Big Ten links: It's time to check out Monday's best headlines

Mike Granse-USA TODAY Sports

Big Ten links: It's time to check out Monday's best headlines

Good stuff here from old pal Jeff D’Alessio of the Champaign News-Gazette, who asked 10 folks from Lovie Smith’s past to tell us their best story about the new Illini boss.

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Rutgers coach Chris Ash was at rugby tourney this weekend in Philadelphia. Why? It’s about a rugby-inspired tackling system. This is something I never had heard about.

“Why do I speak about rugby-style tackling? Because I want to promote the game of football,” the Rutgers football coach said in a recent interview with NJ Advance Media. “The game of football right now is under attack because of all the concussion issues that have been brought up. I want people to know this is still a great game, it’s a safe game, we can teach it better to be safer and more effective, and if I can help get that message out there to help the game grow and prosper, then I want to do that. That’s my obligation to everybody out there.”

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Now hear this: Michigan State has sold out season ticket packages that include the Michigan game.

Mlive.com says the school has officially sold out of ticket packages for its full seven-game home schedule. The early sellout marks a significant uptick in season ticket demand from last season, when season tickets were available up until August. No doubt demand is driven by an attractive home schedule that includes Michigan and Ohio State. Plus, MSU is coming off a pretty good season that included a playoff berth.

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It’s my duty to bring you one Jim Harbaugh link each day. And, I deliver, by golly. This is from Nick Baumgardner of Mlive.com, who says like it or not, Harbaugh continues to spread the Michigan name across the nation via his satellite camp tour that would put any rock concert tour to shame.

You love Harbaugh … you can hate him … but you can’t ignore him. More Harbaugh for everyone!

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It’s June, but Pennlive.com has Penn State storylines to watch in 2016. It’s a slideshow. I apologize.

One storyline I am keeping an eye on is the health of LBs Brandon Bell and Nyeem Wartman-White. Each is coming off injury and needs to excel at a key position as the defense works in a new coordinator.

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The Minnesota secondary took some big hits in personnel losses with guys like Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Eric Murray and Antonio Johnson gone. So, the addition of a transfer no doubt helps.

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A good column from Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, who says new Minnesota A.D Mark Coyle can learn a lot about from what went on from Baylor. I think all athletic departments can learn a lot. Any human being can learn a lot from the fiasco in Waco.

As Scoggins so aptly puts it: At Baylor, lines blurred and its moral compass spun a different direction. The euphoria of a successful football program overpowered common sense and human decency. Is winning games REALLY that important? Baylor is paying the ultimate price.

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Purdue suffered a big blow in the spring when emerging RB D.J. Knox suffered a knee injury that will keep him out for the season. The Boilers could have used his quickness. Now, Markell Jones will have to hope to stay healthy, as depth isn’t great for the Boilers.

With surgery in May, the best-case scenario for an ACL recovery would be an October return. Week 6 of Purdue’s season is October 15. Knox is realistic about what 2016 holds for him, especially considering he played as a true freshman and has a redshirt year available.

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Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer

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, and send him questions to his weekly mailbag.

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