COLUMBUS, Ohio -

This was supposed to be a year the Big Ten went airborne.

Seven of the top 10 passing quarterbacks from 2011 were back, as were nine of the 12 primary starters under center.

Blame it on injuries, on graduation losses, on hybrid signal-callers or parity, but the Big Ten isn't flying all that high.

More conference teams rank in the bottom 25 in the nation in passing than the top 50. And that won't change much once league play begins.