Joshua S. Kelly-US PRESSWIRE
The hoop season continues to gain speed and momentum, as a bit more clarity is apparent with each passing week. Still, there are many unknowns. And that will remain so, as this is a slow week of action with many schools in finals week. Here’s a look at the week ahead, with the best games coming on Saturday.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Time to mix some hoops and basketball in my daily links. But this item on expansion caught my eye. Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez said that recent Big Ten expansion that added Rutgers and Maryland was done to keep Penn State happy.
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
What a week in the Big Ten! Purdue hires a coach. Wisconsin sees a coach bolt. The Silver Football is handed out. At least the Big Ten didn’t expand this week. But that didn’t stop the discussion about future growth.
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports
A third consecutive trip to the Rose Bowl is something to celebrate for Wisconsin. But the euphoria is muted a bit by the unknown of who will be the next Badger head coach with Bret Bielema off to coach Arkansas after seven seasons and a 68-24 record.
It’s true: There is other Big Ten news NOT involving Bret Bielema shocking the hemisphere by ditching Wisconsin for Arkansas (Arkansas?!). I have some below in my daily links. Really. The headliner: Purdue took the wraps off a new era with a press conference to announce the hiring of … ta-dah! … Darrell Hazell as head coach.
With the recent additions of Maryland and Rutgers, the Big Ten will feature 14 teams in the near future. Here at BTN, we’re asking fans for their answers to the key questions surrounding conference expansion.
When it comes to Heisman races, this one is a yawner. And do you know why that’s funny? Because the 78th Heisman ceremony will be historic.
Time to open up the mail bag. And, as you would suspect, the bag was stuffed with questions about Bret Bielema’s shocking move from Wisconsin to Arkansas that still has the nation buzzing.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
After failing to land Cincinnati coach Butch Jones, Purdue was able to grab Kent State coach Darrell Hazell.
Three days after leading Wisconsin to its third consecutive Rose Bowl, Bret Bielema agreed to become Arkansas’ head coach. Yahoo! Sports and “Big Ten Football & Beyond” correspondent Pat Forde first reported the news.
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
The Heisman Trophy announced the finalist for the greatest individual trophy in sports: Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel, Notre Dame’s Manti Te’o, Kansas State’s Collin Klein, and … that’s it. No Braxton Miller. Read about that and other top Big Ten grid news in my daily links.
It’s apparent that Cincinnati’s Butch Jones is the top target for the Purdue job. Colorado also is in hot pursuit of Jones. Jones was reported to be in West Lafayette on Sunday interviewing to replace Danny Hope, who was fired after four seasons with a 22-27 record. Outlets also report that Jones was in Colorado on Monday to interview.
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
The announcement last week that Nebraska and Oklahoma were renewing their rivalry was great news. The teams will meet on Sept. 18, 2021 in Norman, Okla., and in Lincoln, Neb., on Sept. 17, 2022.
There is no rest for Penn State coaches, who in addition to recruiting prep players also must fight to retain their current players, who can transfer to other schools without penalty up until the start of training camp next August. Read about that and other Big Ten grid news in my daily links.
The bowl matchups are set as the Big Ten filled seven of its eight bowl slots. Four of the matchups are rematches of previous bowls. Here is a quick take on each bowl, with more analysis in coming days.
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
INDIANAPOLIS – Could this bizarre 2012 Big Ten season had ended any differently than this?
Kickoff of the second Big Ten title game is hours away between Nebraska and Wisconsin. A Big Ten title is on the line, and the winner will play Stanford in the Rose Bowl. Here are four things to watch.
The Journey 2012
Injuries are a key factor in any game, and this game is no different. Nebraska will miss the presence of tackle Baker Steinkuhler on the interior of the defensive line. The Huskers need Chase Rome—among others—to step up with Steinkuhler out. And center Justin Jackson is out. It will be Mark Pelini or Cole Pensick at center.
The Journey 2012
This Big Ten title game is about more than celebrating the culmination of the season and crowning a conference champ. This Big Ten title game is about validating a program—and validating a coach. I’m talking about Nebraska and Bo Pelini. That’s what’s at stake on Saturday night inside Lucas Oil Stadium—the “House the Peyton Manning Built.”
Every week this season, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) have offered their predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We’re doing the same for the Big Ten title game and bowl season.
Scheduling is everything in college football. And Nebraska’s 2013 slate figures to give the Cornhuskers a big advantage. Nebraska will open next season with five home games, not venturing on the road until playing at Purdue on Oct. 12. In all, the Huskers will play eight home games in 2013. That’s quite an advantage. Nebraska also played eight home games in 2008.
News of the Big Ten title game percolates, with kickoff set for 8:17 pm ET on Saturday in Indianapolis. One of the interesting stories is Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips, a fifth-year senior who will be making just his fourth career start. Read about that—and other conference grid news—in my daily links.
Nebraska and Wisconsin are set to meet in the 2012 Big Ten Football Championship Game on Saturday night in Indianapolis, and BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart and Brent Yarina are there to cover it. Given they’ve been debating topics here all season long, the two of them thought it would be fun to look ahead to the 2013 Big Ten title game. So, who will represent the Legends and Leaders a year from now?