Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten put a bow on spring practice last Saturday, but many questions still loom as the schools enter the offseason.
The 2013 NFL draft wasn’t kind to the Big Ten. Just 22 players were selected—the fewest since 1994. Just one pick came in the first round, as the selection of Wisconsin center Travis Frederick No. 31 overall by the Cowboys was considered to be a massive reach by anyone with Internet access and a mock draft. But, fear not: The 2014 NFL draft should be much more fruitful for the Big Ten. Check out this way, way, WAY early mock draft from SI.com.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten put a wrap on spring football last weekend, with Iowa and Minnesota playing the final spring games in the conference. Now, the long offseason begins. But, honestly, this is when players get better—not from September to December.
The announcement of the new divisions created a buzz across the Big Ten landscape. Leaders and Legends are gone. East and West are in. And a nine-game Big Ten schedule is coming in 2016. Here are 13 observations about the new arrangements.
Iowa had a lot of work to do in spring drills coming off a 4-8 season that was the program’s worst since 2000. The offense, which struggled mightily last season and had just seven touchdown passes, may have turned a corner this spring under second-year coordinator Greg Davis. No doubt, the offense looked good in the spring game. The defense also may have found a playmaker up front.
So the Big Ten Conference will move to two new football East and West divisions in 2014 and a nine-game conference schedule in 2016. In an interview with BTN on Sunday, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Being broader, being larger, geography had to play a larger part.”
It’s official: The Big Ten Conference will have new division alignments set to begin in 2014 and nine-game Big Ten Conference schedules for 2016 after the recommendations were unanimously approved by school athletic directors and supported by the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors. In a statement released by the conference, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said, “Big Ten directors of athletics concluded four months of study and deliberation with unanimous approval of a future football structure that preserved rivalries and created divisions based on their primary principle of East/West geography.”