Michigan State closed out its season with an uninspiring 38-0 loss to Alabama in this year’s College Football Playoff semifinal at the Goodyear Cotton Bowl. Despite the loss, this was an outstanding year for Mark Dantonio and the Spartans, finishing 12-2 and winning a Big Ten championship. With the graduation of Connor Cook, Shilique Calhoun, Jack Allen and several other key players from this year’s team, the Spartans will have a number of important questions that need to be addressed heading into next season. Here is a look at five burning questions facing Dantonio and the Spartans in 2016. Who
Playing quarterback in the NFL is a one of the most demanding jobs in sports. In 2015, five of the NFL’s 32 teams called former Big Ten quarterbacks their starters for more than half of their 16 regular season games. Take a moment to test your knowledge and see if you can name all five of those Big Ten names and their teams before reading the rest of my story here. So how did you do? Of course, we have Michigan’s Tom Brady (New England Patriots) and Purdue’s Drew Brees (New Orleans Saints). More recently, the Big Ten has produced
It's so very early but who do you see making the 2016 Big Ten football title game? What's the outlook for Michigan in 2016? These are a few of the questions readers sent in, and BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart tackles them all in his weekly mailbag.
The 2015 Jim Thorpe Award winner is coming back to Iowa City, Iowa. [ MORE: These Big Ten stars have declared for 2016 NFL Draft ] Iowa junior cornerback Desmond King announced he will return to school for his senior season in an Instagram post Tuesday. “Feels good to finish my education and to be with my brothers for my senior year,” King wrote. “There will be those that say my decision is wrong but it’s what’s best for me. Let’s make it a good one fellas🏈.” King, who recorded a Big Ten-leading eight interceptions, had until Jan. 18 to
Indiana enjoyed a breakthrough season in Kevin Wilson’s fifth year in Bloomington, taking the Hoosiers to their first bowl since 2007 and just their second since 1993. Alas, IU still hasn’t finished over .500 since 1994. And it last won a bowl in 1991. But progress is being made. Wilson has built a strong program around a dynamic offense that can run, pass and score points in bunches. The future looks promising for Indiana, as Wilson continues to recruit well. The next order of business: develop the defense, which remains an albatross around the program. The Hoosiers were last in
Penn State is turning the page as it moves to 2016, the third season under James Franklin. Christian Hackenberg is gone, as the offense transitions under a new QB and new coordinator. Those are just two questions facing PSU. Pennlive.com has 16 Penn State-related questions. *** Steve Politi of NJ.com has graded the Big Ten bowl teams and how they impact Rutgers. *** Former Husker Adam Carriker has key some key takeaways from the 2015 Nebraska season. Carriker says that considering that the Huskers’ seven losses came by a combined 31 points, it’s reasonable to believe that this team is
The 2016 NFL Draft isn't until April 28-30, but the nation's top underclassmen are busy announcing their future plans. They have until January 18 to continue to do so.
The NFL playoffs are set, and former Big Ten standouts litter the 12 teams’ active rosters. A total of 80 players find themselves on active rosters, paced by Ohio State (14), and every Big Ten team has at least one representative. To be clear, the number does not include players currently on injured reserve or Maryland, Nebraska and Rutgers players who played before the schools entered the Big Ten. See the team-by-team breakdown below. ILLINOIS (4) Jeff Allen, OL, Kansas City Chiefs Whitney Mercilus, DE, Houston Texans Pierre Thomas, RB, Washington Redskins Tavon Wilson, DB, New England Patriots INDIANA (1)
Not every school’s bowl experience was the same. Some teams are coming off postseason highs. Others enter the offseason on a down note. Here is a ranking of how the 10 Big Ten teams performed.
It was not a big shock to see Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg turn pro (or DT Austin Johnson, for that matter). But it did raise eyebrows when Hackenberg thanked myriad people as he left—but he omitted mentioning James Franklin. Interesting. I wish Hackenberg would have handled it better. Here is a look back at Hackenberg’s largely unfulfilling career at Penn State. Don’t you wonder how he would look now if Bill O’Brien had never left? *** Nice story on Ohio State’s Darron Lee, who arrived in Columbus having been a high school QB. Now, two years later, Lee was