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Big Ten Quarterback Battles: Starters and Analysis

While the apocalyptic "3 qb's" statement from RichRod threw the blogosphere into a tizzy (MGo discusses the situation here), it's been a relatively quiet offseason for the Big Ten's signalcallers. So here's a quick look at the QB positions that are still being battled over.

Wisconsin

Presumed Starter in Spring: Dustin Sherer, he of the unimpressive mechanics and loopy throwing motion, got good gametime experience in 2008 and was the expected starter for the 2009 Badgers. Questions remained whether he could fill the shoes of proven winners like Tyler Donovan or John Stocco, but the backups were young or uninspiring.

Presumed Starter NOW: Curt Phillips. The redshirt frosh has been taking the majority of snaps at practice and numerous blogs have reported that he will start. Although inexperienced, Phillips has impressed the coaches with his legs and his maturity.

What does it all mean? This job was Sherer's to lose and apparently, he may have taken steps to do just that. His throwing was unimpressive during the Spring Game and no one has really come to his defense. However, 12 days remain until the opener and no official statement has been made by Bielema. My opinion? Start Phillips. The Badgers are at their best with a mobile quarterback who doesn't lose games by himself. Sherer doesn't fit either of those criteria.

Michigan

Presumed Starter in Spring: Tate Forcier. The frosh with unimpressive mechanics was impressive in the Spring Game and has wowed everyone with his maturity...in practice. Nick Sheridan, the rock skipper whose nickname should be "Third and Long Fail," was injured and fell off the radar while incoming frosh Denard Robinson had not arrived in the Spring.

Presumed Starter NOW: Forcier. The coaching staff is making non-committal "coachspeak" comments and we should follow MGo and the rest of the Michigan blogosphere in maintaining that Forcier's talent level and time spent with the system is enough to give him the starting job.

What does it all mean? Robinson will make it on the field somehow and will break someones ankles horribly. Whether he plays quarterback or wide receiver, he'll be on the field. Sheridan should not touch the field, if only to maintain the sanity of the Michigan faithful. Unless his talent and game management ability has somehow grown exponentially over the last four months, there is no reason for him to play over Forcier.

Michigan State

Presumed Starter in Spring: None. Keith Nichol and Kirk Cousins were both figured to be 1a and 1b.

Presumed Starter NOW: Ugh. Cousins has more experience and a more accurate arm, Nichol has more raw talent. Cousins was better in the latest scrimmage, but no one will give an inch to the media and actually discuss the depth chart. The Only Colors has no ideas, Joe Rexrode of the LSJ has no ideas...you get the idea. The MSU faithful are also torn on who they would rather have leading the offense onto the field.

What does it all mean? Cousins should start. The Michigan State offense deserves more of a dropback passer like Cousins. But I've heard of worse things than having two talented quarterbacks fight for a starting job.