College Football Preview – Big Ten Offenses
David Funk, a good friend and writer of the Fantasy Sports Network blog, put together a ranking of the Big Ten college football offenses. He was kind enough allow me to post his breakdown on my site to pass the great information on to you. This is very useful info as you gear up for the college football season, especially if you play the Sporting News College Football Salary Cap game.
“We now move onto the Big Ten Conference starting with the offenses.
Big Ten Team Offensive Rankings:
1. Ohio State(Starters returning: 9
Plenty of experience returns led by quarterback Todd Boeckman and running back Beanie Wells. Brian Robiskie and Brian Hartline return at wide receiver, but depth behind them could be a problem. Four starters return on the offensive line with only the right tackle position seeing a new starter. They do have a tougher road schedule than last year though.
2. Illinois(Starters returning: 6
Juice Williams returns at quarterback, but running back Rashard Mendenhall is gone. Daniel Dufrene will replace Mendenhall, and he does have talent. Arrelious Benn is the top receiver returning, and Chris James and converted tight end Jeff Cumberland joins him. The offensive line returns three starters, led by tackle Xavier Fulton and center Ryan McDonald.
3. Purdue(Starters returning: 6
The biggest key to the Boilermakers offense is quarterback Curtis Painter returning with his top target Greg Orton at receiver. Aaron Valentin and Arsenio Curry will try to take away coverage on Orton by becoming playmakers themselves. Jaycen Taylor and Kory Sheets will share carries at running back. Three starters on the offensive line return, but the team will have to play better against the best in the Big Ten.
4. Northwestern(Starters returning: 7
The Wildcats have C.J. Bacher returning at quarterback and his three receivers from a year ago led by Eric Peterman. Andrew Brewer provides another weapon at wide receiver as well as depth. Tyrell Sutton will start at running back and Omar Conteh will get some carries, too. The offensive line returns only two starters, so that is the biggest area of concern for them.
5. Wisconsin(Starters returning: 9
The Badgers return their entire offensive line as well as running back P.J. Hill. Zach Brown and Lance Smith will back him up. Allan Evridge will likely be the new starting quarterback with Dustin Sherer backing him up. Travis Beckum and Garrett Graham form a great 1-2 tandem at tight end. The receiving corps is another area of concern with only Kyle Jefferson who has any experience starting.
6. Michigan State(Starters returning: 6
Javon Ringer is returning at running back, and he’s averaged more than six yards a carry in his career. Brian Hoyer is also returning at quarterback, but he’ll miss throwing to Devin Thomas who is gone to the NFL. Mark Dell and Deon Curry are expected to be reliable targets at receiver for the Spartans. The offensive line returns three starters, and should help keep the offense balanced.
7. Indiana(Starters returning: 6
Kellen Lewis is expected to return as starting quarterback even after his suspension in the spring. All-American receiver James Hardy is gone, but Andrew Means and Ray Fisher are back. Marcus Thigpen returns as the starting running back, and Bryan Payton provides depth at that position. The offensive line returns two starters, and both are on the left side of the line.
8. Iowa(Starters returning: 7
Jake Christensen returns at quarterback as does his top receiver from a year ago, Derrell Johnson-Koulianos. Trey Stross and Andy Brodell will be the other starters. Brandon Myers returns at tight end and Tony Moeaki will see some time there, too. The offensive line was a big problem area last year after allowing 46 sacks a year ago. They return four starters on that line.
9. Penn State(Starters returning: 8
The entire backfield will be new with Daryll Clark at quarterback and Evan Royster at running back. Derrick Williams and Deon Butler return to lead the receiving corps. Tight end Andrew Quarless returns, but Mickey Shuler will likely start over him. Four starters on the offensive line return which includes two centers, A.Q. Shipley and Mike Lucian.
10. Minnesota(Starters returning: 9
The Golden Gophers are in the second year in the spread offense and quarterback Adam Weber returns to run it. Eric Decker and Tray Herndon are the returning starters at wide receiver. Duane Bennett will start at running back, but depth behind him is a big question mark because they need to run the ball to keep the worst ranked defense in the nation a year ago off the field as much as possible.
11. Michigan(Starters returning: 2
Only tackle Stephen Schilling and fullback Mark Moundros return from last year’s starting offense. Steven Street will likely start at quarterback and Nick Sheridan will back him up. Brandon Minor and Carlos Brown will have to replace the departed Mike Hart at running back. Greg Mathews and Junior Hemingway look to start at receiver in Rich Rodriguez’s spread attack that will take some getting used to.
Stud offenses: Ohio State, Illinois
Rising offense: Michigan State
Falling offense: Michigan
Overall analysis: This is a conference that is loaded with offensive talent that should see a number of points being put up, although inconsistency will be a problem for some. Ohio State has enough experience and weapons to be the top offense, while Illinois should be good with Juice Williams even though Rashard Mendenhall is gone. The other experienced offenses should be good starts in favorable matchups, but they are to be watched before you start them in tough ones. There is plenty of experience at quarterback in this league, so that gives these teams a fighting chance to put up respectable offensive numbers in 2008.”