Big-10 Preview OFFL-West 2008 Season Preview Big Ten Preview The Big Ten of years past has typically been decided between Ohio State and Michigan, with other teams challenging every few years. This year may be different. With Michigan rebuilding under a new coach, and Ohio State failing again in another BCS Championship game, the traditional powerhouses look more vulnerable than they have ever been. Could this be the year in which the Big Two are unseated? Ohio State will rely on Senior leadership on both sides of the ball. The defense will succeed or fail based on the play of Senior linebackers James Laurinaitis and Marcus Freeman, and a secondary led by senior cornerback Malcolm Jenkins. On offense, junior running back and Heisman candidate Beanie Wells will be the focus of the offense, while senior quarterback Todd Boeckman will try to hold onto his job and keep freshman sensation Tyrelle Pryor off the field, for now. Coach Griffin may not have the dominant squad of past seasons, but thereÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s enough to challenge for the Big Ten title, we think. Michigan is a team in transition. With a new coach, and after suffering the transfer pains that sometimes come along with installing a new system, Coach Blitz will rely on his defense to keep the Wolverines in the hunt this year. With the top eight or nine prospects on the WolverinesÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ roster all playing on the defensive side of the ball, headlined by defensive ends Brandon Graham and Tim Jamison, the Wolverines hope to overcome their inexperience with the new offense and challenge for the title. On offense, look for freshman speedster Sam McGuffie to begin what will surely be a sterling career by leaving many a defender in his wake. We expect big things from the youngster. The best challenger on paper would have to be the Penn State Nittany Lions, who come in loaded on offense, and with one of the best defensive lines in the nation. If senior quarterback can get the ball that talented receiving corps, Penn State could put up some big numbers this year. Maybe big enough for a trip to the Rose Bowl. But our dark horse pick for the Big Ten would have to be the Michigan State Spartans, and for one reason. They have a Ringer. Javon Ringer, that is ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Å“ perhaps the most versatile and productive back in the nation makes East Lansing his home, and he just might be enough to carry the Spartans to the title. If nothing else, he will be enough to make it a fun race to watch. Coach JC may just be win his first Big Ten title if Ringer can stay healthy. Other strong challenges could be mounted by Iowa and Wisconsin, who each have spectacular running backs, Shon Greene and P.J. Hill, respectively, but these teams will likely end up somewhere near the middle of the pack, as neither seems to have enough to challenge. TheyÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ll probably make it to bowl games, but the BCS is not likely in their future.