The Big 10 ended the 2006 season with blowout losses in two of the biggest BCS bowl games. Michigan started off 2007 with a 0 – 2 record. Wisconsin didn’t look very good against the Citadel. A lot of people are down on the Big Ten right now. If the Big Ten wants to become a great conference again then they need some of their star players to step up and put themselves in the same conversation as John David Booty, Steve Slanton, Tim Tebow and the rest. Here are five of the most important players in the Big Ten.
Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin might have all been in the top ten in the polls to start the season but the Penn State Nittany Lions are and have always been the best team in the Big Ten. Penn State’s defense is dominant so they don’t need to score a ton of points but obviously they do have to score. As long as Anthony Morelli plays well this season Penn State should win the Big Ten.
There might not be anybody factoring Purdue in as a possible Big Ten contender but so far they are 3 – 0 like all the other ranked teams. Quarterback Curtis Painter has led Purdue so far. Painter leads the Big Ten in completions, completion percentage, passing yards and touchdowns. Curtis Painter has thrown 13 touchdown passes and no interceptions. If he can play like that against the other Big Ten teams then they could certainly upset a few teams.
Like Purdue, Indiana has started the season 3 – 0 also. I don’t think many people expect Indiana to beat the top teams in the Big Ten but with Kellen Lewis you never know. Kellen Lewis is another one of those multi-dimensional quarterbacks that are so popular these days. Kellen Lewis is sixth in the Big Ten in rushing, fourth in the Big Ten in passing, and second in the Big Ten in total offense.
The Michigan Wolverines have had a rough start to the 2007 season. Any time a team gets knocked on their butts it is up to their star player to give them a lift. Despite the bad start Mike Hart has rushed for 502 yards in three games. Hart is doing his best to lift the Wolverines out of their 0 – 2 start and Michigan still has a chance to win the Big Ten if Mike Hart plays well enough.
Michigan and Ohio State are always the first two teams talked about in the Big Ten but Wisconsin was getting a little love this season as well. Wisconsin got a little scare when they gave up 31 to the Citadel but PJ Hill was there to save the day. PJ Hill ran for 168 yards and 4 touchdowns bringing his season total 399 yards and 6 touchdowns. If Wisconsin’s defense plays like that again then PJ Hill will have to rack up a lot of yards for them to win.