With the 2015 season officially in our rear-view mirror, we take an early peek into the fall of 2016 and how it may shape up. BTN.com's Tom Dienhart presents his premature forecast for the Big Ten East division, and we've included a link for the readers to contribute to the fans' overall prediction from No. 1 to No. 7.
In the latest of my stories examining the key departures from each football team, I take a look at Minnesota. Under new coach Tracy Claeys, who took over last year after Jerry Kill abruptly retired due to health concerns, the program is on solid footing with a bowl appearance in each of the last four seasons. The staff has been altered with a new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach. Still, there is momentum coming off a bowl win that capped a disappointing 6-7 season. Claeys has talent to work with in players like QB Mitch Leidner, RBs Shannon Brooks
The Big 12 got its wish, as the NCAA voted to deregulate rules surrounding league championship games. The league can hold a league title game as soon as next season under its current 10-team, one-division configuration. Rules were in place that required conferences to have at least 12 teams and two divisions in order to have a league championship game. But the NCAA vote means that as long as the Big 12 continues to play a round-robin schedule, it can hold a title game. For the record: The vote by the NCAA Division I Council passed 7-2. The Atlantic Coast
There are some more coaching changes around the Big Ten, but Indiana's Kevin Wilson isn't one of them after landing a new contract. Can James Franklin and Penn State win more than seven games next year? And with football signing day coming up, One writer takes an interesting look at how this season’s final Top 25 actually fared in recruiting the past five years. These stories and more in today's Big Ten news digest.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tourney. How many times have you heard that factoid? It is one of the longest and most notorious droughts in sports. And, it just may end this year. If it does, you can thank Wildcat guard Bryant McIntosh. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Game Rankings | Bracketology | The week ahead | Polls | Standings | Stats | Scores ] The 6-3, 185-pound sophomore is a catalyst who paces the team with a 16.1 scoring average. He also is tops in assists, with 7.1 per games for NU,
The Michigan State machine rolls on. The 2015 season marked the fifth time in the last six years that the Spartans won double-digit games to go along with three Big Ten championships. And the program has played in major bowls each of the last three seasons, reaching the playoffs for the first time last season. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s players to replace posts ] Mark Dantonio has a strong foundation laid. Players come and go, but the Spartans always play well. That’s a credit to a strong coaching staff that has been marked by stability. Still, replicating
It’s time to dig into my Mailbag. What are some of the big non-conference football games next season? Could J.T. Barrett win the Heisman? That and more. [ MORE: Relive all of the 2015-16 bowls on our official bowl page ] With Ohio State’s schedule next year, an early truth-teller will be the Oklahoma game in Norman, Okla. It is OSU’s third game, which may give all of the young Buckeyes a chance to gel before the trip. This will be an early hallmark tilt for the BIG and a chance to show the strength of conference vs. a Sooners
A new NCAA proposal could mean saying “good-bye” to satellite camps and “hello” to text messaging. But I am most bummed to hear there is no early-signing period on the horizon for football. I just don’t get it. Basketball has an early-signing period, but football doesn’t? I think we all know why there isn’t one in football: The big, elite schools don’t want it. *** On the subject of pushing the envelope with rules … if it is Wednesday, Jim Harbaugh must be making headlines. The latest: He plans to spend the night at the home of the nation’s top
By most accounts, Jim Harbaugh’s debut at Michigan was a rousing success. He inherited a 5-7 team and turned it into a 10-3 squad with a domination of Florida in the Citrus Bowl to end the season. The losses all were “quality,” as the Wolverines fell at Utah, vs. Michigan State and vs. Ohio State. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s players to replace posts ] No doubt, this is a program with as much promise as any in the Big Ten, as Harbaugh continues to fold in talent that he has recruited. Most of last year’s key contributors
It’s time to take the temperature of the Big Ten’s NCAA hopes with a weekly check of the mock brackets from Jerry Palm of CBSSports.com and Joe Lunardi of ESPN. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Game Rankings | Bracketology | The week ahead | Polls | Standings | Stats | Scores ] See both of the experts’ latest mock brackets below. @jppalmCBS No. 1 Michigan State vs. No. 16 play-in team in the East No. 2 Maryland vs. No. 15 East Tennessee State in the Midwest No. 4 Iowa vs. No. 14 UT-Arlington in the West