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).
Kirk Ferentz knows what it’s like to be the best. He had his Iowa program among the Big Ten’s best from 2002-04, when the Hawkeyes went an aggregate 31-7 with two Big Ten titles. But since then, Iowa has just one double-digit victory season (2009). With that, I present 10 reasons for Iowa fans to be excited about the 2012 season playing in an uber-tough Legends Division. Earlier, I offered up 10 reasons why Illinois and Indiana fans should be excited.
Now that the Big Ten and Pac-12 decided to put the kibosh on its scheduling plan across all sports, the Big Ten has a decision to make when it comes to future football schedules. Will the conference remain at eight conference games, or will it move to nine? Prior to the previous announcement with the Pac-12, it looked like the Big Ten was entertaining the latter.
In my ongoing summertime look at our 12 Big Ten football teams (see my football schedule analysis here, my latest one-on-one interviews here, and all sorts of fun rankings here), I am presenting my ways to to fuel enthusiasm about football on each campus. I served up 10 reasons why Illini fans should be excited about football in 2012 on Monday. Now it’s time to get Hoosiers fans fired up.
What are people talking about in Big Ten football circles on this hot, hazy Tuesday across Big Ten country?
Indiana assistant head coach/co-defensive coordinator Doug Mallory knows a good defense can be built at Indiana.
This is the best time of the year. This is the time of year when every team has a shot to win the Big Ten. The possibilities seem limitless, right? The games have yet to begin—heck, practices haven’t started—but great expectations loom from Minneapolis to Bloomington, and from Lincoln to State College. As a way to fuel the aforementioned enthusiasm on each campus, I will offer 10 reasons–in no particular order–to be excited for each Big Ten school. First up: Illinois.
Start your week off right with some of the latest Big Ten football stories. I post my daily links every weekday morning, and you can see the complete archive here. Have a worthy link? Send it to me in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). Enjoy Monday’s sampling!
My ranking of all 96 2012 Big Ten football games has reached the finish line. It was a fun journey (Part I, Part II, Part III, Part IV), but now it’s time to take a look at the season’s top 20 games. Here’s an interesting fact: nine of the top 10 games involve a team from the state of Michigan. But which one is No. 1? Find out in this post.
You have questions, I have answers in the latest installment of my Big Ten reader mailbag. And this week, you want to discuss the bombshell developments out of the Freeh Report at Penn State in addition to some questions about the college football playoff and football schedules scheduling in the wake of the Big Ten/Pac 12 alliance dissolving. Read on and send me your thoughts and questions at the bottom of this post.
With the release of the Freeh Report and all of its damning revelations yesterday, reaction was swift and blunt.You know how I feel about the whole story. If you missed it, you can read it here. Each weekday I usually post a collection of links and tweets about stories worth a read – you can find my daily posts here. Today’s edition of my daily links focuses on Penn State. Here’s a look at how the Big Ten’s and nation’s leading pundits reacted. And, as you would suspect, it wasn’t pretty.
Joe Paterno died back in January. Today, his legacy perished. That makes me sad. And it should make you sad, too. Less than a year ago, Paterno was an American icon. He was one brick away from finishing a castle of coaching greatness as he zeroed in on the all-time win record for Division I coaching.
The numbers last year for the Nebraska offense were decent. The Cornhuskers ranked fifth in the Big Ten in total offense (379.9 ypg); third in rushing (217.2 ypg); fourth in scoring (29.2 ppg) during a 9-4 season. The number that wasn’t so pretty? Passing, as Nebraska ranked 10th in the Big Ten (162.7 ypg). Only two schools (Penn State and Minnesota with 10 apiece) threw fewer touchdown passes than the Huskers’ 13 in 2011. Coordinator Tim Beck knows that. And he knows the overall numbers can be better.
Another day, another step closer to the finale of my countdown of the top 2012 Big Ten football games. Today, I’m looking at games 21-39. And tomorrow, of course, it will 1-20. Which game will be No. 1? You’ll have to wait. Earlier this week, I did games 40-59, 60-79 and 80-96. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units.