The Big Ten is an ever-changing league. In 2011, it added Nebraska as its twelfth member and created divisions for football entitled "Leaders" and "Legends." Last offseason brought two more program additions, Maryland and Rutgers, along with newly-aligned divisions and names which helped make it one of the strongest conferences in the nation. The Ohio State Buckeyes capped off a stellar 2014-15 campaign with a national championship over Oregon. And while there weren't any more teams being added to the Big Ten this past offseason, the conference's landscape changed plenty. Here's a recap of everything that has transpired to get you caught up and ready for the upcoming college football season.
Big Ten East Division
Additions: He was on the team last year, but quarterback Nate Sudfeld missed most of the season with a shoulder injury. He has thrown 34 touchdown passes in 25 games under center for Indiana and will be a key returning player. Also, due to the disbandment of the UAB football program, former players were allowed to transfer and become immediately eligible to play anywhere. Two of them chose to join the Hoosiers: running back Jordan Howard and wide receiver Marqui Hawkins.
Losses: The Hoosiers lost their stud back Tevin Coleman to the NFL along with starting wideout Shane Wynn and starting defensive lineman Bobby Richardson.
Additions: Right tackle Derwin Gray, a 315-pound four-star recruit, suffered a shoulder injury that forced him to redshirt last year as a freshman. But now he's back and will be ready to make Maryland's offensive line bigger and better. They also added Oklahoma State transfer QB Daxx Garman.
Losses: The Terps lost quarterback C.J. Brown, who scored a school-record 57 career touchdowns, and defensive end Andre Monroe, last season's leader in sacks, to graduation. Additionally, star wide receiver Stefon Diggs headed to the NFL.
Additions: In case you've been living under a rock for the past six months, or tuned out of the Illinois-Michigan basketball game after the first half last December, the Maize and Blue hired Jim Harbaugh as their new head coach. With Harbaugh came new offensive coordinator Tim Drevno from USC and new defensive coordinator D.J. Durkin from Florida.
Losses: Wide receiver Devin Funchess chose to forego his senior campaign for the NFL Draft along with linebacker Jake Ryan. Defensive end Frank Clark, Michigan's top edge rusher, was kicked off the team late last season and will obviously not be back.
Michigan State Spartans
Additions: This is a veteran team with a roster chock-full of upperclassmen, so there aren't too many important additions to note. Incoming freshman LJ Scott will compete for the starting tailback job in a deep backfield for the Spartans.
Losses: State lost a lot of talent to the NFL this offseason, including Big Ten Defensive Back of the Year Kurtis Drummond, cornerback Trae Waynes, and wideout Tony Lippett. And defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi is now the head coach at Pittsburgh so two secondary coaches were promoted to share the defensive playcalling duties.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Additions: Unless you're a Cincinnati Moeller lacrosse fan, you've probably never heard of Sam Hubbard. But the former lacrosse star and redshirt freshman will be making some noise on the Buckeyes' defensive line this season standing at 6'5" and 265 pounds. Other than that, the national champions didn't need to do too much reloading.
Losses: The biggest loss for Ohio State was offensive coordinator Tom Herman getting hired away to be the head coach at Houston, but they quickly replaced him with Tim Beck (not to be confused with the slightly-more-masculine Tim Beckman).
Penn State Nittany Lions
Additions: DeAndre Thompkins, a redshirt freshman receiver, has been getting rave reviews out of spring camp. He could prove to be a valuable commodity for a Penn State offense that will be run by veteran quarterback Christian Hackenberg.
Losses: No coaching moves to speak of for the Nittany Lions, but they did lose linebacker Mike Hull (who led the Big Ten with 140 tackles) and offensive lineman Donovan Smith to the NFL.
Rutgers Scarlet Knights
Additions: Redshirt sophomore Hayden Rettig, who transferred from LSU, will compete for the starting quarterback job. Other than that it has been a quiet offseason in Newark.
Losses: Their offensive coordinator, Ralph Friedgen, retired after last season prompting the Scarlet Knights to promote WR coach Ben McDaniels to the same position. Quarterback Gary Nova (who ranked third amongst all Big Ten quarterbacks in passing efficiency) and defensive end David Milewski both graduated.
Big Ten West Division
Illinois Fighting Illini
Additions: Offensive lineman Gabe Megginson could help a thin line up front, and running back Ke'Shawn Vaughn could contribute in a backfield that took a hit when fellow freshman Dre Brown went down with a torn ACL. Mike Phair was hired to become the co-defensive coordinator along with Tim Banks.
Losses: The Illini return a lot of starters which will play into Beckman's favor. The biggest departures were quarterback Reilly O'Toole and tight end Jon Davis. Both played a sizable factor in Cubit's offense last year, especially after Wes Lunt went down due to injury. Punter Justin DuVernois was also lost to graduation.
Additions: It's a messy situation under center for Iowa right now, so freshman Tyler Wiegers could become a contributor by mid-season if someone else on the depth chart falls victim to an injury. Overall there were very few additions during the offseason in Iowa City.
Losses: 2014 Outland Trophy winner Brandon Scherff will be a big loss to the Hawkeyes' offensive line. Backup QB Jake Rudock transferred from the program but stayed in the Big Ten and went to Michigan while fullback Mark Weisman left to go to the NFL.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Additions: It was a pretty quiet spring up north. Redshirt freshman Jeff Jones should be placed in a starting wide receiver role for the Gophers, along with fellow freshman Isaiah Gentry.
Losses: Stud running back David Cobb, who set school records for carries and rushing yards, left for the NFL along with tight end Maxx Williams. Also linebacker Damien Wilson, who ranked third in the conference in tackles per game last year, graduated.
Additions: Offensive lineman Jerald Foster, despite being a freshman, could very well be on the starting o-line for Nebraska. Redshirt freshman Freedom Akinmoladun was recruited as a tight end but then moved to defensive end, a position of extreme need for the Huskers. He could bloom into a special talent as well.
Losses: Expectations are very high in Lincoln; just ask Bo Pelini. Nebraska fired Pelini following a 9-3 season and replaced him with Oregon State head coach Mike Riley. Several top prospects decommitted from the program following this news while running back Ameer Abdullah and wide receiver Kenny Bell both went to the NFL after fantastic seasons.
Additions: There aren't many new faces for the Wildcats this season but an important one is redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson. He might just win the starting job due to his mobility and arm strength and could take the Big Ten West by storm.
Losses: Ibraheim Campbell started for all four of his years in Evanston on the defensive secondary, and so did fellow linebacker Chi Chi Ariguzo. Both graduated and went to the NFL. One of last year's team captains was center Brandon Vitabile, who graduated after four solid years as the leader of the offensive line.
Additions: Darrell Hazell's squad welcomes back a stunning 18 starters if you include their kicker and punter (they're people too), so there aren't many additions to look at here. However, freshman running back Markell Jones has an opportunity to earn a starting role in the backfield.
Losses: Akeem Hunt, the team's leading rusher, now plays in the NFL. Two more Boilermakers also went pro: safety Landon Feichter and defensive end Ryan Russell, who were two of the team's leaders on that side of the ball.
Additions: Michael Deiter is a 6'5", 317-pound redshirt freshman who will play somewhere on the offensive line for the Badgers. He could be an underrated player on what will be an experienced offense.
Losses: Yet another coaching change for the Big Ten West. Wisconsin's now-former head coach Gary Andersen bolted for Oregon State after two years at the helm of the Badgers. They brought in Paul Chryst from Pittsburgh to replace him.