Big Ten Media Days came and went late last week in Chicago, and it was an eventful couple of days at the Hyatt Regency McCormick Place. While no preseason favorites were announced this year, there still was plenty of activity and countless storylines. You had legendary Penn State coach Joe Paterno back for yet another season, a new perennial power joining the conference (Nebraska), and five new coaches in attendance.
Once Nebraska was invited to join the Big Ten, we knew the conference would receive a new logo and our studio would undergo a serious makeover. The former was a very public thing, while the latter was something Big Ten fans would have no clue about — unless they took a tour of BTN’s studio. Good thing for social media. Recently, I’ve tweeted shots of all the cosmetic changes around BTN, hoping to give the fans an inside look.
We knew Terrelle Pryor would miss the first five games of the 2011 season, including the Big Ten opener against Michigan State, but now that the star quarterback has left Ohio State, the Leaders Division has become a bit more interesting.
The Big Ten Network, recently rebranded as BTN, is about to enter its fifth year of bringing you the greatest in Big Ten athletics. Before we enter our fifth year, I wanted to take a look back at the Big Ten’s best football and basketball players during the BTN era, according to the conference’s end-of-the-year accolades, and consider who’s the best of the best.
Ed DeChellis had been at Penn State since 2003, and on more than one occasion, it seemed as though he might be on his way out. Ironically, he’s leaving his alma mater at a time when it wasn’t expected at all — and on his own terms.
The pairings for the 13th annual Big Ten/ACC Challenge, held November 29-30, were announced Tuesday afternoon. Seeking its third straight victory in the event and just its third win overall, the Big Ten will face a tough test this winter. For one, the Challenge has been very close in recent years, with the victor winning 6-5 each of the past three seasons. On top of that, the ACC figures to boast a pair of top 5 teams, including likely No. 1 North Carolina. See the full schedule here:
Spring football is long over and kickoff is still three-plus months away, so there’s not much to do but talk our way through the lull before the college football season. Below, I looked at all 12 Big Ten teams, listed the most popular topic(s) I’ve heard/read and offered another possible discussion item that each team must address before fall arrives.
Here at BTN, we’re constantly looking for ways to help Big Ten fans better understand which schools comprise the new football divisions and which division, Legends or Leaders, the schools call home. Let’s start with the teams in your school’s division: I like to use the one-division-includes-Iowa-and-all-the-M-and-N-schools approach. That helps break it up, because then you know all the other schools, Illinois, Indiana, Ohio State, Penn State, Purdue and Wisconsin, make up the other division.
With Connecticut’s 53-41 victory over Butler on Monday night, the 2010-11 basketball season is officially complete. Much to my disgust, the Big East won the national crown after I bashed the conference for being highly overrated all season. It looked smart early on in the tournament, as the Big East seemingly suffered an upset or more every day. OK, enough Big East talk. Here are my 12 things to watch in the Big Ten during the 2011-12 season:
Well, I didn’t envision writing 2011-12 Big Ten hoops look-aheads quite this early, but following Ohio State and Wisconsin’s Sweet 16 defeats, it’s that time. These will certainly change before next winter, considering possible roster changes and coaching moves. That said, check out way-too-early initial 2011-12 Big Ten hoops power rankings:
With the 2010-11 Big Ten hoops season now in the rearview mirror, it’s time to look to next year and offer some predictions. The Big Ten will lose its share of talent, but it returns a ton of firepower, as well. Ohio State, of course, will be chasing its third straight Big Ten crown, both regular season and postseason. Now for the predictions, which will almost certainly make me look silly in a year: