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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Big Ten Football Preseason Power Rankings for 2022

Big Ten Football Preseason Power Rankings for 2022

Power Rankings!
Publish Date: 07/26/2022
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa
PASADENA, CALIFORNIA - JANUARY 01: C.J. Stroud #7 of the Ohio State Buckeyes throws a pass against the Utah Utes during the first quarter in the Rose Bowl Game at Rose Bowl Stadium on January 01, 2022 in Pasadena, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Big Ten Power Rankings

It’s almost time for College Football season to kick off, and today, we will look at the Big Ten Preseason Power rankings. The Big Ten should be ultra-competitive this season, and if you want to find the best bookmakers for College Football, then we got you covered.

14 Northwestern Wildcats

After averaging just 17 points per game last season, Northwestern must have major answers at wide receiver and safety. Ryan Hilinski threw three touchdown passes in nine games but didn’t score in seven. The Wildcats’ defense was almost as bad, falling from 12th to first in the Big Ten in points allowed. They still have adjustments to make.

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13 Rutgers Scarlet Knights

The Big Ten’s third-worst scoring offense scored just 19 points per game last fall while giving up nearly 25 to its opponents.

These averages hid some ugly losses, including 52-13 to Ohio State and 52-3 to Wisconsin. 40-16 to Maryland and 28-0 at Penn State. Noah Vedral is the most likely choice for the quarterback, but look out for Gavin Wimsatt (a talented and athletic recruit) to put him under real pressure.

12 Illinois Fighting Illini

The offense acquired Tommy DeVito as a transfer quarterback. He was only able to play in three games last season but brings a tremendous deep ball that should set up Isaiah Williams.

Illinois’ defense improved from 2020. It allowed 20 points or less seven times. The conference standings were about average. However, the quarterback needs to be better managed.

11 Indiana Hoosiers

The Hoosiers made a massive difference in one year. They went from being a 12th-ranked, 6-2 team to being a two-win afterthought during a forgettable 2021 season.

IU averaged just 17 points per game in the fall of last year. It lost its starting quarterback Michael Penix and its lead receiver Ty Fryfogle. It gains Missouri transfer quarterback Conner Bazelak from Missouri, who was a passer of 2,500 yards a year ago. This will be an excellent asset for Walt Bell, the first-year coordinator.

10 Maryland Terrapins

Maryland will put up good offensive numbers after posting the fourth-best offense in the Big Ten last year. They averaged over 440 yards per week and scored just 30 points each week.

Taulia Tagovailoa is back at quarterback. He has two stellar targets in Dontay Demus, who averaged more than 101 yards per game and transfer Jacob Copeland, who led Florida in receiving last year. Maryland also returns the majority of its experienced front line, which should help this attack find its feet.

9 Nebraska Cornhuskers

Frost already has made some moves, such as bringing in Mark Whipple, Pitt’s offensive coordinator, and landing Casey Thompson, a Texas transfer quarterback. Thompson was the Big 12’s top scorer last year. For Frost, it’s now or never. They need to make tangible gains.

8 Purdue Boilermakers

One of the most solid quarterbacks in the Big Ten, Aidan O’Connell, is back under center. He was a 72 per cent passer and didn’t have any turnovers in seven games. However, he might have lost receiver Milton Wright who had seven touchdown catches last year after he was reportedly declared academically ineligible.

7) Iowa Hawkeyes

Iowa often has the defense to win — as last season, when the Hawkeyes were ranked in the top five of the AP poll. They seemed destined for the College Football Playoff. However, this team still struggles to put together a consistent threatening downfield offense.

Spencer Petras is back as the probable starter. However, he needs to answer some questions after completing only 57.3%. Petras, the Iowa starting quarterback, is currently 13-6 and has helped this team reach the Big Ten title. He had 1,880 passing yards and ten touchdowns against nine interceptions last year. However, he also failed to score in six of his games.

6) Minnesota Golden Gophers

Despite not having stud running back Mohamed Ibrahim last year, this team still won nine games. He is now back in the fold along with veteran quarterback Tanner Morgan. Kirk Ciarrocca, offensive play-caller, is also back. The Gophers will be able to reap solid returns from their skill players if they can improve their protection at the front; they could be even better than last season.

5) Wisconsin Badgers

The Badgers will need to replace most of an excellent defense from last year, but that’s what the Badgers are known for, so not much worry should exist there.

What can the Badgers do with quarterback Graham Mertz? Last season, he was a sub-2,000-yard passer with ten scores and 11 interceptions. Re-supply at the receiver position will be critical to any rebuilding project. Braelon Allen, Wisconsin’s lead rusher, is back. The youngster rushed for 1,268 yards last year with 12 touchdowns. He also had a nearly 7-year average.

4) Penn State Nittany Lions

It’s positive to have Sean Clifford back as the quarterback, but the team must quickly create a receiving depth chart without Jahan Dotson to keep up with Michigan and Ohio State.

Parker Washington and KeAndre Smith will assist in that effort, as well as Western Kentucky transfer Mitchell Tinsley who caught the record-breaking Bailey Zappe passes last year for 1,402 yards. Penn State was ranked 118th for total rushing yards, 117th for rushing touchdowns, and lost Noah Cain to LSU. Check out the best new bookmakers for betting on College Football.

3) Michigan State Spartans

Kenneth Walker was the driving force behind Sparty’s offense last year, but he’s not returning. After a 3,240-yard passing campaign, Payton Thorne, who had 27 TDs (and 10 INTs), and Jayden Reed, who rushed for almost 18 yards per catch and went for more than 1,000 yards, will be returning as a receiver.

The biggest question for the Spartans will be on defense, where last year the pass defense was atrocious; if it improves, the Spartans could make some noise.

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2) Michigan Wolverines

Cade McNamara is back at quarterback and has J.J. McCarthy as a backup. McCarthy is bound to get some playing time this fall. After running for nearly 1,000 yards and 11 touchdowns last fall, Blake Corum will be leading the ground attack. Even though UM may take a small step back due to the switchover, this team is still in a position to win ten more games and be a contender for the Big Ten.

1) Ohio State Buckeyes

Ryan Day believes that the common factor in OSU’s losses last fall was their subpar defense; he is right. The Cowboys ranked No. 3 overall D and led the nation with TFLs and sacks. He brought in former Oklahoma State DC Jim Knowles.

If Knowles can replicate that success with these players, the No. 1 ranked offense will do the rest. CJ Stroud, the Heisman finalist quarterback, returns to the field after a 4,435-yard performance with 44 touchdowns and six turnovers.

 

 

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