Indiana enjoyed a breakthrough season in Kevin Wilson’s fifth year in Bloomington, taking the Hoosiers to their first bowl since 2007 and just their second since 1993. Alas, IU still hasn’t finished over .500 since 1994. And it last won a bowl in 1991. But progress is being made. Wilson has built a strong program around a dynamic offense that can run, pass and score points in bunches. The future looks promising for Indiana, as Wilson continues to recruit well. The next order of business: develop the defense, which remains an albatross around the program. The Hoosiers were last in
Penn State is turning the page as it moves to 2016, the third season under James Franklin. Christian Hackenberg is gone, as the offense transitions under a new QB and new coordinator. Those are just two questions facing PSU. Pennlive.com has 16 Penn State-related questions. *** Steve Politi of NJ.com has graded the Big Ten bowl teams and how they impact Rutgers. *** Former Husker Adam Carriker has key some key takeaways from the 2015 Nebraska season. Carriker says that considering that the Huskers’ seven losses came by a combined 31 points, it’s reasonable to believe that this team is
Not every school’s bowl experience was the same. Some teams are coming off postseason highs. Others enter the offseason on a down note. Here is a ranking of how the 10 Big Ten teams performed.
It was not a big shock to see Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg turn pro (or DT Austin Johnson, for that matter). But it did raise eyebrows when Hackenberg thanked myriad people as he left—but he omitted mentioning James Franklin. Interesting. I wish Hackenberg would have handled it better. Here is a look back at Hackenberg’s largely unfulfilling career at Penn State. Don’t you wonder how he would look now if Bill O’Brien had never left? *** Nice story on Ohio State’s Darron Lee, who arrived in Columbus having been a high school QB. Now, two years later, Lee was
The lid has been taken off Big Ten play, and five schools are off to 2-0 starts. Two of them aren’t a shock, as Maryland and Indiana are out of the gates quickly. But it’s a surprise to see Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa also 2-0 in Big Ten action.
The Big Ten college football bowl season is officially in the books. Yes, the Big Ten came up short in its bid to defend the national title won last year by Ohio State. But the conference had some memorable moments during its 5-5 postseason.
Playing vs. an SEC team is always a good measuring stick for a team. Even an SEC team that canned its head coach, as Mark Richt was fired and is now coaching Miami (FL). [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | BOX | PBP | AP RECAP ] These iconic programs last met in the Sugar Bowl after the 1982 season, when Penn State dumped Heisman winner Hershel Walker and the Bulldogs to win the national championship. The stakes weren’t nearly that high today in a clash that often resembled a taffy pull between teams that played good defense—and spotty offense. The
This time last year, Iowa was getting scortched by Tennessee in the TaxSlayer Bowl to cap a disappointing 7-6 season that set in motion an offseason of tumult. Kirk Ferentz examined his program and made alterations, including switching practices from afternoon to morning. But most prescient, Ferentz tabbed C.J. Beathard the QB over Jake Rudock shortly after the loss to the Vols. Rudock transferred to Michigan, Beathard became a star and the rest is history. [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] The Hawkeyes went on to post a season for the ages, going 12-0
Northwestern was looking to put an exclamation point on a standout 10-win season by dumping an SEC team. It didn’t happen for what has been one of the nation’s most surprising teams that opened 2015 with a win vs. Pac-12 champ Stanford. [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] The Wildcats lacked the big-play ability on offense to keep pace vs. the athletic Volunteers, one of the SEC’s fast-rising programs under Butch Jones that closed the year with six wins in a row in what was the largest margin of victory in Outback Bowl history.
So many storylines dominated the Cotton Bowl matchup. Michigan State was making its first playoff appearance coming off a Big Ten title. Alabama was here last year, getting upset as the No. 1 seed by Ohio State, which went on to win the championship. Protégé (Mark Dantonio) was trying to beat mentor (Nick Saban). On it went. [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | GALLERY | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] In the end, it was all Alabama, which cruised to a 38-0 victory at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. BEST OF THE COTTON BOWL Best play: There were none