If football season is nearing kickoff, it must be time for the latest Madden NFL player ratings. [ MORE: Like this post? Check out our full Gone Viral section ] Released Tuesday, Madden NFL 16’s ranking is Big Ten-heavy at the top, featuring two of the game’s top four players, while another is tied with six players for the No. 5 spot. Former Wisconsin defensive lineman and current Houston megastar J.J. Watt earned one of the game’s three 99 ratings, along with New England TE Rob Gronkowski and Green Bay QB Aaron Rodgers, to pace the Big Ten. Ex-Iowa offensive
Another day, another Big Ten starting quarterback has been named. According to @NU_Sports, the official Twitter account of Northwestern athletics, head coach Pat Fitzgerald has announced redshirt freshman Clayton Thorson will be the team’s starting quarterback. Thorson beat out senior Zach Oliver and sophomore Matt Alviti for the job. The 6-4, 220-pouner was a three-star prospect and the No. 29-ranked quarterback in the 2014 national class rankings, according to Scout.com. The Wildcats open the season Saturday, Sept. 5 vs. No. 21 Stanford.
Our countdown to kickoff series continues, and today it’s all about the Big Ten West’s top uniform. [ MORE: Top non-conference game | Top under-the-radar game | East must-see game | West must-see game | East most underrated player | West most underrated player | East surprise team | West surprise team | East breakout player | West breakout player | East most exciting player | West most exciting player | East top newcomer | West top newcomer | East top uniform ] Few topics create more debate than uniforms, and that’s particularly the case in the proud Big Ten,
Jim Harbaugh and the Michigan football team love the program’s proud history, and for good reason. [ MORE: Like this post? Check out our full Gone Viral section ] Harbaugh played quarterback for Bo Schembechler at the nation’s winningest program, so the first-year coach is no stranger to taking a page out of the legendary coach’s book. For example, Harbaugh has brought back Schembechler’s more narrow block “M” hat. He’s also all about his former coach’s “The Team, The Team, The Team,” saying. So much so, the personalized Coke cans in a fridge at Michigan read “Team.” And, of course,
The 2015 BTN camp tour is over after 17 days crisscrossing the interstates from Lincoln, Nebraska, to Piscataway, New Jersey. I still have not caught up with laundry and or reintroduced myself to my family, but I thought I’d offer one takeaway from every stop along the way. Here are my final thoughts from each stop: ILLINOIS Good energy at Camp Rantoul—along with some good teaching. QB Wes Lunt looked good, but coming up with explosive/big plays may be a challenge. The RB spot is especially worrisome. The d-line looks better equipped to stop the run. No more big plays.
In exactly one week, Michigan (at Utah) and Minnesota (vs. No. 2 TCU) will help kick off the 2015 college football season. We’ve been counting down the days for weeks now (watch the videos), so it’s exciting to know we’re inside the one-week mark. Before Thursday night arrives, the BTN.com team takes a look at our top three preseason candidates for the Big Ten’s postseason awards. See our preseason leaderboard for each award below: Graham-George Offensive Player of the Year 1. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Ohio State 2. Connor Cook, QB, Michigan State 3. J.T. Barrett/Cardale Jones, QB, Ohio State Nagurski-Woodson
For Rutgers University, New Brunswick, N.J., is more than just the site of the flagship campus. It’s the school’s hometown, and the community it serves. Incoming RU freshman learned that lesson this summer before even setting foot in a lab or lecture hall for a course. Thanks to a new partnership between Rutgers Against Hunger (RAH) and Rutgers New Student Orientation, roughly 6,000 future students worked to help provide food to about 1,700 underprivileged children in New Brunswick. Over the course of two months, groups of future Scarlet Knights packed 24,000 packages of food for kids ages 6-12 taking part
Ohio State wide receiver Noah Brown injured his left leg during practice Wednesday and will miss the season. Brown will have surgery Thursday and is expected to make a full recovery.
The BTN bus has left Purdue practice, and now it’s time to share some nuggets I gathered while watching the Boilermakers. [ MORE: 5 things Tom Dienhart learned | Tweets from practice ] The Boilermakers have a nice collection of defensive tackles. Junior Jake Replogle is a playmaker on the interior. Fellow junior Ra’Zahn Howard has trimmed down and could be a force on the nose. Senior Ryan Watson moves well. Senior Michael Rouse needs a big send-off and looks ready. Purdue is using more “tempo” on offense as a way of keeping defenses off balance. And that tempo offense
The BTN bus tour continues the trek through Big Ten country. On Wednesday, we reached our 14th and final stop at West Lafayette, Indiana. [ MORE: See our team’s tweets from Purdue football practice ] Our crew got the chance to watch the Boilermakers practice on Wednesday. Here are five things I learned after watching the practice. 1. The offensive line should be good. No doubt, this is the best front in Darrell Hazell’s three seasons in West Lafayette. The unit his regime inherited was a disaster. This group has size, experience and depth; the bodies look better. And the