Welcome back, college football. We missed you.
With the 2016 college football season officially upon us, we come to the culmination of CSNChicago.com's outrageously comprehensive Big Ten football preview.
Take a look at some of the big-picture pieces previewing and attempting to predict what will happen in the conference this season, and go team-by-team for the biggest storylines on all 14 of the campuses throughout Big Ten Country.
Games start this week, so be sure to get your reading in now. You'll be an expert by kickoff.
Illinois Fighting Illini
Michigan State Spartans
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Ohio State Buckeyes
Penn State Nittany Lions
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Who wants it more?
We are putting High School Lites, Chicagoland’s top prep sports show, in the hands of area football fans in our “Viewers’ Choice Game of the Week.” Fans will get the chance to pick one game that the @CSNPreps crew will cover on Friday night. We will send our cameras to the game that gets the most votes; highlights of that game will appear on that night’s “High School Lites” broadcast at 11:00pm—just after White Sox baseball. The show also live streams at csnchicago.com. High School Lites will also have broadcast replays at 7:30am and 8:30am the following Saturday. This week, we head back out to “The Region,” as fans will choose between the following Northwest Indiana games:
Crown Point at Merrillville, 7 p.m.
Lake Central at Portage, 7 p.m.
Polls open Monday at noon and close Thursday at 4 p.m. Fans are encouraged to vote more than once! Vote now right here.
Be sure to follow @CSNPreps for updates on the “Viewers’ Choice Game of the week,” along with other football news, scores and highlights this season.
Rules: official votes are tabulated exclusively on Twitter and Facebook via the link above. “Re-Tweets” and “Likes” do not count. Also, the original wording of the Twitter/Facebook voting prompt (including hashtags) cannot be manipulated in any fashion. However, feel free to add emojis, numbers, etc. at the end of an official vote’s text, provided there is a space after the final hashtag. Automatically timed-interval (“bot”) votes will also not count.
It's pretty hard to project who will be the best players in the Big Ten.
But thanks to last year's success and high hopes for their teams, we can cobble together a preseason all-conference roster.
It will surely look different in December than it does right now — and hopefully we didn't come up with too glaring an omission — but here it is, your @CSNBigTen preseason All-Big Ten Team.
Quarterback: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Running back: Justin Jackson, Northwestern
Running back: Corey Clement, Wisconsin
Wide receiver: Amara Darboh, Michigan
Wide receiver: Jordan Westerkamp, Nebraska
Tight end: Jake Butt, Michigan
Offensive line: Dan Feeney, Indiana
Offensive line: Pat Elflein, Ohio State
Offensive line: Erik Magnuson, Michigan
Offensive line: Brian Allen, Michigan State
Offensive line: Billy Price, Ohio State
Defensive line: Malik McDowell, Michigan State
Defensive line: Chris Wormley, Michigan
Defensive line: Dawuane Smoot, Illinois
Defensive line: Ryan Glasgow, Michigan
Linebacker: Anthony Walker, Northwestern
Linebacker: Raekwon McMillan, Ohio State
Linebacker: Vince Biegel, Wisconsin
Linebacker: Hardy Nickerson, Illinois
Defensive back: Jourdan Lewis, Michigan
Defensive back: Desmond King, Iowa
Defensive back: Jabrill Peppers, Michigan
Defensive back: Will Likely, Maryland
Return specialist: Janarion Grant, Rutgers
Kicker: Griffin Oakes, Indiana
Punter: Cameron Johnston, Ohio State