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As Big Ten football rises, Maryland and other programs try to keep pace
As Big Ten football rises, Maryland and other programs try to keep pace

The Big Ten Conference was not considered among college football's elite for most of last season. Its downward trend had started years before, when leagues such as the Southeastern Conference, Big 12 Conference and even the Pacific-12 Conference had raced by what was thought to be a bunch of plodders with the help of quick-scoring spread offenses and defenses more reliant on speed than power. With Michigan struggling under soon-to-be-fired coach Brady Hoke, with Penn State still feeling the effects of the penalties assessed in the aftermath of the school's sexual-abuse scandal, even teams at the top of last year's regular-season standings, such as Ohio State and Wisconsin,...

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