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Big Ten Football: Starting QB Power Rankings Heading Into Spring

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Big Ten Football: Starting QB Power Rankings Heading Into Spring

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We've seen the Big Ten quarterback scenarios for all 14 teams heading into spring training. Now that a few schools have taken some snaps, at least a millimeter of distance has been made between one signal-caller and the others. Today, it's time to see how the conference's starters at the position stack up to one another come Daylight Saving Time.

Looking towards the final spring practices and scrimmages, if any, there shouldn't be much change around the top talent from what the early tea leaves say. However, as we head down the middle and hit rock bottom, there's plenty of room to shift players around. More importantly, some of these guys may not even make the cut the next time we shuffle the deck.

There are a handful of quarterbacks that will win out in a true quarterback competition, but one of the top three could slip down the ladder if he's not on his game.

The Big Ten East looks like the division to beat early on, but the West starts to meet up in terms of skill the as we reach the top of the totem pole. There's veteran leadership in the middle that could bounce either way as the weeks pass. Some players with remarkably high ceilings, but inexperience by the bucketful could easily climb into the top five.

Another starter near the back of the Big Ten bus could rocket himself into the top five depending on how his spring goes. Now that we can actually put names to the starters (if not in temporary title only), let's have a look at the best and the bumbling under center.

Brandon Cavanaugh is a Big 10 writer for Follow him on Twitter @eightlaces, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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14. Danny Etling

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You know what you're going to get with Etling and none of it's good.

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13. Mitch Leidner

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We now have a name for the Minnesota Golden Gophers' starter! Leidner's making decent progress early on. He still doesn't pack the punch that Philip Nelson did. Not yet, anyway.

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12. Trevor Siemian

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Siemian's a decent quarterback, but without Kain Colter to use as a decoy, he was roughed up badly last season.

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11. Tre Roberson

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At a better school, Roberson might be a sleeper. He's got the Indiana Hoosiers' starting spot on lockdown. The only question is can he improve enough to move up the list? The answer is probably not.

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10. Gary Nova

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Nova's coming off a three game timeout. He has plenty of room to rocket up the charts, but we need to see how his psyche handled the benching.

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9. Devin Gardner

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Gardner says he's the starter. Okay, let's run with that. Not only do I expect Michigan's starter to rise up the rankings, I don't expect him to be Gardner.

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8. Tommy Armstrong Jr

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It's hard to not give props to Armstrong for how he handled Taylor Martinez's injury and his massive touchdown pass to Quincy Enunwa in the 2014 Gator Bowl. He could either break into the top five or be replaced by Johnny Stanton. Hold onto your seats, Huskers.

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7. Jake Rudock

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To my surprise, Rudock's actually going to be thrown into a competition for his job. I still expect him to win out and remain in the middle of the rankings come spring ball's end.

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6. C.J. Brown

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Brown's here largely because of his experience. He's seen the most snaps of almost every gunslinger in the conference. I don't expect much more growth, but he could surprise.

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5. Joel Stave

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With some work, Stave could find himself clawing up a spot or two, but putting him comfortably inside the top five seems right for now.

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4. Christian Hackenberg

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Hackenberg's my darkhorse for busting into the top three, if not top two. I don't expect a sophomore slump from this guy in the spring or fall.

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3. Wes Lunt

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He's been a scout quarterback for a season and now he's back in the saddle. Even with rust to shake off, he's one of the Big Ten's best. He could easily trip up a bit, but ultimately I see him as a top five guy at the end of spring.

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2. Braxton Miller

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I can't help but shake the feeling that Miller's hit his ceiling. He's still one of the Big Ten's elite, but not quite at the level of...

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1. Connor Cook

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When you win the league title and the Rose Bowl, you're at the top. The scary part is that Cook's not done growing. He may be the Big Ten's best before too long.

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