Big Ten Football: Power Ranking Conference's Best and Worst by Position Groups

David Fidler Correspondent IApril 29, 2012

Big Ten Football: Power Ranking Conference's Best and Worst by Position Groups

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    Over the past eight weeks, I have been fortunate to have 10-12 readers check out my position group power rankings.

    Those power rankings have been fluid, as they will continue to be due to transfers, injuries, suspensions and all of the other issues that affect the college football world.

    After all, Wisconsin's quarterback prospects in January looked substantially bleaker than they do now.

    That said, I do feel I gave a thorough and unbiased look at what each individual position group in the Big Ten looks like, though I will add the following caveat: my quarterback and pass catcher ratings were murky and questionable, due to how murky and questionable the Big Ten quarterback and pass catcher situations currently are.

    Therefore, this article will attempt to take a cumulative look at the prospects of the Big Ten teams using those numbers as their criteria.

    The way the numbers add up do not mean that I agree with them. For example, I don't think the team that ended up No. 1 overall will win its division, let alone the conference.

    On the other hand, it does present an interesting look at how the conference will shake up in 2012, and I do feel the way the numbers broke the conference into quarters is accurate. In other words, the top four teams are an accurate representation of the top of the conference, while the middle and bottom four are also fairly accurate.

    In effect, take this with a grain of salt, as I gear up to throw my official predictions into the ring with every other semi-knowledgeable Tom, Dick and Harry that knows how to type. 

     

    In order to view the individual power rankings, please hit the links located within the article.

Minnesota Golden Gophers

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    Defensive Line: 11

    Linebackers: 11

    Secondary: 12

    Defensive Total: 34 (12th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 9

    Running backs: 11

    Pass Catchers: 12

    Offensive Line: 9

    Offensive Total: 41 (12th)

     

    Special Teams: 8

     

    Total: 83

     

    Schedule: 5

Indiana Hoosiers

2 of 12

    Defensive Line: 10

    Linebackers: 12

    Secondary: 10

    Defensive Total: 32 (10th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 11

    Running backs: 8

    Pass Catchers: 7

    Offensive Line: 10

    Offensive Total: 36 (t-10th)

     

    Special Teams: 10

     

    Total: 78

     

    Schedule: 1

Northwestern Wildcats

3 of 12

    Defensive Line: 12

    Linebackers: 10

    Secondary: 11

    Defensive Total: 33 (11th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 8

    Running backs: 12

    Pass Catchers: 4

    Offensive Line: 12

    Offensive Total: 36 (t-10th)

     

    Special Teams: 5

     

    Total: 74

     

    Schedule: 8

Purdue Boilermakers

4 of 12

    Defensive Line: 7

    Linebackers: 9

    Secondary: 8

    Defensive Total: 24 (8th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 3

    Running backs: 7

    Pass Catchers: 7

    Offensive Line: 8

    Offensive Total: 25 (7th)

     

    Special Teams: 6

     

    Total: 55

     

    Schedule: 7

Iowa Hawkeyes

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    Defensive Line: 9

    Linebackers: 7

    Secondary: 6

    Defensive Total: 22 (7th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 2

    Running backs: 10

    Pass Catchers: 2

    Offensive Line: 4

    Offensive Total: 18 (3rd)

     

    Special Teams: 11

     

    Total: 51

     

    Schedule: 2

Penn State Nittany Lions

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    Defensive Line: 3

    Linebackers: 3

    Secondary: 9

    Defensive Total: 15 (t-4th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 12

    Running backs: 5

    Pass Catchers: 3

    Offensive Line: 11

    Offensive Total: 31 (9th)

     

    Special Teams: 3

     

    Total: 49

     

    Schedule: 4

Illinois Illini

7 of 12

    Defensive Line: 2

    Linebackers: 8

    Secondary: 2

    Defensive Total: 12 (3rd)

     

    Quarterbacks: 3

    Running backs: 9

    Pass Catchers: 8

    Offensive Line: 2

    Offensive Total: 22 (4th)

     

    Special Teams: 12

     

    Total: 46

     

    Schedule: 3

Nebraska Cornhuskers

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    Defensive Line: 5

    Linebackers: 6

    Secondary: 5

    Defensive Total: 16 (7th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 7

    Running backs: 2

    Pass Catchers: 9

    Offensive Line: 6

    Offensive Total: 24 (t-5th)

     

    Special Teams: 1

     

    Total: 41

     

    Schedule: 9

Michigan Wolverines

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    Defensive Line: 8

    Linebackers: 4

    Secondary: 3

    Defensive Total: 15 (t-4th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 1

    Running backs: 4

    Pass Catchers: 10

    Offensive Line: 1

    Offensive Total: 16 (2nd)

     

    Special Teams: 9

     

    Total: 40

     

    Schedule: 12

Michigan State Spartans

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    Defensive Line: 4

    Linebackers: 1

    Secondary: 1

    Defensive Total: 6 (1st)

     

    Quarterbacks: 10

    Running backs: 3

    Pass Catchers: 11

    Offensive Line: 5

    Offensive Total: 29 (8th)

     

    Special Teams: 4

     

    Total: 39

     

    Schedule: 11

Ohio State Buckeyes

11 of 12

    Defensive Line: 1

    Linebackers: 5

    Secondary: 2

    Defensive Total: 8 (2nd)

     

    Quarterbacks: 6

    Running backs: 6

    Pass Catchers: 5

    Offensive Line: 7

    Offensive Total: 24 (t-5th)

     

    Special Teams: 2

     

    Total: 34

     

    Schedule: 10

Wisconsin Badgers

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    Defensive Line: 6

    Linebackers: 2

    Secondary: 7

    Defensive Total: 15 (t-4th)

     

    Quarterbacks: 5

    Running backs: 1

    Pass Catchers: 1

    Offensive Line: 3

    Offensive Total: 10 (1st)

     

    Special Teams: 7

     

    Total: 32

     

    Schedule: 6