Coach: Urban Meyer (seventh year)
2017 record: 12-2, 8-1 Big Ten
Key returnee: DE Nick Bosa
Biggest loss: QB J.T. Barrett
Spring story lines: The loss of Barrett (3,053 passing yards, 35 TDs last year) leaves a hole, but junior Joe Burrow and sophomore Dwayne Haskins both impressed in the Buckeyes’ spring game, and redshirt freshman Tate Martell is in the mix. Ohio State lost eight defensive starters from 2017, so Bosa, the Big Ten’s Defensive Lineman of the Year, will shoulder a large burden.
Coach: Jim Harbaugh (fourth year)
2017 record: 8-5, 5-4
Key returnee: LB Devin Bush
Biggest loss: DT Maurice Hurst
Spring story lines: The biggest development in Ann Arbor came after spring practice, when former Mississippi QB Shea Patterson was cleared by the NCAA to play for Michigan this fall. First, he must beat out incumbent Brandon Peters. Bad weather prohibited a spring game, but the Wolverines can rest easy with nine offensive starters and 10 defensive starters returning.
Coach: James Franklin (fifth year)
2017 record: 11-2, 7-2
Key returnee: QB Trace McSorley
Biggest loss: RB Saquon Barkley
Spring story lines: Replacing Barkley, who amassed 2,329 all-purpose yards and 23 TDs last year before being selected No. 2 overall in last week’s NFL draft, won’t be easy. Junior Miles Sanders, who averaged 6.2 yards per carry last year, will get the first shot. On defense, the Nittany Lions must replace eight starters, including their five leading tacklers from 2017.
Coach: Mark Dantonio (12th year)
2017 record: 10-3, 7-2
Key returnee: QB Brian Lewerke
Biggest loss: C Brian Allen
Spring story lines: Like Michigan, the Spartans have 19 starters returning (10 offense, nine defense), so spring ball focused on developing depth and fine-tuning. Lewerke and RB LJ Scott were solid in limited time in the spring game.
Coach: D.J. Durkin (third year)
2017 record: 4-8, 2-7
Key returnee: QB Kasim Hill
Biggest loss: WR D.J. Moore
Spring story lines: The Terrapins didn’t have their top two QBs, Hill and Tyrrell Pigrome, available for spring drills, but they should be recovered from knee injuries for fall camp. New Maryland offensive coordinator Matt Canada will find ways to get the ball to versatile back Ty Johnson.
Coach: Tom Allen (second year)
2017 record: 5-7, 2-7
Key returnee: DB Marcelino Ball
Biggest loss: WR Simmie Cobbs Jr.
Spring story lines: The Hoosiers’ quarterback situation became interesting with the addition of graduate transfer Brandon Dawkins, a former starter at Arizona. Dawkins will join the team in June and battle sophomore Peyton Ramsey and freshman Michael Penix Jr. for the job. On defense, the return of Bell from knee injury provides a boost.
Coach: Chris Ash (fourth year)
2017 record: 4-8, 3-6
Key returnee: LB Trevor Morris
Biggest loss: RB Gus Edwards
Spring story lines: Improving the play at quarterback was a goal for the Scarlet Knights, and early-enrollee freshman Artur Sitkowski appears to be the frontrunner after a solid spring game. Sitkowski is a product of IMG Academy, and he lost the starting QB job at the Bradenton, Fla., school to Gophers early-enrollee freshman Zack Annexstad last fall. Sitkowski will have to beat out incumbent Gio Rescigno for the Rutgers job.