The Big Ten has released the prospectus for the 2010 Big Ten football season. There is a ton of great information on every Big Ten team. I always enjoy the returning starters stat. Of course there is a good breakdown of the Iowa Football (pdf) team. The composite schedule (pdf) is also cool. (The Big Ten has 13 games scheduled against MAC teams!) Here are some of the highlights:

Returning Starters

Michigan State76114
Ohio State105015
Penn State75113
Many people put too much stock into returning starters (inlcuding me, who thought Illinois was going to be good last year with all its returners, umm...yeah), but it's hard to ignore Wisconsin who returns 10 starters from the conference's top scoring offense. So it's easy to see why people are calling Wisconsin a contender for the Big Ten crown this year. Good thing Iowa gets the Badgers in Kinnick.

Some other things:
  • Minnesota only returns 2 on defense. Wow, that's not a great situation. They were already just a mediocre defense, so will have a huge up hill battle this year on that side of the ball.
  • Iowa should have the best defense in the league next year returning 8 starters. In 2009, Penn State and Ohio State were better statistically, but both teams lose a lot of talent.
  • Michigan returns a lot of starters, like Wisconsin, so you would expect improvement. It may be a tough game this year in the Big House.

Returning All-Big Ten

  • Indiana (1) - Tandon Doss (1st Team Offense)
  • Iowa (4) - Adrian Clayborn (1st Team Defense), Tyler Sash (1st Team Defense), Derrell Johnson-Koulianos (2nd Team Offense), Brett Greenwood (2nd Team Defense)
  • Michigan State (1) - Greg Jones (1st Team Defense)
  • Northwestern (1) - Stefan Demos (1st Team Special Teams)
  • Ohio State (4) - Justin Boren (1st Team Offense), Brandon Saine (2nd Team Offense), Cameron Heyward (2nd Team Defense), Ross Homan (2nd Team Defense)
  • Penn State (2) - Evan Royster (1st Team Offense), Stefen Wisniewski (1st Team Offense)
  • Purdue (3) - Keith Smith (1st Team Offense), Ryan Kerrigan (1st Team Defense), Ralph Bolden (2nd Team Offense)
  • Wisconsin (4) - Gabe Carimi (1st Team Offense), John Clay (1st Team Offense), John Moffitt (1st Team Offense), Jay Valai (2nd Team Defense)
Unsurprisingly the 3 teams with the most returning All-Big Ten players are the 3 that most are saying will compete for the Big Ten title: Ohio State, Wisconsin, and Iowa. I think Iowa has a few more guys this year that can earn all-conference honors in addition to those that did last year: Stanzi, McNutt, Reiff, Vandervelde, Klug, Ballard, Binns, Hunter, and Donahue (maybe throw in whoever starts at running back if they can stay healthy of course).

Iowa's Leading Returnees

The Hawkeyes have two of the conferences leading statical returnees. Adrian Clayborn is the leading returnee in tackles for loss. He had 20 TFLs last year totaling a loss 107 yards for opponents. Tyler Sash is the league's top returning ball hawk. He had 6 interceptions in 2009 including 3 against Iowa State. Also, interesting...Sash is just 109 interception return yards away from holding the Big Ten record (and he's averaged 175 return yards in his first 2 years). By the end of this year Sash may very well be the record holder, and if not this year almost certainly next.

A couple more of these and he'll have the record.

New Big Ten Bowl Lineup

  1. Rose Bowl (BCS) vs. Pac 10
  2. Capitol One Bowl vs. SEC
  3. Outback Bowl vs. SEC
  4. Gator Bowl vs. SEC
  5. Insight Bowl vs. Big 12
  6. Texas Bowl vs. Big 12
  7. Dallas Football Classic vs. Big 12
  8. Little Caesars Pizza Bowl vs. MAC
I like this new lineup. The Big Ten has 3 games against the SEC and 3 teams against the Big 12...arguably the 2 best conference in football right now. There is no conference playing a tougher bowl slate than this. I think the addition of the Gator Bowl is going to be really beneficial, especially because it increase Iowa's chances of playing an SEC team in Florida...which means the match up of Iowa vs. Auburn (my wife went to Auburn) is more likely...which means a trip to Florida for a bowl game is going to happen sooner or later!