BTN’s wall-to-wall coverage of the Big Ten’s inaugural football conference championship (#B1GFCG) begins Friday, as the Michigan State Spartans prepare to take on the Wisconsin Badgers at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Coverage will kick off at 4 p.m. ET as Mike Hall hosts live coverage of the press conferences for Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio and Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema as well as key players from both teams. Rick Pizzo and analysts Derek Rackley and Tim Doyle will host a new episode of The Pulse at 6:30 p.m. ET. At 7 p.m. ET, BTN will replay the epic Oct.
You have questions, I have answers in my weekly mailbag leading up to the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship. Questions about Michigan State’s All-Big Ten picks, Big Ten expansion and, of course, the league title game highlight this week’s mail bag. I’m surprised that Michigan State did not have more players represented on the All-Big Ten teams as voted by the coaches and media. It won the Legends Division and will play in the first ever Big Ten championship game. How some respect for the Spartans? -James Hert Often times, good teams aren’t filled with myriad stars. And that’s often
Last summer in conjunction with WhatIfSports, BTN.com rolled out two related hypothetical questions: What if Nebraska had been in the Big Ten since 1996? And what if the Big Ten had been playing with two divisions leading up to a title game since that year, too? Using the software from WhatIfSports, we generated each season’s possible outcome, including actual box scores. The results were rather intriguing. For example, check out the WhatIfSports.com results for the 1996 Big Ten season. And with some help from our friends at Narrative Science, we even produced a game story for a selected game of
Yesterday, I compared the offensive and defensive lines, offensive backfields and receiving corps for Michigan State and Wisconsin as they prepare for the Big Ten title game (read the post). Today, I look at the linebackers, defensive backfields, special teams, coaching staffs and intangibles for the Spartans and Badgers. Which team holds the edge in each category? Hear from Michigan State’s Joel Foreman Trenton Robinson and Kirk Cousins during the Big Ten Football Championship Game players teleconference: Wisconsin players Montee Ball, Russell Wilson and Patrick Butrym also participated in the call. Listen now: LINEBACKERS MICHIGAN STATE: This was an area
BTN announced the 2011 All-Big Ten Football Teams and several individual award winners on a special hour-long show Monday night, hosted by Dave Revsine. As always, the All-Big Ten Teams consist of first- and second-team selections from both the conference’s coaches and media. Spoiler alert: Wisconsin RB Montee Ball, who has scored a Big Ten record 34 touchdowns, is the Big Ten’s only unanimous choice. Watch our interview with Ball and Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson now. And check out all of our Monday interviews here. The inaugural award winners included only the positional awards, as offensive, defensive, freshman and coach
With the Big Ten championship game matchup set, it’s time to start looking at Wisconsin and Michigan State from a unit by unit standpoint. Who has the edge on the offensive line? Defensive line? Offensive backfield? Receiving corps? We take a look today. OFFENSIVE LINES MICHIGAN STATE: The unit entered the year with questions and got off to a rough start. But the group—LT Dan France; LG Joel Foreman; C Travis Jackson; RG Chris McDonald; RT Fou Fonoti–seemed to come together after the Michigan win on October 15. While the run blocking has been spotty, the line has done a
Mark Dantonio and Bret Bielema have met five times as head coaches of Michigan State and Wisconsin. The former owns a 3-2 advantage in the competitive and entertaining head-to-head battle, including victories in three of the last four matchups. The two, of course, will meet for a sixth time in the inaugural Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday. Before that happens, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina takes a look back at the last five encounters. Plus, listen to the latest coaches’ teleconference. Sept. 29, 2007, Camp Randall Stadium: Wisconsin 37, Michigan State 34 – Tied at 34 midway through
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart chatted with readers Monday (check out his previous chats in the BTN.com chat archives). Look back at the Q&A he conducted with Big Ten football fans and be sure to read his work all week long.
BTN will present the exclusive, live announcement of several Big Ten football awards during the All-Conference Selection Special at 7:30 p.m. ET on Monday. For the fifth straight year, Dave Revsine will host the show, alongside analysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. Select award winners will be interviewed during the 60-minute program. Read the full release on our show. See BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina’s predictions for superlative winners and All-Big Ten First Team in this post. Also, as for the Big Ten’s new trophies, check out BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s Trophy Tracker. Offensive Player of the Year: Montee
Every week during the football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. Week 13 saw Wisconsin clinch the Leaders Division and a spot in the Big Ten title game. As for the power rankings, they are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina. 1. Wisconsin (10-2, 6-2) – Here’s a stat for you: Montee Ball hasn’t run for fewer than 156 yards or scored fewer than three touchdowns