Big Ten Football News: Badgers bloodied, more

Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell runs through a drill during fall training camp at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023.
Wisconsin Badgers head coach Luke Fickell runs through a drill during fall training camp at Camp Randall Stadium in Madison on Thursday, Aug. 10, 2023. /

The Wisconsin Badgers are dealing with some serious injuries to potential contributors. That and more in today’s Big Ten football news.

The Wisconsin Badgers have a ton of positive news flowing around them these days. There’s a ton of people who think that new head coach Luke Fickell can take the squad to the next level.

However, not everything is rosey in Madison. The Badgers are fighting off some serious injury issues that could hamper their season opener.

It appears that the Badgers could kick off their 2023 campaign without starting center Jake Renfro and starting tight end Riley Nowakowski. Fickell told reporters after Saturday’s practice that both players are dealing with foot injuries.

Wisconsin can certainly afford to miss both players for a week as they’ll open against Buffalo. However, they travel to Washington State in Week 2. The Cougars are no pushover.

Big Ten Football power still waiting for QB return

Speaking of injuries, it’s still a question whether or not Iowa will be able to open the season with its starting quarterback.

Cade McNamara suffered a non-contact injury in the Hawkeyes’ last scrimmage and now fans are wondering when he’ll be back. Head coach Kirk Ferentz is hopeful it will be next week. Though he’s not promising anything yet.

Big Ten Football champ … Michigan?

There are plenty of people who believe that the Michigan Wolverines are going to be the cream of the crop in college football this year.

Now two PFF Analysts are claiming that head coach Jim Harbaugh might win quite a bit more than just the conference. In fact, they’re claiming Big Blue might win the whole thing. That would be quite impressive considering Georgia is still looking like the team to beat in most people’s eyes.

Offensive line optimism in East Lansing

I’ve talked quite a bit about the optimism surrounding Nebraska football and its offensive line. There is also quite a bit of optimism around Michigan State and its offensive line.

Brandon Baldwin, a redshirt junior on Michigan State recently told Rivals that he feels as though the unit is quite improved over 2022.

"“It’s been nice having a ones, a twos, and threes group, we get to rotate a lot and we’re not wearing each other out like we were last year. We have depth, too, so it’s been good.”"

Big Ten football is better when Michigan State is competitive, so this will definitely be a storyline to watch this season.

Purdue takes a hit

While optimism abounds with several Big Ten football teams, it feels like things are in a bit of flux for the Purdue Boilermakers. On Friday, they lost a defensive back that was among its defensive leaders in 2022. Nebraska football fans can certainly relate to that one.

Sixth-year senior cornerback Jamari Brown entered the NCAA Transfer Portal a few days ago. Brown spent two years with the Big Ten football team, after transferring in from Kentucky. In 2022, Brown had three interceptions, which was tied for a team-high with safety Cam Allen.