You have questions. And, of course, I have answers. It’s time for my latest Big Ten Mailbag and my readers brought some solid questions this week. What’s on your mind? Football, naturally. In this week’s edition, I’m asked if Michigan State can continue its dominance over instate rival Michigan and if a Big Ten city could bid for the national championship game? See all of my answers to your questions in this post. And, as always, thanks for all of the questions!
It’s Friday … it’s late July … but the Big Ten football news never sleeps.
Brady Hoke’s debut couldn’t have gone much better last season. The moribund three-year Rich Rodriguez tenure saw Michigan go 15-22 (6-18 Big Ten) and left many disappointed. The program hit historic low points in many respects, as the Wolverines fell from the Big Ten elite. But Hoke changed all of that quickly with an 11-2 season that was capped by a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was the face of Michigan State’s 11-3 season in 2011 that concluded with a win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl. But make no mistake about it: defense was the Spartans’ calling card. Credit coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who is one of the hottest assistants in the nation. Michigan State had the No. 1 defense in the Big Ten—and No. 6 in the nation–last season (277.4 ypg). The unit also led the conference in rushing defense (100.5 ypg), interceptions (18) and third-down defense (.337).
Kirk Ferentz knows what it’s like to be the best. He had his Iowa program among the Big Ten’s best from 2002-04, when the Hawkeyes went an aggregate 31-7 with two Big Ten titles. But since then, Iowa has just one double-digit victory season (2009). With that, I present 10 reasons for Iowa fans to be excited about the 2012 season playing in an uber-tough Legends Division. Earlier, I offered up 10 reasons why Illinois and Indiana fans should be excited.
Now that the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to put the kibosh on its scheduling plan across all sports, the Big Ten has a decision to make when it comes to future football schedules. Will the conference remain at eight conference games, or will it move to nine? Prior to the previous announcement with the Pac-12, it looked like the Big Ten was entertaining the latter.
In my ongoing summertime look at our 12 Big Ten football teams (see my football schedule analysis here, my latest one-on-one interviews here, and all sorts of fun rankings here), I am presenting my ways to to fuel enthusiasm about football on each campus. I served up 10 reasons why Illini fans should be excited about football in 2012 on Monday. Now it’s time to get Hoosiers fans fired up.
What are people talking about in Big Ten football circles on this hot, hazy Tuesday across Big Ten country?
Indiana assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator Doug Mallory knows a good defense can be built at Indiana.
This is the best time of the year. This is the time of year when every team has a shot to win the Big Ten. The possibilities seem limitless, right? The games have yet to begin—heck, practices haven’t started—but great expectations loom from Minneapolis to Bloomington, and from Lincoln to State College. As a way to fuel the aforementioned enthusiasm on each campus, I will offer 10 reasons–in no particular order–to be excited for each Big Ten school. First up: Illinois.
Start your week off right with some of the latest Big Ten football stories. I post my daily links every weekday morning, and you can see the complete archive here. Have a worthy link? Send it to me in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). Enjoy Monday’s sampling!
My ranking of all 96 2012 Big Ten football games has reached the finish line. It was a fun journey (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV), but now it’s time to take a look at the season’s top 20 games. Here’s an interesting fact: nine of the top 10 games involve a team from the state of Michigan. But which one is No. 1? Find out in this post.
You have questions, I have answers in the latest installment of my Big Ten reader mailbag. And this week, you want to discuss the bombshell developments out of the Freeh Report at Penn State in addition to some questions about the college football playoff and football schedules scheduling in the wake of the Big Ten/Pac 12 alliance dissolving. Read on and send me your thoughts and questions at the bottom of this post.
With the release of the Freeh Report and all of its damning revelations yesterday, reaction was swift and blunt.You know how I feel about the whole story. If you missed it, you can read it here. Each weekday I usually post a collection of links and tweets about stories worth a read – you can find my daily posts here. Today’s edition of my daily links focuses on Penn State. Here’s a look at how the Big Ten’s and nation’s leading pundits reacted. And, as you would suspect, it wasn’t pretty.
Joe Paterno died back in January. Today, his legacy perished. That makes me sad. And it should make you sad, too. Less than a year ago, Paterno was an American icon. He was one brick away from finishing a castle of coaching greatness as he zeroed in on the all-time win record for Division I coaching.
The numbers last year for the Nebraska offense were decent. The Cornhuskers ranked fifth in the Big Ten in total offense (379.9 ypg); third in rushing (217.2 ypg); fourth in scoring (29.2 ppg) during a 9-4 season. The number that wasn’t so pretty? Passing, as Nebraska ranked 10th in the Big Ten (162.7 ypg). Only two schools (Penn State and Minnesota with 10 apiece) threw fewer touchdown passes than the Huskers’ 13 in 2011. Coordinator Tim Beck knows that. And he knows the overall numbers can be better.
Another day, another step closer to the finale of my countdown of the top 2012 Big Ten football games. Today, I’m looking at games 21-39. And tomorrow, of course, it will 1-20. Which game will be No. 1? You’ll have to wait. Earlier this week, I did games 40-59, 60-79 and 80-96. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units.
Hungry for some Big Ten football knowledge? Scroll down to satisfy your craving, including a look at Indiana’s experience, Michigan’s defense, a key vote at Minnesota, and some dancing Big Ten mascots.
Every season, there are fresh faces that make impacts–true freshmen, redshirt freshmen, transfers from four-year schools, junior-college transfers. And often times, the newcomers seemingly come out of nowhere to make big impacts. Perfect example: Lavonte David two seasons ago. Following is a look at one newcomer from each Big Ten team who has a good chance to make a significant impact this season. Consider this your chance to learn about these guys now.
The countdown of my top 2012 Big Ten football games continues with games 40-59. That’s right, I’m ranking all the Big Ten games for this upcoming season. Yesterday, I did games 60-79, and the day before it was 80-96. I’ll continue to work my way to the top games each of the next two days. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.
All the Big Ten football news that’s fit to link to is below. You are welcome.
Wisconsin offensive coordinator Matt Canada realizes the situation he’s stepping into in Madison. He’s taking over an attack that ranked No. 1 in the Big Ten in total offense (469.9 ypg), No. 1 in rushing (235.6 ypg) and No. 1 in scoring (44.1 ppg) last season under former coordinator Paul Chryst, who left to become head coach at Pitt following consecutive Rose Bowl trips in the 2010-11 seasons.
The countdown of my top 2012 Big Ten football games continues with games 60-79. That’s right, I’m ranking all the Big Ten games this season. Yesterday, I did games 80-96, and I’ll continue to work my way to the top games each of the next three days. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.
It’s hot out there, people. Be careful. Stay inside, and click on these cool Big Ten football links.