Returning starters in the Big Ten

August, 5, 2009
8/05/09
2:00
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Returning starters isn't the be all and end all of football statistics.

Doak Walker Award winner Shonn Greene wasn't a returning starter for Iowa last year. Neither were Aaron Maybin or Daryll Clark, both of whom earned first team All-Big Ten honors for Penn State.

But the number of returning starters for a given team often determines how well that team performs. The returning starters stat unquestionably shapes preseason perception of teams and the numerous rankings of teams and positions. 

The official list of returning starters in the Big Ten this season features 19 all-conference honorees, including seven first-teamers.

Here's the official breakdown:

Big Ten returning starters
Team Offense Defense Special teams Total
Illinois 8 6 2 16
Indiana 6 9 1 16
Iowa 6 8 2 16
Michigan 10 5 1 16
Michigan State 7 8 2 17
Minnesota 10 8 0 18
Northwestern 5 8 1 14
Ohio State 5 7 0 12
Penn State 5 4 1 10
Purdue 4 7 2 13
Wisconsin 6 5 2 13
Average 6.5 6.8 1.3 14.6

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