1. Michigan (0-0, 0-0)
Wolverines are strong at skill positions, but not as much in the trenches.
This week: Alabama (in Dallas), Sat., 7 p.m. (ABC)
2. Michigan State (0-0, 0-0)
Spartans are strong in the trenches, but not as much at skill positions.
This week: Boise State, Fri., 7 p.m., (ESPN)
3. Nebraska (0-0, 0-0)
A consistent and clean Nebraska team — hardly a given — can win this division, and then some.
This week: Southern Miss, Sat., 2:30 p.m. (ABC/ESPN2)
4. Iowa (0-0, 0-0)
It’s been a rough offseason and fall camp for Iowa running backs; Hawkeyes are down to three.
This week: Northern Illinois (at Chicago), Sat., 2:30 p.m. (ESPNU)
5. Northwestern (0-0, 0-0)
Wildcats need drastic improvement on defense to scratch out another bowl game.
This week: at Syracuse, Sat., 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
6. Minnesota (0-0, 0-0)
Gophers will be improved in Year Two of Jerry Kill, but maybe not improved enough.
This week: at UNLV, Thurs., 10 p.m. (CBS Sports Network)
1. Wisconsin (0-0, 0-0)
Badgers have no excuses to not win this depleted division.
This week: Northern Iowa, Sat., 2:30 p.m. (BTN)
2. Purdue (0-0, 0-0)
Boilers, with 19 returning starters, have a chance to move up in division of turmoil.
This week: Eastern Kentucky, Sat., 2:30 p.m. (BTN)
3. Ohio State (0-0, 0-0)
How much of an immediate impact can Urban Meyer make on Buckeyes?
This week: Miami-Ohio, Sat., 11 a.m. (BTN)
4. Illinois (0-0, 0-0)
Four potential starters are missing from Illinois depth chart for season opener.
This week: Western Michigan, Sat., 11 a.m. (ESPNU)
5. Penn State (0-0, 0-0)
Approximately 10,000 tickets remain unsold for Nittany Lions’ home opener.
This week: Ohio, Sat., 11 a.m. (ESPN)
6. Indiana (0-0, 0-0)
Little evidence suggests Indiana will dramatically improve in Year Two of Kevin Wilson.
This week: Indiana St., Sat., 7 p.m. (BTN)
By the numbers
Years Kirk Ferentz has been Iowa’s head coach, making him the dean of Big Ten coaches. No other Big Ten coach has been on the sidelines longer than six seasons.
Starting quarterbacks who return among Big Ten teams — not including Northwestern’s Kain Colter, who started the first three games of ’11.
Game of the week
Michigan vs. Alabama, Sat., 7 p.m. (ESPN)
The game in Dallas is the marquee matchup of the first weekend of the college football season. Michigan will find out in a hurry how it’s faring up front, while defending national champion Alabama’s re-plugged defense will have a sufficient test facing Denard Robinson.