Last year, Iowa QB C.J. Beathard was beat up more than we all realized. He estimated he played 2 1/2 games at full strength last season. Beathard is the ultimate tough guy who fought through injury to steer the Hawkeyes to greatness. Now, Beathard’s healthy and primed for a big season. What can he do if he stays healthy all season? “I’m not curious, I’m excited to see what I can do,” Beathard said. “I know I can do things with my feet that I wasn’t able to do last season. Hopefully, I stay healthy all season long, so I
There are games on every team’s schedule that fans circle as “tough” ones, games that will be very challenging to win. Well, that’s what I did with each Big Ten schedule, identifying each school’s “toughest” Big Ten game in 2016. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games ] Check it out below. Illinois. Lots to choose from. I’ll go with the trip to Michigan on Oct. 22. Jim Harbaugh has this program rolling as he enters Year Two in Ann Arbor. The defense could be the best in the Big Ten, while the offense will be
Coaches can now interact with recruits on Twitter. Oh, man. The Fanboys are gonna love this. The rule makes it permissible for staff members to like, retweet, favorite or endorse a recruit’s post in any way on public social media platforms. They aren’t allowed to tweet directly at recruits. Well, I have a feeling it won’t be long before there are no barriers involving coaches/recruits/Twitter. Just give it another year or two. *** When you think of Indiana, you typically think of a prolific offense led by a good passing game. But Kevin Wilson really has built his program on
There is no better way for a team to test itself than by playing a tough non-conference foe in September. Here is my pick for each team’s toughest non-league opponent.
The lives of Nebraska’s Sam Foltz and Michigan State’s Mike Sadler recently were honored in moving ceremonies. Jump inside to see more about both of them.
Who doesn’t love an upset? The shock. The surprise. The unexpectedness. It’s what makes sports fun. Last year gave us Michigan State over Ohio State, Purdue over Nebraska and Northwestern over Stanford, to name a few upsets. What’s in store this season? Here is my “best chance to pull an upset” for each Big Ten team this fall. Illinois. If the offense comes together, the Fighting Illini may have a shot to shock Iowa when the Hawkeyes visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19. But how beat up will Illinois be coming off a game the week before at Wisconsin? The
I have to check out “Men of Sparta,” a flick that tells the story of the national champion 1966 Michigan State squad that is too often forgotten. Mlive.com says the film is directed by Bob Apisa, an All-American fullback on the 1965 and 1966 teams. The project, he said, had been discussed for years between members of those teams, but was always put off for a later date. But said as members of those teams began to pass away — including George Webster and Bubba Smith — Apisa said he decided the story of some of the best teams in
Time to go through my mail. I look at Michigan State’s offensive line, project Penn State’s record and look at “The Game,” among other things. So, let’s get started! Last year, the Spartans were good, and made it to the playoffs with just one loss. But they struggled against Western Michigan, Purdue, Rutgers and Maryland. Yet, they beat teams like Oregon, Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa. I know a win is a win, but do you see this year’s team being able to dominate some of the lower-level teams as well as winning the big ones? – Ben Look, football
David Jones of Pennlive.com pays a nice tribute to former Northwestern coach Dennis Green, who did the impossible by making the Wildcats semi-competitive from 1981-85. *** Pennlive.com looks at five things it learned about the Nittany Lions at Big Ten media days. The issue of other schools using negative recruiting vs. the Nittany Lions came up. It was a classic he said/she said affair that predictably went nowhere. We also learned this: Cam Brown could be a special LB. Remember the name for what could be a boffo set of linebackers. *** Ohio State made one of the most key
If you like linebackers, you’ll love the Big Ten. It’s loaded with them. There’s Iowa’s Josey Jewell, Penn State’s Brandon Bell, Wisconsin’s Vince Biegel, Michigan State’s Riley Bullough, Purdue’s Ja’Whaun Bentley and Nebraska’s Josh Banderas. I could go on, and I think I will. There also is Minnesota’s Jack Lynn, Maryland’s Jermaine Carter, Indiana’s Marcus Oliver and Northwestern’s Anthony Walker. And don’t forget about Ohio State’s Raekwon McMillan, who will give Walker a run for his money as the Big Ten’s primo linebacker. If not Walker or McMillan, how about Michigan’s Jabrill Peppers, who is a newbie to the position.