ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Michigan has just 10 scholarship seniors as Brady Hoke enters his fourth season in Ann Arbor. He hasn’t been able to replicate his 2011 debut, when he went 11-2 and won the Sugar Bowl. Needless to say, the Wolverines will be scrutinized this fall.
It’s no secret: This is a big year for Michigan and Brady Hoke, who last year saw a 5-0 start melt into a 7-6 finish. The offense floundered, so coordinator Al Borges was dismissed. Hoke tabbed Alabama offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier to take over. What new wrinkles will we see? It won’t really matter unless the line improves.
STATE COLLEGE, Pa. – There is much anticipation for the start of James Franklin’s maiden voyage at Penn State. But he faces big depth hurdles due to NCAA sanctions. And attrition could prove hazardous to the program as it continues to deal with scholarship limits.
Our annual summer football bus tour rolls on! BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are on hand at Penn State practice Saturday morning. Get some of the best tweets from the practice in this post.
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James Franklin has created a buzz around the Penn State program with his electric personality and general bombast. The guy is a high-wire act of energy and enthusiasm. No doubt, the former Vanderbilt coach has “won” the offseason. But how will his first team do?
Rutgers is an interesting squad as it enters the Big Ten. The schemes are more traditional, as the Scarlet Knights to a degree have the look of a Big Ten squad. The team has new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Offensive coordinator Ralph Friedgen has brought his multiple West Coast attack with him as the program’s fifth OC in five years.
Our annual summer football bus tour is onto the next stop. BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are on hand at Rutgers’ football practice Friday afternoon. Get some of the best tweets from the practice in this post.
As Rutgers embarks on a new era, big changes loom with new coordinators on both sides of the ball. Before the last dirty uniform was washed in 2013, defensive coordinator Dave Cohen was fired. Joe Rossi was promoted to take over. Ralph Friedgen was hired to run the offense. This is an intriguing squad coming off a six-win bowl season that has 15 starters back. Challenges loom in the rugged Big Ten East.
COLLEGE PARK, Md. – I was eager to check out this Maryland squad to see if my high thoughts were merited. I wasn’t disappointed. This is a veteran squad that’s well-coached. Few are more disciplined than Randy Edsall, the ultimate task-master. The Tom Coughlin protégé is a stickler for details. His teams never are out prepared.
Our annual summer football tour rolls on! BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are taking in Maryland’s practice Thursday afternoon. Get some of the best tweets from the practice in this post.
Maryland’s debut season could be surprisingly successful, as veteran talent runs deep for Randy Edsall as he enters his fourth season in College Park. In fact, this could be the third-best team in the East. Edsall guided Maryland to its first bowl since 2010 last season. Another bowl figures to be in the offing for a program that has 18 starters back from a 7-6 team.
COLUMBUS, Ohio – Motivation shouldn’t be an issue for Ohio State as camp unfolds. The Buckeyes are riding a two-game losing skid, losing the Big Ten title game to Michigan State and the Orange Bowl to Clemson, this after a 24-0 start under Urban Meyer.
Our annual summer football tour rolls on! BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are taking in Ohio State’s practice Wednesday afternoon. Get some of the best tweets from the practice in this post.
BLOOMINGTON, Ind. – Beautiful day for practice in Bloomington for an Indiana program that enters a critical Year Four under Kevin Wilson. This was practice No. 2 for Indiana, which worked out in shorts and helmets during a spirited three-hour session.
Our annual summer football tour is underway! BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith are taking in Indiana’s practice Tuesday morning. Get some of the best tweets from the practice in this post.
Will this be the year Ohio State wins its first Big Ten title since 2009? Perhaps. Urban Meyer has enjoyed some big success his first two seasons in Columbus, ripping off 24 wins in a row to start his tenure before ending 2013 with consecutive defeats to Ohio State and Clemson. No doubt, Ohio State will be motivated.
The BTN 2014 camp tour begins on Tuesday in Bloomington, Ind., where we will check out Kevin Wilson’s fourth Indiana squad in the first of 14 stops. Hopes are high in southern Indiana, as Wilson looks to punch the Hoosiers’ first postseason ticket since 2007. Indiana came close to a bowl last season, finishing 5-7 with narrow home losses to Navy and Minnesota proving to be costly.
The sparkly BTN tour bus chugs away from our glistening headquarters on 600 West Chicago Ave., on Monday, as a near-three-week journey that will span from Lincoln, Neb., to New Brunswick, N.J., begins. I can’t wait to see driver Kevin, drink Red Bull, shop for mesh hats at remote truck stops and see if Gerry DiNardo is still the last human on the planet who carries a handkerchief.
After 15 nights in 12 hotels and 12 cities, stretching from Lincoln, Neb., to State College, Pa., the BTN bus has come to a stop. It was a fun ride, visiting all the Big Ten schools to watch practices. It was the BTN crew’s last chance to kick the tires on each team before the start of the 2013 season.
The BTN bus tour concluded the 2013 trip with this morning’s Hawkeye practice. After returning to home base, the BTN studios, I had the chance to catch up with some of the B1G travelers.
As Kirk Ferentz enters his 15th season in Iowa City, he finds himself looking to get his program back on track. The Hawkeyes’ win total has gone from 11 to 8 to 7 to 4 last season. Myriad questions loom for Iowa as it winds down training camp, as the halcyon days of the early-2000s fade further into the rear-view mirror. But Ferentz and Co., often do their best work when expectations are low.
Believe it or not, the 2013 BTN Football Tour has reached its 12th and final stop. The guys took in Iowa practice Tuesday morning, and they live tweeted throughout the day. Find some of their best tweets in this post. Reminder: Watch the Iowa Preview Show at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on BTN/BTN2Go.
LINCOLN, Neb. – It’s difficult to believe that this is Bo Pelini’s sixth season in Lincoln. Time flies. He has done many good things, highlighted by last year’s trip to the Big Ten title game. But to get over the hump and to the program’s first league title since 1999, the defense needs to improve.
The BTN Football Tour is approaching the finish line, but not before stops to Nebraska and Iowa. Today, our guys were at Huskers’ camp to check out the reigning Legends Division champs. Tom Dienhart and Dave Revsine live tweeted from the practice, and we posting some of their best tweets right here.
MINNEAPOLIS – Jerry Kill is getting closer to turning the corner in his third season at Minnesota. This team looks noticeably bigger—and more athletic—than when I was here last August to watch practice. And Kill told me afterward that the players are now leading themselves better—and buying in.