The Big Ten has wrapped up the spring and is squarely heading into the summer. Training camp looms down the road, but, for now, we are heading into the lean months of football.

That hasn’t stopped the questions surrounding the B1G with an eye toward the 2024 season and the introduction of Oregon, UCLA, USC and Washington. Like most seasons, a lot of questions revolve around the quarterback rooms throughout the conference.

While teams like Oregon and Ohio State have their own questions at the position, there is less worry about how those teams will look this fall. That’s because the talent level at QB remains elite, regardless of which player Dan Lanning or Ryan Day rolls out to take the first snaps of the season.

That is not the case for other teams in the B1G. With a mix of youth and changing of the guard going on, here are 4 key QB situations and some of the questions involved that will shape the discussion once we hit training camp.

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Michigan — Will the QB situation hold back an elite defense?

Michigan has plenty of good vibes coming off a national title in 2023. However, the Wolverines have a major question mark dominating the offseason, and it’s not even the fact Sherrone Moore is entering his first season as a head coach to replace Jim Harbaugh.

The question revolves around the fact JJ McCarthy departs the program after an unprecedented 2-year run under center. He leaves behind arguably the biggest question mark in his wake after guiding the Wolverines to a 15-0 record last season.

As for McCarthy’s successor, Alex Orji and Davis Warren both provided some highlights in the spring game, but neither emerges from the spring as the clear-cut No. 1 option. And finding the right piece is paramount in Ann Arbor because of what exists on the other side of the ball.

It is true Michigan lost a lot of talent to the NFL with 13 players selected in the 2024 NFL Draft. However, the defense returns plenty of firepower to dominate once again.

A defensive line anchored by Mason Graham and Kenneth Grant likely includes a top-10 pick and could produce another 1st-rounder. Will Johnson on the backend looks like CB1 for the 2025 NFL Draft, and the rest of the unit has enough experience to make the starting defense one of the best in the country yet again.

Repeating as a national champion is always tough to do, and it is unlikely the Wolverines go back-to-back. But, if it’s the QB position that dooms a team with an elite defense, Michigan will look back on 2024 with plenty of regrets.

Michigan State — Can Aidan Chiles deliver star performances early on?

Jonathan Smith has moved to Michigan State from Oregon State, a key move to the Midwest for a traditional West Coast player and coach. In the process, Smith brought most of his coaching staff (including the key pieces of the offensive staff) and a number of former Beavers.

Aidan Chiles was included in that group, and the expectations of the former 4-star QB are only rising in East Lansing. He has shined throughout the spring and is primed for his first year as a starter.

The good news for the Spartans is Chiles’ experience as a true freshman. In 9 appearances as Oregon State’s backup, Chiles completed 68.6% of his passes with 4 touchdowns and no interceptions.

Provided he stays healthy, Chiles should solidify an MSU offense that utilized 4 QBs and averaged just 15.9 points per game in 2023. (That scoring margin ranked 131st out of 133 total teams.) The only question is how quickly Chiles can develop into a star within the B1G.

If he starts to light it up early, the Spartans will have a chance to quietly pull off a few upsets in Smith’s first season.

Nebraska — Is Dylan Raiola an immediate solution as a freshman?

Fans of Nebraska know what it’s like to have a question mark at QB. In fact, the Huskers utilized 3 question marks at the position last year while tying for the most turnovers in the nation with 31 overall.

Heading into Matt Rhule’s second season, things need to change, and Nebraska was able to land 5-star QB Dylan Raiola in the 2024 recruiting class. At this point, it’s unclear if he will be the starting QB in Week 1 but it remains likely he will be the guy.

If Raiola is starting, he will have to learn on the fly as a true freshman, but the performance of Nebraska QBs a season ago presents a low bar to clear in order to be an upgrade.

Instead of focusing on the expectations attached to being a 5-star recruit, all Raiola needs to do in order to present a solution for the Huskers is control the ball. If he does that, Nebraska will have a quick answer to the QB dilemma this fall.

Rutgers — Is Athan Kaliakmanis a true upgrade to Gavin Wimsatt?

Rutgers is in an interesting spot after reaching a bowl game and finishing with a winning record for the first time since 2014 a season ago. Gavin Wimsatt was the sole starter last season, but the Scarlet Knights still made the decision to add Athan Kaliakmanis via the transfer portal from Minnesota.

That QB race has already been determined with reports Kaliakmanis has won the job preceding Wimsatt’s transfer out of Rutgers. There’s no denying Wimsatt struggling passing the ball, and Kaliakmanis has past experience working with OC Kirk Ciarrocca.

However, it will take some time to find out if Kaliakmanis is indeed an upgrade to Wimsatt, and that will likely determine whether or not Rutgers gets back to a bowl game.

Kaliakmanis finished the 2023 season as Minnesota’s sole starter but completed just 53% of his passes for 1,838 yards and 14 touchdowns to 9 interceptions. While he is a bit more efficient as a passer than Wimsatt, Kaliakmanis does not possess the game-changing running ability that Wimsatt does.

Meanwhile, Kaliakmanis’ overall efficiency still struggles at times. He had 5 games with a completion percentage of 50% or worse last season, and twice he completed less than 40% of his passes.

The good news is both Minnesota and Rutgers want to run the ball effectively to get the offense rolling, but Kaliakmanis will still be asked to hit his passes when called upon. And if he can do that at a slightly better clip than Wimsatt, Rutgers will take another step forward under Greg Schiano.

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