Each week of the college football season offers a variety of games for fans to watch. I’ll start taking an early look at each week of the Big Ten season as a way to preview the 2012 campaign. Find my Week 1 schedule analysis in this post.
The Big Ten lost some good defensive linemen after last season. Four defensive tackles and three ends were selected in the NFL draft, highlighted by first-round pick Whitney Mercilus (Illinois). Also drafted were: Michigan State tackle Jerel Worthy (Packers), Penn State tackle Devon Still (Bengals), Michigan tackle Mike Martin (Titans), Nebraska tackle Jared Crick (Texans) and Iowa end Mike Daniels (Packers) and Penn State end Jack Crawford (Raiders).
The Big Ten announced its 2015-16 conference football schedules on Monday morning. It’s difficult to know which teams will be good this far in advance, but it’s always fun to think about the future. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the 2015-16 Big Ten schedules in this post. What are some of the top cross-division games? Which teams don’t play during the 2015-16 seasons? And which teams benefit the most from these schedules?
Got a case of the “Mondays”? Read these Big Ten football links! They’re 100 percent guaranteed. And you’ll be cheerier because of it.
How could potential costs come into play when officials discuss a college football playoff? What about the idea of home games for potential playoff qualifiers? Could there be more conference expansion coming? These are the questions that came into our BTN reader mailbox this week.
The tight end spot continues to evolve into a more prominent position across the football landscape, as teams are featuring them more often as vertical passing threats.
In my last Big Ten football schedule analysis post, I examine Wisconsin, your defending Big Ten champions. What will be the Badgers’ toughest non-conference and conference games? Where does the schedule get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post to what else I picked.
News continued to pour out of Chicago as Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and league’s athletic directors wrapped up meetings highlighted by discussions of a playoff—among other juicy topics. Let’s dig in.
Who will be the best receiver in the Big Ten? It’s a difficult question. The position lost a lot of good talent after last season. How much?
Next up in my schedule analysis series: Purdue. What will be the Boilermakers’ toughest non-conference and conference games? Where is the schedule seemingly easiest, and then when does it get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post and see what I picked. You can find all of my Big Ten schedule analysis posts here. All of the teams are included except for Wisconsin, which you can look for Thursday.
We are talking playoffs today. That’s correct, Jim Mora … playoffs. An honest-to-goodness playoff. Feel free to rub your eyes and shake your head.
When you think of Wisconsin, offense usually comes to mind. Big, tough physical lines blocking for a strong running game. But the Wisconsin defense deserves credit for the program’s consecutive Rose Bowl appearances. The Badgers had the Big Ten’s No. 3 defense (316.4 ypg) in 2011 and allowed just 19 points per game (13th in the nation). I talked with co-defensive coordinator Chris Ash—who is in his second as co-coordinator working in concert with Charlie Partridge–to get his breakdown of the Badger defense. See the Q&A in this post.
The outcry came about a nanosecond after the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame inductees were announced: How come Nebraska quarterback Tommie Frazier didn’t get elected? I wish I had an answer. But, alas, I don’t. It remains a mystery of the universe—and a Titanic miscarriage of justice. I am a member of the National Football Foundation, and thus a voter for the Hall. And Frazier gets the nod from me. The guy, without a doubt, is the greatest quarterback in the history of one of America’s greatest college football programs.
In my latest Big Ten schedule analysis post, I take a look at the Penn State Nittany Lions, which are under the direction of a new coach for the first time since 1966. What will be Penn State’s toughest non-conference and conference games? Where is the schedule seemingly easiest, and then when does it get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post and see what I picked.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany and league athletic directors will meet today in Chicago to discuss a playoff, our colleague Teddy Greenstein from the Chicago Tribune writes. A four-team playoff appears imminent. But issues need to ironed out before a playoff can begin with the 2014 season. Chief among them: 1. How to pick the teams. 2. Where to play the games. In this post I look at that story and some others, including a few bowl tidbits in Tuesday’s Big Ten links (full archive here). Football news and lovely weather. Isn’t life good?
Is there a conference with a better collection of running backs than the Big Ten? Maybe not. The group instantly became one of the best in the nation when Wisconsin’s Montee Ball announced he would return for his senior season. Add it all up, and 12 of last season’s top 13 rushers are back. The only departure: Iowa’s Marcus Coker, who transferred to FCS Stony Brook after ranking No. 2 in the Big Ten in rushing with 1,384 yards in 2012.
It’s time to turn our attention to Ohio State in my schedule analysis series, as I take a closer look at the 2012 football schedule for the Buckeyes. My previous schedule analysis posts are still available as we’ve now covered Illinois through Ohio State. The rest come out this week. Agree or disagree with any of my assessments? Come tell me in the comments section, or find me on Twitter and Facebook. See my Ohio State analysis in this post.
On Tuesday, the College Football Hall of Fame will announce its latest round of enshrinees. And three Nebraska players are on the ballot: quarterbacks Eric Crouch and Tommie Frazier, along with linebacker Trev Alberts. Crouch likely won’t make it since this is his first time on the ballot. But Frazier appears to have a good shot. In fact, I am flummoxed by the fact he didn’t make it last year. Just a shameful omission, as detailed by the Lincoln Journal Star’s Brian Christopherson.
Now I turn my attention to Northwestern as I take a closer look at the 2012 football schedule for the Wildcats. They’ve got two challenging home games and a back-to-back set on the road that rivals any two-game stretch in the Big Ten. I circle the game on the calendar that could be the toughest and easiest for Pat Fitzgerald and his team this fall.
The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006?
Before we get to Friday’s Big Ten news links, let’s review the week. Monday’s post asked , “Which college fo0tball playoff format do you prefer?” On Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at the buzz around next year’s top offensive and defensive stars. And Thursday’s post included a possible college football playoff tweak, next year’s NFL Draft prospects, and a singing coach. My bookmark-friendly weekday links are always here, and you get the RSS over here.
In my latest schedule analysis, I take a look at the Nebraska Cornhuskers. What are going to be their toughest non-conference and conference games? Where is the schedule seemingly easiest, and then when does it get really rugged? Go ahead and guess which game I call their “must win” game, then read the rest of this post and see what I picked.
Michigan was one of the nation’s most surprising teams last season under first-year coach Brady Hoke. The Wolverines finished 11-2, capping the remarkable season with a Sugar Bowl triumph over Virginia Tech. Some of the credit for Hoke’s remarkable debut has to go to offensive coordinator Al Borges.