GBI Magazine

Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6

Gold and Black is a multi-platform media company that covers Purdue athletics like no one else.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 82 of 110

GOLD AND BLACK ILLUSTRATED VOLUME 26, ISSUE 6 81 BY ALAN KARPICK T he fact that Iowa came with- in a possession of winning the Big Ten title game last year has to give the West Division hope that it can compete with its counterparts from the East. That is, despite all the data, analy- sis and predictions suggesting other- wise in 2016. On paper, Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State figure to be in the top 15 nationally, while the Hawkeyes are the only team from the West Division consistently showing up in the presea- son top 25 rankings. "What's happened in the East now is the offensive and defensive lines of Michigan State, Michigan and Ohio State are truly dominant," said BTN analyst Gerry DiNardo, who spent 13 years as a college head coach, in- cluding three at Indiana. "I think we learned that last year when Michigan State went into Columbus without (quarterback) Conner Cook and won due to its ability to dominate the line. That is what separates these three from the rest." Michigan still has to prove itself on the offensive line and DiNardo thinks Penn State is in the same boat, need- ing consistent line play for the Lions to break into the top three in the di- vision. senior writer Tom Dien- hart thinks the Buckeyes and Wolver- ines are the best in the league head- ing into '16, with a slight nod to the Buckeyes. But the school that might have the most riding on this season is Penn State. "This is a big year for James Franklin," Dienhart said. "It is no understatement to say there is a sense of urgency there. Year 3, we all know what he inherited, over- coming hurdles, not being in an ideal situation, but the excuses are gone, and I think people are expect- ing some kind of a breakthrough. "I am not saying they will win the title, but they could push into the top three. That's possible if their quarter- back spot settles down. Trace McSor- ley should be the guy to replace Chris- tian Hackenberg." Glen Mason, the former Minnesota coach and now studio and game ana- lyst for BTN, is buying what Michigan State is selling and thinks the Spar- tans have a chance to defend their 2015 title. "If you had to hold my feet to the fire to pick a winner, I am not sure I wouldn't have Michigan State as my favorite," Mason said. "Ohio State has only six returning starters, but 2016 PREVIEW Can The West Compete? Ohio State, Michigan and Michigan State figure to be dominant Michigan Never one to be still for long, Jim Har- baugh has made a significant impact at Michigan both on and off the field.

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of GBI Magazine - Gold and Black Illustrated, Vol 26, Digital 6