After a decade many in the conference would soon forget, the Big Ten appears to be on the rise. In accordance with the transition from darkest to dawn, we highlight the action in and surrounding the most midwestern major conference there is, the Big Ten.
Well, we did say "appears to be", right? Michigan Wolverines destination Maize n Brew's maize_in_spartyland highlights a list of the most possible targets nationally to be upset by a Football Championship Subdivision team. Purdue (who???) earns the illustrious honor of being the Big Ten's lone representing. In fact, there may not be a team out there with a greater delta than the Boilermakers, who some feel could be an 8 or 9 win team, while others feel could plummet to the point of potentially costing coach Danny Hope his job.
In an homage to USA Today, KJ of Sparty site The Only Colors takes a look at former Ohio State defensive coordinator Mark Dantonio's reign at Michigan State in chart and graph form. The Spartans' rush defense has shown constant improvement during Coach D's five seasons and the the pass defense in particular during the last three have gone from pedestrian to predator. The Michigan State offensive line of the other hand? Still leaving much to be desired.
Norm Parker is gone from Iowa City. So what then can the Hawkeyes expect on the defensive side of the things? Much of the same, right? Phil Parker, Iowa's defensive backs coach for the past 13 seasons and the heir to the elder Parker's throne, was thought to be promoted to the post in an effort to maintain continuity. However, if Iowa's 2012 spring game were any indication, the Hawkeyes may be getting ready to call more zone blitzes and Cover 1 than they have in over a decade.