- Brian Bennett, ESPN Staff Writer
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Quarterbacks, no matter who they are or what their situation is, always face pressure.
It's the most visible and vital position on a football team, and fans are quick to judge every decision or call for the backup. They don't call it Monday Morning Left Guard, after all.
Pressure can come in different varieties, however. In the Big Ten this year, some quarterbacks have more riding on their performances than others. Who's got the most pressure on them this year? Here are a few candidates:
Andrew Maxwell, Michigan State: Maxwell has to replace three-year starter Kirk Cousins, and he's on a team that has a loaded defense capable of being elite. If the Spartans lose a couple of games early because the offense is not performing, Maxwell could hear his share of criticism.
Denard Robinson, Michigan: Robinson is the face of the Wolverines, if not the entire league. He has made fans expect miracles from him. He'll need to cut down on his interceptions and become a more accurate passer this season. Robinson's play could dictate whether Michigan finally wins another Big Ten title.
Taylor Martinez, Nebraska: Huskers fans seem to have a little bit of a love/hate relationship with Martinez. He has struggled with consistency but put in a lot of hard work this offseason to improve his passing mechanics and footwork. Martinez boldly talked about aiming for a national title this season. Bull's-eye, meet back.
Danny O'Brien, Wisconsin: First, the Maryland transfer has to actually win the starting job. Then he'll have to face inevitable comparisons to another ACC transfer, Russell Wilson. That's not exactly fair since Wilson had a historic season in Madison in 2011. And with the probation at Ohio State and Penn State, anything less than a Leaders Division title will be viewed as a failure for the Badgers.
Matt McGloin, Penn State: McGloin wanted to have the Lions' starting quarterback job all to himself. Well, he got it. Now he'll have to lead an offense missing Silas Redd or any accomplished receivers, and with fan favorite Paul Jones breathing down his neck. He'll have to be more accurate in Bill O'Brien's system, and with no bowl game to play for, you have to wonder if the coaching staff will start playing for the future at some point.
Which QB do you think has the most pressure on him this fall? Vote in our poll now and send me your thoughts here.
20hBrian Bennett and Austin Ward