Today is July 1. But, it’s much more than just the first day of a new month. It’s also an historic day, the first day in new conferences for many schools. Rutgers and Maryland officially come aboard the Big Ten today.
With Rutgers and Maryland primed officially to join the Big Ten on Tuesday to make it a 14-team conference, I thought it would be interesting to look back on the last three times the Big Ten expanded. There was Michigan State, in 1949, Penn State, in 1990, and Nebraska, in 2010.
The dog days of summer are settling in. That means two things: The Cubs’ season is officially over, and it’s time to look at the Big Ten units. I’ll begin with a look at the offensive backfields. And, as you’ll see, there is a lot of talent at running back—as well as some top-flight quarterbacks.
Recruiting hasn’t been kind to Tom Izzo the last few seasons. Michigan State fans know it. Izzo has swung and missed on some big-time recruits. So, it looks like he’s adjusting his strategy. Hey, it’s not just about winning Big Ten titles in East Lansing. It’s about competing for national crowns. Top, top talent is needed to do that.
I’ve spent the last few weeks offering my super-early thoughts on the 2014 football schedule. You can catch up here. Today, it’s time to compile my game rankings for all 14 weeks in one post.
The Big Ten has saved the best for last, as the Week 14 lineup features seven games that all are enticing for one reason or another. In fact, titles in both divisions may be on the line.
The penultimate Saturday brings us seven Big Ten games for the first time in 2014. The Big Ten West must be watched, as Minnesota plays at Nebraska and Wisconsin travels to Iowa in two division-defining games. Here’s a breakdown of the best of Week 13.
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There are two non-conference games tucked into this mid-November Saturday, which rarely happens this late in the season in the Big Ten. Northwestern’s trip to Notre Dame could be interesting. But a division title could be center stage: Nebraska at Wisconsin. Here’s a breakdown of the best of Week 12.
Pretty much every team has one game on its schedule that can be viewed as a “cupcake.” Now, that doesn’t mean the team is guaranteed to roll to victory – or even win the game. There’s always the chance a team pulls an upset. That said, here is my easiest game for every Big Ten team.
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Ohio State’s trip to Michigan State could be the game of the year in the Big Ten, as both schools look like the favorites to win the conference crown. They met in the Big Ten title game last season, with the Spartans dumping the Buckeyes to earn their first trip to the Rose Bowl since the 1987 season and end OSU’s 24-game winning streak and national championship hopes. Here’s a breakdown of the best of Week 11.
The calendar now says “November.” And, as coaches are known to say: “November is when they play the games to remember.” But this Saturday lacks any apparent marquee games, although that could change depending on how things unfold. Looking at you, Northwestern at Iowa.
It’s a fun debate: Who’s the best basketball coach in the Big Ten? We all have our favorites. Marcus Jackson’s of the Champaign News-Gazette does, too. And he ranks ‘em. Guess who is No. 1? C’mon. It’s not that difficult to guess.
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Two interesting clashes make this Saturday appealing, as Michigan plays at Michigan State and Ohio State goes to Penn State in a light week of action. Despite the presence of just five games, the heft of those aforementioned contests makes this a good week, as the Big Ten East race will start to take form. Here’s my best of Week 9.
The gang at Athlonsports.com cranks out some quality stuff. You’ll wanna check out the site’s 10 must-see Big Ten non-conference games. At the top of the list? Michigan State at Oregon. No shock there. If the Spartans can leave Eugene with a win, they may have a good shot to run the table.
Another light Saturday, as there are just five games with four teams enjoying byes. But the weekend isn’t without a big game, as the Nebraska at Northwestern tilt could be another doozy in what has been an exciting series that has seen the Cornhuskers go 2-1 vs. the Wildcats since joining the Big Ten. Here’s a breakdown of the best of Week 8.
This is a light week of action with just five games—all Big Ten affairs–as four schools are off. But there are several good games, headlined by Penn State’s trip to Michigan. And the winner of the Northwestern-Minnesota game figures to be set up for a run at the division title. Here’s a breakdown of the Best of Week 7.
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We continue our football schedule preview series to help pass some of the time before the 2014 season kicks off. Today, it’s time for Tom Dienhart to offer his super-early must-win game for all 14 Big Ten teams.
Who is the Big Ten’s best quarterback? According to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, it’s Michigan State’s Connor Cook, who is No. 6 on the former scout’s preseason “Quarterback Tracker.” My pick? Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, a classic passer who embodies everything that a big-time quarterback should be.
The first Saturday in October is a light one, as there are just six games. Five are conference games. But there is just one truly marquee game, with Nebraska playing at Michigan State. Could that be a preview of the Big Ten title game? Here’s a breakdown of Week 6.
Every school is in action this Saturday, with a mix of Big Ten and non-conference action. There are five league games and four non-league clashes. None of the games stand out or look all that notable, but there could be some hidden gems. Here’s a look at the Best of Week 5.
While the Big Ten’s borders stretch from the plains of Nebraska to the shadow of New York City, the iconic conference still remains anchored in the heartland of America. And, that’s the way it should be. Today’s announcement quelled any fears to the contrary, as the conference is committed to Chicago and Indianapolis as anchor cities for its marquee events.
We continue our football schedule preview series to help pass some of the time before the 2014 season kicks off. Today, it’s time for Tom Dienhart to offer his super-early upset pick for all 14 Big Ten teams. See your team’s upset prediction in this post.
This will mark the last Saturday of full-blown non-conference action. And there are a handful of interesting clashes, highlighted by Miami (Fla.) visiting Nebraska. But most of this week’s games are tune-ups for the Big Ten action that kickoffs off the next weekend. Here’s a look at the Best of Week 4.