Every week during the fall, BTN web editor and blogger Brent Yarina recaps the week that was in Big Ten football. Each recap includes Brent’s superlative winners and the best stats, quotes and tweets, among other things, from around the Big Ten that particular week. Have a worthy stat, quote or tweet that you think should make the recap? Tweet it to @BTNBrentYarina. Enjoy the season’s first installment of the weekly recap. Also, watch Mike Wolf’s Week 1 Wrap-up Podcast now.
Jim Tressel is back in football. The Indianapolis Colts hired the former Ohio State head football coach as a gameday consultant, Colts coach Jim Caldwell announced during a conference call Friday. Tressel’s main role will consist of helping the team determine when it should challenge plays. Read more about the hire here.
Football season is here, and that means it’s time to shift our focus to the Week 1 slate. Every Big Ten school is in action in the opening week, starting with reigning co-Big Ten champ Wisconsin hosting UNLV on Thursday night and finishing up with Indiana entertaining Ball State on Saturday night. That said, it’s time to kick off my weekly Big Ten Football Previews. Here’s your Week 1 addition:
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. With the season kicking off Thursday — Wisconsin hosts UNLV in the Big Ten’s lone game on opening night — he figured it’s time to unveil his Week 1 edition. As a reminder, these rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet him: @BTNBrentYarina.
This is certain to interest Big Ten football fans. The Omaha World-Herald did a fascinating study that displays the hometown of every Big Ten football player, from 2002-2011. Each player is listed on a map with a school-specific dot that represents his Big Ten team. For the heavy concentrated areas, the recruits are shown in clusters. Check it out. You won’t be disappointed. Hardcore Big Ten fans can also test their knowledge with the Omaha World-Herald’s Big Ten recruiting quiz.
Three-thousand-something miles later, the BTN Summer Football Tour is complete. Re-live parts of my trip below (I only went to Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State and Penn State this year):
As the BTN Football Tour made its way through Big Ten country, we noticed fans and players alike were leaving souvenirs on the side of our bus. Iowa and Wisconsin left magnetic schedules, which stayed with us until the final stop. And while we were in State College, Michael Mauti added a PSU logo. Check out the video below:
Ever walk from the Michigan football locker room and onto iconic Michigan Stadium? We had the opportunity to do so during our annual BTN Football Tour earlier this month. It’s a pretty cool experience — even when there’s no gameday atmosphere whatsoever. I can’t imagine what it would be like on a fall Saturday when 100,000-plus fans are screaming their heads off waiting for the Wolverines to run out and hit the “Go Blue” banner.
With football season fast approaching, I thought I’d throw some 2011 Big Ten predictions out there. This is never a safe practice, as some of the picks always seem to backfire on you by the end of the season. But it’s all for fun and to spark some conversation, so, I figure, why not do it? Why not guess division champs, Big Ten champ, individual superlatives and the conference’s major statistical leaders? Go ahead, check out all of my picks.
Five Big Ten football teams, led by reigning co-champ Wisconsin, are ranked in the preseason Coaches’ Poll, released Thursday morning. The Badgers, fresh off a Rose Bowl berth, come in at No. 10, followed by Nebraska (11), Ohio State (16), Michigan State (17) and Penn State (25). Oklahoma lands at No. 1, with Alabama, Oregon, LSU and Florida State rounding out the top 5.
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: