Feuds are what help make college sports great. They get fans fired up. They create additional interest in already great games. So long those lines, the fellas at Lost Lettermen compiled a list of their top 10 college football coaching rivalries, and the Big Ten is well-represented. As you read, you’ll notice one coach who appears more often than some others.
It’s the Monday following Big Ten Media Days, we’re getting closer and closer to the college football season, so there’s plenty of terrific Big Ten web links from around the web. Get all of Monday’s top clicks in this post.
Reese Strickland-US PRESSWIRE
Michael Mauti looks like he’s ready to hit somebody or something. The Penn State linebacker sports slicked back hair that covers his neck, his suit coat pulled tight across his arms and shoulders as he leans forward answering questions and staring at a water bottle in front of him. They are tough questions about teammates transferring, and Mauti speaks with passion. He speaks from the heart. It’s refreshing.
I’m at the Big Ten Media Day & Kickoff Luncheon and I’m covering Friday’s player and coach media availability so I’ll have more on that later today. Joining me is BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina, and we both on on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart & @BTNBrentYarina). Tonight BTN airs a 90-minute Big Ten Football Kickoff Luncheon Special at 8 p.m. ET, hosted by Dave Revsine, with analysis from BTN’s Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith. Watch it live on BTN/BTN2Go.
Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald is a smart man who calls himself the “youngest ‘old school’ coach” in the nation. But he had one of the most radical ideas today to deal with the perceived competitive imbalance between the Legends and Leaders Divisions.
Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE
Like every other conference, the Big Ten is trying to catch the SEC. The Big Ten hasn’t won a national title since Ohio State claimed the crown in 2002. Before that, Michigan won a share of the 1997 championship. But since then, the Big Ten has come up empty with Ohio State losing the BCS title game in 2006 and 2007.
With Illinois sending coaches to State College, Pa., to be available to talk to Penn State players interested in transferring out of the Nittany Lions program, there could be a growing rivalry between the schools. Does Beckman think things will be more intense than usual when Penn State plays at Illinois on Sept. 29?
Most coaches were asked about recruiting Penn State players after a recent report that Illinois had assistant coaches at Penn State, presumably to recruit Nittany Lions who are eligible to transfer to any school and play immediately. Ohio State coach Urban Meyer isn’t doing it. Neither is Wisconsin’s Bret Bielema. But other Big Ten coaches are recruiting Nittany Lions—or wouldn’t be opposed to it.
Reid Compton-US PRESSWIRE
The Leaders Division has a unique situation in that just four of the six teams will be eligible for the conference title with Ohio State and Penn State ineligible due to NCAA probation. Does that mean things will be easier for Wisconsin in its run to defend it division crown?
It can be argued that Wisconsin and Michigan State have become the top programs in the Big Ten. The teams met in the inaugural Big Ten championship game and have won a combined 44 games the last two seasons. No Big Ten schools can match that. Wisconsin has advanced to the last two Rose Bowls, while Michigan State has won 11 games each of the past two seasons and claimed a share of the 2010 title. So, is this a burgeoning rivalry?
The Big Ten has released its second annual Players to Watch list and here it is. What do you think? Whenever a list is this short, some deserving players will be omitted. Follow all of our Big Ten Media Day coverage today.
Big Ten media days kick off on Thursday in Chicago. Myriad queries will be asked by the Fourth Estate, but not all of them will be posed or answered. Me? I have a long list of questions—101, to be exact–as we sit on the precipice of the 2012 season. See all 101 of my questions in this post. Have any other ones you want me to ask a player or coach? Send it to me in the comment section at the bottom of this post or tweet it to @BTNTomDienhart.
Big Ten media days kick off on Thursday in Chicago. Get all the latest Big Ten web links in this post.
These are high times in East Lansing, as Michigan State has gone an aggregate 22-5 the past two seasons (14-2 in the Big Ten) under Mark Dantonio with a share of the 2010 league crown and the 2011 Legends Division pennant. And Dantonio has taken the Spartans to a bowl in each of his five seasons, as he has the program playing as well as it has since the glory days of the 1960s.
The NCAA’s sanctions against Penn State rocked the program. And the effects will be felt for years. Scholarship cuts, postseason bans … the list went on. Another aspect of the penalties will allow any player on the Penn State roster to transfer to another school and be immediately eligible. Typically when a player transfers from one FBS school to another, he has to sit out a season. Not so for Nittany Lion players.
News about the NCAA sanctions against Penn State dominated the headlines Monday. Seemingly everyone around the nation had a take, and for the most part agreed with the severe sanctions levied by NCAA prez Mark Emmert. But here are a few aspects of the story that didn’t get as much play. For starters, amid the penalties it was announced that any players already on the Penn State roster could transfer to any school immediately and be eligible. This is devastating news for the Nittany Lions.
INDIANAPOLIS — Penn State football never will be the same. Not after today. Not after NCAA czar Mark Emmert strolled to the dais in the Palmer E. Pierce Room in the NCAA headquarters early on this Monday morning and delivered Penn State’s punishment for covering up the atrocities of the Jerry Sandusky child sex-abuse case.
It’s a simple mantra that we all should live by: Do the right thing. Joe Paterno didn’t do it. But the decision makers at Penn State are by opting to remove the Paterno statue. Thank you. Oh, the JoePa bootlickers, apologists and loyalists rallied around the statue of their false god, worshiping Paterno in some sort of twisted religious fashion. The sycophants guarded their bronzed deity and laid flowers at its feet, adorning the area around it with signs of support.
You have questions. And, of course, I have answers. It’s time for my latest Big Ten Mailbag and my readers brought some solid questions this week. What’s on your mind? Football, naturally. In this week’s edition, I’m asked if Michigan State can continue its dominance over instate rival Michigan and if a Big Ten city could bid for the national championship game? See all of my answers to your questions in this post. And, as always, thanks for all of the questions!
It’s Friday … it’s late July … but the Big Ten football news never sleeps.
Brady Hoke’s debut couldn’t have gone much better last season. The moribund three-year Rich Rodriguez tenure saw Michigan go 15-22 (6-18 Big Ten) and left many disappointed. The program hit historic low points in many respects, as the Wolverines fell from the Big Ten elite. But Hoke changed all of that quickly with an 11-2 season that was capped by a Sugar Bowl victory over Virginia Tech.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins was the face of Michigan State’s 11-3 season in 2011 that concluded with a win over Georgia in the Outback Bowl. But make no mistake about it: defense was the Spartans’ calling card. Credit coordinator Pat Narduzzi, who is one of the hottest assistants in the nation. Michigan State had the No. 1 defense in the Big Ten—and No. 6 in the nation–last season (277.4 ypg). The unit also led the conference in rushing defense (100.5 ypg), interceptions (18) and third-down defense (.337).