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Greg Hudson Q&A: 'We have to do better on first down'

The hits just kept on coming for the Purdue defense last season en route to one of the worst performances in school history and a 1-11 record. The final numbers weren’t pretty: 38.0 points per game (111th in the nation); 235.4 rushing yards per game (114); 224.5 passing yards per game (55th); 459.9 yards per game (104th). But that was yesterday. Defensive coordinator Greg Hudson has turned the page and continued to preach patience as he teaches a young unit that teems with potential. Get Tom Dienhart’s previous Q&As: I caught up with Hudson to get his views on his

Big Ten announces ex-players to attend media days

The Big Ten Conference announced Wednesday the 14 former players that will be in attendance at the 2014 Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, presented by Allstate and BMW. The former standouts will be available for autographs and a photo session prior to the 43rd annual event, which will be held on Tuesday, July 29, at the Hilton Chicago and will mark the first official appearance of Maryland and Rutgers as members of the Big Ten. Beginning at 10 a.m. CT, fans in attendance will take part in an autograph session with all 14 head coaches and one former player from each

Ranking the Big Ten's best defensive trios

With Big Ten media days Monday and Tuesday, media members are busy predicting what the conference landscape may look like in the upcoming 2014 season. One thing is for certain: The Big Ten should be loaded with talent on defense. To that point, I was wondering which teams feature the best trios, when it comes to the three levels (line, linebacker and secondary)? [ MORE: Tom Dienhart’s 15 Big Ten units under pressure ] Here’s my ranking. 1. Michigan State: DE Shilique Calhoun, LB Taiwan Jones, S Kurtis Drummond The conference’s top defense returns five full-time starters this season. Calhoun

BTN to provide live coverage of Big Ten media days

CHICAGO – BTN and BTN2Go will provide more than five hours of live coverage of Big Ten Football Media Days, beginning at 10:30 a.m ET Monday. Coverage includes the press conferences of all 14 Big Ten head football coaches and remarks from BTN President Mark Silverman, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and College Football Playoff Chief Operating Officer Michael Kelly. The press conferences and remarks will re-air beginning at 7 p.m. ET that evening. On Wednesday, July 30, BTN will air a Kickoff Luncheon Special at 7 p.m. ET followed by The Opening Kickoff: The Tumultuous Birth of a Football

BTN.com's 2014 Big Ten football uniform poll

Everybody enjoys a good football uniform. Already home to some of the game’s most iconic uniforms, the Big Ten will garner even more attention for its designs with Maryland and Rutgers’ arrival. Who has the best uniforms? We asked five college football writers to help us form BTN.com’s 2014 Big Ten uniform poll. The voters: Steven Lassan, Andrew Lind, Stewart Mandel, Chris Vannini and Jim Weber, in addition to BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina. Voters ranked the Big Ten uniforms, from 1-14, considering each team’s full ensemble (home, away, alternates, throwbacks, primary helmet and alternate helmets), with a

Playoff is here--but I still want more

In some ways, it’s still hard to believe that big-time college football finally will have a playoff. More evidence of that was revealed Wednesday at SEC media days by Bill Hancock, the executive director of the College Football Playoff who discussed some specifics on the event. Is the system perfect? No. For one thing, the playoff should be more than just four teams. How difficult is it going to be for the committee to draw the line between Team No. 4 and Team No. 5? If you think teams that get left out of the 68-team NCAA men’s basketball tourney

B1G releases times, networks for first 3 weeks

The Big Ten and the conference’s family of networks released Wednesday the remaining kickoff times and networks for the season’s first three weeks. See what time and on what network your team is scheduled to play in the first three weeks in this post. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart ranks his top 50 Big Ten games of 2014 ] WEEK 1 (Aug. 28-30) Eastern Illinois at Minnesota, 7 p.m. ET – BTN/BTN2Go (previously announced) Rutgers at Washington State, 10 p.m. ET – FS1 (previously announced) Aug. 29 Jacksonville State at Michigan State, 7:30 p.m. ET – BTN/BTN2Go (previously announced) Aug. 30

One game a week, it's our expert's Ultimate B1G trip

If time and money weren’t objectives, what Big Ten games would you go to this season? I have built the ultimate 2014 Big Ten schedule, dialing in the game you would need to be at each week. Call it “football nirvana.” See my weekly picks in this post. [ MORE: Dienhart ranks the top 50 games of 2014 ] WEEK 1: WISCONSIN vs. LSU (in Houston). This will be played on the grand stage of Reliant Stadium, giving the Badgers a chance to show if their rebuilt defense is up to the task. LSU had a national-high nine NFL draft

Dienhart ranks top 50 Big Ten games of 2014

So many good games to choose from, so little time … where to begin? That’s the conundrum when looking over the composite Big Ten schedule. There are a lot of very appealing games as the Big Ten begins its new 14-team era. Here are my top 50 games on the 2014 schedule. [ MORE: Get Dienhart’s preseason unit rankings | And schedule analysis ] 1. Ohio State at Michigan State, Nov. 8: Figures to be a de facto Big Ten East title game. 2. Michigan State at Oregon, Sept. 6: Could set the table for the Spartans’ run for a

Dienhart reacts to 2014 football preview mags

I finally have had a chance to closely check out my three favorite college football preview mags: Athlon, Lindy’s and Sporting News. It’s fun to compare and contrast the predicted order of finish in the various publications. After considering the three publications’ picks, I decided to offer some reactions. Here goes: Ohio State is the consensus pick to win the East. But, I gotta tell ya, I’m liking Michigan State. Yes, the Buckeyes have lots of talent, but the jury remains out on a defense that struggled last season in ranking No. 7 overall and No. 11 vs. the pass