Urban Meyer (USA Today)

What keeps Big Ten coaches up at night?

Big Ten coaches have a lot to worry about, but what's probably their biggest concern? We asked our experts.

Michigan State - "Knowing quarterback Connor Cook is now in the NFL instead of leading his team on the field." -- Dave Berk, Spartan Digest

Penn State - "The right side of the O-line: This area did not appear close to being set at the end of spring practice. Former starting left tackle Paris Palmer and redshirt sophomore Noah Beh were still splitting first-team reps at right tackle, while veterans Derek Dowrey and Brendan Mahon seemed to be the most likely candidates at right guard. Mahon missed most of the spring with an undisclosed injury, and if he made as much improvement in winter workouts as we were led to believe, he COULD be a decent starter. But that right tackle spot has trouble written all over it." -- Mark Brennan, Fight On State

Rutgers - "Mending fences. Nobody, including Chris Ash, understood how much damage was done with the arrests and downfall of Kyle Flood when it comes to relationships in New Jersey. For Ash to be successful longterm, he needs New Jersey's support, and he's off to as strong a start as possible." -- Sam Hellman, Scarlet Report

Iowa - "Depth and the wide receiver position. Iowa is a type of team that has success if they can stay healthy and their top players perform at the level they're expected to play. The depth at Iowa isn't what you might see at the powerhouse programs such as Ohio State, Michigan, Alabama, or Florida State. They have to have health and expectations met from their top group of guys. The wide receiver position is the least proven on the team so that is a concern as well. They need to find guys they can trust split out wide." -- Derek Young, Hawkeye Insider

http://www.scout.com/college/football/story/1686398-wholl-be-big-10s-breakout-players

Illinois - "Depth. The Illini have a handful of pros on their roster, but they lack quality Big Ten depth across the board, especially at running back and offensive line." -- Jeremy Werner, Illini Inquirer

Ohio State - "The loss of nine underclassmen to the NFL Draft. This is going to be Ohio State's youngest team in some time, and they'll have to grow up in a hurry with a trip to Oklahoma set for the third week of the season." -- Ryan Ginn, Buckeye Sports Bulletin

Maryland - "Senior running back Wes Brown, he of two suspensions, who has hopefully put all that behind him now." -- Keith Cavanaugh, Terrapin Times

Indiana - "On offense, who will be the starting QB? The job was still open coming out of spring ball, and it is a spot where the staff would like to name a starter sooner rather than later once fall camp starts. On defense, will they be any better? IU was not good defensively last year and so Tom Allen was brought in to be the new coordinator. He is running a new system and with change there will be some growing pains." -- Matt Weaver, Peegs

Nebraska - "Quarterback Tommy Armstrong had 16 interceptions in 2015 and it could have easily been 20. He looked his best during the Huskers' bowl game because the coaches had a great game plan to protect him from making costly mistakes. They will need to continue to do that heading into 2016." -- Josh Harvey, Big Red Report

Michigan - "I'm not entirely convinced that Jim Harbaugh ever sleeps, but if we're assuming that he tries, Michigan's quarterback battle is probably what keeps him up. As of now, there isn't much separation between John O'Korn and Wilton Speight. This position battle will be critical, as the Wolverines may be a serviceable quarterback away from competing for a Big Ten title." -- Bryan Matecun, The Michigan Insider

Wisconsin - "Who will start at the two safety spots? Paul Chryst probably feels fairly confident about his two quarterbacks, but who is going to anchor the back end of the defense is anybody's guess." -- Benjamin Worgull, Badger Nation

Minnesota - "The offensive line. Minnesota's offensive line play has been lacking for the better part of a few seasons now, and while Tracy Claeys is doing what he can to fix it (three JUCO OL in the 2016 class), the Gophers still have little interior depth right now. Claeys has to hope that the starting five can stay healthy and give Mitch Leidner time to throw, and open a hole for Shannon Brooks and Rodney Smith." -- Ryan Burns, Gopher Illustrated

Purdue - "His job security. It's no secret that Darrell Hazell is on the hot seat, and after going 6-30 through his first three seasons with Purdue, he might need to earn a bowl bid if he wants to keep his job." -- Bryan Matecun, Boiler Sports Report

Northwestern - "A scary October schedule. The Wildcats face the depressing prospect of having a better team yet a worse record than last year's 10-win squad, which avoided Michigan State and Ohio State. NU will need to start fast in September (its first four are all at home: Western Michigan, Illinois State, Duke and Nebraska) to propel them in October (@Iowa, @Michigan State, Indiana and @Ohio State)." Mike Olson, Purple Wildcats


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