Danny Hope guided Purdue to back-to-back bowl games the past two seasons, but there was little momentum behind the program. That’s why Hope was shown the door after going 22-27 overall and 13-19 in the Big Ten in four seasons in West Lafayette and Darrell Hazell was brought in.
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We’re now officially in the college basketball offseason, a long seven months where the NBA playoffs, major league baseball, and eventually football serve as poor stand-ins for our sports attention. But before we shift into that fruitless exercise, let’s take a quick look at what awaits us beyond the gap.
How far does Urban Meyer think his front seven has come on defense? What challenges are on the horizon for Penn State’s Bill O’Brien and his offense? Want to hear Purdue’s Darrell Hazell describe how his staff has come together? Listen to the latest Big Ten Conference teleconferences as each of the 12 Big Ten football coach and a selected player answer questions from the reporters covering their teams as the spring football season rolls on.
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There is a sense of renewed optimism in West Lafayette with the dawn of the Darrell Hazell era. The former Kent State coach and long-time Ohio State assistant has built a strong staff and brought a winning attitude to Purdue. How quickly can he develop an offensive identity? That will be key in trying to get the Boilermakers to a third bowl in a row. Keep an eye on the quarterback battle and offensive line, the two biggest keys for 2013.
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It’s never too early to look ahead to next season, right? Actually, yes, the day after the completion of one season is entirely too early to start analyzing the next. But even if we don’t know which stars will return and which ones will go pro, it’s fun to consider what next season may bring. See my super-early 2013-14 power rankings in this post. And once all the NBA decision are made, I’ll update this list.
The BTN Big 10K event in Chicago is back, and it’s on Saturday, July 27. This year’s race will be televised on the Big Ten Network so dress up in your favorite school colors and compete for your Big Ten team in the 10K race or 5K run/walk. Register at www.btnbig10k.com to make sure you get your school-themed race shirt – see the shirts in this post.
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The 2012-13 hoops season now complete, it’s time to look back at all of the alternate/throwback uniforms Big Ten teams wore during the successful campaign. By my count, there were 13 new special looks, four of which came from NCAA runner-up Michigan.