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. [ MORE: Dienhart: Get Minnesota’s offseason to-do list ] Now, Tracy Claeys is leading the Gophers. And he wasted little time putting his stamp on the program, letting go offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Limegrover and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski. Jay Johnson was hired from Louisiana-Lafayette to run the offense and coach quarterbacks, while Bart Miller was tabbed to coach the line. Work remains to be done if Minnesota wants to improve on a 6-7 mark
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his offseason to-do list for the Purdue Boilermakers.
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.
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. Is this a cause for alarm? No matter your spin, there is no denying that 2016 is a big season for Franklin in Happy Valley. To fill the offensive coordinator job, Franklin
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. [ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart’s Nebraska offseason to-do list ] A challenging schedule awaits the Huskers as they look to move up the pecking order in the Big Ten West in search of the program’s first league title since 1999. Here
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? I look at those questions and others below. Let’s go! I think that Michigan can go 12-0 this season. Michigan isn’t deep at linebacker and along the defensive line. But the Wolverines are strong in the secondary, receiver, d-line and tight end spots. – Ben I am very high on Michigan, too. But, I’m not so sure the Wolverines will go 12-0. I could see Michigan going 10-2 or 9-3. The fact Jim
If you are an Illinois football player and you own a scooter … you won’t for long. Lovie Smith is banning scooters. It’s all in the name of safety. Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette says an estimated two-thirds of the Illini players own a scooter or moped. On practice days, the two-wheel rides fill the alley behind Memorial Stadium. I wonder how this will go over with the players. *** Mike Griffith of Mlive.com looks at how Michigan State’s recruiting/NFL draft production compares to in the Big Ten. This is amazing stuff: The Spartans are the only program in
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.