Rolling through the hills of Pennsylvania on the Big Ten Network bus, what better time than now to dip into my Big Ten Mailbag? Exactly. I look at the continued perceived disrespect of Michigan State. And would Wisconsin be the West Division fav if it had a veteran QB? How will Purdue’s schedule break down? That and more. Let’s go! You certainly disrespected Michigan State if your story of “best chance for Big Ten teams to get upset.” Are the Spartans now chopped liver? Looks like you just fall in line with others, overlooking Sparty. Interesting. – Roger Elliott Look,
Last week, the Associated Press released their Top 100 college football teams of the past 80 years. A total of seven Big Ten teams landed on the list, highlighted by Ohio State at No. 1 overall. The Buckeyes have ranked in the AP Poll for more weeks than any other team (852) during that span, including the most at No. 1 (105). This got me thinking, who are the best Big Ten teams in recent memory? Obviously, the 2014 Ohio State Buckeyes come to mind in recent memory, but what about before that? I got together with BTN.com senior writer
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?
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
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
With the addition of a ninth Big Ten game, there will be three crossover games, compared to two previously, and all Big Ten East teams play two of them at home; the Big Ten West will get two home crossovers in 2017. Here's a breakdown of the 2016 crossovers.
There are games on every team’s schedule that fans circle as “tough” ones, games that will be very challenging to win. Well, that’s what I did with each Big Ten schedule, identifying each school’s “toughest” Big Ten game in 2016. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games ] Check it out below. Illinois. Lots to choose from. I’ll go with the trip to Michigan on Oct. 22. Jim Harbaugh has this program rolling as he enters Year Two in Ann Arbor. The defense could be the best in the Big Ten, while the offense will be
This is awesome: The Associated Press, which operates the longest-running college football poll, published a top 25 Tuesday that ranks the nation’s best programs over the poll’s 80-year existence (1936). The No. 1 team? It’s Ohio State, the program that has been ranked in the poll for more weeks than any other team (852), including the most at No. 1 (105). Michigan (No. 7), Michigan State (No. 19), Wisconsin (No. 24) and Iowa (No. 25) also land on the list, as do current Big Ten members Nebraska (No. 6) and Penn State (No. 12), both of which experienced their best
There is no better way for a team to test itself than by playing a tough non-conference foe in September. Here is my pick for each team’s toughest non-league opponent.