Going through my Big Ten Mailbag on a hot Friday afternoon. And what do I find? Questions about the 2016 records for Michigan State and Minnesota, among others. And is C.J. Beathard a Heisman contender?
.@IlliniAD has still got it 🏈🙌 #Illini #WeWillWin pic.twitter.com/yoXQcKbkES — Illini Football (@IlliniFootball) August 4, 2016 Josh Whitman was a productive Illinois football player long before becoming the school’s AD. The former tight end, in fact, totaled 52 receptions, 552 yards and seven touchdowns during his Illinois career (1997-2000). Whitman, who was hired Feb. 17, still looks like can play some ball. He proved it Thursday at Illinois’ first practice of the Lovie Smith era, catching several balls off the JUGS machine. Check out the ex-tight end’s hands in the tweet above. Honest question: How many ADs could make something
Every coach looks at a schedule, scanning the list of games. Which ones figure to be tough ones? Even more vital: Which stretch of games figures to be the most daunting, a potential make-or-break run of contests? [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Best chance to be upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] I have identified the toughest stretch of games on each Big Ten schedule. Illinois. The last four games are daunting. The season-ending run begins with a visit from Michigan State on Nov. 5 followed by a trip to Wisconsin, a visit
Believe the hype about Michigan State defensive lineman Malik McDowell—at least that’s what his teammates and coaches say. “I think that this is the year that sort of catapults him,” Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said last week at Big Ten media days. “So he’s got to have a great year and I think he’s poised to do that.” The hype around McDowell is reaching massive levels. I wonder if he can live up to it. Gonna be difficult. And then there is this from LB Riley Bullough. “If you just walk in the room with Malik you’ll see he’s
Spoiler alert: This story involves an awesome painting of fish.
Will Michigan's move to Nike and Jordan help the Wolverines in recruiting? BTN.com's Tom Dienhart and Sean Merriman debate it!
No coach wants to lose a game that experts think he’s supposed to win. Upsets can set a season on its ear and prove ruinous. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] There are potholes on every schedule. And I have picked the one game on your school’s schedule in which it has its best chance to be—gulp–upset. Illinois. The visit from Western Michigan on Sept. 17 is dangerous. P.J. Fleck is an up-and-coming coaching fireball who played at Northern Illinois and is a native of the state. You know the
The preseason Coaches Poll was released Thursday, and four Big Ten teams land in the season’s first ranking. Ohio State, the 2016 Fiesta Bowl champ, paces the Big Ten, at No. 5, behind No. 1 Alabama, No. 2 Clemson, No. 3 Oklahoma and No. 4 Florida State. Michigan, fresh off a 10-win season in Jim Harbaugh’s first season, comes in at No. 8, giving the Big Ten two preseason top 10 teams, while reigning Big Ten champ Michigan State (No. 11) and 2015 Big Ten West champ Iowa (No. 15) round out the Big Ten contingent. Wisconsin, Northwestern, Nebraska and
NFL camps are underway, and several former Big Ten stars aren’t wasting any time making head-turning plays. More specifically, must-see catches. We found a trio of remarkable catches – yes, even if they came in practice – on social media today, and thought we’d share the goods. There’s one from Minnesota’s Stefon Diggs (Maryland), Houston’s Braxton Miller (Ohio State) and Los Angeles’ Kenny Britt (Rutgers, before the Scarlet Knights entered the Big Ten). The Diggs’ one, for my money, is the best of the bunch. Check them out below. This catch by @stefon_diggs… 🙀💯🙀💯🙀@Vikings #TrainingCamp @kare11 pic.twitter.com/SbsDsthoQF — Brandon McCauley
The 2016 Olympic Games open this week, and the Big Ten will boast more than 150 participants and coaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5-21. All 14 Big Ten schools are represented, with Michigan leading the way with 30 representatives (24 competitors and six coaches). The Wolverines are followed by Penn State (24), Indiana (17), Wisconsin (16), Ohio State (14) and Nebraska (11). Of the 154 overall representatives, 126 are competitors, including 27 who will be students on Big Ten campuses this fall. The Big Ten contingent of current and former students, coaches and alumni includes 66 members