Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports
It’s the busy holiday season, but that hasn’t stopped your flow of questions! Thanks! There is a lot going on in the Big Ten as we come to the end of 2012, with the bowl season starting, basketball picking up steam, Wisconsin hiring a coach and talk of Big Ten divisional realignment percolating. I look at all of that in my mail bag.
Russ Isabella-US PRESSWIRE
There is no other place to start my daily links than with the news that broke last night that revealed that Wisconsin is poised to hire a new football coach: Gary Andersen of Utah State. Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal was the first to break the news on Tuesday night.
The Maxwell Club, the oldest football club in America, announced Wednesday that Penn State’s Bill O’Brien has been selected as its Coach of the Year for the 2012 season.
Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports
Wisconsin will hire Utah State’s Gary Andersen as its next coach, the Big Ten Network confirmed Tuesday night. The Wisconsin State Journal first reported the news.
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
When it comes to the best hoop arenas in the nation, places like Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, Duke’s Cameron Indoor Stadium, UCLA’s Pauley Pavilion and Kansas’ Allen Fieldhouse often are mentioned. But the Big Ten has its share of iconic venues, and I rank the conference’s seven best in this week’s Super Seven.
Jesse Johnson-US PRESSWIRE
In just his second season in Minneapolis, Jerry Kill delivered the Golden Gophers to a bowl for the first time since 2009. The team jetted to a 4-0 start, but went just 2-6 to finish the season. The offense struggled down the stretch, as the Gophers finished 10th in total offense (317.5 ypg).
Purdue freshman forward Jay Simpson will miss the remainder of the 2012-13 season due to a lingering foot injury, the school announced Tuesday. He will be eligible to seek a medical hardship waiver.
Benny Sieu-US PRESSWIRE
The bowl season kicked off last weekend with two games (full schedule here). Well, 33 more remain! And the Big Ten will be involved in seven of them. That’s a good place to start with my daily links. Most aren’t predicting much postseason success for the Big Ten, especially when it comes to the three bowl games vs. teams from the mighty SEC.
The Hoosiers still are searching for their first bowl trip since 2007, but they made strides in their second season under Kevin Wilson by winning four games after winning only one game overall and none in Big Ten action in 2011. And Indiana did this despite losing starting quarterback Tre Roberson for the season to a broken leg in the second game.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports
This week serves up a steady diet of cupcakes on the Big Ten men’s basketball schedule, but the weekend includes a number of high-profile games. And as we saw with Indiana’s stunning overtime loss to Butler that dropped the Hoosiers from No. 1 to No. 6 in the both polls, you always must be on guard.
With Indiana’s loss to Butler, it looks like there is a new “best” team in the Big Ten–at least for a week. Meet Michigan, which is a great starting point to begin my daily links.
Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE
Nebraska announced a three-game series with Northern Illinois in 2016, 2017 and 2019. The Huskies are one of the top non-AQ schools in the nation, advancing to the Orange Bowl this season to play Florida State.
Jacksonville Jaguars assistant head coach/defensive coordinator Mel Tucker interviewed for the Wisconsin job on Friday, a source close to the search confirmed.
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Michigan has suspended cornerback T.J. Floyd, punter Will Hagerup and linebacker Brandin Hawthorne from the Outback Bowl vs. South Carolina for an undisclosed violation of team rules.
Every week this season, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offered their predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We’re doing the same this bowl season. Heading into the games, BTN.com fans are atop the season standings, two games ahead of Dienhart. See our bowl predictions and choose your winners in this post.
This is a young Iowa team, so few expected a legit contender. But no one envisioned the Hawkeyes floundering. The offense was the root cause, ranking No. 11 in the Big Ten overall (310.4 ypg) and 11th in scoring (19.3 ppg). QB James Vandenberg took a big step back from a productive junior season, dropping from 25 touchdown passes to seven.
Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE
If Ohio State is going to return to the Final Four, Deshaun Thomas knows he must carry a big load. And he embraces that responsibility playing in a loaded Big Ten that most feel is the best conference in America.
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Tim Beckman’s debut was one to forget, as the Fighting Illini struggled on both sides of the ball. Spotty play along the offensive line hindered an offense that was last in the Big Ten in scoring (16.7 ppg); No. 11 in rushing (127.8 ypg); No. 10 in passing (168.8 ypg).
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
The challenges were many for a program rocked by scandal and probation that saw some top players transfer before the season began. But Bill O’Brien and the Nittany Lions never flinched—not even after an 0-2 with losses to Ohio and at Virginia.
The NCAA is celebrating 75 years of March Madness by naming the top 75 all-time March Madness players, 25 all-time March Madness teams and 35 all-time Madness Moments. The Big Ten is well-represented. And yes, there is a fan vote component coming soon.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
I’m rolling out some quick football season reviews during the lull between the end of football’s regular season and the bowl games, and I’m starting with Ohio State. In Urban Meyer’s much-anticipated debut, Ohio State went 12-0 and ranked No. 3 in the AP poll as one of just two FBS unbeatens. It was the sixth unbeaten and untied season in school annals. But, because of NCAA probation, the Buckeyes weren’t eligible to play in the Big Ten title game or a bowl.
Rick Osentoski-US PRESSWIRE
Ever wonder why John Beilein left West Virginia for Michigan? Well, it’s all right here in this story by Nick Baumgardner of MLive.com.Baumgardner also tells you why Beilein is not leaving Michigan. “I love rebuilding programs, (I wanted to) do one more,” Beilein said. “And the University of Michigan ended up being that choice.” It’s one of my many links today.
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
You have questions, and I have answers in this week’s mailbag. Many of you remain focused on football—and coaching news—even though hoop season is starting to hit full-stride.