Web links: Narduzzi honored, Iowa LB trio & tweets

Let’s start daily links with this bit of good news: Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi has won the Broyles Award as the nation’s top assistant. This was a no-brainer, really.

“I’m floored by this,” said Narduzzi, whose Spartans ranked No. 1 in the nation in total defense from the start to the finish of the season. “I don’t even know what to say.”

Now, will Narduzzi remain in East Lansing? Or, will he get a head coaching job?

***

This is pretty neat: Graham Couch of the Lansing State Journal looks at Michigan State’s rise from a September of questions to a season for the ages in 12 steps.

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More Michigan State. Why? Because the Spartans are hot, hot, hot! Going retro on you here with this cool promo video of Michigan State’s last trip to the Rose Bowl after the 1987 season.

Ah, memories. Loved the unis … and players like Lo White.

***

How about this? The Michigan State credit union is offering to help Spartans fans get to Pasadena.

“This may be an expense you’ve not saved up for, but as a Spartan fan you really want to attend, and this offers a great opportunity at a low cost that our members can use,” said MSUFCU spokeswoman Sarah Bohan.

According to this report, the East Lansing-based credit union has offered bowl loans in the past. They’re similar to short-term holiday and back-to-school loans. Interest rates are as low as 6.9 percent for up to 18 months, with a minimum loan amount of $1,000. Fans who take out a $1,000 loan and make monthly payments of $58.64 for 18 months would end up paying $55.51 in interest.

Should you REALLY finance a vacation?

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Are the Iowa linebackers the best in the nation? Pat Harty of HawkCentral.com may be on to something.

The unit of Anthony Hitchens, James Morris and Christian Kirksey will need to play well vs. a LSU team that’s loaded with talent.

***

Did Penn State’s 7-5 record meet expectations?

I say unequivocally “yes,” when you consider the circumstances Bill O’Brien has had to deal with. Just 61 scholarship players on the roster. Bob Flounders of Pennlive.com says there was zero margin for error with questionable depth and talent that came in quality, but not necessarily quantity. The Nittany Lions had to keep mistakes to a minimum in order to compete in the Big Ten.

***

Tom Shatel of Omaha.com says committees aren’t bowled over by Nebraska anymore.

Shatel deftly lays out another crack in the mighty foundation of what once was a rock-solid Nebraska program. Oh, it’s still a formidable presence. But the Cornhusker brand isn’t what it once was—and it may never be again.

Shatel says it’s hard to blame the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, which is run by the same people who run the Fiesta Bowl. Stuck with a Baylor-Central Florida matchup in the Fiesta, for going with KSU-Michigan. They got the best of both worlds with K-State vs. Michigan. The Wildcats would bring their legions to the game. Michigan would provide the celebrity.

See, it was simple, really.

***

ESPN has ranked every bowl game. And, much to my surprise, the Gator Bowl clash between Nebraska and Georgia is … No. 10?

The Ohio State-Clemson Orange Bowl is No. 2; the Michigan State-Stanford Rose Bowl is No. 3. The lowest-ranked bowl with a Big Ten squad? The Texas Bowl with Minnesota-Syracuse at No. 29.

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Iowa fans: Enjoy these videos of LSU coach Les Miles in some of his more colorful moments. Thanks, Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette!

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Rick Pitino came to watch son Richard’s Minnesota squad last night. And Dad thinks Son is in a good place.

Don’t you wonder if Richard gets it going at Minnesota, and Dad retires, that maybe Richard would get the Louisville job? Ah, forget it. Let’s just enjoy the moment.

***

CBSSports.com has a 2014 NBA mock draft here. Yes, really.

What a loaded draft, with potential franchise players available as deep as the No. 7 pick. The highest Big Ten player: Indiana freshman Noah Vonleh at No. 9.

TWEETS THAT MATTER

My take: Yes, this will be a good Huskers front seven in 2014.

My take: This made me smile. And it will you, too.

My take: I was shocked Meyer wasn’t a finalist for the Eddie Robinson award.

My take: I loved Rec Hall. Just a hostile venue that could suffocate a foe.

My take: The guy is too smart to be a football player!

My take: This is what they call “prohibitive.”

My take: Who does a Michigan player root for? Michigan State? Ohio State?

My take: Gordon is good. But the Badgers can replace him. Corey Clement was a heck of a freshman in 2013.

My take: Having flashbacks to that Arizona State game in September.

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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