UNDATED (AP) — The power structure in the Big Ten could be in for a shakeup this season. Jim Harbaugh enters his fifth year at Michigan overdue for a breakthrough. Two-time defending conference champion Ohio State is transitioning from Urban Meyer to Ryan Day and replacing a first-round NFL draft pick at quarterback. Momentum Nebraska built the second half of last season could carry over heading into Scott Frost's second year. A favorable schedule makes the Cornhuskers a trendy pick for the Big Ten title game.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Ohio State has a new head coach and new starting quarterback but the same lofty expectations. Ryan Day replaces the retired Urban Meyer, and Georgia transfer Justin Fields takes over from Dwayne Haskins Jr., who broke all sorts of the records and became a first-round NFL draft pick. The preseason has been all about football, much to the relief of Day. August of last year was consumed by questions about Meyer's mismanagement of domestic violence allegations against a former assistant coach.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Jim Harbaugh seems set up for success at Michigan in his fifth season. Michigan is a popular choice to win the Big Ten. The optimism is tied to quarterback Shea Patterson returning as one of eight starters on offense. The Wolverines return a handful of starters on defense and have a potentially favorable schedule. Rivalry games against Ohio State, Notre Dame and Michigan State will all be at the Big House. The season opener is Aug. 31 against Middle Tennessee State.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — Coach Jim Harbaugh is lashing out at Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell, who says Michigan didn't support a transfer's attempt to play for the Bearcats right away. Harbaugh says he told Fickell he wouldn't lie about what he knew regarding the transfer of James Hudson. The offensive lineman transferred to Cincinnati last year and NCAA denied his waiver request. Hudson says mental health prompted his transfer, but his request was denied because he did not reveal the issues at Michigan.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) — Sean Clifford always planned to be Penn State's starting quarterback. The opportunity came sooner than even he expected. Clifford has huge task in replacing Trace McSorley, but he sounds and looks the part. The Nittany Lions return just 11 seniors from last season's 9-4 team that finished third in the Big Ten East. Penn State has 55 first- or second-year players.
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — Wins in four of its last six games left Nebraska coaches and players optimistic about what lies in store in 2019. The Cornhuskers are a popular pick to win the Big Ten West. Quarterback Adrian Martinez returns and the defense expects to continue improving in year two of the 3-4 system. Nebraska also has a favorable schedule with most of its key Big Ten games at home. The Huskers open Aug. 31 at home against South Alabama.
IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) — Iowa will feature a three-year starter at quarterback in Nate Stanley, a veteran offensive line and a defense led by Big Ten sack leader A.J. Epenesa. The Hawkeyes are optimistic about the season, though the schedule is daunting. Iowa will play Iowa State, Michigan, defending division champion Northwestern and division rivals Wisconsin and Nebraska on the road.
EVANSTON, Ill. (AP) — Coming off a 9-5 season and a Big Ten West title, Northwestern is poised for another solid season. The Wildcats must find a replacement for four-year starter Clayton Thorson at quarterback. Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson, TJ Green and Aidan Smith are the main contenders. The season opener is on the road Aug. 31 against Stanford.
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