Coaches Size-Up New Era in Big Ten

This year marks the beginning of new era in the Big Ten with an East and West division. Nebraska is in the West Division where they will play six other schools. Here is a preview from all the head coaches.

Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz said, "Basically, like most years, we think we have an opportunity to have a good football team. We've certainly got some good players, some real leaders that we lost last year that we've been in the process of trying to replace. It's been a process now since we've got work ahead. That will begin next week in earnest. And certainly we're looking forward to getting started."

Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald said, “We've got 18 returning starters. A quarterback in Trevor Siemian that's going to be going back to the way it was my first seven years as a head coach or six years as the head coach with knowing who our quarterback is going into fall camp. He's thrown for going on 3,500 yards and 20 touchdowns. That's more than (Dan) Persa and (Mike) Kafka had going into their senior years."

Purdue’s Darrell Hazell said, “We're in a good position right now. Obviously we hadn't -- we didn't finish as well as we'd like to last year. There's a lot of things for improvement. But I think this is the time where you rip off the rearview mirror and you take a look at what's in front of you and all the things that we need to do to be successful in this 2014 season."

Wisconsin’s Gary Andersen said, “This is a youthful team. They're exciting to watch, work. They're exciting to be around. And the youthfulness is contagious now. I think that starts even with our seniors. There's a lot of new faces that our seniors are challenging to get involved in the offense, the defense, and the special teams and be involved in our team."

Illinois’ Tim Beckman said, “We're very, very excited. The first stat we talk about with our football team is if you look at our depth chart from the end of last year, you take the two deep and you look at your offense, defense, and special teams, and that rounds-up to 50 football players. We have 40 of those guys back."

Minnesota’s Jerry Kill said, “We made some great strides last year. We did some good things. We've done some things that hadn't been done for a while. I think we kind of set the tone where in our third year where we've been before we start the turnaround process, and now we have to take it another step."

Nebraska, Iowa, and Wisconsin are the favorites to capture the West Division. The winner advances to the Big Ten conference championship game at Indianapolis on Saturday December 6th.

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