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Purdue is looking for a breakthrough in its fourth season under Darrell Hazell.
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Justin Wilcox. Jay Johnson. John Parrella. Ross Els. If you don’t know their names now, you will next football season. BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart writes why these four are the biggest assistant coach hires in the West Division this year.
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Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany talks (a little) about the ongoing TV negotiations saying, “We’re interested in having great partners with great platforms who are interested in marketing and promotion.” Also, Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes is stilling mulling over his NBA decision. And Jerry Kill has a new job at Kansas State. More in this post.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his offseason to-do list for the Purdue Boilermakers.
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Remember when Caleb Swanigan flipped from Michigan State to Purdue? He now has declared for the NBA draft but took time to reflect on his switcheroo.
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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.
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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.
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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?
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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.
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BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Northwestern offseason check list.
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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.