Another August, another Big Ten Network tour in the books. I have been on five now. And for a guy who loves football, food and fun, I feel lucky. Here is a fun look at the Best of the 2016 BTN Bus Tour.
[ MORE: Relive all of Tom Dienhart’s football tour coverage ]
Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten office released the official 2016-17 men’s basketball conference schedule.
Thirteen stops down, and one to go. The second-to-last stop on the annual BTN bus tour had the BTN crew watching Illinois practice Wednesday. Read BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s fun takes inside.
The penultimate stop on the 2016 BTN bus tour took us to Champaign, Illinois, to watch Lovie Smith’s first Illinois squad practice. Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s takeaways from Wednesday’s practice inside.
The slate features six matchups of teams that appeared in the 2016 NCAA Tournament, including the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats at Purdue on Nov. 14 as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games and the 2014 national champion Connecticut Huskies at Ohio State on Dec. 10.
Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports
Hopes are high in Champaign, as Illinois takes the wraps off the Lovie Smith era. Will he be the coach to deliver a consistent winner to the Illini Nation? Smith arrives from the NFL with a big reputation, but he will be Illinois’ fifth coach since 1997 following Ron Turner, Ron Zook, Tim Beckman and Bill Cubit.
Believe it or not, the Big Ten football season kicks off one week from Thursday.