It was just last week when the BTN.com panel offered up our picks for potential breakout players to watch in 2014. Today, I’m going to take it one step further and provide my 2014 Big Ten All-Breakout team. These are the guys who aren’t stars yet, but certainly have the talent to be so in 2014. I listed five players on the offensive side of the ball (QB, RB, WR, TE, OL) and five on the defensive side (DE, DT, LB, CB, S). Did I miss someone? Submit it in the comment box below, or tweet it to me @BTNSean.
Week 2 brings more juice than the opening salvo to the season, as there are three nationally relevant games: Michigan State at Oregon; Virginia Tech at Ohio State; Michigan at Notre Dame. In fact, those games will offer the Big Ten a golden chance to make a statement. A win by the Spartans on the road in raucous Autzen Stadium would stamp them legit national title contenders. Here’s a look at the best of Week 2. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 2 Best storyline: All eyes will be on Eugene, Ore., where
With the season less than 100 days away and preview magazines on the shelves of the local Piggly Wiggly, it’s never too early to start looking forward to the college football season. This week, I begin to take a week-by-week look at the coming season, highlighting what to look for. Consider it an early, early preview. You’re welcome. [ MORE: Get all of Dienhart’s preseason schedule analysis ] BEST OF WEEK 1 Best storyline: The opening week of season is highlighted by Wisconsin’s clash with LSU in Houston. It will be a good measuring stick for the Badgers, especially the
The formula for building a non-conference schedule is pretty standard: play one challenging game vs. a team from a Power 5 league (ACC, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big Ten) and three games vs. foes from “lesser” conferences. And ideally, three of the four games are at home. But, as you can see, not all non-conference games are created equally. Here’s a detailed breakdown of the Big Ten’s non-conference schedule. Power 5 foes: 17 Bowl teams: 24 FCS foes: 11 Foes by Power 5 league Pac-12: 5 (Cal, Oregon, Utah, Washington, Washington State) ACC: 4 (Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, Virginia Tech) Big
With the Scripps National Spelling Bee taking place Thursday, it got us thinking about some of the most challenging names to spell in the Big Ten. One our out favorite parts of the college football season is introducing Big Ten fans to some of the best names to keep an eye on, and these are ones that you may have to break out the ol’ game program to spell correctly. Some of the names are hard to spell because of a unique spelling (think Maxx Williams), and some are hard because they’re just very unique names (think Ifeadi Odenigbo). Either way,
We’ve reached the right side of 100 when it comes to the countdown to the college football season. Three months from now, there will be football. Get excited! Until then, we’re previewing the season. It’s time for Tom Dienhart to single out your team’s toughest non-conference game. ILLINOIS A Sept. 13 trip to Washington will be a good test. The teams met last season in Chicago’s Soldier Field, with the Huskies taking a 34-24 victory to be a buzzkill to a 2-0 Illinois start. The Illini won just two times after the loss to U-Dub, killing the party mood along
Coming this fall on BTN/BTN2Go, our new show “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” debuts, and we’re looking for your submissions. BTN’s memorabilia expert John Arcand will spend each episode traveling throughout Big Ten country to assess Big Ten memorabilia collections – and offer to buy items from collectors. Do you have something special sitting on your shelf? Our “Big Ten Treasure Hunter” crew wants to learn about it.
Now that spring football is in the books, we are slowly starting to see preseason rankings trickle in for the 2014 season. Our friends over at ESPN recently created an automated set of preseason ratings for every team. The ratings are designed to predict how strong each team will be in the upcoming season. This is calculated using the Football Power Index, which according to ESPN is a predictive measure of team strength that uses the EPA breakdowns that correlate most with future results. The efficiency rankings are the point contributions for the Off/Def/Special Teams units to the team’s opponent-adjusted
You may have read recently about the Big Ten considering scheduling its own league schools as “non-conference” games as a way to fill out schedules in the future. I don’t know about you, but I was a bit surprised to hear that. And, I don’t like the idea. Instead, why not just have a 10-game Big Ten schedule? It’s a notion I made reference to in a recent story. The coaches may groan about it. But who else would? No one. Fans and TV would love it, because it results in an extra quality game every year and shortens the
According to ESPN.com, the Big Ten has agreed to increase its football officiating crews from seven officials to eight for all home games starting this fall. The added official, the center judge, will line up in the offensive backfield opposite the head referee. The Big 12 used eight officials last season and will do so again in 2014. Recently, the SEC and ACC have announced they will add an eighth official this fall. The last time the Big Ten increased its number of officials — six to seven — was in 1983. “We’re looking for improved officiating — that’s the