With the stat-stuffing games that dominate the nonconference season now history, it's a lot easier to assemble a weekly Big Ten Player Rankings. The first week of conference play featured no shortage of impressive individual performances.
On Monday, the 14 Big Ten coaches held a teleconference with reporters from around the country. We posted the audio for each coach on the call here, so jump in and take a listen.
When we say the students, faculty and staff, and alumni of the universities of the Big Ten Conference “live big,” we aren’t overstating our case. Last year, we reported stories that took our readers from exotic locales like Sri Lanka and Uganda to galaxies far, far away. Whether it’s on-campus or in outer space, the Big Ten community is innovating, inspiring and improving. We told more than 200 of those stories in 2015. We loved them all, but there were a few that stood out to us as especially interesting and high-impact. Here are some of our favorites from the universities
The lid has been taken off Big Ten play, and five schools are off to 2-0 starts. Two of them aren’t a shock, as Maryland and Indiana are out of the gates quickly. But it’s a surprise to see Michigan, Ohio State and Iowa also 2-0 in Big Ten action.
The Illinois-Ohio State men’s basketball game Sunday night featured an exciting finish. The teams traded baskets down the stretch, and the game wasn’t decided until the final shot. Trailing 74-73 after a Malcolm Hill 3-pointer with three seconds left, Illinois fouled Marc Loving, who hit the first free throw and missed the second. Hill grabbed the missed free throw, took a few dribbles and heaved a potential game-winner from the other side of the court. The shot looked like it was on line, but it went to the left the rim, meaning Ohio State survived, 75-73, and moved to 2-0
Every week during the 2015 football season, BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Brent Yarina, Sean Merriman and a Big Ten beat writer made their Big Ten game predictions. [ MORE: 2015-16 bowl schedule | Dienhart: Best of Big Ten bowls ] We also provided polls for Big Ten fans to pick their winners. With bowl season complete, it’s time to see how we fared with our postseason picks. Check out our predictions and the final season standings below. Rotating Beat Writer: Bruce Feldman (@BruceFeldmanCFB), foxsports.com 2015 record: 99-24 Bowl record: 6-4 Big Ten bowl picks: Duke 33, Indiana 27; UCLA 41, Nebraska
The Big Ten college football bowl season is officially in the books. Yes, the Big Ten came up short in its bid to defend the national title won last year by Ohio State. But the conference had some memorable moments during its 5-5 postseason.
No. 7 Ohio State had trouble dispatching No. 8 Notre Dame in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. The Buckeyes took down the Irish, 44-28, behind Ezekiel Elliott’s four touchdown runs, which tied the Fiesta Bowl record. See our favorite USA TODAY Sports photos of Ohio State celebrating the Fiesta Bowl victory below.
Would Ohio State have a letdown, they wondered? [ MORE: BOWL SCHEDULE | AP RECAP | BOX | PLAY-BY-PLAY ] Not a chance. The reigning nation champ showed no signs of a hangover after missing out on the second annual College Football Playoff, looking impressive en route to a 44-28 victory over Notre Dame on Friday in the 2016 Fiesta Bowl. BEST OF THE FIESTA BOWL Best play: This one came from the losing team, but the DeShone Kizer-to-Chris Brown touchdown pass in the third quarter was a thing of beauty. The pass was on the money, and the catch was
Ohio State fans really enjoyed Ezekiel Elliott’s fourth touchdown run of the day vs. Notre Dame on Friday. Not only was it his fourth score, but the running back flashed Joey Bosa’s signature shrug in the end zone. Bosa, the back-to-back Big Ten Defensive Lineman of the Year, was ejected in the first quarter for targeting. So, Elliott decided to honor his fellow standout junior. It was a nice gesture, especially because Bosa didn’t get an opportunity to do the celebration in his final game in an Ohio State uniform, this after announcing he will enter the 2016 NFL Draft.