Bruce Thorson-USA TODAY Sports
Weird. No other word better describes this season. The campaign dawned amid great promise, as Nebraska was coming off a Legends Division title. Much of that same talent was back, fueling hopes for the program’s first league title since 1999. Alas, the defense often looked a lot like it did in 2012, getting gashed for big yards/points after the staff made myriad vows to “fix things.”
With the nonconference season almost behind us and the conference season just a week away, it’s a good time to consider the Big Ten’s most improved players. There’s plenty of players to choose from, that’s for sure.
Penn State’s Bill O’Brien is a hot commodity, and he’ll remain that way as long as he stays at Penn State. Last year, NFL teams inquired about O’Brien following his remarkable job in leading the Nittany Lions to an 8-4 season. Reports indicate there will be more NFL executives pursuing O’Brien this offseason. And the fact O’Brien recently had the NFL buyout in his contract lowered only fuels that notion.
The holidays can be a time for reflection, so over Tuesday, Dec. 24 and Wednesday, Dec. 25, BTN is airing our top 10 Big Ten football game from the past season. Five games air on Tuesday and the other five air on Wednesday. Over the past week BTN viewers and BTN.com readers voted for their favorite games, then we compiled the top 10 list.
Minnesota was one of the best stories in the nation in 2013, showing resiliency in the face of adversity as the team dealt with health issues to Jerry Kill that forced him to leave the program at one point. The reins were handed to defensive coordinator Tracy Claeys, who thrived as the acting head coach in keeping the team on course with Kill tending to the seizures that are brought on by his epilepsy.
Another week, another three Big Ten men’s basketball teams ranked in the top 5 of the latest AP Poll. Just like last week, it’s the same teams and the same order: Ohio State (No. 3), Wisconsin (No. 4), Michigan State (No. 5). One Big Ten team did move up, as Iowa went from No. 25 to No. 22. See the full AP and Coaches polls in this post.