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As far as debuts are concerned, Darrell Hazell endured a rough one at Purdue. His maiden voyage in West Lafayette included myriad blowouts along the way to a 1-11 season that saw Purdue go winless in the Big Ten. And the lone victory came vs. FCS Indiana State. And even that was a close call. Add it all up, and it may have been the worst season in school history.
Lots going on in recent weeks, with the NFL draft, Big Ten moving its hoop tourney to Washington in 2017 and the announcement of the Gavitt Tip-off Games with the Big East. My mail box is getting full. Let’s answer some questions.
Four Big Ten teams are ranked in SportingNews.com’s Preseason Top 25, headlined by No. 9 Ohio State. Reigning Big Ten and Rose Bowl champ Michigan State comes in at No. 12, while Nebraska (No. 17) and Wisconsin (No. 19) round out the Big Ten contingent. For the curious minds, Oklahoma is the site’s No. 1 team.
There is much anticipation around the unveiling of the James Franklin era. Franklin brings endless energy along with an impressive resume to State College, Pa., making Vanderbilt into a winner prior to his arrival.
Ohio State came oh-so-close to greatness last season in Year Two under Urban Meyer. The Buckeyes won their first 12 games after going 12-0 in 2012. But Ohio State lost the Big Ten championship game to Michigan State, which ruined its national title hopes.
Last year began amid much hope for Northwestern, which opened 4-0 with No. 4 Ohio State coming to Evanston for a prime-time national TV. Alas, Northwestern lost, 40-30, and never recovered.