Every coach looks at a schedule, scanning the list of games. Which ones figure to be tough ones? Even more vital: Which stretch of games figures to be the most daunting, a potential make-or-break run of contests? [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Best chance to be upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] I have identified the toughest stretch of games on each Big Ten schedule. Illinois. The last four games are daunting. The season-ending run begins with a visit from Michigan State on Nov. 5 followed by a trip to Wisconsin, a visit
No coach wants to lose a game that experts think he’s supposed to win. Upsets can set a season on its ear and prove ruinous. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games | Toughest conference game ] There are potholes on every schedule. And I have picked the one game on your school’s schedule in which it has its best chance to be—gulp–upset. Illinois. The visit from Western Michigan on Sept. 17 is dangerous. P.J. Fleck is an up-and-coming coaching fireball who played at Northern Illinois and is a native of the state. You know the
With the addition of a ninth Big Ten game, there will be three crossover games, compared to two previously, and all Big Ten East teams play two of them at home; the Big Ten West will get two home crossovers in 2017. Here's a breakdown of the 2016 crossovers.
There are games on every team’s schedule that fans circle as “tough” ones, games that will be very challenging to win. Well, that’s what I did with each Big Ten schedule, identifying each school’s “toughest” Big Ten game in 2016. [ MORE: Best chance to pull upset | Toughest non-conference games ] Check it out below. Illinois. Lots to choose from. I’ll go with the trip to Michigan on Oct. 22. Jim Harbaugh has this program rolling as he enters Year Two in Ann Arbor. The defense could be the best in the Big Ten, while the offense will be
There is no better way for a team to test itself than by playing a tough non-conference foe in September. Here is my pick for each team’s toughest non-league opponent.
Who doesn’t love an upset? The shock. The surprise. The unexpectedness. It’s what makes sports fun. Last year gave us Michigan State over Ohio State, Purdue over Nebraska and Northwestern over Stanford, to name a few upsets. What’s in store this season? Here is my “best chance to pull an upset” for each Big Ten team this fall. Illinois. If the offense comes together, the Fighting Illini may have a shot to shock Iowa when the Hawkeyes visit Memorial Stadium on Nov. 19. But how beat up will Illinois be coming off a game the week before at Wisconsin? The
If time and money weren’t issues, which Big Ten games would you want to attend this season? Let me help you out. I have built the ultimate Big Ten itinerary for 2016, identifying what I feel will be the biggest game in each of the 13 weeks of the upcoming season. You’re welcome. [ MORE: Relive Tom Dienhart’s 2015 ultimate roadtrip | And 2014 ] Now, pack your Zubaz, tank top, flip flops, bucket hat and Red Bull … and let’s go! Week 1, Sept. 3: Wisconsin vs. LSU (Green Bay, Wis.). No Big Ten team has a more daunting
Earlier this week, the Big Ten released the 2016-17 men’s basketball league schedule. And, as usual, some teams have more challenging draws than others. And that could impact the league race. Most early forecasts have Indiana, Michigan State and Wisconsin at the top. After that, Purdue and Michigan look primed to make a push. And Maryland, Illinois, Iowa, Penn State, Northwestern and Ohio State could make moves. Still, the Hoosiers, Spartans and Badgers are the teams to beat … at least in late June. Indiana, the defending Big Ten champ, lost Yogi Ferrell and Troy Williams, but Thomas Bryant, James
It’s the final week of the season. And, even better, it’s rivalry week! Division titles may be on the line, in addition to cool trophies. Front and center on this Saturday: “The Game,” between Ohio State and Michigan. Could the Big Ten East crown be on the line? The Buckeyes have dominated this series of late, going 12-2 since 2001 and winning the last four meetings with a 42-13 triumph last season. The last time Michigan won in Columbus? In 2000, when the Wolverines took a 38-26 decision. This is the best of Week 13. Best game: The Buckeyes need
This is the penultimate week of the Big Ten schedule. And the action figures to be at a peak, as all 14 schools will be in action headlined by Ohio State’s visit to Michigan State in what could be a de facto Big Ten East championship game.