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Last season, Iowa got back on track by rebounding from a 4-8 (2-6 Big Ten) season and going 8-5 (5-3).
The good times are rolling in East Lansing for a Michigan State program coming off a Big Ten and Rose Bowl championship. Mark Dantonio has this program humming along as an elite machine that can stand toe-to-toe with any Big Ten squad—if not the nation. The next goal: A national championship. Why not?
The lid is being taken off the James Franklin era. And it’s an exciting time. He brings energy and enthusiasm—not to mention a strong resume that saw him win 24 games in three seasons at Vanderbilt—to State College.
As spring practice dawns, Nebraska seems to be primed for some big things. I know, I know. It seems the Cornhuskers are primed for big things each year, but it may really happen in 2014 for a team that could have one of the top defenses in the Big Ten.
It has been slow, steady growth for Indiana under Kevin Wilson. And, that’s good. Progress is being made as the Hoosiers inch closer to their first bowl since the 2007 season.
There is just no sugarcoating it: Darrell Hazell’s debut was brutal. How brutal? The 1-11 season arguably was the worst in Purdue history. And the one win came vs. a FCS foe that went—you guessed it—1-11. There was very little that this team did well last season during a winless Big Ten campaign in which blowouts were the norm. Perhaps this summarizes things best: The best player on the team was the punter.
Year Three of the Tim Beckman era is about to dawn. And the picture in Champaign is still fuzzy. Is Illinois a program on the rise? The good news: Illinois ended a dubious 20-game Big Ten losing streak last season. The bad news: Progress has made glacial tangible progress under Beckman, who is 6-18 overall in two years and 1-15 in the Big Ten.
The good times are rolling at Minnesota, as Jerry Kill continues to put his stamp on the program. The proof: The Golden Gophers’ win total has improved each of Kill’s three seasons, going from three to six to eight victories last season. The guy has won at every stop in his career.
If you’re on Twitter, you can vote in our ongoing series of Big Ten Twitter polls for our weekday TV show #BTNLive weekdays at 6 p.m. ET. On tonight’s show, our experts discuss this question: What area do you think is the biggest key at Ohio State’s spring football camp?: #OSUOline, #replacingHyde, #OSUFront7 or #OSUDBs
Gary Andersen’s debut in Madison was a rousing success—save for the stumble at the end that saw the Badgers lose their regular-season finale at home to Penn State and then fall to South Carolina in the bowl game. Still, there is a lot for Wisconsin to build on after last year’s 9-4 mark that saw the program’s run of three consecutive Rose Bowls come to end.
Anticipation continues to bubble at Ohio State. It always does, just in varying degrees each season. Urban Meyer’s third Buckeye squad has the natives excited as it will begin to take shape. And there is plenty of work to do.
Entering 2013, Northwestern was coming off a 10-win season that saw the program win its first bowl game since the 1948 season, ending a nine-game postseason losing skid. But the Wildcats are ready to turn the page on a 2013 season that opened with great promise but morphed into a season to forget.
Brady Hoke is set to begin his fourth spring in Ann Arbor. And, make no mistake about it: There is a sense of urgency.
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Spring football is over and the offseason is officially here. Let’s all let loose with a collective sigh. Now we have to wait until the night of Thursday, August 29, for the first Big Ten game when UNLV plays at Minnesota. There are lots of barbecues, cannon balls into the swimming pool, croquet, Wiffle Ball and Jarts between now and then.
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There’s no more talked-about position than quarterback, and for obvious reasons. The quarterback, more times than not, is the face of the team, and has his hands on the ball every snap. That being the case, fans love to follow a good quarterback battle.
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The Big Ten put a bow on spring practice last Saturday, but many questions still loom as the schools enter the offseason.
Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck has the keys to one of the top offenses in the Big Ten—if not the country. He knows it.
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The Big Ten put a wrap on spring football last weekend, with Iowa and Minnesota playing the final spring games in the conference. Now, the long offseason begins. But, honestly, this is when players get better—not from September to December.
Iowa had a lot of work to do in spring drills coming off a 4-8 season that was the program’s worst since 2000. The offense, which struggled mightily last season and had just seven touchdown passes, may have turned a corner this spring under second-year coordinator Greg Davis. No doubt, the offense looked good in the spring game. The defense also may have found a playmaker up front.
Iowa’s spring football game is the 12th and final Big Ten Spring Football game to air on BTN. You can watch the entire broadcast at 8 p.m. ET on BTN/BTN2Go.
Minnesota officially is pointed toward Year Three under Jerry Kill, putting a cap on spring drills with a game today. The team showed improvement from its first year under Kill to last season. The 2013 season could be the best yet, as it looks to pass better and make more big plays on offense, while tightening up the run defense.
The Minnesota spring game aired live on BTN2Go. Watch all the game’s best plays and other notable moments in this post. Remember that all of our Spring Football video clips can be found in our BTN.com video vault.
Two years into the Jerry Kill era, and progress at Minnesota is tangible. The Golden Gophers went from 3-9 in 2011 to 6-7, earning a bowl bid. The next step: move out of the basement of the Legends Division and win a postseason game for the first time since 2004. Year Three has been a charm for Kill at his last two stops, going 10-3 at Northern Illinois and 10-2 at Southern Illinois. To continue that trend in Dinkytown, big keys will be developing some big-play ability on offense and tightening the defense vs. the run. And the special teams need lots of improvement. This is an underrated coaching staff that’s capable of doing it all.
There is a sense of urgency in Iowa City, as the Hawkeyes look to rebound from the school’s worst season since 2000. There has been plenty of work to do on both sides of the ball, but the offense has the most heavy lifting. Except for running back and line, Iowa has questions on offense. The defense? A search for playmakers up front is on. That has made this an interesting spring for the Hawkeyes, as Kirk Ferentz begins his 15th season on campus.
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Offensive coordinators under Urban Meyer go on to big things. There’s Steve Addazio and Dan Mullen, to name a couple. BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo thinks a similar fate could be in store for Meyer’s current OC, Tom Herman, whose offense averaged a Big Ten-best 37.2 points last season. DiNardo sat down with Herman recently for our latest “Film Session.” Watch the full segment here.