Michigan State is the defending Big Ten champion and a playoff participant last season. But where is the love? BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart says the Spartans are used to having to earn that respect.
The countdown to kickoff has begun. We are one day away from the start of the 2016 Big Ten football season. Until then, here are 14 bold predictions to prime the pump for the 2016 season. Illinois: The Illini will miss a bowl, but they will win one game they aren’t supposed to, beat the teams they are supposed to beat and be competitive in losses. And the expression on Lovie Smith’s face never will change. Indiana: The defense will go from bad to solid as the Hoosiers push to back-to-back bowls for the first time since 1990-91. Kevin Wilson
Welcome to 2016! And the Big Ten kicks off in style, as all 14 teams are in action over a three-day period. But there is one marquee clash, as LSU plays Wisconsin in iconic Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Darrell Hazell needs a big year. It’s no secret. He has yet to get this program off the ground in his first three seasons. The struggles can’t be sugarcoated or minimized, as Hazell has gone 6-30 overall and 2-22 in the Big Ten. Three of the victories have been vs. FCS foes; another was vs. a MAC team. Will 2016 be the year the script is flipped? Hazell will move forward with a veteran roster that has potential and a staff that has two new coordinators. Here is what I’ll be watching at Purdue practice. 1. Quarterback. The quarterback situation
Hopes are high in Champaign, as Illinois takes the wraps off the Lovie Smith era. Will he be the coach to deliver a consistent winner to the Illini Nation? Smith arrives from the NFL with a big reputation, but he will be Illinois’ fifth coach since 1997 following Ron Turner, Ron Zook, Tim Beckman and Bill Cubit. The defensive line looks strong, and Dave Revsine believes running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn is going to be one of the top breakthrough players in the conference this season. Here is what I’ll be looking for at Illinois practice. 1. How is offensive line
The BTN Tour bus was in Wisconsin on Monday to check out the Badgers. Paul Chryst enters his second season as the Badgers' head coach and should have a team capable of competing for a Big Ten West title in 2016.
The BTN bus tour rolled into Madison, Wisconsin, on Monday, to watch Paul Chryst's second Badgers' team practice. See what BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart learned while watching practice inside.
The Minnesota program is on solid footing, having been to a bowl each of the last four seasons as Tracy Claeys assumes command. But the staff has been altered. Still, there is momentum coming off a bowl win that capped a disappointing 6-7 season. Claeys let go offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Matt Limegrover and quarterbacks coach Jim Zebrowski. Jay Johnson was hired from Louisiana-Lafayette to run the offense and coach quarterbacks, while Bart Miller was tabbed to coach the line. Here is what I’ll be watching at Minnesota practice. 1. Is the offense clicking? More run-pass balance is needed for
The BTN bus tour stopped in Iowa City, Iowa, on Wednesday to check out the defending Big Ten West champions. Get BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart's fun takes from the physical practice inside.
EAST LANSING, Mich. — Even though Michigan State is coming off a Big Ten title and playoff berth, the Spartans are being overlooked by many who favor Ohio State and Michigan in the East. As we have learned, not heeding the Spartans’ prowess can be a mistake. Yes, Michigan State has some holes to fill. But talent still oozes on this roster. Here is what I learned while watching the Spartans practice. 1. There has been a lot of attrition along the d line, but the unit still should be good. Mark Dantonio and Co., have recruited well. There is