The first week of the season is here! Optimism runs high across the nation, as bowl dreams dance in the minds of fans and coaches from across the Big Ten.
The BTN crew spent almost three weeks on the road travelling over 3,000 miles on visits to every Big Ten training camp. We saw a lot of football, talked to a lot of coaches and ate a lot of bananas and beef jerky on our super-deluxe tour bus that was tricked out with two color TVs, two fridges and Wi-Fi that sometimes worked and sometimes didn’t work. Two cases of Red Bull and a box of Twizzlers later, I put a punctuation mark on the 2012 BTN bus tour with a fun look at our circuitous journey from Lincoln to State College—and points in between.
Fitz Toussaint is listed first at running back on a Michigan depth chart released this morning. But he has yet to be cleared to play.
Our annual summer journey across the Big Ten is over, and what a trip it was. From Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa., we saw all 12 Big Ten teams practice and had a chance to catch up with all the coaches and players. Read our tour coverage here and watch the video here.
The final stop on our annual summer football tour was Thursday, and we spent the day in Ann Arbor, Mich., checking out Brady Hoke’s talented Michigan team. I had many observations from the practice, none bigger than Denard Robinson looked more comfortable than ever under center. He’s such a dangerously quick athlete who can legitimately score any time he touches the ball. His skills were on full display today. But more importantly, Robinson looked better as a passer—when he was able to set his feet, which always is key for him.
We’re down to the final stop of the annual BTN summer football tour. Today, we’re taking in Michigan practice, and then we’re headed back home. It’s been an incredible trip across the Big Ten footprint, and it’s been great to see all the teams, all the coaches and all the campuses. Read all my tour coverage here and check out Thursday’s web links in this post.
The BTN Football Tour took us to Michigan State practice on Wednesday, and I watched for a number of things. First, quarterback Andrew Maxwell is looking good as he threw the ball well today. Maxwell also showed nice touch on his passes. And his arm looked good on passes down the sideline and on posts.
The BTN bus is heading south from East Lansing to Ann Arbor for the 12th and final stop on our grand tour of every Big Ten training camp. Watch the Michigan Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Friday on BTN/BTN2Go.
Two stops remain on BTN’s annual summer bus tour. Today, we’re at Michigan State, the reigning Legends Division champ, and then we head to instate rival Michigan before heading back to Chicago. It’s been a fun journey across the Big Ten landscape. Read all my tour coverage here and check out Wednesday’s web links in this post.
The BTN bus heads back west, trekking toward East Lansing, Mich., where on Wednesday we will check out a white-hot Michigan State program that has won 11 games in each of the last two seasons. Watch the Michigan State Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Thursday.
I didn’t really know what to expect at Penn State practice today, but I came away with the spirit and energy. And the team has some talent.
Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. During the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We saw Ohio State practice Saturday (recap), and excited Buckeye fans sent me their questions. Read all of my answers to your latest Big Ten questions in this post. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). We’re at Penn State practice Monday (preview).
The BTN bus is chugging to Penn State with Columbus, Ohio, in our rear-view mirror. I’m not sure what to expect when we watch Bill O’Brien’s Nittany Lions practice on Monday.
There were many things to watch at Ohio State today in what was as physical a practice as I have seen on our trip. The practice-ending scrimmage had the intensity of a game and featured a lot of hitting. I spent a lot of my attention focused on an offense since in 2011 Ohio State had the worst passing numbers in the Big Ten. Now, Urban Meyer has installed a spread scheme for a team that opened at No. 18 in the AP poll on Saturday.
Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase moves well, which he showed today in practice. He always has had good feet and is one of the more athletic signal-callers in the Big Ten. He also threw the short pass well, which is key in this spread offense that is predicated on quick decisions and intermediate toss.
The BTN bus heads west to Columbus, Ohio, to check in on Urban Meyer and Ohio State. Yes, the head coach gets billed over the school in this instance, as Meyer was the biggest coaching hire in the offseason. It will be fun to watch the swagger he brings to the field.
I’m still on the road with the Big Ten Football Preview Tour, and we’ll be taking in Illinois practice today. At 10 p.m. ET tonight, catch our Indiana Preview Show. Read all my coverage from the tour here. I’m also providing updates and photos via Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my colleagues @BTNDaveRevsine, @GerryDiNardo, and @HowardGriffith, too. Now, let’s get to my Friday links.
The BTN bus heads to beautiful Champaign, Ill., next to watch Tim Beckman’s first edition of the Illini. Check out the Illinois Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN/BTN2Go.
I’m still on the road with the Big Ten Football Preview Tour and we’re in Indiana today. Tonight at 10 p.m. ET you can catch our preview show on Purdue. This tour is keeping me busy as I preview each stop and recap each practice – it’s all over here. I’m also providing updates and photos via Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my colleagues @BTNDaveRevsine, @GerryDiNardo, and @HowardGriffith, too. Now, let’s get to my Thursday links.
There was a lot to watch at Purdue’s practice Wednesdat as Danny Hope prepares his fourth Boilermaker squad. It was a warm, sunny day in West Lafayette, testing everyone’s resolve.
The BTN bus heads south from West Lafayette to the rolling hills of bucolic Bloomington in beautiful southern Indiana to check out Kevin Wilson’s 2012 Hoosiers. Watch the Indiana Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Friday on BTN/BTN2Go.
Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. During the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions from stops along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We see Purdue practice Wednesday, and excited Boiler fans already sent me their questions. Read all of my answers to your latest Big Ten questions in this post. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart).
The BTN tour continues Wednesday, with the tour bus stopping in West Lafayette, Ind., to take in Purdue practice. On Tuesday, we watched Northwestern in Kenosha, Wis., and here are my thoughts from that practice. Don’t forget about the Northwestern Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Wednesday. Until then, enjoy Wednesday’s Big Ten web links.
The BTN bus heads south down I-65 toward West Lafayette, Ind., to watch Purdue practice Wednesday. Check out the Purdue Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Thursday on BTN/BTN2Go.
There was lots to watch today at Camp Kenosha, as Northwestern looks to answer some big questions on defense while searching for a running back, SuperBack and developing quarterback Kain Colter as a passer. One thing that stood out was how the speed and athletic ability of this roster has improved. Offensive coordinator Mick McCall told me the team has more speed than it ever has since he arrived in Evanston six seasons ago. And, he is correct. This is a Wildcat team that has some ability and can run.