New Illinois A.D. Josh Whitman is a lot of things. He’s smart, engaging and hard-working. He also is a man of action. To wit: On his first day on the job, he fired Bill Cubit and within a few days, he was introducing Lovie Smith as his new coach.
Ohio Stadium already is a palatial venue. And the iconic stadium is about to become more palatial. As part of a $42 million Ohio Stadium renovation that will remove 2,600 seats in B-deck and convert that seating area into new loge boxes, Ohio Stadium’s capacity starting with the 2018 season will dwindle to 102,854 fans. *** This should jack up Michigan State fans: A spring football photo gallery. *** Speaking of Michigan State, how could Illinois’ hiring of Lovie Smith hurt the Spartans? Well, MSU has made a habit of invading the Land of Lincoln for talent. But, it may
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Lovie Smith speaks in calm, even tones. Each word seemingly measured and given thought before being uttered. Tuesday was a big day for the freshly minted Illinois coach as he introduced his new staff, a collection of football minds that is tasked with trying to make the Illini relevant. Smith knows what’s on the line. He knows why he’s here: Illinois football is broken. And, Smith needs to fix it. “Are the players excited?” Smith asked. “Absolutely. “They want show what they can do for their new coaches. New eyes have no bias.” The work begins April
There was a lot to like about Indiana’s run to the outright Big Ten title this past season. But, the Hoosiers still failed to get past the Sweet 16, something the program hasn’t done since 2002 when it made a run to the national title game under Mike Davis. Peegs.com takes a look at what next year’s team could look like. Here is how Indiana could line up if it has no early departures. G – Josh Newkirk, Devonte Green, Harrison Niego G – James Blackmon, Curtis Jones G – Robert Johnson, Collin Hartman, Grant Gelon F – Troy Williams,
Who doesn’t love a surprise? We all do. And the Big Ten basketball season was filled with some good ones. Here are my three most surprising teams of the 2015-16 season. INDIANA The Hoosiers figured to be good. But few envisioned an outright Big Ten title with a 15-3 record. But, that’s what Indiana accomplished behind the play of star senior point man Yogi Ferrell. This was the Big Ten’s top offensive squad—even with James Blackmon Jr. going down with a season-ending injury in December. But it was a selfless commitment to defense that helped propel Indiana to the unexpected
The resume of Michigan State’s Connor Cook glistens. A three-year starter who finished his career as the winningest quarterback in school history with 34 victories (34-5 overall record, 23-2 vs. Big Ten opponents), Cook did it all for the Spartans during a spectacular career. The Big Ten Quarterback of the Year and the Unitas Award winner in 2015, Cook left campus as an all-time great. Now, the Spartans’ BMOC is gone. What’s next? Michigan State is one of several Big Ten squads that face a yawning hole under center. In fact, there are no less than nine schools with some
Chad Leistikow of HawkCentral.com has 10 things on Iowa’s spring to-do list. Keep an eye on the linebackers, as Iowa has to replace second-leading tackler Cole Fisher on the weak side. On the outside, starter Ben Niemann is out for the spring. *** Michigan State has a “best kept secret.” And his name is Andrew Dowell, who is emerging at linebacker. Dowell was the surprise of Michigan State’s camp last fall, and after earning playing time as a true freshman, he begins spring as a projected starter at linebacker, according to Mike Griffith of Mlive.com. The Spartans’ linebacking corps is
Indiana’s ride is over, as the Hoosiers lost 101-86 to a hot-shooting North Carolina squad that wasn’t going to be denied on this night in a Sweet 16 battle.
Wisconsin’s magic ride ended like a kick in the gut in the Sweet 16. After leading No. 6 Notre Dame for most of the game and failing to put away the poor-shooting Fighting Irish when they had a chance, the No. 7 Badgers let it slip away with some crucial late turnovers.
Michigan State basketball is already talking about next year. Michigan football says it's open to renewing one special rivalry. Wisconsin football is holding a spring practice not in Florida but some place north. These football and basketball stories and more in Friday's Big Ten news digest.