Change is the theme as James Franklin begins this third season at the helm of Penn State. The staff has been altered radically. Franklin fired offensive coordinator John Donovan and shockingly saw defensive coordinator Bob Shoop leave for Tennessee. And offensive line coach Herb Hand also high-tailed it, bolting for Auburn. Plus, a raft of players transferred after a season that ended with four losses in a row. Is this a cause for alarm? No matter your spin, there is no denying that 2016 is a big season for Franklin in Happy Valley. To fill the offensive coordinator job, Franklin
The honeymoon is over for Mike Riley. He knows that. Last year’s 6-7 debut was difficult to stomach, as the Huskers seemed to find a new way to lose each week. But on an up note, Nebraska finished with some momentum, going 3-1 in its last four games with a bowl win vs. UCLA in an otherwise vexing season. [ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart’s Nebraska offseason to-do list ] A challenging schedule awaits the Huskers as they look to move up the pecking order in the Big Ten West in search of the program’s first league title since 1999. Here
Time to reach into my Big Ten Mailbag. Can Michigan go 12-0? Is Iowa a national title contender? Will any true freshmen play for Nebraska in 2016? I look at those questions and others below. Let’s go! I think that Michigan can go 12-0 this season. Michigan isn’t deep at linebacker and along the defensive line. But the Wolverines are strong in the secondary, receiver, d-line and tight end spots. – Ben I am very high on Michigan, too. But, I’m not so sure the Wolverines will go 12-0. I could see Michigan going 10-2 or 9-3. The fact Jim
If you are an Illinois football player and you own a scooter … you won’t for long. Lovie Smith is banning scooters. It’s all in the name of safety. Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette says an estimated two-thirds of the Illini players own a scooter or moped. On practice days, the two-wheel rides fill the alley behind Memorial Stadium. I wonder how this will go over with the players. *** Mike Griffith of Mlive.com looks at how Michigan State’s recruiting/NFL draft production compares to in the Big Ten. This is amazing stuff: The Spartans are the only program in
Michigan State is the defending Big Ten champ, coming off its first playoff appearance. This program is rolling. But, some big personnel issues are staring at Mark Dantonio as he begins his 10th season in East Lansing.
Ohio State and Urban Meyer won’t lack for motivation in 2016. The program failed to repeat as national champs in a largely unfulfilling season as the Buckeyes didn’t even win the Big Ten East despite having a roster loaded with 12 NFL draft picks. Now, Meyer faces some big challenges next season as he looks to get back on top in the Big Ten.
Minnesota landed a new athletic director in Mark Coyle and he's got work to do. Also, Jim Harbaugh announces some more satellite football camps and this time he's taking the Wolverines overseas. Catch up on these stories and more in Thursday's news digest.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Northwestern offseason check list.
Jim Harbaugh enjoyed a smashing debut in 2015, posting 10 wins. And, his second Michigan squad has a good chance for success thanks to plenty of returning talent and another year of familiarity with the system. [ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart’s Michigan offseason to-do list ] Check this out: Michigan opens with five—yes, FIVE—home games. In fact, the Wolverines play six of their first seven in the Big House. The back half of the schedule is a challenge. But, by then, Michigan could be filled with confidence behind its new quarterback. Here is a breakdown of the 2016 schedule. Toughest
A commissioner for college football? It makes too much sense. Tony Barnhart has been beating this drum for years. The sport needs to have everyone pulling in the same direction instead of each league just looking out for what’s best for its own interest. United we stand, divided we fall, right? Look what lack of unity is doing to the Big 12. *** Outgoing Nebraska chancellor Harvey Perlman had an interesting exit interview. Among the revelations: former AD Steve Pederson had a “wow” coach from the NFL lined up but was left at the altar. Perlman told Omaha.com it was