The wait is over, Big Ten fans. Starting Thursday night, the Big Ten football season is here. The Gophers kick of the 2012 schedule late Thursday night at UNLV, Michigan State hosts Boise State on Friday night, and the conference’s 10 other teams get underway Saturday. Before the games kick off, read last week’s top 10 BTN.com stories.
10. Top 5 individual seasons of BTN era
BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fifth list ranks the top five individual seasons of the BTN era.
9. Dave Brandon invites Oklahoma boy to Ann Arbor
Perhaps you heard the story of the 5-year-old Oklahoma boy whose school forced him to turn his Michigan shirt inside out last week? If not, evidently, the shirt was against the school district’s dress code, which states only Oklahoma college apparel is allowed. Clothes from all other schools are against the current policy. The reasoning? Gangs.
8. Did You See This? Ohio State adds new tradition
Wisconsin has “Jump Around,” and now Ohio State has “Quick Cals.” Urban Meyer and Ohio State created the new Ohio Stadium pregame activity, which will debut prior to the season opener Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio). Here’s how it works: 23 minutes before every home kickoff, in the south end zone, the players will do Quick Cals – think pregame exercises – and ask for student participation.
7. BTN Experts: Michigan football practice tweets
Our annual summer bus tour came to a close Thursday, but not before we took in Michigan practice. @BTNTomDienhart and @BTNDaveRevsine live tweeted from the practice, and @GerryDiNardo provide his post-practice tweets – a feature he provided after every stop.
6. Michigan: 10 reasons to be excited in 2012
Brady Hoke’s debut couldn’t have gone much better last season. The moribund three-year Rich Rodriguez tenure saw Michigan go 15-22 (6-18 Big Ten) and left many disappointed. The program hit historic low points in many respects, as the Wolverines fell from the Big Ten elite. But Hoke changed all of that quickly with an 11-2 season that was capped by a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
5. Dienhart: What I saw at Michigan State practice
The BTN Football Tour took us to Michigan State practice on Wednesday, and I watched for a number of things. First, quarterback Andrew Maxwell is looking good as he threw the ball well today. Maxwell also showed nice touch on his passes. And his arm looked good on passes down the sideline and on posts.
4. Dienhart: Bill O’Brien has his share of talent
I didn’t really know what to expect at Penn State practice today, but I came away with the spirit and energy. And the team has some talent.
3. Top 5 Big Ten defensive players of BTN era
BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My sixth and final list ranks the top five defensive careers of the BTN era.
2. Spartan Stadium scoreboards do not disappoint
There’s been a lot of talk about the new scoreboards at Spartan Stadium. The BTN team got a first-hand look at the new additions Wednesday as our annual summer football tour hit East Lansing, and the massive displays did not disappoint. Let’s just say Michigan State fans won’t have any trouble seeing the score, stats, replays, or anything of that kind in 2012.
1. Dienhart: My thoughts from Michigan practice
The final stop on our annual summer football tour was Thursday, and we spent the day in Ann Arbor, Mich., checking out Brady Hoke’s talented Michigan team. I had many observations from the practice, none bigger than Denard Robinson looked more comfortable than ever under center. He’s such a dangerously quick athlete who can legitimately score any time he touches the ball.