Big Ten East: New blood flows in new division

  • Updated: August 27, 2014 - 10:17 AM

A look at five story lines in the Big Ten East:

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New coach James Franklin brings enthusiasm, and recruiting prowess, to Penn State.

Photo: Joe Hermitt, Associated Press

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1. Emerald matchup

Wisconsin has a chance to make a statement for the entire Big Ten on Saturday night when it plays LSU in Houston. If the Badgers flop, the Big Ten will get another chance Sept. 6, when Michigan State visits Oregon. What a delicious matchup: Michigan State’s defense against Oregon’s offense.

 

2. Replacing Braxton

Braxton Miller is the two-time reigning Big Ten offensive player of the year, so his season-ending shoulder injury sent the whole conference for a loop. The Buckeyes will turn to redshirt freshman J.T. Barrett, who was a consensus four-star recruit for Urban Meyer coming out of Wichita Falls, Texas.

 

3. Welcome to the league

Rutgers joins the Big Ten after escaping the crumbling Big East and spending one year in the American Athletic Conference. The Scarlet Knights play their first official Big Ten game Sept. 13 vs. Penn State. After 60 years in the ACC, Maryland plays its first Big Ten game Sept. 27 at Indiana.

4. Trouble in Ann Arbor?

Michigan has gone 11-2, 8-5 and 7-6 in three seasons under coach Brady Hoke. Last year, the Wolverines lost five of their final six games. After the 31-14 loss to Kansas State in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, defensive end Frank Clark decried the team’s lack of chemistry, saying that had to improve.

 

5. Franklin’s new project

Penn State isn’t ready to be a dominant team, but the future looks bright in Happy Valley. Coach James Franklin has landed several top recruits since replacing Bill O’Brien. The Nittany Lions, still ineligible for bowl games (and the new playoff), entered last weekend leading the Big Ten in the 2015 recruiting rankings with commitments from 12 consensus four-star players.

JOE CHRISTENSEN

 

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Arizona 12/28/14 3:25 PM
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Cincinnati 12/28/14 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
Marshall 52 FINAL
Northern Ill 23
Navy 17 FINAL
San Diego St 16
Central Mich 48 FINAL
Western Ky 49
Fresno State 6 FINAL
Rice 30
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 2:30 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
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(20) Louisville
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(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
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(10) Georgia Tech
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<
Gophers Football Time W L Score
2014 season     
Aug 28 - vs. E. Illinois 6 pmX42-20
Sep 6 - vs. M. Tennessee St. 2:30 pmX35-24
Sep 13 - at TCU 3 pmX30-7
Sep 20 - vs. San Jose St. 3 p.m.X24-7
Sep 27 - at Michigan 2:30 pmX30-14
Oct 11 - vs. Northwestern 11 amX24-17
Oct 18 - vs. Purdue 11 amX39-38
Oct 25 - at Illinois 11 amX28-24
Nov 8 - vs. Iowa 11 amX51-14
Nov 15 - vs. Ohio State 11 amX31-24
Nov 22 - at Nebraska 11 amX28-24
Nov 29 - at Wisconsin 2:30 pmX34-24
Jan 1 - vs. Missouri noon

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