Iowa? Ohio State? Michigan? Some other team perhaps? BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart asked a handful of football writers to make their incredibly early predictions on a 2016 Big Ten football champion. Here's what they said.
Ohio State rolled out a 2015 football highlight reel. Michigan lands a familiar name on the College Football Playoff committee. There's another reason why Michigan State might not be doing so well on the basketball court. And has there ever been a better time to be an Iowa hoops and football fan? We recap the headlines from around the Big Ten in this collection of Friday links.
James Franklin’s third Penn State team has some challenges with an altered coaching staff and a number of player transfers. Amid the turnover, Franklin will try to take the next step in State College after going 7-6 in each of his first two seasons and 6-10 overall in the Big Ten. This remains a young roster that teems with promising talent.
"How long do you think it will take D.J. Durkin to make a difference at Maryland?" "What is the ceiling for Michigan State football next year?" "What is the one thing that Iowa can get better at in 2016?" "Who replaces Michigan's Jake Rudock?" These are a few of the football questions readers sent in. Tom Dienhart answers them and more.
With that loss to Nebraska, Michigan State has dropped three straight. One writer is comparing Iowa's basketball team to another pretty good recent Big Ten squad. Meanwhile in football, Nebraska added a familiar foe to the schedule. And contract details are out for Michigan's new defensive coordinator. Catch up on Thursday's headlines in this post.
Urban Meyer has lived a charmed life since taking over Ohio State in 2012, posting a 50-4 overall record and a 31-1 Big Ten mark. His crowning feat was winning the 2014 national championship, and last year’s team looked poised to repeat before a late-season stumble at home vs. Michigan State. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s players to replace posts ] Now, Meyer faces some big challenges next season. Yes, he will have some building blocks for his fifth squad, including the likes of LB Raekwon McMillan, Gs Billy Price and Pat Elflein, DE Tyquan Lewis, CB Gareon
A handful of former Big Ten stars were named to the Pro Football Writers of America All-Rookie team, released Tuesday. See the five players below: Stefon Diggs (Maryland), WR, Minnesota Vikings – 52 rec., 720 yards, 4 TD Brandon Scherff (Iowa), G, Washington Redskins – No stats Rob Havenstein (Wisconsin), T, St. Louis Rams – No stats Donovan Smith (Penn State), T, Tampa Bay Buccaneers – No stats Adrian Amos (Penn State), S, Chicago Bears – 67 tackles One-time Michigan RB Thomas Rawls, who transferred to Central Michigan, also made the team.
The deadline for players to enter the NFL draft early was Monday, Jan. 18. And, no Big Ten team—or any squad in the nation, for that matter–had more defections than Ohio State. The Buckeyes saw nine players bolt, highlighted by the early departure of defensive end Joe Bosa, who some feel will be the first pick in the 2016 draft. In all, 20 Big Ten players turned pro. No other Big Ten team had more than two players leave. Eight schools had at least one player bolt. Here is a look at the Big Ten players who are leaving early:
If you are like me, you can’t wait to see what Jim Harbaugh can do with Houston transfer QB John O’Korn, who sat out last season. The kid was pretty good at Houston. And I bet Harbaugh’s shapes him into a good signal-caller. But he’ll have challengers. Is Shane Morris gonna step up? Finally? *** It looks like Wisconsin may have its new DC in line: Tim Tibesar, the team’s outside linebackers coach in 2015. Tibesar’s last stint as a defensive coordinator came in 2012 at Purdue. Before that he was the defensive coordinator for Montreal of the Canadian Football
Northwestern had a big bounce-back season in 2015, posting 10 victories after consecutive 5-7 campaigns. A 10-win season preceded that 2013-14 slump. Pat Fitzgerald looks to keep the mojo going in Evanston and avoid a repeat of a backslide after a big season. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s players to replace posts ] The Wildcats will have plenty of building blocks in 2016. The offense will have players like QB Clayton Thorson, RB Justin Jackson, Ts Eric Olson and Black Hance, WR Austin Carr, SB Garrett Dickerson and WR/RB Solomon Vault, among others. The defense has back CB