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Big Ten football: Predicting the new coaches

[ 0 ] May 28, 2012 |

Urban Meyer, Ohio State

As football fans start purchasing preview magazines to digest information gathered long before the opening of August camps, let’s look at the Big Ten Conference in another way.

Occasionally, we’ll conduct polls, where fans – either from their own research or from magazines – can vote on aspects of the 2012 season.

Some of the polls will be Big Ten-specific, while others will directly relate to Iowa.

We’re starting with coaches, considering the Big Ten welcomes three newcomers to their schools in the fall, only one of whom faces the Hawkeyes.

That’s Bill O’Brien at Penn State, whose Nittany Lions play at Iowa City on Oct. 20.

The others new guys on the Big Ten block are Urban Meyer at Ohio State and Tim Beckman at Illinois. The Buckeyes join the Hawkeyes’ schedule for two seasons starting in 2013, while the Illini don’t show up until 2015.

  Meyer inherits 14 starters – seven on each side of the ball. The veterans include quarterback Braxton Miller, who seems a perfect fit for new OC Tom Herman’s spread attack. Herman came to the Buckeyes from Iowa State.

The tough part will be player motivation, considering Ohio State isn’t eligible for the postseason, due to NCAA infractions.

Speaking of scandals — that’s the gorilla hanging over O’Brien’s program, too.

The former New England Patriots OC’s biggest on-the-field task will be improving an offense that was horrible last season – at least from Penn State standards. Furthermore, all quarterbacks from 2012 return, and only time will tell if that’s a positive.                                

What should be a solid defense will be tested against the likes of Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin.

Beckman has 14 starters returning at Illinois – seven and seven – and this includes quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, a better runner than passer.

That fits Beckman’s spread philosophy, an offense he used with success while coaching at Toledo.

The defense should be good – just more than half returns from a unit that ranked in the top 10 nationally in yards allowed.

Here’s who the three newcomers face in 2012:

ILLINOIS

Sept. 1 Western Michigan

Sept. 8 at Arizona State

Sept. 15 Charleston Southern

Sept. 22 Louisiana Tech

Sept. 29 Penn State

Oct. 6 at Wisconsin

Oct. 13 at Michigan

Oct. 27 Indiana

Nov. 3 at Ohio State

Nov. 10 Minnesota

Nov. 17 Purdue

Nov. 24 at Northwestern

 

OHIO STATE
Sept. 1 Miami Ohio

Sept. 8 Central Florida

Sept. 15 California

Sept. 22 Alabama-Birmingham

Sept. 29 at Michigan State

Oct. 6 Nebraska

Oct. 13 at Indiana

Oct. 20 Purdue

Oct. 27 at Penn State

Nov. 3 Illinois

Nov. 17 at Wisconsin

Nov. 24 Michigan

 

PENN STATE

Sept. 1 Ohio

Sept. 8 at Virginia

Sept. 15 Navy

Sept. 22 Temple

Sept. 29 at Illinois

Oct. 6 Northwestern

Oct. 20 at Iowa

Oct. 27 Ohio State

Nov. 3 at Purdue

Nov. 10 at Nebraska

Nov. 17 Indiana

Nov. 24 Wisconsin

**

So now the question:

 

 

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Category: Iowa Hawkeyes Football

About Randy Peterson: Randy Peterson covers college football, college basketball and the Iowa Cubs for the Des Moines Register. Randy can be reached at randypeterson@dmreg.com or on Twitter via @RandyPete View author profile.

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