Spring practice is a busy time for all 130 college football teams, and it's no secret most of the attention in offseason workouts starts with the quarterback position. The 2017 crop of quarterbacks starts with defending Heisman Trophy winner Lamar Jackson, with Oklahoma's Baker Mayfield and USC's Sam Darnold next in line. Ohio State's J.T.
The importance of the non-conference schedule supposedly has been increased in the College Football Playoff era, and the Big Ten has instituted a new scheduling policy to give the conference-wide strength of schedule a boost.
The countdown to the 2017 college football season is already underway, as spring practices and position battles for spots on the depth chart for all 130 teams across the nation are already in progress in offseason workouts.
The Big Ten closed the gap with the SEC last year in the race to be college football’s No. 1 conference, and the league is in great shape as spring ball opens for 2017. Ohio State and Penn State should be among the nation’s frontrunners to win it all next year, while Michigan and Wisconsin will also rank in many preseason top 10 lists.
Ranking the college football and basketball head coaching tandems for the Power 5 conferences is no easy assignment. But that’s what Athlon Sports has set out to do this offseason, as spring practice is just starting around the nation for all 130 teams and tournament time is approaching for teams on the hardwood.
The Big Ten isn’t hurting for talent in its coaching ranks. The duo of Tom Izzo and Mark Dantonio ranks as the best in the conference, but Ohio State (Urban Meyer and Thad Matta) and Michigan (Jim Harbaugh and John Beilein) round out a strong top three. And the conference also features some up-and-coming duos, including Minnesota, Northwestern and Penn State.
College football’s 2016-17 coaching carousel featured 21 changes and several big-time hires. Texas (Tom Herman), Minnesota (P.J. Fleck), Oregon (Willie Taggart) and Purdue (Jeff Brohm) were just a few of the biggest winners from this year’s cycle.
Recruiting is the foundation for winning national championships, competing for CFB Playoff berths or winning at a high level in college football. While recruiting rankings aren’t 100 percent accurate, there is plenty of truth in the rankings and evaluations by the experts. It’s no secret what a program needs in order to win big at this level.