The Big Ten office announced the conference schedule for the 2014 football season today, as approved by the Big Ten Directors of Athletics. The 2014 schedule will consist of eight games for each of the Big Ten’s 14 teams, feature a new division alignment, include the conference debut of Maryland and Rutgers and culminate with the fourth annual Big Ten Football Championship Game. Looking for a printable version of the new schedule? Click here to download the full PDF. Beginning in 2014, the Big Ten football division alignments will feature Indiana, Maryland, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State, Penn State and
Last summer, I compiled a Big Ten football uniform bracket for fans to vote on. Unsurprisingly, Michigan won – although there were upsets along the way. This year, it’s time for a helmet bracket (only primary lids considered). Here’s how it works: The field is divided into the Legends Division and Leaders Division, with the champion of each meeting for the title, and BTN fans will vote on every matchup. Also, the two top vote-getters from each division receive a first-round bye. Editor’s note: Seeds were determined by Facebook polls, using the results as of Wednesday afternoon (Legends | Leaders).
The Big Ten spring meetings have hit Chicago, and there are plenty of topics on the table. For example, further conference expansion, football schedules, bowl games and basketball divisions, among others. Get some of the best tweets from the meetings in this post. A couple things, before we get to the tweets: 1. I love it that Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez relishes the role of unofficial Big Ten newsbreaker; 2. it sure looks like the 2014 and 2015 Big Ten football schedules will be released Wednesday. [ RELATED: Dienhart: Just say ‘No” to divisions for hoops ] Bummed that Alvarez
The schedule is pretty kind to a Michigan State program coming off a disappointing 7-6 season that saw MSU lose five games by a combined 13 points. If the Spartans can win at Notre Dame on Sept. 21, they could be 8-0 when they welcome Michigan on Nov. 2. The slate opens with three beatable foes that should allow the Spartans time to work out kinks on offense before facing the Irish. In Big Ten play, Michigan State has a favorable road slate; in fact, it may be able to go 3-1 away from East Lansing. Toughest non-conference game: Without
Once the college football yearbooks hit the newsstand—and it has to be any day now—I expect to see six Big Ten teams in most Top 25s. And look for them to be in this order: Ohio State; Nebraska; Michigan; Wisconsin; Northwestern; Michigan State. That may seem a bit generous, but I think all six are worthy, as the Big Ten is in pursuit of its first national championship since Ohio State stunned Miami (Fla.) for the 2002 crown. The Buckeyes should be in everyone’s top five—a legit national title contender that played for the BCS crown as recently as the
Spring football is over and the offseason is officially here. Let’s all let loose with a collective sigh. Now we have to wait until the night of Thursday, August 29, for the first Big Ten game when UNLV plays at Minnesota. There are lots of barbecues, cannon balls into the swimming pool, croquet, Wiffle Ball and Jarts between now and then. To help get you through, here’s my post-spring ranking of Big Ten football teams. Take a deep breath. And here we go. 1. Ohio State. There’s a lot to like for the Big Ten’s best hope to win a national title. The offense
Finally, Tommie Frazier is in the College Football Hall of Fame. Better late than never, right? The Nebraska quarterback’s enshrinement was long overdue, as he was one of four players from Big Ten schools who were announced as inductees into the College Football Hall of Fame by the National Football Foundation today. Other Big Ten players elected include Wisconsin running back Ron Dayne, Ohio State offensive tackle Orlando Pace, and Michigan State linebacker Percy Snow. Frazier was a consensus All-American in 1995. But best of all: He led the Cornhuskers to consecutive unbeaten records and national championships in 1994 and 1995.
BTN will televise 12 primetime games during the 2013 college football season, the most in network history. Five games feature a pre-season top-25 Big Ten team, while three of the 12 matchups feature games versus teams from the SEC, ACC and Pac-12 conferences. Eight Big Ten schools in all will be featured in primetime. “Primetime games are becoming more and more popular,” said BTN President Mark Silverman. “Featuring compelling matchups in primetime allows BTN to remain front and center in Big Ten and college football fans’ minds throughout the entire day,” he said. Highlights of the schedule include a pair
It’s good to be Pat Narduzzi. The Michigan State defensive coordinator has it rolling right now, pushing the buttons on what was the Big Ten’s best defense last season (274.4 ypg) and No. 4 in the nation. In fact, it was the second season in a row the Spartans paced the Big Ten in defense. Want more? The Spartans are one of just five FBS schools, along with Alabama, Florida State, Florida and LSU, to rank among the top 10 nationally in total defense the past two seasons. In addition, MSU and Alabama are the only two programs to rank
The Big Ten continues to be a revenue leader among the nation’s conferences. According to a report by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, each Big Ten school will receive $25.7 million this year from the conference. The Big Ten Network will contribute $7.6 million of that figure. Big Ten schools also received $10.9 million apiece from the conference’s television deal with ABC and ESPN. The Post-Dispatch cites figures obtained by the University of Illinois. Last year, league schools each received a payout of $24.6 million, with $8.1 million coming from the Big Ten Network. The share from the BTN increased every