2013 Big Ten Spring Football Prospectus
April 4, 2013
BTN Coverage of Spring Football: BTN is the ultimate destination for Big Ten spring football coverage, with studio shows twice each week beginning April 10 and telecasts of 12 Big Ten spring games or final practices. In all, the network will dedicate more than 28 hours to Big Ten spring football, with every team receiving live television or streaming coverage. BTN’s coverage includes the Big Ten Football Report Wednesday and Saturday nights beginning at 9:30 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 10 through May 1. The Big Ten Football Report on Saturday, April 13, airs at 11:30 PM ET. Dave Revsine will host the shows alongside analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith.
Rose Bowl Game Celebrates 100th Anniversary: On January 1, 2014, the Tournament of Roses will celebrate the 100th Rose Bowl Game. As home to the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conference Champions, the Rose Bowl Game will become the first postseason contest to reach this historic milestone. The Big Ten and Pac-12 recently agreed to a 12-year extension with the Rose Bowl Game through 2026. The two conferences originally agreed to an exclusive Rose Bowl Game contract in 1946, although they had met twice before in a Rose Bowl Game, including a Michigan victory in the inaugural event in 1902 and an Ohio State loss in 1921. Since the pact was initiated in 1946, the Pac-12 holds a 33-29 advantage. In the Big Ten's last 10 appearances (2001 through 2013), six different conference teams have participated in the Rose Bowl Game. The union of the Big Ten and Pac-12 also led to soaring attendance. Prior to 1947, the Rose Bowl Game drew a small number of sellout crowds. Every game since has been a sellout. The record for most appearances goes to USC (32) in the Pac-12 and Michigan (20) in the Big Ten. In its 99 years, the Rose Bowl Game has maintained its tradition-rich standard of excellence, living up to the nickname "The Granddaddy of Them All."
The Road to Indy: The third annual Big Ten Football Championship Game will once again determine the Big Ten Champion and send one conference representative to play in the Rose Bowl Game or Bowl Championship Series National Championship Game. The 2013 Big Ten Football Championship Game will be broadcast in prime time by FOX on Saturday, Dec. 7, at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis.
Going For Four: Wisconsin enters the 2013 season seeking its fourth consecutive Big Ten Championship. The Badgers shared the title in 2010 before winning the first two Big Ten Football Championship Games in 2011 and 2012 to give them three straight titles for the first time in school history. Wisconsin has now won 14 Big Ten Championships and is looking to join Michigan and Ohio State as the third Big Ten program to win four straight conference titles. The Buckeyes were the most recent team to accomplish that feat, earning at least a share of five straight titles from 2005 to 2009.
Streaking: Ohio State begins the 2013 campaign with the nation's longest active winning streak after producing a perfect 12-0 record last season. The Buckeyes' string of 12 straight triumphs is the longest winning streak by a Big Ten team since Iowa won 13 straight games during the 2008 and 2009 seasons. Wisconsin won 14 straight games from 2006-07, while Ohio State claimed 19 straight victories from 2005-06.
Welcome Back: The 2013 Big Ten campaign will feature 30 All-Conference players from last season, with 18 first-team honorees and 12 second-team selections returning to the field this fall. The first-team returnees are comprised of 10 offensive standouts, five defensive players and three special teams performer. The returning second-team picks include nine players on offense and three on defense. In addition, 36 honorable mention honorees return to campus. A full breakdown of the returning first- and second-team honorees appears below.
A Bevy of All-Big Ten Returnees: The Big Ten's 30 returning All-Conference standouts this season are the most for the Big Ten since at least the 2005 season. In the last nine seasons, the highest total of All-Big Ten returnees prior to this season was 29 in 2011 and 28 in 2005. In addition, the 18 returning first-team honorees are the most for the conference in that time frame, followed by 15 first-team returnees in 2005 and 13 in 2011.
Returning Award Winners: Along with the All-Conference honorees returning in 2013, the winners of eight of the 13 regular-season individual awards from last season will also hit the field again this fall. Michigan's Taylor Lewan was chosen as the Rimington-Pace Offensive Lineman of the Year while teammate Will Hagerup was named the Eddleman-Fields Punter of the Year, Northwestern's Jeff Budzien shared the Bakken-Andersen Kicker of the Year award, Ohio State's Braxton Miller was named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year, Penn State defensive end Deion Barnes was named the Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year while teammate Allen Robinson was tabbed the Richter-Howard Receiver of the Year and Wisconsin's Jacob Pedersen was selected the Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year.
Back For More: Ohio State's Braxton Miller returns to the field after being named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year and Griese-Brees Quarterback of the Year. Miller rushed for 1,271 yards last season, which ranks second in the Big Ten records book for single-season rushing yards by a quarterback. Miller ranked among the top four in the conference in total offense (second with 275.8 yards per game), rushing yards (fourth with 105.9 yards per game) and passing efficiency (fourth at 140.5). He accounted for 28 total touchdowns, including 15 passing scores and 13 rushing touchdowns. Miller led Ohio State to a perfect 12-0 record and the outright Leaders Division title last season.
An Offensive Trend: For the fourth consecutive season, the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year will be back to defend his award as Ohio State's Braxton Miller returns for his junior season after being named the Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year. Wisconsin running back John Clay was tabbed the conference's top offensive player as a sophomore in 2009 and returned for his junior season. Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson claimed Offensive Player of the Year laurels as a sophomore in 2010 and played two more seasons, setting the NCAA career record for rushing yards by a signal caller. Badgers running back Montee Ball claimed the top offensive honor as a junior in 2011 and returned last season to set NCAA career records for points, total touchdowns and rushing touchdowns.
Double Dip: Ohio State's Braxton Miller enters the 2013 season with the chance to become just the second player to earn Big Ten Offensive Player of the Year honors in back-to-back seasons, joining former Indiana tailback Anthony Thompson (1988-89). Including Thompson, just four players have successfully defended their Player of the Year award. Ohio State linebacker James Laurinaitis won consecutive Defensive Player of the Year awards in 2007 and 2008, while Northwestern linebacker Pat Fitzgerald earned the same honor in 1995 and 1996. Illinois linebacker Dana Howard was tabbed the conference's top defensive player in 1993 and 1994. Other two-time Big Ten Players of the Year include Michigan State running back Lorenzo White (1985, 1987) and Purdue quarterback Drew Brees (1998, 2000).
ALL-CONFERENCE FIRST-TEAM RETURNEES
Spencer Long, SR, OL, NEB
Taylor Martinez, SR, QB, NEB (coaches only)
Braxton Miller, JR, QB, OSU (media only)
Andrew Norwell, SR, OL, OSU (media only)
Kyle Carter, SO, TE, PSU (media only)
Allen Robinson, JR, WR, PSU
John Urschel, SR, G, PSU (coaches only)
Jared Abbrederis, SR, WR, WIS
Jacob Pedersen, SR, TE, WIS (coaches only)
Darqueze Dennard, SR, CB, MSU (coaches only)
Bradley Roby, JR, CB, OSU
Ryan Shazier, JR, LB, OSU (media only)
Chris Borland, SR, LB, WIS (coaches only)
Mike Sadler, JR, P, MSU (coaches only)
Jeff Budzien, SR, PK, NU (coaches only)
ALL-CONFERENCE SECOND-TEAM RETURNEES
Ameer Abdullah, JR, IB, NEB (coaches only)
Kenny Bell, JR, WR, NEB
Jeremiah Sirles, SR, OL, NEB
Venric Mark, SR, RB, NU
Corey Brown, SR, WR, OSU (coaches only)
Carlos Hyde, SR, RB, OSU
Jack Mewhort, SR, OL, OSU (media only)
Ryan Groy, SR, OL, WIS (coaches only)
Christian Bryant, SR, S, OSU (coaches only)
Ricardo Allen, SR, CB, PUR (coaches only)
Familiar Faces Back in the Lineup in 2013: All 12 Big Ten teams welcome back at least 12 players to their starting lineups in 2013. Indiana leads all Big Ten schools with 21 players returning to their starting roles, including 10 on offense and nine on defense. Minnesota welcomes back 18 starters, including 10 on offense and seven on defense. Michigan State (nine on offense, seven on defense), Northwestern (eight on offense, seven on defense), Purdue (five on offense, nine on defense) and Wisconsin (eight on offense, seven on defense) each return 17 starters, while Iowa (six on offense, eight on defense) and Penn State (eight on offense, six on defense) bring back 16 starters. Illinois' lineup features 15 returning starters, followed by Michigan and Ohio State with 14 each and Nebraska with 12.
Returning Stat Leaders: The Big Ten returns a number of players that ranked among the top 10 in various statistical categories last season. Seven of the conference's top 10 rushers return from last season, led by Ohio State's Braxton Miller, who ranked fourth with 105.9 yards per contest. Six of the top 10 passers are back on the field, topped by Indiana's Cameron Coffman, who rated second last year with 248.5 passing yards per outing. Each of the top 10 wideouts in receiving yards will be back this season, led by Penn State's Allen Robinson, who ranked first with 6.4 receptions and 84.4 receiving yards per game. On the defensive side of the ball, seven of the top 10 tacklers return, including each of the top three in Iowa's Anthony Hitchens (11.3 per game) and James Morris (9.4) and Ohio State's Ryan Shazier (9.6). Shazier also led the conference with 17.0 tackles for loss, while Northwestern's Tyler Scott returns after being tied for the conference lead with 9.0 sacks.
New Faces In New Places: The Big Ten will welcome a pair of new head coaches to the sidelines for the 2013 campaign in Purdue’s Darrell Hazell and Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen. Hazell comes to the Boilermakers from Kent State, where he served as head coach for the last two seasons. The Golden Flashes posted a school-record 11 wins prior to bowl play and won their first-ever Mid-American Conference (MAC) East Division Championship. Kent State played in its first bowl game in 40 years and Hazell was named the 2012 MAC Coach of the Year. Prior to his stint at Kent State, he spent seven seasons at Ohio State, where he served as assistant head coach and wide receivers coach. Andersen spent the previous four seasons as the head coach at Utah State. In 2012, Utah State won a school-record 11 games, going undefeated in the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) and capturing its first outright conference title since 1936. Andersen was named the WAC Coach of the Year and was a finalist for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. Before Utah State, Andersen was on the defensive staff at Utah for five seasons, including two undefeated campaigns culminating in BCS bowl victories.
Fresh Crop of Coaches: With Hazell and Andersen making their Big Ten debuts this season, nine of the 12 current coaches have been in the Big Ten for two years or less. Iowa's Kirk Ferentz is the Big Ten's longest-tenured mentor, with 14 seasons leading the Hawkeyes. Northwestern's Pat Fitzgerald ranks second with seven years as the Wildcats' head coach while Michigan State's Mark Dantonio has spent six years leading the Spartans. Four head coaches joined the conference in 2011 - Indiana's Kevin Wilson, Michigan's Brady Hoke, Minnesota's Jerry Kill and Nebraska's Bo Pelini, who has spent five years leading the Cornhuskers. Three head coaches took Big Ten jobs in 2012 - Illinois' Tim Beckman, Ohio State's Urban Meyer and Penn State's Bill O'Brien. Four current Big Ten mentors have been head coaches for 10 years or more - Kill (19 seasons), Ferentz (17), Meyer (11) and Hoke (10).
Big Ten, Big Bowls: The Big Ten bowl lineup will once again consist of eight different bowl games in December and January based in the states of Arizona, California, Florida, Michigan and Texas. Conference schools will have the opportunity to take part in the Rose Bowl Game, Capital One Bowl, Outback Bowl, Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, TaxSlayer.com Gator Bowl, Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas, Heart of Dallas Bowl and Little Caesars Pizza Bowl.
Big Ten Takes on Bowl Teams: Every Big Ten team will square off against at least one non-conference team that participated in a bowl game last season, with 21 total games against squads coming off bowl trips. Penn State and Purdue will face three non-conference bowl teams in 2013, while Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan and Wisconsin will each play two bowl opponents outside the conference schedule. Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern and Ohio State have one bowl qualifier on their schedule this fall.
The Nittany Lions will take on bowl teams in three of their first four games, opening against Syracuse (New Era Pinstripe) on August 31 before hosting Central Florida (St. Petersburg) on Sept. 14 and Kent State (GoDaddy.com) on Sept. 21. The Boilermakers also open with a bowl foe, hitting the road to play at Cincinnati (Belk) on August 31 before hosting two teams that played in the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) last season - Notre Dame (BCS National Championship Game) on Sept. 14 and Northern Illinois (Orange) on Sept. 28.
Five Big Ten teams will face a pair of bowl participants. The Fighting Illini host Cincinnati Sept. 7 before playing Washington (Las Vegas) at Soldier Field in Chicago on Sept. 14. The Hoosiers welcome Navy (Kraft Fight Hunger) on Sept. 7 and Bowling Green (Military) on Sept. 14. The Hawkeyes open at home against Northern Illinois on August 31 before playing at Iowa State (Liberty) on Sept. 14. The Wolverines kick off the season at home with back-to-back bowl foes - Central Michigan (Little Caesars Pizza) on August 31 and Notre Dame on Sept. 7. The Badgers play at Arizona State (Kraft Fight Hunger) on Sept. 14 before hosting BYU (Poinsietta) on Nov. 9.
The remaining Big Ten teams each square off against one bowl squad - Michigan State at Notre Dame on Sept. 21, Minnesota hosting San Jose State (Military) on Sept. 21, Nebraska battling UCLA (Holiday) on Sept. 14, Northwestern hosting Syracuse on Sept. 7 and Ohio State facing San Diego State (Poinsietta) on Sept. 7.
No Plays for 2013: Each Big Ten team will not play against three conference teams each season. The "no-plays" for the 2013 season are listed to the right.
LEGENDS DIVISION --Does not play
LEADERS DIVISION -- Does not play