The Tracy Claeys era has begun. And, change is brewing … it has been for several months. The program is on solid footing, having been to a bowl each of the last four seasons. But the staff has been altered with a new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach on board. There is momentum coming off a bowl win that capped a disappointing 6-7 season, but this shapes up as an interesting and critical season for the program under Claey’s stewardship. While the offense—which ranked No. 13 in the Big Ten in scoring (22.5 ppg), 11th in rushing (144.1
Is Minnesota QB Mitch Leidner a first-round pick? “Leidner shows some upside as a passer, but I’ll be looking to see if he can improve his accuracy (59.5 completion rate and 14/11 TD/INT ratio in 2015),” ESPN Todd McShay writes in an early look at the 2017 draft, tabbing Leidner the 25th pick in the draft. “Listed at 6-foot-4 and 237 pounds, Leidner has ideal size and has shown the ability to make plays with his legs off designed runs and scrambles. He’s a late riser to keep an eye on, similar to Blake Bortles and Carson Wentz.” I still
Michigan State is the defending Big Ten champ, coming off the program’s first College Football Playoff appearance. The 2015 season marked the fifth time in the last six years that MSU won double-digit games. And the program has played in major bowls each of the last three seasons. No doubt, a strong foundation has been laid as Mark Dantonio enters his 10th season in East Lansing. But there is significant work to do before the season kicks off with a visit from Furman. Here is my look at Michigan State’s to-do list. 1. Pick a QB. Mark Dantonio hasn’t named
Jim Harbaugh’s debut was a smashing success. He inherited a 5-7 team from Brady Hoke and turned it into a 10-3 squad that punctuated the season with a domination of Florida in the Citrus Bowl.
Chris Ash arrived at Rutgers from Ohio State and immediately went to work to build up the Scarlet Knights program. With spring football behind him, he talked with BTN.com's Tom Dienhart about the challenges ahead. "We are at the bottom of the Big Ten looking up," Ash said. "We are on 'The Hunt.'"
A quarterback gets hurt at Ohio State. Michigan is planning satellite camps on a rival's turf. Also, a cautionary tale about sports and social media. Catch up with Friday's Big Ten news digest.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart takes a look at Maryland's offseason to-do list.
The search is on for a mascot at Illinois. Spike Albrecht talks about coming to Purdue. Looks like one Big Ten QB will redshirt. And here's another reason for Michigan State football players to carry a chip on each of their shoulders. And what's going on over at the Big 12 Conference? Catch up in Thursday's Big Ten news digest.
Tumult has defined Illinois in the last 10 months. The program is on its third head coach in less than a year as the Fighting Illini search for just their fourth bowl since 2007. But hope is running over with the hiring by new A.D. Josh Whitman, who subsequently tabbed former NFL coach Lovie Smith to run the program. [ MORE: Dienhart: Check out Illinois’ offseason to-do list ] Here is a look at the 2016 Illinois schedule. Toughest non-conference game: North Carolina’s visit on Sept. 10 will be a great test. Last year, the Illini waded into Kenan Stadium
With satellite camps back on, Ohio State is planning to conduct one at south Florida power St. Thomas Aquinas. According to Cleveland.com, there have been other reports that Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh would like to attend the same day, but that’s not going to happen, as entertaining as that may sound. The only way Harbaugh or his staff is permitted at a satellite camp is if they are working it, and Ohio State isn’t going to welcome them into their own event for obvious reasons. *** Speaking of satellite camps, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio wants a level playing field for