The Michigan State men’s hockey team will have four new jersey designs for the 2012-13 season, the school announced Thursday. Featured in the new collection, the Spartans will introduce new standard home and away jerseys, as well as a pair of vintage sweaters. See a picture of the combinations and tell us if you like the new looks in this post.
With the 2012 NBA Draft on Thursday, I thought it would fun to consider all of the Big Ten draft classes since 2000. The new millennium got off to a strong start, with eight Big Ten products selected in the 2000 draft, including Jamal Crawford, Joel Przybilla, Morris Peterson and Michael Redd. See every Big Ten NBA draft pick from the past 12 drafts and get my thoughts on the best class and player in this post.
It’s hard to believe it’s been 20 years, huh? The 2012 ESPY Awards will mark the 20th installment of ESPN’s annual awards show. It all happens Wednesday, July 11 at 9 p.m. ET in Los Angeles. As is the case every year, Big Ten products are up for their share of awards. See all of the Big Ten nominees in this post. Also, you can vote on the ESPY Awards here.
CBSSports.com’s Matt Hinton is a playoff advocate, so he must have been thrilled with Tuesday’s news that a four-team playoff is official. If his latest work is any indication, he can’t wait for the 2014 field to be determined. Curiously wondering what the playoff would have looked like in recent years, Hinton recently scribed a post that includes the playoff bracket for each of the past six seasons.
Grass fields are such a thing of the past. The new thing is FieldTurf, both for game and practice fields, and Indiana is in the process of adding the innovative artificial turf to its east practice field, which used to be a grass surface. The turf, according to IUHoosiers.com, will be completed in time for the 2012 season. See pictures of the project in this post.
It was known that Iowa would wear throwback uniforms for its annual rivalry game vs. Iowa State this season, but now we know what the duds will look like. Iowa SID Matt Weitzel confirmed Tuesday that the Hawkeyes will wear uniforms to commemorate the 1921-22 back-to-back Big Ten championship teams that went a combined 14-0. See the uniform in this post.
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What if the NBA drafted solely on NCAA production and didn’t stress potential or what a player could become? According to ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan, the Big Ten would dominate Thurday’s NBA draft lottery. After the obvious choice, Kentucky’s Anthony Davis at No. 1, Brennan has a Big Ten player making up the rest of his production-based mock top 5. See Brennan’s list in this post, plus get all your links to mock drafts.
What happens when one of the best college football players and one of the best MLB players meet in front of cameras? They swap jerseys and create a photo op, of course. Michigan QB Denard Robinson and New York Mets 3B David Wright donned each other’s jersey in the Mets clubhouse prior to Friday night’s game vs. the Yankees. Robinson, it would seem, was in New York because Mets owner Fred Wilpon is a Michigan graduate (1958) and a big-time Wolverine fan. See the @Mets picture of Robinson and Wright in this post.
It’s been a few years since Ricky Stanzi became a cult hero. If you don’t remember the exact moment, it happened when the former Iowa QB gave Fox’s Chris Meyers this quote following the 2010 Orange Bowl: “There is nothing better than being American. This is the greatest feeling. If you don’t love it, leave it. USA, No. 1.” The quote reads great, but it’s even better when you hear it.
It’s been a tough week or so for a couple Illinois standout athletes. Last week, defensive lineman Michael Buchanan broke his jaw in a Champaign altercation, and on Thursday, star guard Brandon Paul suffered the same injury during open gym. Paul, the winner of BTN’s 2012 “Most Dominating Performance,” is coming off a junior season in which he averaged 14.7 points, 4.7 rebounds, 2.9 assists and 1.4 steals per game.
Coming up with 25 national candidates for the Heisman Trophy is difficult enough, so it’s easy to understand what Athlon Sports must have gone through while compiling its Big Ten’s 25 Heisman Trophy Contenders. Twenty-five, really?! Let’s focus on the top 5, what do you say? Here it is: 1. Denard Robinson; 2. Montee Ball; 3. Rex Burkhead; 4. Braxton Miller; 5. Taylor Martinez.
The Wall Street Journal has an interesting article that breaks down which colleges produced the most minutes in the NBA during this strike-shortened campaign. Duke, to no surprise, landed at No. 1, with 21,609 minutes. But what about Big Ten teams? Ohio State (7,903 minutes) came in 13th to lead 10 Big Ten teams. See the breakdown and the players who contributed the minutes in this post.
ESPN.com’s Eamonn Brennan posted a story Thursday offering his 10 potential breakout players for 2012-13, and the list features one Big Ten player: Michigan State’s Keith Appling. Here’s a sampling of Brennan’s thoughts on Appling: “With the team’s do-everything leader Draymond Green gone, and a batch of younger, less experienced players rounding out the rotation, Appling has a chance to evolve from a nice complementary piece into one of the Big Ten’s bonafide stars.”
Ice baths are as much a part of high-level football as in-depth scouting reports. Former Illinois running back Kevin Jackson (1991-94) routinely took said cold dips, and on more than one occasion, he probably did so with his nose buried in one of those scouting reports.
The Iowa football team will have a new indoor practice facility when it opens practice in August. The 100,000-square foot, fixed-roof facility is a vast improvement over “The Bubble” that the team has used the past 27 years. With August fast approaching, @HawkeyeFootball tweeted a few pictures of the facility, which is the first of a two-phase, $50 million project. See the photos in this post.
It’s anyone’s guess what the future of college football’s postseason holds. Will there be a four-team playoff? A plus-one? Or will it be the status quo? Whatever it may be, CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy posted an interesting article that ranks the nation’s top teams using final BCS Standings since 2007. Where do Big Ten teams land over the last five seasons? Find out in this post.
When BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and I decided to debate 2012 Big Ten football statistical leaders a couple months ago, we made it a point to let Big Ten fans have a say, as well. We did so by including a poll and incorporating relevant tweets in each statistical debate. The 11-series installment now complete, check out who Big Ten fans predict to lead the conference in categories ranging from scoring to sacks.
Remember the uberly successful beanie babies promotional giveaway the Chicago Cubs launched in 1997? Chances are Kevin Schneider does. Schneider, like many hardcore sports fans, looks forward to any and every promotional giveaway. You might even say he circles his calendar for such days around the Chicago area.
On Friday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten sack leader, the 10th in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Up next: Tackles. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader, too.
Another season, another new look for the Breslin Center floor. @MSU_Basketball tweeted a photo Friday afternoon of the school’s redesigned basketball court, its third look in as many years. If you recall, Michigan State introduced this court last season — a change made partly because of Nike’s new Michigan State logo — after playing several years on this court. See the picture in this post.
Perhaps you heard BTN entertained Michigan State coaches Wednesday in our Chicago studios. Mark Dantonio, Tom Izzo and the rest of the coaches were in town as part of the athletic program’s Michigan State coaches tour. What better way to spend the day at BTN than give the coaches a chance to do what we do on a daily basis, we thought? Yep, we had the coaches put on a live show. From production to graphics to makeup artists to analysts, everyone had a role. Watch MSUSpartans.com’s behind-the scenes video of the experience now.
BTN will air its fifth annual BTN Awards Show at 7:30 p.m. ET Monday. You also can watch it live on BTN2Go. On the one-hour special, we’ll announce the winners of the Big Ten’s prestigious Suzy Favor Award and Jesse Owens Award, in addition to crowning our picks for several different categories, including “Breakout Performer” and “Best Finish,” to name a couple.
Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten interception leader, the ninth in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Up next: Sacks. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader, too.
Other than similar team colors, the Nebraska Cornhuskers and Chicago Bulls have very little in common. Actually, there is another thing: Eric Piatkowski played for both teams. In all seriousness, though, it probably surprises all that the Bulls, an NBA championship franchise, would consult the Huskers, a team without a conference title in more than six decades, about anything basketball related. They did, and it has to do with Nebraska’s impressive Hendricks Training Complex.
On Wednesday, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo spent the day at BTN learning how we put on a live show. On Thursday, Izzo was at Wrigley Field, where he was spotted talking to Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland on the field prior to the first pitch. Oh, to be able to hear the conversation between those two coaching legends. Together, Izzo and Leyland have 2,026 wins and two world/national championships. See the picture of Izzo and Leyland, courtesy of @tigers, in this post.