Big Ten Football: 5 Can't-Miss Spring Games of 2014

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Big Ten Football: 5 Can't-Miss Spring Games of 2014
Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

The Big Ten Conference became, technically, the Big Fourteen this offseason, as Rutgers and Maryland joined the league from the AAC and ACC, respectively.

This new individual era works in concert with the other new era in college football: the renunciation of the BCS and dawn of the College Football Playoff.

These changes could not come at a better time for the Big Ten, which, despite having a Rose Bowl champion in Michigan State, has been down the past few years. The league is ready for a fresh new start.

That start begins with spring practice, and those practices culminate with the spring game—a public scrimmage that allows fans to see, for the first time, its first-year players along with which old players have improved. (Coaches enjoy getting to see the same things.)

So what makes a spring game "can't miss"? It's a myriad of factors. New head coaches are a big one—the start of a new regime—but quarterback battles and early enrollees also make a difference.

A team like Michigan State, for example, is expected to be very good next season, but there's really no reason for a non-Spartan fan to watch them play in April. Things are too stable.

Big Programs + Big Questions = Awesome Spring Games.

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