A look at the state of the conference as spring football finishes up.
The Big Ten wraps up spring practice Saturday, when the Gophers and Iowa hold their annual spring games.
Here’s a look around the conference at how things look now and how they might change by this fall:
Coach: Kirk Ferentz (15th year); 2012 record: 4-8, 2-6; bowl game: none; starters returning: offense 6/defense 8
Spring star: RB Mark Weisman. Iowa ranked 114th nationally in total offense last year, but the running game could become a strength. Weisman rushed for 815 yards last year.
Biggest concern: Iowa’s record the past four years has gotten progressively worse: 11-2, 8-5, 7-6 and 4-8, leaving fans to wonder if Ferentz has lost his touch. Second-year offensive coordinator Greg Davis is under pressure to improve that unit immediately. Now that James Vandenberg has moved on, it’s a three-way battle at quarterback.
Telling quote: “The mark we’ve left so far, if we’re being completely honest, isn’t a particularly good one. I’m not happy about it, but I’m excited we have one more opportunity to change things.” — Senior linebacker James Morris.
Schedule analysis: The Hawkeyes open at home with Northern Illinois, which made the Orange Bowl last year. After playing at Minnesota on Sept. 28, Iowa draws Michigan State, Ohio State, Northwestern and Wisconsin.
Coach: Brady Hoke (third year); 2012 record: 8-5, 6-2; bowl game: South Carolina 33, Michigan 28, (Outback); Starters returning: offense 5/defense 6
Spring star: QB Devin Gardner. With Denard Robinson gone, Gardner is ready to make the offense his own. He completed 59.5 percent of his passes last season and has several talented receivers coming back.
Biggest concern: Michigan lost two key players to torn ACL injuries this spring — linebacker Jake Ryan and backup quarterback Russell Bellomy. Fitz Touissant, their leading returning rusher, also missed the spring, recovering from a broken leg.
Telling quote: “About a baker’s dozen called me stupid. I’m not too worried, if I do the job I’m supposed to do, I won’t look stupid too much longer.” — Senior offensive tackle Taylor Lewan on delaying his entry into the NFL draft
Schedule analysis: November will tell the story with the following five games — at Michigan State, Nebraska at home, at Northwestern, at Iowa and finally Ohio State at home.
|Boston - WP: M. Ott||4||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: M. Hoffman||3|
|Cincinnati||7||Top 9th Inning|
|Chicago WSox||2||Top 6th Inning|
|Kansas City||4||Bottom 5th Inning|
|Milwaukee||7||Top 9th Inning|
|Seattle||6||Bottom 8th Inning|
|San Francisco||8:05 PM|
|LA Lakers||8:30 PM|
|San Jose||6:00 PM|
|NY Rangers||7:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||38|
|San Diego St||73|
|Utah Valley U||83|
|Colorado||37||2nd Half 15:41|
|Cal State Fullerton||35||2nd Half 15:59|
|Long Beach State||36|
|Idaho||34||2nd Half 16:24|
|Wyoming||35||2nd Half 15:45|
|Florida A&M||29||1st Half 0:29|
|Ohio||13||1st Half 14:31|
|Penn State||3||1st Half 14:39|
|Northern Colorado||10||1st Half 16:51|
|Duquesne||6||1st Half 15:05|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Oral Roberts||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St|
|Alabama A&M||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|UC Riverside||8:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||8:00 PM|
|Rhode Island||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Fresno State||8:00 PM|
|Miss State||8:25 PM|
|West Virginia||8:30 PM|
|Boise State||10:30 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|Miss Valley St||68||FINAL|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||69|
|William & Mary||65|
|Bradley||52||2nd Half 8:21|
|Montana State||14||1st Half 2:52|
|Alabama State||10||1st Half 14:09|
|Louisiana Tech||6:00 PM|
|Southern Ill||7:07 PM|
|Idaho State||7:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||8:30 PM|
Poll: How many games will the Gophers win in the Big Ten tournament?