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Latest 2013 Season Recaps News

Season Review: No Bielema, no problem for Badgers

Bret Who? Exactly. By most measures, Gary Andersen’s debut was a rousing success in Madison, as he guided Wisconsin to the precipice of a BCS bowl after Bret Bielema unceremoniously dumped the Badgers for … Arkansas? That’s in the past. The future in Badger Town is bright. If not for poor work by officials in a 32-30 loss at Arizona State on Sept. 14, who knows where the season would have ended up for the Badgers? Perhaps the Orange Bowl? Regardless, Andersen has put his mark on this uber-strong program, using the same formula for success others have in Madison:

Season Review: Purdue, Hazell struggle in Year 1

First-year coach Darrell Hazell surely had no idea about the size and scope of the mess he was inheriting from the ruinous Danny Hope era. Hazell and Co., tried. They really did. But the talent level never has been lower in the history of the program. And, it showed in what was arguably the worst season in school history. Pick a stat—most any stat, really—and Purdue ranked near or in the cellar of the Big Ten. But these two sum up the pain and suffering perfectly: scoring offense, 14.9 ppg, 12th in the Big Ten scoring defense, 38.0 ppg, 11th

Season Review: PSU cards another winning season

Bill O’Brien continued to deliver results in his second season in State College, Pa., despite being hampered with severe NCAA sanctions. O’Brien debuted with an 8-4 mark (6-2 Big Ten) in 2012 and followed with a 7-5 record (4-4 Big Ten) this season. But perhaps Penn State’s biggest win this fall came off the field in September, when the NCAA announced it was lifting its scholarship limits beginning in 2014. Five additional scholarships will be restored starting next year and will continue to increase by five until the school is back to the full allocation of 25 initial scholarships in

Season Review: OSU impresses again under Meyer

Urban Meyer has set the bar high in Columbus since arriving prior to 2012, winning his first 24 games. But he didn’t get win No. 25 in succession, as Ohio State lost in the Big Ten championship game which cost OSU a trip to the BCS title game. Still, this was another memorable season for the Buckeyes, whose 2013 campaign forever will be remembered for a killer offense that averaged a Big Ten-high 46.3 points and averaged a conference-best 518.5 yards. As Meyer continues to add talent—especially on defense—and fine-tune his operation, it only will be a matter of time

Season Review: Tale of two seasons for Wildcats

Northwestern experienced one of the most bizarre descents in the nation, watching a 4-0 start melt into a 5-7 record and last-place finish in the Legends Division. The low-light was a numbing seven-game losing skid that followed the 4-0 start. The pain finally ended with a season-ending win at rival Illinois. Injuries played a big part in ruining this season of promise for Pat Fitzgerald, as quarterback Kain Colter and running back Venric Mark—among others–never got on track. That was a big reason why NU had the No. 11 scoring offense in the Big Ten (26.2 ppg)—and was one of

Season Review: It was a weird season in Lincoln

Weird. No other word better describes this season. The campaign dawned amid great promise, as Nebraska was coming off a Legends Division title. Much of that same talent was back, fueling hopes for the program’s first league title since 1999. Alas, the defense often looked a lot like it did in 2012, getting gashed for big yards/points after the staff made myriad vows to “fix things.” And the offense struggled to find a rhythm with quarterback Taylor Martinez succumbing to injury that limited him to four games. Sprinkle in plenty of drama surrounding Bo Pelini—the highlight being the mysterious release

Season Review: Tough to top Minnesota's 2013 story

Minnesota was one of the best stories in the nation in 2013, showing resiliency in the face of adversity as the team dealt with health issues to Jerry Kill that forced him to leave the program at one point. The reins were handed to defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who thrived as the acting head coach in keeping the team on course with Kill tending to the seizures that are brought on by his epilepsy. When Kill returned, he worked from the press box on game days. And behind a tough, physical offense and improved defense, the Gophers kept winning en

Season Review: Spartans roll to Rose Bowl

No one needed to remind Mark Dantonio of the pain of 2012, when Michigan State finished 7-6 and lost five games by a combined 13 points coming off consecutive 11-win seasons. The Spartans embarked on a redemption tour of sorts in 2013, marching through an 8-0 Big Ten season that saw them win every game by double-figures. The key: A devastatingly good defense that ranks No. 1 in the Big Ten in scoring (12.7 ppg); No. 1 overall (248.2 ypg); No. 1 vs. the run (80.8 ypg); No. 1 vs. the pass (167.4 ypg). Coordinator Pat Narduzzi’s unit was the

Season Review: Michigan falls short of goals

“Disappointing” is the only label to put on this season. Yes, this largely is a young roster under construction for a program that probably is still a year away from blossoming. Still, the 2013 campaign opened with most projecting Michigan to win the Legends Division. But after a 5-0 start, the Wolverines flopped, finishing fifth in the division with a 3-5 mark. And things could have been worse if not for narrow victories vs. Akron and UConn, who each inexplicably pushed the Wolverines to the limit. The biggest issue all season was an erratic offense that struggled to get a

Season Review: Iowa bounces back in 2013

This was a season of redemption for Iowa and coach Kirk Ferentz. Coming off a 4-8 record in 2012 that featured a moribund offense and no bowl for the first time since 2007, some fans were restless. Had Ferentz lost his touch? Would the Hawkeyes miss a bowl for a second season in a row for the first time since a three-season dry spell from 1998-2000? Ferentz quelled skeptics, flipping Iowa’s record and punching a ticket to a New Year’s Day bowl. After 15 years on the job, Ferentz still has it for what remains one of the Big Ten’s