In his latest review of Big Ten football spring games, BTN.com's Tom Dienhart looks at the latest developments at Purdue. Here are five things he learned about the Boilermakers this spring.
Reports of a new Big Ten TV deal are coming out and at least one national writer says the six-year deal would make sense. Also, there are departures at Michigan State's and Iowa's football teams while another Big Ten star is testing the NBA Draft waters. Read Wednesday's Big Ten headlines digest now.
Michigan State has been one of the Big Ten’s top programs in recent years, winning 11 or more games five times in the last six seasons. But the NFL draft doesn’t reflect that success. Instead, it reinforces the notion that Mark Dantonio and his staff have few peers when it comes to developing talent to fit their system. [ MORE: Watch the Michigan State spring game at 3 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] The results are prodigious, with nine bowl trips including an appearance in the College Football Playoff last season under Dantonio, who routinely turns three-star recruits into
To put it mildly, Mike Riley’s debut didn’t go smoothly. Nebraska struggled, no doubt about it, but the squad finished 3-1 in its last four games with a bowl win vs. UCLA in an otherwise vexing 6-7 season that forever will be remembered by myriad tough losses. [ MORE: Watch replay of the Nebraska spring game on BTN2Go ] There was plenty to work on this spring, as the Huskers welcomed back lots of talent on both sides of the ball, giving the staff a nice nucleus to work with. The progression of quarterback Tommy Armstrong was key. Did he
Could former Wisconsin OT Chris McIntosh be the successor to Barry Alvarez as Badger A.D.? McIntosh is an associate A.D. now in Madison, and he’s a rising star in the athletic department. Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel notes that sources say they won’t be surprised to see McIntosh eventually succeed Alvarez. Alvarez, who turns 70 in December, is in his 12th year as athletic director and is under contract through the 2019-20 academic year. He has not talked publicly about retirement, but clearly he believes McIntosh has a bright future. *** Tough blow for Purdue during its spring game
Michigan hasn’t won the Big Ten since 2004, but the program still has churned out some top talent over the past 10 seasons. The Wolverines have had a storied reputation for producing receivers—and that bears out in the numbers, as Michigan has seen seven wideouts picked since 2006. But where are all of the quarterbacks (one)? There was a time when this program churned out signal-callers, including the likes of Brian Griese, Tom Brady, Elvis Grbac, Chad Henne and Jim Harbaugh, among others. The absence of NFL running backs also is noticeable, as just two Wolverine backs have been selected
This is a big season for James Franklin, who begins his third campaign in State College looking for a breakthrough. He slowly has built up a depleted roster. And a staff alteration that included changing both coordinators offers intrigue. How will all of this play out for a program that dropped its last four games of 2015? [ MORE: Watch replay of the Penn State spring game on BTN2Go ] You never want to read too much into a spring game, but the Nittany Lions showed many positives in their annual spring game Saturday afternoon at Beaver Stadium. Here is
USAToday is out with the Top 20 largest athletic programs in the nation. And the Big Ten is well represented with seven entries. The SEC? It has 10. Texas, Oklahoma and Florida State are the lone non-Big Ten and SEC schools in the Top 20. Here’s a look at the Big Ten teams: No. 3 Ohio State No. 4 Michigan No. 10 Penn State No. 12 Wisconsin No. 18 Minnesota No. 19 Michigan State No. 20 Iowa *** Could Mark Dantonio have his best defense yet since arriving at Michigan State? That’s a mouthful. Dantonio said recently that time will
Ohio State has a lot of holes to fill as it heads into 2016. That made Saturday’s spring game in front of spring game record 101,189 fans interesting. It actually carried some heft. [ MORE: Watch replay of the Ohio State spring game on BTN2Go ] Here are five things I learned about the Buckeyes on Saturday. 1. The secondary could be good. Three new starters are needed with Eli Apple, Tyvis Powell and Vonn Bell gone. Malik Hooker looked good, picking off a J.T. Barrett pass and racing 82 yards for a TD. Hooker also intercepted an offering from
Ohio State’s spring game always is a big deal. And Saturday’s festivities drip with more intrigue than usual, as the Buckeyes search for myriad answers as the program looks to get back on top of the Big Ten East. [ MORE: Watch the Ohio State spring game at 1:30 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN2Go ] The list of key players gone is long: CB Eli Apple; S Vonn Bell; C Jacoby Boren; DE Joey Bosa; OT Taylor Decker; RB Ezekiel Elliott; OT Chase Farris; DT Joel Hale; QB Cardale Jones; LB Darron Lee; WR Jalin Marshall; WR Braxton Miller; LB