Kickoff is fast approaching. To help count down the days to Aug. 28, the BTN.com team is discussing one topic every day. Think of it as our countdown to kickoff. Today’s topic: East surprise team? See Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s picks in this post.
Kickoff is fast approaching. To help count down the days to Aug. 28, the BTN.com team is discussing one topic every day. Think of it as our countdown to kickoff. First up: West surprise team? See Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s picks in this post.
A season ago, Ameer Abdullah and Melvin Gordon battled for the rushing yards crown. Abdullah, in the end, finished on top, albeit on 75 more carries than his rival in Madison. This season, the way the Big Ten’s loaded at running back, it might be more than a two-man race. Will Abdullah be able to hold off the deep pool?
Jeremy Langford’s 2013 season doesn’t seem to get enough fan fare. Did you know his 18 rushing touchdowns led the Big Ten, which was home to names such as Ameer Abdullah, Melvin Gordon and Carlos Hyde, among others?
It’s no secret that the Big Ten lost a lot of talented receivers. Just how much, you ask?
Credit: Pat Lovell-USA TODAY Sports
The Big Ten lost a plethora of talent at wide receiver, including touchdown reception leader Quincy Enunwa, who hauled in 12 scoring grabs. With Enunwa gone, the Big Ten is certain to feature a new TD reception king.
Quick! Who is the Big Ten’s returning passing yards leader?
Think Braxton Miller is just a runner? Think again. The electric Ohio State quarterback tossed a Big Ten-leading 24 touchdowns last season.
Raise your hand if you predicted Jeremy Langford to lead the Big Ten in scoring a year ago. There should be no hands. Langford came out of nowhere last season to register a Big Ten-leading 114 points.
The Big Ten returns one of its interception leaders (Blake Countess, 6) and five of its runner-ups (4). The interception race figures to be a close one, but who will finish the season on top?
Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Like sacks? You’re in luck in 2014, because the Big Ten boasts a boatload of talented pass-rushers.
Tackles are an inexact science, to be sure. Teams award them differently, so it’s not always as simple as comparing Player A from School A to Player B from School B. Whatever the case, someone will finish the season atop the tackles chart. Who will it be? Tom Dienhart, Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina offer their picks in this post.
The NBA Draft is just over one week away, which means that former Big Ten stars such as Noah Vonleh, Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris, Adreian Payne and Mitch McGary, among others, will soon find out where their NBA homes will be. It also means that NBA general managers are doing their homework and completing their final evaluations.
It’s no shock to learn that Big Ten athletes are physically gifted. We see it throughout the seasons, especially on fall Saturdays. But, sometimes, it’s what they do off the gridiron that makes us realize just how impressive these guys are.
Thursday, the BTN.com panel offered its picks for the Big Ten’s most underrated player entering 2014. Today, it’s time to consider potential breakout players. These are the guys who aren’t household names but have the talent and opportunity to be so in 2014. In other words, guys like Connor Cook, David Cobb and Jeremy Langford prior to last season. See our picks in this post.
Names such as Ameer Abdullah, Shilique Calhoun, Melvin Gordon, Randy Gregory, Braxton Miller and Brandon Scherff receive plenty of hype, and for good reason. What about the guys who produce but don’t receive the appropriate fanfare, though? You know, the underrated players. The BTN.com team offered its most underrated players entering 2014, and you can see our picks in this post. Spoiler alert: Running backs were a popular choice. [ MORE: View Tom Dienhart’s 2014 Big Ten schedule analysis posts ] TOM DIENHART Josh Ferguson, RB, Illinois. When the conversation about top Big Ten backs breaks out, you always hear about Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah, Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon and Michigan State’s Jeremy Langford, among others. But don’t forget about Ferguson. The diminutive back is a jack-of-all trades who is as well-rounded as any running back in the conference. To wit: He led all Big Ten running backs with 50 catches for 535 yards. Ferguson added 779 yards rushing. Add it all up, and Ferguson finished ninth in the Big Ten in all-purpose yards with 112.6 per game. Yet, he remains largely anonymous because of Illinois’ lack of success. But don’t sleep on Ferguson, who again figures to be a prime weapon in a Fighting Illini attack that continues to improve under coordinator Bill Cubit.
The Big Ten lost a lot of talent at receiver, including, but not limited to, Jared Abbrederis, Corey Brown, Quincy Enunwa, Jeremy Gallon, Cody Latimer and Allen Robinson. With all of that top-flight production gone, which receiver will have the best 2014 season? See BTN.com’s Sean Merriman and Brent Yarina’s predictions in this post.
We had plenty of outstanding performances in Friday’s Big Ten Tournament action. Michigan notched a win over Illinois on a game-winning shot. Ohio State rallied from an 18-point second-half deficit to defeat Nebraska. And both Wisconsin and Michigan State looked outstanding in blowout wins over Minnesota and Northwestern, respectively.
The Big Ten basketball season is approaching the midway point and the conference picture is beginning to take form. Michigan (5-0) and Michigan State (7-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the Big Ten, while Iowa is close behind at 4-1 and climbing up the national rankings. So, we ask, who is the best team in the Big Ten at this point?
Two Big Ten men’s basketball teams remain unblemished: Wisconsin (11-0) and Ohio State (9-0). Both recorded another win Wednesday night, and both have a good shot to enter Big Ten play unscathed.
So, here we are at the midway point of the 2013 Big Ten football season, and I can’t help but wonder which Big Ten title contender has the most to prove in the second half. Is it Ohio State, the undefeated team that hasn’t lost since the 2012 Gator Bowl? Is it Michigan, the 5-1 team that squeaked past Akron and UConn? Is it Nebraska, the 5-1 team that lost its lone true test? Or is it someone else?
Each week during the season, BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman and a featured guest will debate a topic related to Big Ten football. This week, Sporting News college football insider Bill Bender and I debate the following question: “Through five weeks of the college football season, which Big Ten quarterback have you been most impressed with up to this point?” Our answers may surprise you…
The excitement seemingly has been building since the spring for Saturday’s Ohio State at Northwestern game. Oh, who am I kidding? The buildup actually began the moment last season ended.
Each week during the season, BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman and a featured guest will debate a topic related to Big Ten football. This week, Nebraska beat writer Brian Rosenthal and I debate the following question: “Heading into Week 5 of the college football season, which team is your favorite to win the Legends Division”? Our answers may surprise you…
Each week during the season, BTN.com web editor Sean Merriman and a featured guest will debate a topic related to Big Ten football. This week, Ohio State beat writer Kyle Rowland and I debate the following question: “Assuming Braxton Miller is cleared to play this week against Florida A&M, should he start, or should Ohio State stick with backup Kenny Guiton?”