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Wednesday, January 26, 2011
Big Ten returning starters for 2011

By ESPN.com staff
ESPN.com

Thanks to Phil Steele for saving me from an exercise in my weakest academic subject: math.

Steele has crunched the numbers and listed the returning starters for every FBS team in 2011, including the 12 squads from the Big Ten. Michigan is among the national leaders in returning starters, while Iowa, Wisconsin and Nebraska have quite a few gaps to fill.

Here's the rundown:

Michigan: 20 returning starters (9 offense*, 9 defense, 2 special teams)
Purdue: 18 returning starters (7 offense*, 9 defense, 2 special teams)
Northwestern: 17 returning starters (9 offense*, 7 defense, 1 special teams)
Penn State: 16 returning starters (7 offense*, 8 defense, 1 special teams)
Indiana: 15 returning starters (6 offense, 7 defense, 2 special teams)
Minnesota: 15 returning starters (5 offense, 9 defense, 1 special teams)
Illinois: 13 returning starters (6 offense*, 6 defense, 1 special teams)
Michigan State: 13 returning starters (6 offense*, 6 defense, 1 special teams)
Ohio State: 13 returning starters (8 offense*, 4 defense, 1 special teams)
Nebraska: 12 returning starters (5 offense*, 7 defense, 0 special teams)
Wisconsin: 12 returning starters (4 offense, 6 defense, 2 special teams)
Iowa: 10 returning starters (5 offense, 4 defense, 1 special teams)

*-includes starting quarterback

Michigan ranked second nationally in most returning starters behind only Vanderbilt (21). Iowa tied for the second fewest number of returning starters. Only national champion Auburn (7) brings back fewer starters than the Hawkeyes, TCU and Hawaii.