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
Spoiler alert: This story involves an awesome painting of fish.
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
The 2016 Olympic Games open this week, and the Big Ten will boast more than 150 participants and coaches in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from August 5-21. All 14 Big Ten schools are represented, with Michigan leading the way with 30 representatives (24 competitors and six coaches). The Wolverines are followed by Penn State (24), Indiana (17), Wisconsin (16), Ohio State (14) and Nebraska (11). Of the 154 overall representatives, 126 are competitors, including 27 who will be students on Big Ten campuses this fall. The Big Ten contingent of current and former students, coaches and alumni includes 66 members
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.
Who doesn’t love an upset? The shock. The surprise. The unexpectedness. It’s what makes sports fun. Last year gave us Michigan State over Ohio State, Purdue over Nebraska and Northwestern over Stanford, to name a few upsets. What’s in store this season? Here is my “best chance to pull an upset” for each Big Ten team this fall. Illinois. If the offense comes together, the Fighting Illini may have a shot to shock Iowa when the Hawkeyes visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19. But how beat up will Illinois be coming off a game the week before at Wisconsin? The