First-year head coaches
The Big Ten football’s west division is going to be defined in part by first-year head coaches in 2023 since Nebraska (Matt Rhule), Wisconsin (Luke Fickell), and Ryan Walters.
Each program is undergoing a pretty big chance. Nebraska finally moved on from Scott Frost and Matt Rhule is looking to re-establish a tough brand of Nebraska football. We’ll see if it works, but he’s brought in close to 40 new scholarship players.
Wisconsin is also going from a power-run game to a more wide-open passing attack with Phil Longo as the offensive coordinator, as well as Tanner Mordecai, coming over at quarterback from SMU.
Purdue has a new head coach too in former Illinois defensive coordinator Ryan Walters. He doesn’t get talked about as much but the Boilermakers won the Big Ten West last season.
Jeff Brohm left for Louisville and it’s hard to blame him with his ties there. Yet, it might not have been a bad time for a transition with Aidan O’Connell graduating.
All three teams will be starting spring ball later this month and it will be interesting to get a glimpse of what each Big Ten football team looks like under a new head coach.