Spring practice is officially in the books. With that in mind, we're breaking out the ye olde roundtable a couple of times to look back on key developments that happened in the spring.
The day's second roundtable discussion: Which Big Ten team exited the spring with the most lingering questions?
Brian Bennett: Maryland
I'm not suggesting the Terrapins had a bad spring, by any means. Coach Randy Edsall has upgraded the talent level in College Park, and several players stood out this spring, including receiver Marcus Leak and middle linebacker Jermaine Carter Jr. It's just that few teams had so many questions to answer to begin with than Maryland.
The Terps lost almost all of their defensive front from last season, fired their defensive coordinator, switched from a 3-4 scheme back to a 4-3, saw star wide receiver Stefon Diggs bolt to the NFL, began life without a quarterback (C.J. Brown) who'd run the show seemingly since the Clinton administration and began rebuilding their offensive line. Whew. And to top it all off, their projected starting quarterback this year, Caleb Rowe, did not participate in spring drills while rehabbing a knee injury.
Can Rowe give Maryland a more consistent presence under center? Will an underachieving running game improve? Can the offensive line match up with the Big Ten's best, especially after an injury to promising youngster Derwin Gray? Will the defensive overhaul help erase the lapses that plagued last year's team? Maybe Edsall has all the answers. But that's an awful lot of questions, even for this time of year.
Mitch Sherman: Michigan
Coach Jim Harbaugh brought a truckload of excitement to Michigan, not to mention daily enthusiasm unknown to mankind, but even Harbaugh couldn't answer the biggest question before the Wolverines in his first spring: Who's going to play quarterback? Shane Morris exited the spring in front of true freshman Alex Malzone, but this decision is far from settled. In fact, the man considered by many as the favorite to start at QB when Michigan visits Utah on Sept. 3, Iowa transfer Jake Rudock, has yet to participate in a workout with the Wolverines.
The entire starting offensive line returns, a group that showed marginal improvement in 2014 over the disastrous prior season, but much work remains to make this a Michigan-worthy front five. If the quarterback gets time to throw, who's going to catch the ball? Jake Butt offers skill and experience at tight end, but the Wolverines are untested at receiver, and need Amara Darboh to step into a featured role. At running back, Michigan has big bodies in Derrick Green, De'Veon Smith and USC transfer Ty Isaac, but the wait continues for a clear picture of how to divide playing time.
Defensively, coordinator D.J. Durkin's group made progress in the spring, even as questions remain in the attempt to replace both starting defensive ends and middle linebacker Jake Ryan.
Josh Moyer: Purdue
Maryland and Michigan are both fine picks, but I'm going with a team that seems determined to wind up on this list every year: Purdue. Coach Darrell Hazell won't name a starting quarterback until August, wideout is uncertain with Danny Anthrop still recovering from a torn ACL and there's no telling which running back -- Keyante Green or D.J. Knox -- will wind up with more carries this season. And those are just the unanswered questions at the skill positions. The defense isn't exactly immune, either, seeing as it ranked No. 97 last season in scoring defense (31.7 PPG).
So, while the Terps and Wolverines still have a lot to answer, I'm definitely sticking with the Boilermakers and the numerous question marks that accompany the B1G's perennial last-place team.