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Asmussen | As the Big Ten folds in late tense spring Sports


Spring football is held in Illinois and the rest of the Big Ten. It seems like the best time to streamline conference teams. Power poll if you will. In fact, a more predictable power rating based on my best guess and the help of some friends across the league. They will remain anonymous, but know who they are. And how I appreciate their help.

And here is my first project, with updates starting after the games will play in late August and September:

1. Ohio

Buckeyes are excessive favorites. And that’s without the two hosts – Gareth Wilson and Chris Tin – who passed in the early NFL draft.

Don’t feel sorry for Ohio, as more of those guys hang out in Columbus. And a defender, CJ Stroud, who is the early leader of the Heisman Trophy. New coordinator Jim Knowles will help fix the defense.

2. Michigan

Can you believe that Jim Harbo nearly left Stanford in Kansas a few years ago? A good career without movement. He is now in charge of the reigning Big Ten champion, who first reached the college football playoffs. The crime welcomes both Cade McNamara and former State of the News player of the year J.-J. J. McCarthy as a defender.

Lots of options for Harbaugh. The defense should replace No. 2 in the NFL Draft, Aidan Hutchinson. The result? The attack will be better and the defense should happen.

Illinois will watch closely as things go when visiting Ar-Arbar on November 19th.

3. Michigan

Expect a smile on the face of coach Mel Tucker thanks to the extension of the contract by $ 95 million. Cha-jing. Peyton Thorne returns to lead the attack and again throws a lot of passes to Jaden Reed, who is coming out of monster season.

Former Illinois Daniel Barker offers another option in the tight end. He can say “hello” to his old teammates when the Spartans play at the Memorial Stadium on November 5th. Embarrassing. The big issue for Michigan is the defense, which has dealt a big blow.

4. Iowa

A team that has barely won in the West, thanks to a deep and talented defense. If the Hawkeyes want to challenge the winner from the East, they need to get a stellar game from defender Spencer Petras, who disappoints Iowa fans with his inconsistent performances.

Kirk Ferenc is to replace kicker Caleb Shudak. Special teams can be vital in challenging crossover games against Ohio and Michigan.

5. Wisconsin

The Badgers lost most of one of the best defenses in the country, but coordinator Jim Leanhard showed his ability to connect the right combination of players.

In attack the running game is in great shape, Bralon Allen returns.

Passing game? Not so sure. Graham Mertz failed to justify the hype by throwing more interceptions than last season’s landing passes. Like Iowa, Paul Christ’s team faces a pair of oriental shoes, Ohio and Michigan.

6. Maryland

It’s nice to see that former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley has been rewarded with a contract extension. The Terrapins seemed to have turned the corner with a winning season and a cup win. Can Maryland replicate or improve 2021?

We’ll find out early in the season when the team will play consecutive division games against Michigan and Michigan.

But eight wins seems like a smart goal. Seriously.

7. State of Penn

At least we don’t have to hear any more rumors that James Franklin has gotten a new job. It seems to be locked in Happy Valley.

The Nittany Lions will go as far as quarterback Sean Clifford. He’s leaving with his best spring at State College, which is worth it. The defensive pieces are solid, but is that enough to compensate for the shaky attack? Let’s see.

The good news for Penn State: Illinois is no longer coming to Beaver Stadium. Thank you to the Big Ten for this step.

8. Minnesota

It was one of the quietest seasons with nine wins in student football. Fighting Flecks welcome Tanner Morgan from behind in the center and Mohamed Ibrahim from behind. This is a good start for a crime that wants to be balanced.

Gophers are considered to get a good start against a soft non-conference schedule that includes home games with New Mexico, Western Illinois and Colorado. If they’re not 3-0, something went horribly wrong.

9. Purdue

Aidan O’Connell is the best defender of the Big Ten, except Stroud. He will miss David Bell on the receiver, but has the best date and end Payne Durham. The O-line remains a question mark, and there is no change in the game in running backwards.

The defense should be fine, but will miss the star of George Carlaftis. The revelation against Penn State gives Jeff Brom’s guys a chance to make an earlier statement.

10. Nebraska

I thought all Scott Frost had to do this season to keep his job was play in the bowl. But I was told it wasn’t necessarily so. People in Lincoln are looking for more after a series of frustrating and unlike Hasker seasons in his stay.

Texas transfer Casey Thompson gets a first look at the quarterback, but knowing the importance of winning, patience is needed. Nebraska opens in week 0 against Northwestern in Dublin. Two games later, Oklahoma’s old rival visits Lincoln.

11. Illinois

Last time I mentioned it (probably not), but Brett Bilem was so close to what would be a shocking bet on his first season.

With better resentment it would have happened. Now Barry Lani Jr. is taking on the attack with the idea of ​​improving production and helping the defense by staying on the field longer. Joseph’s Kirby will be missing.

12. Northwest

Rarely in Pete Fitzgerald’s era did Wild Cats look more indifferent. But it happened in 2021 when they went 1-8 in the top ten, including a loss to the Illinois Nemesis.

The defensive pieces will be better and the attack may not be much worse.

Three winning non-conference games at home will help. And so will avoid Michigan and Michigan.

13. Rutgers

Greg Skyan’s team willingly took the bet despite a record below 0.500 and then dropped 38 points, losing to Wake Forest in the Gator Bowl.

At least it was a pleasant trip to Florida.

The Scarlet Knights defeated Illinois at Champaign but fought against the Big Ten East.

14. Indiana

In the 2021 season, the Huzzers reached the bottom, finishing 2-10.

So what was the next step of coach Tom Allen: hide the team.

No outsider saw the performance in the spring. He may come out of the lever in the 2022 opening match. Illinois gets up early by traveling to Bloomington in the second week. Must be fun.


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