After making an early prediction for the order of finish in the Big Ten East for the fall of 2016, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart gives his take on how he thinks the Big Ten West will wind up. Lots can happen between now and then, including developments from national signing day and spring football. Have a look at Dienhart's early outlook and rank the teams your way, too.
One veteran Big Ten writer says the Big Ten hoops race is in two clear camps with six that look headed for the Big Dance and eight that do not. Also, Iowa is now the team to beat in the Big Ten after thrashing Michigan State. How good could Northwestern's Bryant McIntosh be? Read these stories and more in today's Big Ten roundup.
With the 2015 season officially in our rear-view mirror, we take an early peek into the fall of 2016 and how it may shape up. BTN.com's Tom Dienhart presents his premature forecast for the Big Ten East division, and we've included a link for the readers to contribute to the fans' overall prediction from No. 1 to No. 7.
In the latest of my stories examining the key departures from each football team, I take a look at Minnesota. Under new coach Tracy Claeys, who took over last year after Jerry Kill abruptly retired due to health concerns, the program is on solid footing with a bowl appearance in each of the last four seasons. The staff has been altered with a new offensive coordinator/quarterbacks coach and offensive line coach. Still, there is momentum coming off a bowl win that capped a disappointing 6-7 season. Claeys has talent to work with in players like QB Mitch Leidner, RBs Shannon Brooks
The Big 12 got its wish, as the NCAA voted to deregulate rules surrounding league championship games. The league can hold a league title game as soon as next season under its current 10-team, one-division configuration. Rules were in place that required conferences to have at least 12 teams and two divisions in order to have a league championship game. But the NCAA vote means that as long as the Big 12 continues to play a round-robin schedule, it can hold a title game. For the record: The vote by the NCAA Division I Council passed 7-2. The Atlantic Coast
There are some more coaching changes around the Big Ten, but Indiana's Kevin Wilson isn't one of them after landing a new contract. Can James Franklin and Penn State win more than seven games next year? And with football signing day coming up, One writer takes an interesting look at how this season’s final Top 25 actually fared in recruiting the past five years. These stories and more in today's Big Ten news digest.
Northwestern has never made the NCAA tourney. How many times have you heard that factoid? It is one of the longest and most notorious droughts in sports. And, it just may end this year. If it does, you can thank Wildcat guard Bryant McIntosh. [ MORE: Follow @BTNJonCrispin | Power Rankings | Player Rankings | Game Rankings | Bracketology | The week ahead | Polls | Standings | Stats | Scores ] The 6-3, 185-pound sophomore is a catalyst who paces the team with a 16.1 scoring average. He also is tops in assists, with 7.1 per games for NU,
The Michigan State machine rolls on. The 2015 season marked the fifth time in the last six years that the Spartans won double-digit games to go along with three Big Ten championships. And the program has played in major bowls each of the last three seasons, reaching the playoffs for the first time last season. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s players to replace posts ] Mark Dantonio has a strong foundation laid. Players come and go, but the Spartans always play well. That’s a credit to a strong coaching staff that has been marked by stability. Still, replicating
It’s time to dig into my Mailbag. What are some of the big non-conference football games next season? Could J.T. Barrett win the Heisman? That and more. [ MORE: Relive all of the 2015-16 bowls on our official bowl page ] With Ohio State’s schedule next year, an early truth-teller will be the Oklahoma game in Norman, Okla. It is OSU’s third game, which may give all of the young Buckeyes a chance to gel before the trip. This will be an early hallmark tilt for the BIG and a chance to show the strength of conference vs. a Sooners
A new NCAA proposal could mean saying “good-bye” to satellite camps and “hello” to text messaging. But I am most bummed to hear there is no early-signing period on the horizon for football. I just don’t get it. Basketball has an early-signing period, but football doesn’t? I think we all know why there isn’t one in football: The big, elite schools don’t want it. *** On the subject of pushing the envelope with rules … if it is Wednesday, Jim Harbaugh must be making headlines. The latest: He plans to spend the night at the home of the nation’s top