The Big Ten wraps up spring drills this Saturday with Michigan State and Wisconsin being the last two schools to finish. And, in some ways, it’s fitting they punctuate spring practices in the Big Ten Conference. The Spartans and Badgers met last season in the inaugural Big Ten title game, with Wisconsin pulling an exhilarating 42-39 victory. Earlier in the season the teams played perhaps the game of the year in the Big Ten, with Michigan State claiming a 37-31 win in East Lansing on a last-second Hail Mary pass from Kirk Cousins to Keith Nichol that forever will be part of Spartan lore.
At 5 p.m. ET Saturday, it’s Wisconsin’s spring game live on BTN2Go and the Big Ten Digital Network. The Wisconsin game will debut on BTN at 8 p.m. ET Sunday.
What a way to end your work week, reading Big Ten football links while hunched over your computer eating a meatball sub and wiping the marinara sauce from the corner of your mouth with your sleeve. Mom would be so proud. Lucky you.
Be prepared to say good-bye to the old Bowl Championship Series system. Or, perhaps you feel more like uttering “good riddance.” Either way, get ready to say “hello” to a college football playoff.
Have a look at my Big Ten links for Thursday plus my take on others’ tweets. It’s below, my Big Ten brethren. Enjoy and stay in touch with me via the comments section below in this post as well as on Twitter and Facebook. And you can email me via my BTN.com mailbag.
A look at the #B1G football headlines on a wonderful Wednesday in the heart of America, including a Nebraska coach getting a raise, a Wisconsin linebacker getting a haircut, and a quarterback battle at Penn State getting ready to heat up.
The Big Ten grid links that matter are right here. Come inside and get the latest headlines, from Matt McGloin to the YouTube videos John L. Smith doesn’t want any of us to remember to Michigan and Michigan State’s challenging schedules, among other things.
Not all non-conference schedules are created equal, as you can see from my rankings, from 1-12, of the Big Ten non-league menus. Some are high calorie. Some are low-calorie. So, who has the toughest slate? And the easiest? Find out in this post. You can find all of my Big Ten football coverage here. Oh, and if you like rankings like this, you’ll want to check out this archive, where I’m ranking 2012 games, players and schedules.
Three more spring games are in the books, as Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota punctuated their drills with games on Saturday. Michigan State and Wisconsin are the only schools left playing, with each conducting a spring game this Saturday when the NFL draft still will be going on.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Urban Meyer has talked about the need to find players who can make things happen. He calls them “wow” players. Well, the first-year Ohio State coach found one in the spring game today in receiver Michael Thomas.
The Penn State Blue-White game will be archived on BTN2Go. It is also available on the Big Ten Digital Network as part of a separate subscription. The Penn State game will re-air on BTN TV on Saturday at 8 p.m. And what is Chicago Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher doing at the Penn State game? Watch the interview inside this post and find out.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart went to Columbus and tweeted live from the stadium. Follow Tom here: @BTNTomDienhart. Or look in this post for a sampling of his tweets. The Big Ten Network will archive the game on BTN2Go. And it will be replayed Saturday at 11 p.m. on BTN TV.
BTN spoke to several familiar Gopher names during Saturday’s spring football game. Watch the videos here and inside this post. As for the game, a lone 21-yard field goal from Chris Hawthorne proved to be the difference as the Maroon eked out 3-0 win in a shortened spring game that featured a running clock and just two 25-minute halves.
The Big Ten Network had you covered for all three Spring Football games on Saturday. See what was going on at Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota. We’ve posted a variety of interviews with Big Ten names attending these games, too. BTN also will have highlights and analysis from Saturday’s games at 7 p.m. ET on “B1G Tonight: Spring Football Edition” with Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith.
Everything is new at Penn State. New coach, new schemes, new hopes, new era. It’s exciting … and a little scary for a program that was led the past 46 seasons by Joe Paterno. What’s gonna happen? I talked to Bill O’Brien as spring drills were coming to end with the Nittany Lions’ spring game this Saturday.
Spring drills are winding down, with Ohio State, Penn State and Minnesota conducting games this Saturday, so here are my newsy links for today. Wisconsin and Michigan State will finish April 28. I will be at the Ohio State game and there are two things I’m most interested to see. On offense, Urban Meyer has said he wants to throw the ball. How will quarterback Braxton Miller look? Which receivers are stepping up? And on defense, the linebackers lagged in 2011. The defense needs better play to take the next step in its development.
Is there a hotter or better program in the Big Ten right now than Wisconsin? The Badgers are coming off back-to-back Big Ten championships and Rose Bowl appearances. And the good times are primed to continue to roll as Bret Bielema enters his sixth season in Madison with lots of mojo.
Last year brought us some epic Big Ten games. We soon won’t forget Michigan State over Wisconsin; Ohio State beating the Badgers; Nebraska rallying over Ohio State. What classics are waiting to be hatched in 2012, you ask? Good question. Get out your red Sharpie and circle these games that land on my Top 15 Big Ten clashes of 2012. Earlier, I ranked the top 15 nonconference games. Did I miss one? Tell me which Big Ten games have you fired up the most. I’m on Twitter and Facebook, too.
Clemson’s Dabo Swinney is a genius–at least when it comes to spicing up spring football games. Let’s face it: These spring “games” often are little more than glorified scrimmages to appease and tease fans. The interest? Minimal—aside from the true cognoscenti. Many coaches don’t like them, preferring to run a scrimmage or just conduct another practice for fear of injury. Lack of depth is another reason many coaches don’t like intrasquad scrimmages, as it often makes it difficult to split teams into even squads.
What’s being said about Big Ten football on this glorious Thursday? Here are the top stories. Enjoy.
Penn State’s defense has some big holes to fill on the defensive line but Iowa’s defensive line is young and inexperienced, too. Could Minnesota true freshman quarterback Philip Nelson unseat MarQueis Gray? And how will the production of departed Nick Toon be replaced at Wisconsin? Here’s my daily spin around the football headlines in the Big Ten.
One of the best things about college football bowl games is the inter-sectional matchups we typically never get to see. Well, it’s only April but the Big Ten features some non-conference games that already have the look and feel of bowl games. So I compiled my top 15 non-conference football games coming our way next fall, the first in a series of occasional off-season “Rank It” posts.
Seven Big Ten spring games down, five more to go. We’ll see three teams in action this week, as Minnesota, Ohio State and Penn State take to the field Saturday for the final time this spring. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is all over Big Ten spring football. Read Dienhart’s daily links for Tuesday in this post and watch our highlights from Iowa’s spring festivities this past Saturday right now.
Wisconsin never has won three Big Ten titles in a row, but that will change if it can finish on top again this fall. Still, Bret Bielema’s squad has issues to address this spring. The chief one: assimilating six new assistant coaches. Still, this is a program with lots of momentum that presses on without offensive coordinator Paul Chryst, who left to take the head coaching job at Pitt. The year before, defensive coordinator Dave Doeren left to coach Northern Illinois, so Bielema is used to change.
A look at some top Big Ten football news as the dust settles on spring football at seven schools.