Northwestern, Michigan State and Minnesota all finished in a bowl game, but lost. The Big Ten finished 4-3 in bowls during the 2009-10 bowl schedule. Purdue finished 4-4 in the Big Ten, but didn't get bowl eligible in 2009 under first year coach Danny Hope. Illinois finished 9Th, while Michigan dropped to the cellar with Indiana in 2009.
There is a lot of talent returning in the Big Ten Conference for the 2010 season, including experienced quarterbacks.
Lucky Seven Back Under Center: The Big Ten welcomes back seven starting quarterbacks from the 2009 season, five of which led their teams to bowl appearances. Iowa senior Ricky Stanzi and Ohio State junior Terrelle Pryor each led their squads to BCS victories last January, Stanzi in the Orange Bowl and Pryor in the Rose Bowl. Wisconsin senior Scott Tolzien led the Badgers to a victory in the Champs Sports Bowl, while Minnesota senior Adam Weber guided the Gophers to the Insight Bowl. Michigan State junior Kirk Cousins guided the Spartans' in their 31-point effort in the Alamo Bowl. Also returning in 2010 is the conference's top statistical passer, Indiana senior Ben Chappell, and Michigan sophomore Tate Forcier, the only full-time freshman starting quarterback in the Big Ten last year.
Seven starting QBs do return for the 2010 season in the Big Ten Conference. Quarterback play is often one of the key factors to success in college football. It should be another interesting season in 2010.
- Iowa senior Ricky Stanzi returned from a 2-3 game injury for the Orange Bowl. Stanzi lead Iowa to a 24-14 win over the ACC-champion Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. Sophomore James Vandenberg started two games in relief of the injured Stanzi and provides a solid 1-2 punch for the Hawkeyes, if needed.
- Ohio State junior Terrelle Pryor returns, after leading the Buckeyes to the Big Ten championship, the fifth straight, and a 26-17 win in the Rose Bowl over the Pac Ten champion Oregon Ducks.
- Wisconsin senior Scott Tolzien lead the Badgers to 20-14 win over Miami-FL in the Champs Sports Bowl. The Badgers return 10 of 11 starters on offense in 2010. Sadly, projected #2 QB sophomore Curt Phillips has been lost for the 2010 season, due to a knee injury.
- Michigan State junior Kirk Cousins enters the 2010 season as the clear #1, as junior Keith Nichol has been moved the WR, after battling Cousins for the #1 job in the early part of the 2009 season.
- Minnesota senior Adam Weber returns as a three-year starter for the Golden Gophers. But, one has to wonder, if we will see more of sophomore QB MarQueis Gray or redshirt freshman Moses Alipate , after Weber's up and down junior season?
- Indiana senior Ben Chappell returns for the 2010 season to lead Hoosiers, coached by Bill Lynch, now in his fourth season. Chappel's freshman season in '07 was the last bowl appearance for Hoosier program, ending a drought, since 1993
- Michigan sophomore Tate Forcier returns, but will he stay #1 with sophomore Denard Robinson battling again for playing time at QB for the Wolverines? Could true freshman Devin Gardner emerge for coach Rich Rodriquez, who is entering his third season in Ann Arbor?
The other four schools must replace the top signal caller in 2010.
- Northwestern returns junior Dan Persa, who played in relief for departed Mike Kafka, especially the midway part of Northwestern's upset win over Iowa to end Iowa's 13 game winning streak. The Wildcats are coming off a 35-38 OT loss to Auburn in the Outback Bowl.
- Penn State has to find the replacement for two-year starter Daryll Clark, who help lead the Nittany Lions to a share of the 2008 Big Ten title. Sophomores Kevin Newsome and Matthew McGloin will battle with true freshman Paul Jones for the 2010 quarterback job in Happy Valley.
- Purdue looks for Miami-FL transfer sophomore Robert Marve to replace departed Joey Elliott to lead the Boilermakers offense in 2010.
- Illinois will have to replace four-year starter departed Juice Williams at quarterback and former backup senior Eddie McGee has moved to receiver for the Fighting Illini. Look for redshirt freshman Nathan Scheelhaase, son of former Iowa defensive back Nate Creer, to get the first opportunity. Scheelhaase will be backed up by sophomore Jacob Charest.
The 2010 College Football season will kicks off on Thursday September 2, 2010 with three Big Ten programs (Ohio State, Indiana and Minnesota) playing.