LOS ANGELES – A win in the 98th Rose Bowl would serve as missing validation Wisconsin and Oregon have been searching for in recent years. Each program has league championships and myriad victories to show off over the last 10-12 years. But BCS bowl victories?
Illinois raced out to 6-0 start and a national this season only to lose the next six games before Ron Zook was dismissed as head coach. The Fighting Illini (6-6) take on UCLA (6-7) in the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl at 3:30 p.m. ET on Dec. 31. Like Illinois, UCLA fired their head coach this season. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
Northwestern makes a school-record fourth straight bowl trip when it plays Texas A&M at noon ET Dec. 31 in the Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post. Also, view our entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
Iowa fell to Oklahoma 31-14 in Friday night’s Insight Bowl and the Hawkeyes really missed RB Marcus Coker, who was suspended earlier this month for breaking team rules. Coker was the nucleus of the Hawkeye attack, ranking 14th in the nation in rushing (115.3 ypg) with 15 touchdowns. Iowa went with a running back-by-committee approach that had mixed results, running 37 times for 76 yards (2.1 ypc). My pregame prediction was Oklahoma 34-21 – not too shabby – but I also learned a few things from this game.
News that three Illinois assistant coaches may boycott Saturday’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl is disappointing, as reported late Friday by the Chicago Tribune. Joe Gilbert, Chip Long and Jeff Brohm may not coach in the bowl against UCLA on Saturday because they claim they were unaware that they had signed one-year deals. Instead, the trio says it had been told it had inked two-year contracts.
LOS ANGELES — It’s good to be Bret Bielema, the Wisconsin football coach who is riding a wave of success that has seen him and the Badgers win consecutive Big Ten titles. And off field, life is even better, as the long-time bachelor is going to get married in March.
Last year, Wisconsin saw defensive coordinator Dave Doeren leave for the Northern Illinois job prior to the Rose Bowl. This year, the Badgers are in a similar situation: offensive coordinator Paul Chryst will leave after Monday’s Rose Bowl to take the Pitt job. But like Doeren, Chryst has remained with Wisconsin for the Rose Bowl. There’s still work to do.
Penn State athletic director Dave Joyner recently spoke about the search for Joe Paterno’s replacement. Joyner, the chairman of the search committee, offered no concrete details, mentioning no names in a report in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Joyner did acknowledge talking to some high quality candidates, but Joyner offered no timetable as to when a coach would be named.
For the second consecutive season, Kirk Ferentz and Iowa are headed back to the Insight Bowl. A season ago, the Hawkeyes upset Missouri in Tempe, Ariz., and now they will try to do the same against Oklahoma on December 30. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post. Also, view our entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mailbag. With bowl season heating up, some wonder how the Big Ten will fare in the postseason after a rough 2010 experience. Also, which hoops teams have impressed with conference play just beginning? And some fans wonder how the Ohio State defense will look with Everett Withers arriving as co-coordinator to work in concert with Luke Fickell.
How exciting would it be to see Wisconsin play USC in the Rose Bowl to kick off a season? Well, It could happen under a new partnership announced today by the Big Ten and Pac-12 that will include inter-conference scheduling across all sports as well as cross-promotion on each league’s TV network.
Purdue got the Big Ten off to a good start in the conference’s first of a record 10 bowl games, holding off Western Michigan 37-32 in the Little Caesars Bowl on Tuesday. The win marked Purdue’s first bowl win under Danny Hope and its first since winning the 2007 Motor City Bowl. See what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned from the Little Caesars Bowl and check out our entire bowl schedule.
The time is now for the Big Ten. It’s bowl season. And it’s a chance for the Big Ten to make amends for a rugged 2010 postseason, especially a New Year’s Day that left the Big Ten with a hangover. It all began with Northwestern getting tripped by Texas Tech, 45-38, in the TicketCity Bowl. And the hits kept on coming on one of the darkest bowl game days in Big Ten annals.
Purdue is headed to a bowl for the first time since the 2007 season, and just like that year it will be playing in Detroit. Danny Hope and the Boilermakers take on Western Michigan in the Little Caesars Bowl at 4:30 p.m. ET Dec. 27.
Purdue announced that coach Danny Hope has been given a two-year contract extension, pushing his deal through Dec. 31, 2016. Hope’s deal had three years remaining on it.
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Wisconsin suffered a big blow with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst taking the Pitt job. In eight seasons at Wisconsin, Chryst built some of the nation’s top offenses while at Wisconsin, helping lead the Badgers to consecutive Rose Bowl appearances the past two seasons.
High school recruits can’t sign letters of intent until Feb. 1. But junior college recruits who plan to enroll in January so they can take part in spring drills were able to sign Dec. 21. Minnesota and Indiana—the two Big Ten teams not to make a bowl this season–led the way among Big Ten schools with each signing five players this week who will take part in spring drills.
You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mail bag. Among other questions this week, fans wonder if Drew Brees is better than Tom Brady, what’s the best Big Ten bowl no one is talking about and if bowl matchups are really the best way to compare conferences.
It had been speculated, and now it’s true: Everett Withers has been hired as co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Ohio State. Withers was the interim head coach at North Carolina this season after Butch Davis was fired in July. Withers, who also was UNC’s defensive coordinator, guided the Tar Heels to a 7-5 mark and spot in the Independence Bowl vs. Missouri on December 26.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. For the past 12 days, Dienhart has posted a recap for each Big Ten school, in alphabetical order. Up here: Wisconsin. Watch our feature on the Ultimate Montee Ball Highlight Reel now and read Dienhart’s season recap in this post.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. Up right here: Purdue. Watch our video from the Boilermakers’ exciting overtime victory over Ohio State now and read Dienhart’s season recap in this post.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. Every day, Dienhart will post a recap for each Big Ten school, in alphabetical order. Up next: Penn State. Watch our video from the Nittany Lions’ narrow victory over Illinois now and read Dienhart’s season recap in this post. Coming up: The rest of the Big Ten in Purdue and Wisconsin. Read all the one’s we’ve posted so far on our Season in Review page.
The NCAA hammer has come down hard at Ohio State. This afternoon, the NCAA announced Ohio State will be ineligible for postseason play in 2012, stripped nine scholarships over the next three years and added a third year of the probation to the two the school already had slapped on itself as part of earlier self-sanctions.
Iowa star running back Marcus Coker has been suspended for the Insight Bowl for disciplinary reasons, the school announced Tuesday afternoon. According to the school, the issue involves University of Iowa policies and has resulted in Coker being in violation of the UI Student-Athlete Code of Conduct.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. Every day, Dienhart will post a recap for each Big Ten school, in alphabetical order. Up next: Ohio State. Watch our video from the Buckeyes’ thrilling victory over Leaders Division champ Wisconsin now and read Dienhart’s season recap in this post. Coming up: The rest of the Big Ten in Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin. Read all the one’s we’ve posted so far on our Season in Review page.