This is a big season for James Franklin, who has done a lot of good things his first two years in State College. But he’s just 14-12 overall and 6-10 in the Big Ten. And Penn State finished last season with four consecutive losses. The roster is now mostly full of his players and he has tweaked his staff. Will this lead to the Nittany Lions moving up the ladder in the rugged Big Ten East? A tough schedule looms, which only complicates matters. Here is my look at Penn State’s 2016 slate. [MORE: Penn State’s offseason to-do list ]
Minnesota’ football coach sees eight to ten wins in 2016 - agree or disagree? The Big Ten athletic directors met this week and expansion came up, of course. Hey look - Chris Spielman is coming to Fox! And a look at one school's plan to keep top football recruits from leaving that school's state. Catch up with our news digest.
Everyone in life—yes, even college basketball coaches--is always looking for a better situation. Why should college basketball players be any different? Maybe coaches need to do a better job of selling kids on remaining in their program.
Ohio State is eager and ready to get back on top of the Big Ten. The Buckeyes won the national championship in 2014 and looked primed to repeat in 2015, but the coaching staff’s bungled handling of the quarterback situation proved ruinous for a team that had a national-best 12 NFL draft picks. [ MORE: Dienhart: Ohio State Buckeyes’ offseason to-do list ] Now, Ohio State has myriad holes to fill as it looks to become Big Ten kings again. And it faces a tough schedule that will make ascending back to the top a challenge. Here is a look
Paul Chryst returned home to Wisconsin last season. And, it went smashingly well. But there is work to do as Chryst begins his second season coming off a 10-3 debut and second-place finish in the West.
The Michigan State d-line needs help, having lost talent like Shilique Calhoun, Joel Heath and Lawrence Thomas. So the arrival of Nebraska grad transfer DT Kevin Williams is perfect timing. Williams was granted a sixth year of eligibility last fall, after missing two full seasons, in 2011 and 2013, due to injury. He had already earned a bachelors and a master’s degree from Nebraska and will seek a second master’s degree from Michigan State. The 6-foot-2, 275-pound Williams played in 23 games during his five years at Nebraska, recording 27 tackles, including 10 for loss. *** It was sad to
Northwestern is coming off a stellar season that saw the Wildcats win 10 games. And NU is thinking big in 2016 as it looks to win what looks like a wide-open Big Ten West. And, it just may happen, as this could be Pat Fitzgerald’s most talented team yet. But it faces a daunting schedule that offers little relief. [ MORE: Dienhart: Northwestern’s offseason to-do list ] Here’s a breakdown. Toughest non-conference game: vs. Duke, Sept. 17. The Wildcats waded into Durham, North Carolina, last year and took a 19-10 decision. This was a good Blue Devil squad that would
Chris Ash continues to put his stamp on the Rutgers program after taking over for Kyle Flood. Job No. 1: change the culture. Offense? Defense? Special teams? It all needs work. Rutgers ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten in total defense in 2015 (462.0 ypg) and 12th in scoring (34.9 ppg). The back seven needs a lot of work, as the linebacking corps is being rebuilt and a young secondary needs to mature. The offense has work to do, as well, as it is undergoing a scheme change. RU will use a “power spread” scheme that is similar to
Great news here: Former Minnesota coach Jerry Kill is going home, becoming the associate athletic director at Kansas State. Kill, who was 29-29 in his five seasons at Minnesota, is expected to serve as chief administrator for the K-State football program. If you’re wondering, no, Kill isn’t the coach-in-waiting for legend Bill Snyder. Kill insists his coaching days are over. *** Chad Leistikow of HawkCentral.com says Iowa should extend Kirk Ferentz’s deal through 2023 but shouldn’t overpay. A year ago on the spring banquet circuit, many wondered if Ferentz would make it past 2015. Now, 2025 seems possible for a
The 2015 season didn’t go as scripted for Minnesota. Jerry Kill abruptly retired and the Gophers finished with their first losing record since 2012. [ MORE: Dienhart: Get Minnesota’s offseason to-do list ] Now, Tracy Claeys is leading the Gophers. And he wasted little time putting his stamp on the program, letting go offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Limegrover and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski. Jay Johnson was hired from Louisiana-Lafayette to run the offense and coach quarterbacks, while Bart Miller was tabbed to coach the line. Work remains to be done if Minnesota wants to improve on a 6-7 mark