The conference of three-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust is, was and will always be known for its rushing game, and the upcoming season will be no exception.
In 2012, the Big Ten will boast four returning running backs that ran for over 1,000 yards last season. One of those running backs—Wisconsin senior Montee Ball—was a Heisman finalist.
These days, there are more rushing quarterbacks than in the days of Woody and Bo, but in the Big Ten, there will always be room for the running back to take center stage.
The number of asterisks next to a player's name indicates how many years he has started. A "starter," for my purposes, had at least four starts to his credit in any one season.
There is a pound sign (#) next to a player's name if he hasn't started consecutive years or if he didn't start last year.
Players in italics are returning all-conference honorees. A dollar sign ($) indicates a returning All-American.
Fullbacks are listed only if the team in question utilizes a scheme that features a fullback with any regularity.
Finally, a lot can change in the next few months. This article is based on what the rosters of Big Ten teams look like right now, and only what we know right now.