The NFL draft is quickly approaching – May 8-10, to be exact – and it looks like there could be plenty of Big Ten love in the first round. We have all heard the names like Taylor Lewan, Darqueze Dennard and Ryan Shazier. We know their strengths, and we know their weaknesses. But, which current NFL players do draft experts compare these incoming rookies to? Here’s what BTN NFL draft guru Russ Lande says. [ MORE: Top Big Ten NFL-Producing teams of last 5 years ] 1. Taylor Lewan, OT, Michigan Comparison: Nate Solder, New England Patriots 2. Darqueze Dennard,
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten social media polls for our weekday show #BTNLive. On tonight’s episode of #BTNLive at 6 p.m. ET, our experts discuss this question: How many schools should qualify for the college football playoff? On tonight’s show, our experts talk about how the new college football playoff committee set parameters for its inaugural season. We’ll debate what makes sense and what needs some tweaking. How do you vote via social media? It’s simple. On Twitter, just use any of the above hashtags and we will tabulate them. There’s
The NFL draft begins a week from today. The build up has been lengthy. The anticipation is great. Intrigue dominates the top picks, as no one is sure what the Houston Texans will be do with the No. 1 overall pick. The Big Ten has to hope this year’s draft is more productive than last year’s, which was largely forgettable. How forgettable? The conference had only 22 picks, the conference’s lowest total since 1994, when it had 21 from a then 11-team conference. The Big Ten had fewer selections in the first three rounds (seven) than any of the power
Recruiting is the lifeblood of a good football program. Ask any coach. The team with the best players typically wins the game. Well, when it comes to an investment in talent procurement, the Big Ten is upping its ante. According to a story in the Cedar Rapids Gazette, Big Ten public schools have increased their football recruiting expenses by 57 percent in a two-year period. The Big Ten’s current 11 public schools combined to spend nearly $6.47 million in football recruiting in fiscal year 2013. That’s up from $4.1 million in 2011. Big Ten Recruiting Costs School 2011 2012 2013
As we should see in next month’s NFL draft, the Big Ten is losing some serious talent. From the offensive side of the ball to the defensive side, there are plenty of All-Big Ten honorees and superlative winners to replace. Which NFL-bound players will be missed the most? See my top candidates, listed in alphabetical order, in this post. [ MORE: View all of our NFL draft coverage ] Jared Abbrederis, WR, Wisconsin. It’s been talked about at length, that the Wisconsin passing game wasn’t exactly stellar in 2013. In fact, the unit’s 2,562 passing yards ranked 82nd in FBS.
The Big Ten spring football season is officially in the books, which means it’s time to point out those who stood out and made an impact for their respective teams. I reached out to writers from every Big Ten school and asked them who they were most impressed with in their team’s spring football game and why. [ MORE: Dienhart: My 2014 All-Spring Football Team ] Illinois: Matt Daniels (@mdaniels_NG), News Gazette – WR Justin Hardee Based strictly on the spring game, which the Blue easily won 38-7 with Reilly O’Toole and Wes Lunt receiving roughly the same snaps at
Remember, not so long ago, when Purdue was deemed the name “The Den of Defensive Ends” for producing a massive amount of top-notch defensive ends who went on to play in the NFL? Names like Rosevelt Colvin, Chike Okeafor, Shaun Phillips and Anthony Spencer struck fear in opposing Big Ten quarterbacks throughout the late 90’s and early 2000’s. Even before that, Penn State became known as “Linebacker U” because of dominant linebackers such as Shane Conlan, LaVar Arrington and Paul Posluszny, all of whom had or are currently having success in the NFL. This year’s NFL Draft is loaded with
I was a bit bummed when I heard the SEC would retain its current scheduling format, which calls for eight conference games each season. Meanwhile, the other four “power leagues” (Big Ten, ACC, Big 12, Pac-12) are or will play nine-game conference schedules. With the start of a four-team playoff this fall, college football needs more uniformity across the board when it comes to building schedules—then ultimately comparing resumes when it comes to selecting playoff teams. Having all of the major conferences playing the same number of league games would have been a start. The next would be to have
With Big Ten spring practices finished, it’s time for my annual tradition of naming an All-Spring Team. These are players who made moves in the spring as surprise players—or vets who took another step in their development. See my complete team in this post. [ MORE: Get all of our Big Ten spring football coverage ] 2014 BTN.com All-Spring Team OFFENSE QB Trevor Siemian, Northwestern. He enjoyed a strong spring, firming up his status as the No. 1 man with Kain Colter gone. Yes, Siemian lacks the mobility of previous NU signal-callers. But he has a superior arm. Expect the
Who will have the easiest Big Ten conference schedule in 2014, based on last year’s records? Wisconsin, followed by three fellow Big Ten West teams. Jesse Temple of FOX Sports Wisconsin did the calculations. The combined 2013 league record of Wisconsin’s eight 2014 Big Ten foes is 22-42 (.343 winning percentage). Not having to play Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn State and Michigan from the Big Ten East helps. A lot. The Badgers’ cross-division foes are Rutgers and Maryland. Here’s a look from 1-14 of each team’s 2014 Big Ten schedule ranked on the 2013 won-lost record of its opponents.