ESPN Lead Writer
- He joined ESPN.com in 2008.
- Graduated from Northwestern University.
Author: Toma VanHaarena
Author: Toma VanHaarena
ESPN employees(Video) Ohio State QBs, Michigan dominance, Penn State preview & Big Ten sleepers | Always College Football
- ESPN employees
- He joined ESPN in 2011
- He graduated from Central Michigan
August 24, 2023, 7:00 a.m. ET
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In recent years, the Big Ten has generally been centered in Michigan and Ohio, and 2023 could be similar.
However, there is plenty of intrigue elsewhere, including two high-profile new coaches from Wisconsin (Luke Fickell) and Nebraska (Matta Rhule'a) and reliable challengers from Penn State and Iowa. And then big changes lie ahead as USC, UCLA, Oregon and Washington join the Big Ten next season.
Adam Rittenberg and Tom Van Haaren take a look at the top conference attendees, MVP candidates, September games to watch, power rankings, conference championship picks and more.
Three transfers you should know about
Iowa QBCade'a McNamary:After helping Michigan win a Big 10 title and a 2021 CFP appearance, McNamara fell behindJ.J. McCarthy'egoand moved to Iowa, which is in dire need of a quarterback boost due to its historically inept offense. --Adama Rittenberga
edge of MichiganJosiah Stewart:Michigan maintained its strong defensive stance without an elite forward into 2022, but Stewart could have a clear need there. The undersized Rand (6ft 1,237lbs) set a season record in Coastal Carolina with 12.5 sacks in 2021 before being capped at 3.5 sacks last season. --Rittenberga
Wisconsin QBTanner Mordechaj:The SMU transfer and planned launch vehicle are one of several notable imports for the attack led by coordinator Phil Longo, a dramatic departure from Wisconsin's traditional state system. --Rittenberga
Three key positions to be filled
Ohio State Quarterback:CJ Stroud was the No. 2 pick in this year's NFL draft, leaving the Buckeyes with a huge gap to fill offense.Kyle'a McCordaIDevina Browncompeting for this starting position in 2023 –Author: Toma VanHaarena
Penn State High School:The Nittany Lions lost to Joey Porter Jr. and Ji'Ayir Brown for the NFL, but they already have some good entry points.Kalen KingHe goes back into the cornerZakee'ego Wheatley'aIKeaton Ellisamong other things, who should keep Penn State's defense stable. --Like Van hair
Quarterbacks from Wisconsin:The Badgers have a new coaching staff with a new attacking system and they lostGraham Mertzand Chase Wolf to the transfer portal. The chariots brought Mordecai,Nick EversaIBraedyna Locke'ato fill that void, with Mordechai taking the lead this season. --Like Van hair
Three first-year students who have an immediate impact
Nebraska W.RMalachiasza Colemana:The Cornhuskers need quarterbacks at the receiving position as a new staff joins the team and Coleman has a chance to make a difference. Coleman is a 6ft, 44lb receiver who will be a big target for the new quarterbackJeff Sims. --Like Van hair
WR Stanu OhioCarnell Tate:Horse chestnuts have a deep collecting chamber, e.gMarvin Harrison jr. IEmeka Egg openswas among the top recipients of the conference and the country. However, Tate was a very eager recruit and received rave reviews during the off-season. --Like Van hair
Rutgers WFamah Toure:Rutgers lost three of their best players last season and will have to look for replacements this season. Toure is a 6-4, 200-pound player and has the potential to make an impression with the Scarlet Knights. --Like Van hair
Three games not to be missed in September
State of Ohio at Notre Dame, September 23:The Buckeyes' new quarterback (McCord or Brown) gets his first major test against a Notre Dame team that beat Ohio State by 21 points last season and has an outstanding defensive tandem this seasonBenjamin MorrisonICama-Honig. --Rittenberga
Iowa, Penn, September 23:There have been some close and exciting duels in this series (No. 6-4; coming out of the gutter) and these teams seem to be the most realistic contenders for Michigan and Ohio. Both defenses are doing very well, but the Iowa offense has to deal with whiteout conditions and find opportunities to score. --Rittenberga
Nebraska, Colorado, September. 9:The spectacle is likely to surpass teams' levels as Boulder enters the Deion Sanders era and resumes rivalry with Nebraska as they struggle to find stability and success under their notable new coach Matt Rhule. --Rittenberga
Rittenberg: Ohio State WR Marvin Harrison Jr.
Harrison could prove to be the pinnacle of the Buckeyes' elite forward streak and ease the transition for Ohio State's new quarterback after recording 77 receptions for 1,263 yards and 14 touchdowns last season. Harrison had five or more receptions in all but two of his games in 2022.
Tom Van Haaren: Michigan RBBlakes Refrain
I agree that the league MVP will most likely be Harrison, but Corum will be involved. At the end of the previous season, he was injured and left the NFL to return to Michigan for another season. The running game will always be involved in this attack and Corum still has a very good offensive line to run from. In 2022, he rushed for 1,463 yards and 18 touchdowns, and there's no reason he couldn't have the same success in 2023.
In the hot seat
Adam Rittenberg: Tom Allen, Indiana (sort of)
There really are no contenders for a hot spot in the Big Ten this season. Allen would be if Indiana's recent results hadn't changed, having gone 6-18 for the past two seasons after finishing 12th in 2020. However, Indiana would still owe Allen more than $20 million if he fired him this year.
Tom Van Haaren: Allen
I agree that hot spot trainers don't really exist, including Allen. If we have to answer, I will follow him for all the reasons Adam gave. However, pondering this question gives a different perspective on the state of the Big Ten as a whole. There are many positive aspects associated with the future conference.
Adam Rittenberg: Maryland
The Terrapins may have fallen out of the Sleeper title when coach Mike Locksley announced during Big Ten media days that they were ready to compete. But Maryland has one of the few veteran quarterbacks in the league (Valuia Tagovailoa), a generally strong offense and enough talent to apply pressure, particularly to avoid Iowa and Wisconsin in crossover games.
Tom Van Haaren: Iowa
Can we consider Iowa sleepy since it's part of the western division? I call them "sleepers" because offense was so fierce last season and the Hawkeyes' expectations across the country are low. Plus quarterback Cade McNamara and a tight endEric AllFrom Michigan, that offense should at least help them become more competent, and if the defense continues as crushing as usual, the Hawkeyes could have a good season.
Adam Rittenberg: Ohio State 35, Iowa 17
I've been through a lot in Michigan and Ohio, but the Wolverines have never won three straight conference titles and the Buckeyes still have a lot of top talent. Iowa has arguably the best overall defense in the league and only needs a few fearless quarterback games to become a decent offensive player.
Tom Van Haaren: Michigan 35, Iowa 17
I tossed a coin between Michigan and Ohio State and Michigan won two out of three games. I've seen that for both teams, and Ohio State's focus on offseason competition due to two late-season losses and a desire for revenge against Michigan. But the Buckeyes are bringing in a new quarterback and Michigan is bringing back a number of starters from last season. I'm betting on the Wolverines winning their third straight Big Ten title for the first time in their history.
The 2023 Big Ten Championship Game is scheduled for Saturday, Dec. 2 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Ind. The game will be televised by FOX at 8pm ET.What channel is Big 10 football on? ›
Big Ten football games will be spread across various broadcast and cable networks including FOX, FS1, BTN, CBS and NBC. The Big Ten Football Championship Game will air on FOX.What channel will Big Ten football be on in 2023? ›
College football is nearly here, and NBC Sports and Peacock are bringing more coverage than ever for the 2023 season. This year marks the debut of NBC's Big Ten Football Package, headlined by Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock.What time and channel is the Big Ten Championship Game? ›
Michigan and Purdue have earned berths into the 12th Big Ten Football Championship Game presented by Discover at 8 p.m. (ET) Saturday at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, with the game televised live to a nationwide audience on FOX and broadcast on radio via Compass Media Networks.How many Big Ten games will be on Peacock? ›
NBC Sports' Big Ten Football package features Big Ten Saturday Night on NBC and Peacock – marking the first time ever that Big Ten Football will have a dedicated weekly primetime game on a national broadcast network. – and nine exclusive games on Peacock.Who carries Big Ten Network? ›
Satellite providers such as DIRECTV and DISH and telco providers, including AT&T U-Verse and Verizon FiOS, make every Big Ten Network football broadcast available on either the primary Big Ten Network channel or Extra Football Game Channels.What time does Big 10 Championship game start? ›
Lucas Oil Stadium will play host to the 14th annual Big Ten Football Championship Game on December 2, 2023. Kickoff is scheduled for 8PM ET as the West Division Champion will face the East Division Champion. The winner will earn the Amos Alonzo Stagg Championship Trophy.What teams are in the Big 10 tournament 2023? ›
The Big Ten will send a nation-leading eight teams to the 2023 NCAA Tournament, as Maryland, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan State, Northwestern, Penn State, and Purdue will be taking part in this year's tournament.Will Big Ten football be on Peacock 2023? ›
Peacock will also simulstream all of NBC Sports' college football games airing on the NBC broadcast network this season, including Big Ten Saturday Night – the first time ever that Big Ten Football will have a dedicated weekly primetime game on a national broadcast network – and Notre Dame Football home games.Where is the Big Ten tournament bracket 2023? ›
(March 5, 2023) – The Big Ten Conference has announced the full bracket for the 26th Big Ten Men's Basketball Tournament presented by TIAA, set to take place March 8-12 at the United Center in Chicago.