Congrats to Michigan State A.D. Mark Hollis, who was named chair of the NCAA basketball committee for 2016-17. He will ride shotgun to 2015-16 chair/Oklahoma A.D. Joe Castiglione, one of America’s good guys. “I look forward to continuing the great work of those that preceded me as we look to make the future even brighter for student-athletes that have the desire and passion to earn a college degree while competing in sports,” Hollis said in a statement released by the school. *** Speaking of Michigan State, the Spartans have a revised deal with Nike. It doubles the money MSU will
The Big Ten saw three potentially impactful coaching changes after 2014, with Michigan (Jim Harbaugh for Brady Hoke), Nebraska (Mike Riley for Bo Pelini) and Wisconsin (Paul Chryst for Gary Andersen) altering leadership. But other schools made more subtle changes to their staffs that could have big impacts on their fortunes this fall. Here are the five biggest additions–listed alphabetically–to existing Big Ten staffs. Tim Beck, Ohio State. He pushed the buttons on some good offenses at Nebraska before landing in Columbus as co-offensive coordinator. Beck will work with Ed Warinner, who assumes coordinator chores after Tom Herman left to become
Surely you saw Plaxico Burress blast Nick Saban last week. Quickie recap: Burress, the former Spartans All-Big Ten receiver, tweeted that Saban advised him to stay in school following his junior year because he was not projected to be a first-round draft pick. Plax didn’t stop there. He also tweeted that in his departure for LSU, Saban “committed to the program” in a meeting with players and then reversed course and “was gone the next day” It was delicious stuff. Well, Saban has responded in typical Saban fashion. *** Surely you noticed the barrage (avalanche?) of watch lists recently unfurled
We all have dream vacations. Some of us would like to go to Aruba. Others to Spain, Australia or perhaps Japan. All good choices. But no trip could possibly top this dream junket through the 2015 Big Ten schedule.
Hey, Rick Neuheisel thinks Rutgers in the Big Ten has a chance to be “really special.” Could RU be the next TCU? Hmmmm. I’ll just say this: There is a lot of potential for Scarlet Knights’ football. “Other than TCU, I don’t think there’s a team out there or a program out there that has benefited more with all this conference realignment than Rutgers,” Neuheisel said on SiriusXM College Sports Nation last week. “Whoever was behind the move to get them into the Big Ten, they should build a statue, because this has a chance (to be successful) should they
Yesterday, we looked at Big Ten East breakout players, guys who never have started before and range from redshirt freshmen to seniors. Here’s a look at breakout players from the Big Ten West.
We recently looked at the best- and worst-case scenarios for the Big Ten East. Here’s a look at the Big Ten West. [ MORE: Get all of Tom Dienhart’s preseason Big Ten coverage ] ILLINOIS Best case: The arrival of co-defensive coordinator/d-line coach Mike Phair has the desired impact for a moribund defense that too often under Tim Beckman is equal parts punching bag/piñata. This defense finally has honest-to-goodness teeth. QB Wes Lunt stays healthy and puts it all together for an offense with underrated wideouts and the best line yet under Beckman. Say “hello” to the Pinstripe Bowl. Worst
Remember how Cardale Jones performed vs. Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? Impressive. Turns out, the Tide didn’t respect Jones. “Looking back, when we had exit interviews with our players where you look in hindsight, I asked every kid, Landon Collins, Nick Perry, Jarrick Williams, the really smart (players) on our team, ‘Where did we go wrong? What did we do wrong?’ All three of them said ‘We did not respect the quarterback.’ Our job as coaches was to make them respect the quarterback,” Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart told 680 The Fan. Let that be a lesson to you, kids.
Every school needs them. They are breakout players. They may come out of nowhere to become key contributors this fall. Or, expectations may be big for these “breakout” players.
It’s July, and hopes run high across the fruited plain of the Big Ten. The possibilities seem endless from Lincoln to Piscataway. Now is the time to dream big.