Sandra Dukes-US PRESSWIRE
Purdue will arrive in Dallas without head coach Danny Hope, who was fired after four seasons despite guiding the Boilermakers to a second bowl in succession. This is a chance to punctuate a second consecutive season with a bowl win, which hasn’t happened since winning back-to-back Alamo Bowls in 1997-98. And the Boilermakers arrive with some momentum, having won three in a row.
The 50th annual Ken Kraft Midlands Tournament start Saturday at Northwestern and wrap up Sunday with the finals airing live on BTN/BTN2Go. The event is open to Division I, II, and III wrestling teams as well as a number of post-graduate competitors. According to the latest collegiate wrestling rankings, the Big Ten currently has 10 teams ranked in the Top 25.
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Minnesota kicks off the first of seven football bowl games involving Big Ten teams when the Gophers face Texas Tech on Friday night. On Saturday, Michigan State plays TCU. On Sunday leading up to five Big Ten bowls on New Year’s Day, watch our “Bowl Preview Show” at 7 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
Expect a tough, low-scoring defensive effort in this game. Neither team comes in on a roll, having lost four of their last six games. Needless to say, the season hasn’t gone as expected for either team as both opened the season in the Top 25. In fact, the Spartans were picked by some to win the Big Ten coming off consecutive 11-win seasons.
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Non-conference play in Big Ten men’s basketball wraps up this weekend. There are no games today and Thursday but action picks back up Friday with Jacksonville at Indiana on BTN/BTN2Go. Big Ten play starts next Monday with Michigan State at Minnesota and Indiana at Iowa.
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This is a battle between programs looking to ascend the food chain in their respective conferences. Jerry Kill is in his second season in the Twin Cities, rallying the program to its first bowl since 2009. The extra practices will help hasten the development of this rising team.
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Michigan was the highest-rated Big Ten team in the AP preseason poll at No. 8, but it was undone by youth, injuries and a brutal schedule. The offense struggled much of the season, getting little production from the tailbacks and an inconsistent effort up front in Brady Hoke’s second season in Ann Arbor.