will be hard for other teams to keep pace. The game vs. Alabama is a tone setter for the season. A win could boost their confidence and take them to new heights.
Coach: Bo Pelini
Returning Starters: 17; 8 offense, 7 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Memorial (81,091) #4 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: The Huskers are very deep. QB Taylor Martinez will go into his third season at QB. Burkhead will be the featured back with depth behind him. The WR position is very deep and many players will get a chance to display their talents. The O-line will miss three starters, but should be able to fill their positions. Depth is the main concern on the O-line.
Defense: Nebraska will have to replace 3 players that went to the NFL. The good news is that at all three levels have plenty of depth. The line should be imposing, returning three starters. Three seniors will be at the LB positions. The secondary is very deep and you could see several different players at each position. Fall camp should be more telling on who will start at those positions.
Special Teams: Brent Maher does it all.
Overview: The offense will be tough to stop and if the pass game takes a step forward, watch out. The defense will have a wait and see approach. After the first three non-conference games vs. Southern Miss, UCLA, and Arkansas State we should get a good feeling on how well the defense is playing.
#3 Michigan State
Coach: Mike Dantonio
Returning Starters: 15; 5 offense, 8 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Spartan Stadium (75,005) #6 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: The Le'Veon Bell show will be on in East Lansing. Bell is the only proven offensive playmaker. QB Andrew Maxwell has the talent, but many QB's do. The WR position was hit with the injury bug this spring. We should know more come fall camp. Fowler and Lippett seem to be the front runners at the position.
Defense: The Spartans had the 6th best defense last season. They should be just as good this season. Gholston returns on the D-line and is likely a first round draft pick. The LB's have combined for 248 tackles and 16.5 sacks. Two-time all Big Ten corner Johnny Adams returns and Isaiah Lewis is back at safety.
Special Teams: Senior kicker Dan Conroy has missed 7 FG's the past two years. Mike Sadler had a great freshman year at punter.
Overview: The chemistry between Maxwell and the WR are lacking since they missed most of spring camp. Le'Veon Bell will be the focal point of the offense. The defense will be tops in the Big Ten. The Spartans open the season vs. Boise State.
Coach: Kirk Ferentz
Returning Starters: 9; 5 offense, 3 defense, kicker
Stadium: Kinnick Stadium (70,585) #7 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: James Vandenberg had a great season passing for 25 TD's and 7 interceptions. That wasn't good enough. Iowa went 4-4 in Big 10 play with a loss to Minnesota. The top RB Coker transferred, Canzeri went down with a torn ACL in the spring. That leaves the RB thin and inexperienced. Marvin McNutt is gone at WR, leaving Kennan Davis as the number one guy. He had a solid year last year with over 700 yards receiving. Only two starters return on the line.
Defense: The defensive line has to be completely replaced. The line will be very young and inexperienced in 2012. Hyde and Lowery should have good years at the corner positions. The LB's will be the strength of the defense which features Morris, Kirksey, and Hitchens.
Overview: Both offensive and defensive lines will be a work in progress this year. Vandenberg will have to have an even better year. RB is thin and inexperienced. Iowa will look for redemption in week 2 when Iowa State comes to town.
Coach: Pat Fitzgerald
Returning Starters: 12; 5 offense, 5 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: Ryan Field (47,130) #12 Big Ten stadium capacity
Offense: Kain Colter is an athletic QB who can beat you with his feet and his arm. The receiving core is deep. Demetrius Fields and Christian Jones will be the go to guys with Tony Jones beating teams with his speed. Running back will go with a 1-2 punch of Trumpy and Green. Last year's line had trouble stopping the pass rush and gave up 42 sacks last season. This year's squad lost two starters.
Defense: The defense was below average last season. Only 5 players return from that defense. The line should be disruptive at times. Both ends return and Arnfelt returns from a broken foot. The LB position has options and by the end of the season could be an area of excitement heading in to next year. The secondary will need to rely on young talent to improve on last year's 230 yards per game.
Special Teams: Jeff Budzien returns at kicker and that is not a good thing. Punter Brandon Williams has been solid for the Wildcats.
Overview: Northwestern is in a bit of rebuilding stage. If the team shows improvements this year, next year could be special. I look for the Wildcats to sneak up on some teams this year. Oct 27th vs. Iowa could be the make or break game for this team.
Coach: Jerry Kill
Returning Starters: 15; 7 offense, 6 defense, kicker, punter
Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium (50,805) #11 Big Ten Stadium Capacity
Offense: MarQueis Gray returns for his final year at QB. He needs to improve on his decision making. He will need to find a go to WR and finding one could be tough. Green returns as a starter, but he doesn't have much on his resume. Marcus Jones could have a break out year. The O-line should be above average in 2012. The running back position will be filled by JUCO James Gillum.
Defense: The defense needs to find answers and fast. After giving up over 30 points a game a season ago players are shifting positions and trying to find what works. The key area of improvement will be at LB. They will lead the charge in improving the overall team defense and have three returning starters in those positions.
Special Teams: Kicker Jordan Wettstein returns. Punter will be a competition between Mortell and Orseske.
Overview: The Gophers have room for improvement at all three levels on defense. The offense should be better in Gray's final season, but a WR will have to step up and help him.
Big Ten Games to Watch 2012
Boise St. @ Michigan St. Friday, August 31
Michigan St. @ Michigan Saturday, Oct 20
Michigan vs. Alabama Saturday, Sept 1
Michigan @ Ohio St. Saturday, Nov 24
Wisconsin @ Nebraska Saturday, Sept 29
Michigan @ Nebraska Saturday, Oct 27
Iowa St. @ Iowa Saturday, Sept 8
Iowa @ Northwestern Saturday, Oct 27
Vanderbilt @ Northwestern Saturday, Sept 8
Nebraska @ Northwestern Saturday, Oct 20
Mich St. @ Minnesota Saturday, Nov 24
Ohio St. @ Wisconsin Saturday, Nov 17
Penn St. @ Virginia Saturday, Sept 8
Ohio St. @ Penn St. Saturday, Oct 27
Penn St. @ Purdue Saturday, Nov 3
California @ Ohio State Saturday, Sat 15
Illinois @ Arizona St. Saturday, Sept 8
Indiana @ UMASS Saturday, Sept 8