Chris Ash endured a challenging debut at Rutgers. The problems were many on both sides of the ball. How bad was it in 2016? After a 2-1 start, the Scarlet Knights finished the season with nine losses in a row. RU got shut out four times.
Penn State is coming off a stunningly surprising season that saw it win the Big Ten title in James Franklin’s third season. Who saw that coming? No one. What will Penn State do for an encore? Well, the Nittany Lions could repeat, as most of the key cogs from last season are back.
A new era is dawning in West Lafayette, Indiana, as Jeff Brohm takes over a woebegone program that won a scant nine games over the last four years. Now, the only way to go is up, right? That’s the hope.
Pat Fitzgerald has one of the most underrated programs in the Big Ten—if not the nation--a consistent force that always is competitive. But, a big breakthrough remains elusive. Here are three key areas to keep an eye on this spring in Evanston.
The excitement level is running high at Minnesota, as the P.J. Fleck era begins to take flight. Fleck made a splash on Signing Day by inking a good class to add to an already-solid roster.
There might not be an up-and-coming program in the Big Ten with as bright a future as Maryland, coming off a bowl trip in DJ Durkin’s debut followed by a monster recruiting class. But work remains to be done if Maryland wants to move up the pecking order in the rugged Big Ten East.
There will be some big holes to fill for Iowa if it wants to return to the summit of the West Division in 2017. And there will be a new play-caller, with offensive line coach Brian Ferentz taking over for the retiring Greg Davis. Add it all up, and 2017 shapes up as interesting season in Iowa City.
The page has been turned in Bloomington. Kevin Wilson is out. Tom Allen is in. Allen has been in Bloomington one season and never has been a head coach. And Allen already has shaken up the staff, ousting offensive coordinator Kevin Johns and hiring veteran Mike DeBord.
Illinois is in search of stability, and Lovie Smith may be moving closer to that desired goal as he enters his second season in Champaign. The former Super Bowl coach experienced a debut that had its share of ups and downs en route to a 3-9 finish (2-7 Big Ten).
Every spring since Urban Meyer took over, the team that loses the spring game is tasked with mulching the program's proud Buckeye Grove, which features nearly 200 trees, one for every Ohio State first-team All-American.