Last year began amid much hope for Northwestern, which opened 4-0 with No. 4 Ohio State coming to Evanston for a prime-time national TV. Alas, Northwestern lost, 40-30, and never recovered.
Hopes are high in Lincoln for the program’s first conference championship since 1999. The defense looks like it could be the strongest part of Bo Pelini’s seventh Nebraska team. The front seven looks especially stout. The offense has some great building blocks, paced by a nice collection of running backs and receivers.
Jerry Kill has Minnesota on the rise. His win total has improved in each of his three seasons in the Twin Cities, going from three, to six to eight victories with bowls in each of the last two seasons. The best looks like it is yet to come.
Everything came up roses, literally and figuratively, for Michigan State last season. The Spartans won their first Big Ten title since taking a share of the 2010 crown. And Michigan State went to its first Rose Bowl since the 1987 season, beating Stanford to finish 13-1 overall en route to ranking No. 3 in the polls.
There is a sense of urgency around Ann Arbor as Brady Hoke and his short-sleeved shirts enter their fourth season at the helm.
Welcome to the Big Ten, Maryland. But beware: Your maiden voyage may be a bumpy one, so buckle up. Playing in the rugged Big Ten East is hazardous to the health of a developing program like Maryland.
If you see Kirk Ferentz smiling a lot, you’ll know why after looking at the Iowa schedule. No Iowa coach would admit it, but this is a schedule to die for, a chance to get fat, happy and maybe win Iowa its first Big Ten championship since 2004. Heck, even master cupcake scheduler Bill Snyder of Kansas State has to be jealous of this low-calorie menu.
Indiana hasn’t been to a bowl since 2007. Kevin Wilson is getting the Hoosiers closer, going from one, to four, to five wins in his three seasons in Bloomington. A postseason trip almost happened last year, if not for tough losses to Navy and Minnesota. Just like last season, Indiana will be propelled in 2014 by one of the Big Ten’s top offenses. But will the defense be better?
As Year Three of the Tim Beckman era downs, a sense of urgency has set in around Champaign-Urbana. When will Beckman deliver a bowl?
Back in April, the Big Ten announced it was going to implement a nine-game conference schedule, starting in 2016. Thursday, it unveiled the first such schedule—along with the 2017 Big Ten league slate.
I know your time is precious in the fall. Between driving to soccer games, raking leaves, making cider and carving pumpkins, your schedule is packed. That means finding spare time to watch TV is difficult. No worries. I have ranked every game involving a Big Ten team for the 2013 season. As you can see, not all matchups are created equally.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Let’s say time and money are no object to you. You have plenty of each. Plus, you are a huge fan of Big Ten football. Well, you have come to the right place. Let me plan for you this season’s “Ultimate Big Ten Road Trip” that will put you at every week’s top game. Pack your bag!
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
And, we’ve reached the finish line! That’s right, my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten football slate has hit Week 14, a week highlighted by the annual end-of-the-year Ohio State-Michigan rivalry game. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 14 in this post.
It’s time to consider Week 13 in my early week-by-week analysis of the 2013 Big Ten football season. This is a busy week, with all 12 teams in action, and it’s one that figures to feature games that impact the Legends and Leaders championship races. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 13 in this post.
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
I’m continuing my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten schedule, and it’s all about Week 12 today. This Saturday’s slate of games is heavy at the top, with big-time Legends Division matchups between Michigan-Northwestern and Michigan State-Nebraska. Get all my Week 12 storylines, top matchups and game rankings in this post.
Next up in my super-early week-by-week preview of the 2013 Big Ten football schedule: Week 11. This is a week highlighted by the massively huge Legends Division battle between Nebraska and Michigan at Michigan Stadium. It also features one nonconference game: BYU at Wisconsin. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 11 in this post.
I continue my look at each week of the Big Ten 2013 schedule, and I move on and examine Week 10 today. My game of the week? It has to be Michigan at Michigan State. Michigan State needs no motivation vs. Michigan. Before losing, 12-10, last year in Ann Arbor, Michigan State had won four in a row in this oh-so-heated rivalry. So, the Spartans know they can beat the Wolverines. Reasserting its power in this series is critical for Michigan State in its quest for a successful season. But Michigan wants to begin a run of dominance of its own.
I’m continuing my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten schedule, and it’s all about Week 9 today. This week features only four games, highlighted by Penn State’s trip to Ohio State. Get all my Week 9 storylines, top matchups and game rankings in this post.
Next up in my super-early week-by-week preview of the 2013 Big Ten football schedule: Week 8. This is a week light on marquee matchups, with predicted Big Ten title contenders Michigan and Ohio State taking on Indiana and Iowa, respectively, and Nebraska and Penn State on byes. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 8 in this post.
The 2013 football season may still be two-plus months away, but that won’t keep me from taking an (early) in-depth look at each and every week’s top matchups and storylines. Oh, and I’m also offering my rankings of every week’s slate of games. Up now: Week 7, highlighted by Northwestern’s trip to Wisconsin.
Another day, another opportunity to take an in-depth look at the 2013 football season. Today, it’s all about Week 6 in my early week-by-week series. The first week of full Big Ten play, the slate offers some intriguing battles, including Northwestern hosting Big Ten favorite Ohio State. Get all the storylines, matchups and my game rankings for Week 6 in this post.
If Big Ten football fans have a wedding to attend this fall, they probably hope it lands on Week 5 – aka Saturday, Sept. 28. Unless, maybe, you’re an Ohio State or Wisconsin fan. The Badgers trip to the Buckeyes highlights an abbreviated four-game slate, half of which includes nonconference games (Northern Illinois at Purdue; Miami (OH) at Illinois). Get all the storylines, matchups and my rankings of Week 5 games in this post.
I’m continuing my early week-by-week look at the 2013 Big Ten schedule, and it’s all about Week 4 today. Being the final week before Big Ten play kicks off across the conference, the slate leaves some to be desired. That said, there are a few intriguing games, including an early Big Ten draw (Purdue at Wisconsin). Get all the storylines, matchups and my rankings of the week’s games in this post.
Yes, the 2013 football season still is two-plus months away. That won’t keep me from looking ahead and taking an in-depth look at each and every week’s top matchups and storylines. I’m also offering my rankings of every week’s slate of games. Up now: Week 3, highlighted by Nebraska’s rematch vs. UCLA.
Hey, who isn’t looking forward to football season? It’s only June, but I’m itching for kickoff and am starting to look ahead to each week of the 2013 season. From Week 1 to Week 12, I’ll offer the best each week has to offer and rank every week’s games. Up now: Week 2, highlighted by Notre Dame at Michigan.