Michigan State is coming off consecutive 11-win seasons. The Spartans won a share of the Big Ten crown in 2010 and captured the Legends Division title in 2011 before falling to Wisconsin in the inaugural Big Ten title game. Some heady accomplishments under Mark Dantonio. But something is missing—a trip to a BCS bowl, which is a destination that Michigan State never has enjoyed. In fact, the Spartans haven’t been to the Rose Bowl since after the 1987 season.
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Just four years ago, Brady Hoke was coaching in the MAC at Ball State. Now, he’s leading one of college football’s most storied programs. And Hoke has Michigan on the precipice of big things as he enters his second season in Ann Arbor. Hoke is riding the momentum and mojo of a smashing debut at Michigan in 2011, forging an 11-2 record and second-place finish in the Legends Division. The Wolverines capped the season with a victory over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl.
Tuesday night on “Big Ten Football Report,” Dave Revsine sat down with Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez. The rising junior enters his third season as the Huskers’ starting signal-caller, and he and his teammates will showcase their talents in Nebraska’s spring game at 2 p.m. ET on Saturday on both BTN2Go and the Big Ten Digital Network. A season ago, Martinez accounted for 2,963 total yards and 22 touchdowns, although his completion percentage dropped three percent, to 56.3 percent. Watch Martinez’s interview now.
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Tuesday night on “Big Ten Football Report,” Dave Revsine sat down with Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz. For the first time in Ferentz’s 14 years at Iowa, his staff encountered its share of change, including a new offensive coordinator (Greg Davis) and defensive coordinator (Phil Parker). Also, Ferentz’s son, Brian Ferentz, was tabbed to coach the offensive line, among other changes. See the new-look Hawkeyes’ spring practice at noon ET on BTN.com. Until then, watch our interview with Ferentz.
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Ever wonder what the rigors of a Big Ten football practice are like? BTN cameras gave Big Ten fans an inside look at how intense these practices get, particularly when the strength and conditioning coach is front and center, on Tuesday night’s “Big Ten Football Report.” Howard Griffith went to East Lansing to visit with Michigan State strength coach Ken Mannie, an intense guy who, in this video, tells the Spartans: “We’re going to put your feet to the fire today, so you better have your shoes on tight.” Watch our interview with Mannie now, plus see Mannie mic’d up and meet Penn State’s new strength coach in this post.
The deadline for college basketball players to decide whether they’re coming back to school or entering the 2012 NBA Draft was Tuesday. Here’s what we know: Meyers Leonard and Jared Sullinger are gone, while Trey Burke, Deshaun Thomas and Christian Watford are back after testing the NBA waters. A lot of things will change before the season tips in November, but BTN.com’s Brent Yarina offers some super-early 2012-13 predictions. See all of them in this post.
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