Web links: Who picked MSU to finish ahead of Nebraska?

JC transfer Tanner McEvoy is primed to begin competing for the Wisconsin quarterback job. And, I can’t wait to check out the kid, who began his career at South Carolina. The dual-threat McEvoy is supposed to be a great fit for the Badgers offense.

“That’s all I’m looking for, is a chance,” McEvoy told the Wisconsin State Journal. “I’ll let the coaches decide and play it out from there.”

It’s a crowded Badger quarterback situation that will be among the most interesting in the nation to watch unfold during training camp, with five signal-callers in contention.

2015 SLATES: The Big Ten released its 2015 league schedule today.

In short, the 2015 league slate is the flipside of the 2014 slate. It will be the last season before the Big Ten moves to a nine-game conference schedule in 2016.

RANKING THE SCHEDULES: Brian Christopherson of the Lincoln Journal Star has a nice ranking of the Big Ten 2013 schedules here.

Bad news for Illinois, Iowa and Minnesota. Good news for Ohio State, Michigan State and Wisconsin.

BOLD PREDICTION: Lindy’s picks Michigan State to finish ahead of Nebraska.

I just don’t see it.

GREEN IN BLUE: No doubt, Michigan needs help at running back. And incoming freshman Derrick Green can provide it at a position that most coaches feel is one of the easiest for a newcomer to help at. Some recruiting services ranked Green as the nation’s top prep running back.

And, as Mark Snyder of the Detroit Free Press points out, if Green needs inspiration, he can turn to Anthony Thomas and Mike Hart—two freshman backs who impacted in Ann Arbor.

CLOSE LOOK AT EXPANSION: A nice read from Chris Vannini of the Detroit Free Press on conference expansion in general with a look back on what it took for Michigan State to get into the Big Ten way back when.

SPARTANS BREAKOUT CANDIDATES: The great Mike Griffith of MLive.com has his top defensive breakout player candidates for Michigan State.

T Lawrence Thomas? E Shilique Calhoun? LB Taiwan Jones? DB Demetrious Cox? CB Trae Waynes? I am going with Calhoun, who looks like he could be a force off the edge with William Gholston gone. I also am eager to see Thomas, a former fullback whose athletic ability will be an intriguing fit on the interior.

TALKING PSU SIGNAL-CALLERS: Here’s a nice video of Penn State coach Bill O’Brien talking about JC transfer quarterback Tyler Ferguson. Can he beat out Christian Hackenberg for the job?

A Penn State game in Ireland has been discussed in various media reports in recent months. Now, the Orlando Sentinel reports that a team of UCF administrators returned from Ireland recently after a four-day trip to do “due diligence” on a potential future game against Penn State.

This is a great move by Penn State, with the game overseas serving as a de facto bowl game. In fact, it will be better than 90 percent of the bowls. Would you rather play in, say, the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville … or go to Ireland? Enough said.

IN-STATE ILLINI TALENT: Matt Daniels has a top-10 list of the most important Illinois prep players Tim Beckman will have in 2013.

No. 1: RB Josh Ferguson. He could become a difference maker for the Fighting Illini in new OC Bill Cubit’s attack. And, this is an offense in need of some playmakers.

HIGH ON SPARTANS: No big shock here: Former Michigan State great Mateen Cleaves expects the Spartans to have a great 2013-14.

“This is not a knock against Michigan, but if you just look at what Michigan State has coming back, it’s hard to pick any (Big Ten) team over them,” Cleaves said

No argument from me.

GOPHER ADD NEW FACE: Minnesota landed a transfer from Drake.

Joey King is a native of Eagen, Minn., and will be the only native son on the Golden Gophers’ roster.

TWEETS THAT MATTER

My take: Yes, you have to like the confidence of the Michigan recruit.

My take: Yes, it’s always the speed.

My take: Hey, you have to start somewhere.

About Tom Dienhart BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men’s basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.

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3 Comments

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huskerfanbb on 6/3/2013 @ 11:04am EST Said:

Yeah, um, no way is MSU finishing ahead of Nebraska in that division. That division is going to come down to Big Blue or Big Red. If any other team has an outside shot, it’s the purple of Northwestern with the skill players they have.

Yeah, Nebraska’s defense is suspect, but they will have the top offense in the league and their schedule sets up nicely. They will be favored in their first 8 games, and their only tough road tilts are Michigan and Penn State. Even if they do lose at Michigan and drop one to MSU, Penn State, or Northwestern, I can’t see Michigan State having less than two losses in league play (although, admittedly, their schedule isn’t exactly a murderer’s row, either).

However, while Nebraska gets nearly all of their offensive production back (remember, Burkhead was hurt most of last year)–MSU lost a good deal of theirs with Bell leaving. It’s doubtful that Maxwell can carry the load himself.

Common Sense on 6/3/2013 @ 11:29am EST Said:

BOLD PREDICTION: Lindy’s picks Michigan State to finish ahead of Nebraska.

I just don’t see it.

Neither Do I and even MSU Doug would agree.

Doug on 6/3/2013 @ 3:52pm EST Said:

Yep I would be surprised if MSU finished ahead of Nebraska, although MSU finishing ahead of Michigan would not be a surprise.