It is almost time for the gridiron fanatics to dust off their megaphones and fluff up their pompoms!
College football, sporting several new and exciting realignments, is back on the horizon, ready to rise into full view in early September.
No conference has changed its traditional season lineup more than the Big Ten, divided into two divisions starting with the first non-conference games of 2011. This was accomplished once the admission of the Nebraska Cornhuskers into the Big Ten was finalized.
Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska and Northwestern
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin
Each Big Ten team plays eight conference contests, including each team in its respective division, plus three conference games outside of its division, called crossover contests.
In total, each team in the Big Ten plays 12 games, starting on September 3, 2011.
The season concludes with the Big Ten Championship Game played on December 3, 2011 in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Stadium.
While most pundits haggle over “Legends” and “Leaders,” the titles selected for the two divisions, few have complained about the actual division itself. Most view the two divisions as equitable.
As preparations for the 2011 season get underway, pundits are already rolling out their “best” lists for each conference. In keeping with this annual rite of passage, the following are the Big Ten players at each position deserving of a Grade A rating as the 2011 season gets underway.
Here is our compilation of the All-Big Ten preseason team, ahead of action in the newly aligned Big Ten Conference.
These players are the cream of the crop, as they say, in the Big Ten who will help their respective teams climb the rankings ladder, as they try to bulldoze their way into the Big Ten Championship Game.