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Kirk Ferentz will have plenty of veteran talent to work with as he embarks on his 17th season at Iowa. The defense has remained a steady force in recent years; the offense has been inconsistent. To that end, Ferentz tweaked his staff by naming his son Brian the run-game coordinator in addition. Brian will also remain coach of the offensive line, a mainstay unit on any Iowa team.
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We’re rolling team-by-team Big Ten football stories over the next few weeks. Here’s a look at Indiana’s spring preview.
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Tim Beckman enjoyed a breakthrough in his third season, moving the Illini into a bowl for the first time since 2011. Now, he’s looking to push Illinois up the food chain in the Big Ten West.
With the close of spring practices across the Big Ten, the offseason officially has begun. And, questions still pepper the conference landscape. Here are my 50 Most Pressing Big Ten Offseason Questions. We won’t get answers to them until September–or maybe later … or never at all.
The Big Ten spring football season is officially in the books, which means it’s time to point out those who stood out and made an impact for their respective teams. I reached out to writers from every Big Ten school and asked them who they were most impressed with in their team’s spring football game and why.
With Big Ten spring practices finished, it’s time for my annual tradition of naming an All-Spring Team. These are players who made moves in the spring as surprise players—or vets who took another step in their development.
With the Big Ten spring football season in the books, BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo offered his team-by-team impressions on Monday night’s #BTNLive. Watch DiNardo and Mike Hall discuss the camps for every team in this post.
Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers wrapped up the Big Ten spring football season with spring games on Saturday. After 13 games, one practice and an infamous cat leading Nebraska onto the field, it’s safe to say that this year’s spring was a success. Many Big Ten teams faced questions heading into the spring, and a number of those questions were answered. So now we ask: Who are the top players in the conference heading into the 2014 Big Ten football season?
Iowa is coming off a nice rebound season in 2013, forging an 8-5 mark (5-3 Big Ten) a year after going 4-8 (2-6). Now, expectations are high in Iowa City for a Hawkeyes program that brings back lots of talent and could win the inaugural Big Ten West as Kirk Ferentz begins his 16th season.
Rutgers is ready to turn the page on a 2013 season that began with the promise of a 4-1 start but melted into a 6-7 finish. The program seemingly has been energized by its maiden Big Ten voyage. Great possibilities loom—as do challenges. Is this roster up to the challenge? Kyle Flood has some talent to work with.
Rutgers completed its spring drills with the Scarlet & White Spring Game on Saturday afternoon. Now, the next time you see Rutgers take the field, it will be as a member of the Big Ten. The Scarlet Knight, along with Maryland, become an official member July 1. Hear Flood’s post-spring impressions in this post.
Iowa held its annual spring game Saturday afternoon. The Hawkeyes, fresh off an 8-5 season, will enter the 2014 season as one of the favorites to challenge for the inaugural West Division crown. Hear from Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz and get Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith’s analysis of the Hawkeyes spring and 2014 outlook in this post.
The defending Big Ten and Rose Bowl champion Michigan State took the field on Saturday afternoon in the annual Green-White spring football game at Spartan Stadium. There were plenty of stars on both sides of the ball, including quarterback Connor Cook, who hooked up with tight end Josiah Price for a game-winning touchdown pass with 27 seconds left to lead the White team to a 20-13 win over the Green Team.
EAST LANSING, Mich. – Those were real, live hits on quarterbacks in today’s Michigan State spring game. What else would you expect from a Spartans program renowned for its toughness?
The reigning Big Ten and Rose Bowl champ, Michigan State closed out its spring season with its annual Green-White Spring Game on Saturday afternoon. Did you miss the game? If so, watch the replay on BTN2Go.
Michigan State is the reigning Big Ten champ, and football fans will get a friendly reminder of that any time they tune in to a Spartans game this fall. The Spartans added “2013 Champions” under the “B1G” logos on the field and put a “Big Ten Champions” patch on the jersey. See pictures in this post.
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Illinois’ Wes Lunt and Reilly O’Toole are involved in a heated quarterback battle, but one would have never guessed it based on their demeanor prior to the team’s spring game. While warming up, the two signal-callers sang Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way,” which was playing over the PA system. They took it seriously, too, with O’Toole, at one point, saying, “Dude, I’m killing this song. Hey, I’m killing this song.”
The Big Ten will conduct its final three spring games this weekend, with Iowa, Michigan State and Rutgers putting a bow on things. Here’s a look at what to watch for on Saturday as the Big Ten heads into the offseason with its eyes on 2014.
Is there a more hip and social media savvy coach than Penn State’s James Franklin? Nope. Oh, but there are pros and cons. He discusses it here. Franklin’s embrace of social media is a stark contrast to Bill O’Brien, who abhorred it. In fact, as legend goes, O’Brien called Facebook “Spacebook.” So, there you go. It’s gonna be a blast to see where Franklin can take this Penn State program.
Only three Big Ten spring games remain, as Iowa, reigning Big Ten and Rose Bowl champ Michigan State and Rutgers are still conducting spring practices. That means 11 teams have wrapped up spring drills and have their eyes set on the 2014 season. What did Tom Dienhart learn from the spring sessions? Find out in this post.
Maryland is prepping, it’s getting ready for its maiden Big Ten voyage. The ride begins this fall. Randy Edsall is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with the new venture. And Edsall will bring what looks like his best Maryland team yet, as he enters his fourth season in College Park, Md.
Hope springs eternal at Purdue, as it searched for myriad answers coming off a 1-11 season that arguably was the worst in school history. Offense? Defense? You name it, it needs to be addressed in West Lafayette.
Slowly but surely, Kevin Wilson is building at Indiana. It has been a slow, steady process. He has gone from one win, to four to five last year, inching the Hoosiers closer to their first bowl since 2007. That breakthrough finally may come to fruition in 2014 – if a new 3-4 defensive scheme offers a modicum of improvement to what has been a woebegone unit.
Few programs in the Big Ten can match the feel-good vibe that’s circulating in the Twin Cities. This is a Minnesota program that’s ascending and looks to have a legit shot to perhaps win the new Big Ten West. Jerry Kill continues to put his stamp on this team, a squad that plays smart and is stocked with personnel that fits what Kill wants to do on both sides of the ball.
If you watched closely, you could see the improvement in Illinois this spring. Good thing, because Tim Beckman needs to pad his win total as he embarks on this third season in Champaign. He is 6-18 overall and 1-15 in the Big Ten. And that one league win came vs. arguably the worst Purdue team in that school’s history. But, I digress. All eyes in Champaign this spring were on the quarterback derby and defense.