They say that the foundation of a solid defense is the defensive line, and I agree with that statement.
After all, if the line isn't keeping blockers occupied, then the linebackers won't be able to make tackles. Moreover, if a pass rush isn't generated (and a pass rush starts with the front line), there are no defensive backs in the world that can keep a receiver from getting open.
For this particular list, the only rule was that the lineman in question had to graduate between 2001-2010.
Moreover, I tried to take both the entire collegiate career and any specific high points into consideration. Finally, "talent," as it were, was not a factor. Only production and presence over a period of time on the Big Ten playing field mattered.
In the end, it doesn't matter if it's a 4-3 or a 3-4 or even a 5-2. In the Big Ten, it is all about trench warfare and that starts with controlling the line of scrimmage.