Football season is slowly approaching. Less than four weeks from now, in fact, the games will be underway. To help kill the time between now and then, I’ve provided what I think is a bold prediction for every Big Ten team. See all the predictions in this post. Have a bold prediction of your own? Tell me in the comment box at the bottom of the post. Or you can tweet it to me, @BTNBrentYarina.
If you missed it Thursday, the highly anticipated and always criticized USA Today preseason top 25 poll was released. Four Big Ten teams made the cut, led by No. 8 Michigan. Also ranked: No. 12 Wisconsin, No. 13 Michigan State and No. 16 Nebraska. While the coaches think Michigan is the Big Ten’s top team entering the 2012 season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart writes Michigan State should be ranked the highest. And I think it should be back-to-back Big Ten champ Wisconsin.
The next time the Purdue baseball team is picked to host an NCAA regional, it will do so in its own backyard. This past season, of course, Big Ten champ Purdue was forced to go to Gary, Ind., where it hosted a regional at U.S. Steel Yard, because Lambert Field didn’t meet NCAA requirements. If and when it happens again, the nearly completed Alexander Field will be more than capable to host such action. See an updated picture, courtesy of the Purdue baseball Facebook page, of the stadium.
Fans of alternate uniforms are going to love the Wisconsin-Nebraska Big Ten opener Sept. 29 at Memorial Stadium. In what’s become the unofficial adidas TECHFIT uniform showcase, both Big Ten rivals will be sporting new alternate duds. Nebraska released its uniform last week – hello, red! – and Wisconsin, which is unveiling its uniform in phases, provided a third and final sneak peek Sunday. It will unveil the whole thing Monday. Catch a glimpse of all three released photos in this post.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve asked an athlete to autograph? Maybe one of his or her game-worn sweatbands. Or your forehead. Well, an Illinois fan recently asked Illini offensive lineman Graham Pocic to sign his baby. OK, not the actual baby, but the baby’s miniature Illinois jersey. It made for a terrific photo op. See the picture, courtesy of the Fighting Illini Football Facebook page, in this post.
I’m pretty sure Indiana basketball fans will not be a big fan of Assembly Hall’s latest cosmetic change. It’s a small one – one that we’re going to see on all Big Ten football fields this season (here’s an example and another) and presumably all basketball courts (example) – but it’s something the Hoosier faithful will need time to get used to. Of course, I’m talking about the “B1G” logo making its way onto the court. See a picture, courtesy of @JustinRayWright, of the new court design in this post.
After three days and hundreds of emails, our Big Ten writers’ 2012 Big Ten mock draft is in the books. Here’s how this worked: writers from all 12 Big Ten teams conducted the six-round draft, picking a QB, WR, RB, TE, Defensive player and K. Check out the Round 5 and Round 6 selections in this post. And you can find all six rounds here.
Athlon Sports recently released its Big Ten Player Rankings: The Top 50 players for 2012, and two-time reigning Big Ten champ Wisconsin highlights the top of the countdown. Five of the first 12 names are Badgers, headlined by Heisman Trophy candidate Montee Ball, at No. 1, and left tackle Ricky Wagner, at No. 6. While Wisconsin dominates the top of the list, Michigan State (9), Nebraska (8) and Ohio State (8) all boast more overall players than Wisconsin (7).
Our Big Ten writers’ 2012 Big Ten mock draft is gaining steam and through Round 4. Relive all the Round 1 selections and Round 2 picks. Here’s how this works: writers from all 12 Big Ten teams partake in the six-round draft, picking a QB, WR, RB, TE, Defensive player and K. Check out all the Round 3 and Round 4 selections in this post.
Who’s going to win the Big Ten this football season? Not two-time reigning champ Wisconsin, according to CBSSports.com’s Jerry Palm. Palm predicts Michigan in the Rose Bowl, the bowl reserved for the Big Ten champ, in his latest 2012-13 bowl projections. Fear not, Wisconsin fans: Palm has your Badgers playing in the Fiesta Bowl.
Indiana’s Cody Zeller and Michigan’s Trey Burke shared last season’s Big Ten Freshman of the Year. Could they share a court in the 2016 Olympics? That’s what CBSSports.com’s Jeff Goodman predicts. With rumors that Olympic basketball will go with players 23-and-under beginning in 2016, Goodman compiled his Team USA roster, and the starting 5 included the current Indiana and Michigan stars.
Athlon recently released its ranking of the top 30 men’s basketball coaches, and Michigan State’s Tom Izzo found his name atop the prestigious list. Izzo beat out the usual suspects, Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski and Kentucky’s John Calipairi, for top billing and was one of six Big Ten coaches who the made cut. That’s half of the Big Ten coaches, for you non-math majors. And now you know why the experts say the Big Ten features the best coaches.
Our Big Ten writers’ 2012 Big Ten mock draft makes its way to Round 2. You can view Round 1 selections here. Here’s how this works: writers from all 12 Big Ten teams conduct the six-round draft, picking a QB, WR, RB, TE, Defensive player and K. We’re doing this because we thought it would provide a fun new way to showcase the Big Ten’s top statistical performers throughout the season. Plus, we hope it gets Big Ten fans debating the picks.
Camp Randall Stadium is undergoing its share of renovations this offseason. One of the projects included a nod to the program’s rich history on the front of the luxury boxes on the east side of the stadium. The three-level tribute features the program’s retired numbers, on top, the team’s Big Ten titles, in the middle, and its Rose Bowl appearances, on bottom. See a picture, courtesy of uwcoachstrick, in this post.
We’d seen Michigan’s 2012 Sugar Bowl rings online well before Big Ten Media Days last week in Chicago. And now we’ve seen them in-person. Take it from us, they are impressive – not to mention rather big. Michigan safety Jordan Kovacs proudly wore the ring on his right ring finger throughout the two-day event. See a close-up picture of the hardware Michigan earned with its victory over Virginia Tech in this post.