Is it November yet? This winter, the Big Ten will boast so much talent on the hardwood that we could be in store for one of the most exciting and memorable conference seasons in recent history. Lindy’s Sports did nothing to temper those expectations, placing three Big Ten teams in the top six of its Lindy’s top 10. That’s Indiana, at No. 2, Michigan, at No. 3, and Ohio State, at No. 6. Not too bad.
Before we turn our complete attention to Week 2, it’s time to look back at how we all fared with our Week 1 predictions. One look at the results, and it’s clear everyone involved did great. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart, Big Ten fans and myself all went 11-1, the only miss being Penn State’s loss to Ohio.
If you watched Nebraska’s season-opening trouncing of Southern Miss on Saturday and thought the Huskers looked different, you were right. For the first time since the 1980s, according to @HuskerExtraBC, Nebraska wore white shoes and socks in favor of their customary black ones. It was a minor tweak, but one Nebraska fans noticed.
With Week 1 behind us, it’s time for my latest Big Ten Player Rankings. Again, I’m doing these a little different this year. Whereas I used to rank the top 10 players – a practice that was tough due to all the talent on both sides of the ball – I’ll rank the top six offensive and defensive players each week.
Big Ten players were responsible for several terrific plays during Week 1 action. Who can forget Devin Smith’s remarkable one-handed touchdown grab or Le’Veon Bell’s ridiculous run where he hurdled a would-be Boise State tackler? Those are just two of the many highlights the Big Ten put on during its 10-2 opening week. See my top 10 plays, plus a memorable official call, in this post. Also, if you like highlights, make your own reel with our video mashup, presented by La Quinta.
Every Saturday night during the college football season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hands out his weekly Big Ten game balls. The series is called “U.S. Marines Corps: Leaders of the Week,” and it’s designed to spotlight the Big Ten’s top individual performances. Who took home the honors from Week 1? Find out in this post. Also, watch our network’s Week 1 Sights and Sounds feature now.
The University of Minnesota’s Class of 2016 gathered at TCF Bank Stadium on Saturday for a really cool photo op. An annual tradition, the entire class formed Minnesota’s “M” logo, with “2016″ below it, at midfield. To little surprise, 5,500-plus students yield a massive logo. The base of the “M” stretched from one 15-yard line to the other – a total of 70 yards. To put it in perspective, that’s more than two basketball courts.
Ever since Bill O’Brien announced Penn State would include last names on the back of its jerseys this fall, people have wondered what it will look like. On Saturday morning, a couple of hours before Penn State’s season opener vs. Ohio, @PennStateFball tweeted a picture of the jerseys hanging in the Penn State locker room.
In case you missed it Friday night, Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell put on quite the performance against Boise State. The junior star had his “Heisman Moment,” one could argue, touching the ball 50 times and totaling 265 yards and two touchdowns in the Spartans’ 17-13 comeback win at Spartan Stadium. Bell on his big night: “I had no idea how many carries or yards I had. It was the most I’ve had in my collegiate career,” he told The AP. “But I’ve still got a lot of things to work on to get better.” That’s a scary thought for Big Ten defenses. Read more about Bell’s big night in this post.
The 2012 NFL season kicks off Wednesday night, which means it’s time to look back at some of the best plays Big Ten products made during the exhibition season. Watch all the highlights, via links to NFL.com, in this post. And with opening day just around the corner, teams are currently making final cuts. Unfortunately, the list includes several Big Ten names.
NCAA Football ’13 is a sweet game on any screen. Imagine what it’s like on a 2,100-inch high-definition display. The co-hosts of “ESPNU Road Trip” found out Thursday when they played the game on the gaudy video board at Cowboys Stadium, where Michigan and Alabama meet Saturday afternoon. The hosts, Oliver Ali Nejad and Niki Noto, naturally played as Michigan and Alabama.
Every Minnesota football player will wear a patch on their jersey in honor of late ex-teammate Gary Tinsley during the 2012 season. For Thursday night’s season opener at UNLV, linebacker Keanon Cooper also will wear Tinsley’s old number, No. 51. Cooper normally wears No. 4. Talk about a great tribute for a former teammate and friend.
The Nebraska football program boasts some impressive facilities, that’s no secret. They’re so nice, in fact, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart singled out the team in the “Best Facilities” category of his BTN summer football tour recap. What makes the facilities so great? A lot of things, actually, including the personal touches. And that includes an iPad in every locker. We’ve heard about said iPad’s for a while, but see a picture of the one in Rex Burkhead’s locker in this post.
The Big Ten has gone four consecutive seasons without fielding a team in the BCS title game. Is this the year the streak gets snapped? The Big Ten enters the 2012 season with four teams ranked in the top 16 of the Coaches Poll, led by No. 8 Michigan, so the opportunity is there. But which team is most likely to make this season’s BCS title game?
The 2012 Big Ten football season kicks off with Minnesota visiting UNLV late Thursday night. The Week 1 slate continues Friday, as Michigan State takes on always dangerous Boise State, and wraps up Saturday with the conference’s remaining 10 games, including Michigan battling reigning national champ Alabama.