Fans love to debate it: What were the best bowl games in my school’s history? Well, with the postseason on our doorstep, here are my picks for the top three postseason efforts for the 10 Big Ten schools in action this season. Let the debate begin. You can bet there are a lot of Rose Bowl games listed in this post. What makes The Grandaddy of Them All so special?
The Big Ten was well represented on the AP All-America team, with nine players tabbed. Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, Michigan C David Molk, Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy, Penn State DT Devon Still and Wisconsin RB Montee Ball and G Kevin Zeitler were all first-teamers, while Nebraska LB Lavonte David and Wisconsin C Peter Konz earned second-team honors, and Ohio State DT John Simon was a third-team pick. Most impressive, Mercilus, Still and Worthy represent three of the four defensive lineman on the first team. Yeah, it was that kind of year for the Big Ten in the trenches.
New Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is wasting no time in assembling a top-notch staff that figures to rate among the best in the Big Ten. Soon after getting the job, Meyer announced he would retain co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who served as interim head coach in 2011 and will coach the Buckeyes in the bowl game. Fickell is widely lauded as one of the nation’s top young coaches.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. Every day, Dienhart will post a recap for each Big Ten school, in alphabetical order.
Reports indicate that Illinois defensive coordinator and interim head coach for the Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl Vic Koenning is likely to leave.
]BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. Every day, Dienhart will post a recap for each Big Ten school and we’re doing it in alphabetical order. Up next: Indiana. Watch our selected BTN video highlight from the Hoosiers’ win against South Carolina State now and read Dienhart’s season recap in this post. We’re rolling out lour season reviews each day and archiving them all here, too.
BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart talked about the college bowls, the latest coaching news, and he even touch on some Big Ten hoops in his latest online Q&A. Read the transcript below and check back in with Dienhart all week on his mailbag page.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart spent the season covering Big Ten football, and now it’s time for his team-by-team season recaps. Every day, for the next 12 days, Dienhart will post a recap for each Big Ten school, in alphabetical order. Up first: Illinois. Watch our video from the Illini’s impressive nonconference victory over Arizona State now and read Dienhart’s season recap in this post.
Everyone knew Ohio State’s Braxton Miller was talented and likely headed for a promising college football career. But few thought he’d have a big impact as a true freshman in 2011. Miller was thrust into the starting lineup early in 2011 and proceeded to enjoy the best season of any Big Ten freshman. This is why the precocious Miller, the Big Ten’s Thompson-Randle El Freshman of the Year, headlines BTN.com’s 2011 All-Freshman Team.
Andrew Weber- US PRESSWIRE
There was an iconic Hail Mary pass, a brand new championship game, a new school in the club, Legends and Leaders, a smashing debut by a coach, a touchdown machine named “Ball,” and a sordid off-field scandal the likes we never have seen in the history of college sports. Welcome to Big Ten football 2011.
Tim Beckman is the new Illinois coach and arrives from Toledo, where he forged a 21-16 record (16-6 in the MAC) the past three seasons after taking over for Tom Amstutz. Beckman led the Rockets to an 8-4 mark this season and a spot in the Military Bowl against Air Force, the program’s second bowl under his stewardship. Toledo has gone 7-1 in MAC play in each of the past two seasons.
When BTN.com readers come to my BTN.com mailbag page to send their questions and comments, they may think I don’t read them all. But I do, and I answer the best ones each week. This time around many of you wondered when Ohio State will hear from the NCAA, why was Michigan picked for a BCS bowl and Michigan State wasn’t, if the Big Ten title game is a conference game or a non-conference game, and how I decided my Heisman vote order.
Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist recently was granted a release from his scholarship. And there’s a report that says he could have interest in transferring to Wisconsin. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is citing sources familiar with both Notre Dame and Wisconsin in saying Crist could land in Madison. He has one year of eligibility left. And to use it, he would need to enroll in a graduate program not offered at Notre Dame.
Toledo’s Tim Beckman may be the man at Illinois. According to a Thursday morning report in the Chicago Tribune, Illinois is focusing on Beckman to replace Ron Zook, who was fired after seven years in Champaign. I think Beckman would be a terrific hire. He has done a good job at Toledo, forging a 21-16 record (16-6 in the MAC) in three years and leading the school to share of the MAC West title this season. The 8-4 Rockets, 7-1 in each of the last two years in MAC action, will play Air Force in the Military Bowl this month, the second bowl under Beckman.
Purdue likely will have to make some type of decision on Danny Hope’s future. And a decision could be made this month.
With Carl Pelini off to replace Howard Schnellenberger as Florida Atlantic coach, Nebraska will need a new defensive coordinator. Pelini, the brother of Husker head coach Bo, won’t coach with the 9-3 Cornhuskers in the Capital One Bowl against South Carolina
The Poulan-Weedeater Bowl is long gone, unfortunately. But there is no shortage of bowl action. To get you ready for a holiday feast of 35 bowls, following is a ranking of the bowls from best to worst. With so many postseason games, you have to choose wisely with time at a minimum during this busy time of year.
It’s no surprise that Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino has rejoined his brother Bobby’s staff at Arkansas. But the timing of the move seems dubious with a bowl game still to be played. Why not stay and finish the job? Even worse for Illinois: There’s a chance Illinois could lose more assistants before the Illini’s Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl vs. UCLA on Dec. 31.
Go ahead. Criticize me, Alabama fans. You, too, Stanford alums and Wisconsin fanatics. I don’t care. I feel comfortable with my choice to place Baylor’s Robert Griffin on top of the Heisman Trophy ballot I submitted on Sunday night in what is turning out to be an incredible race.
BTN.com’s Tom Dienhart talked bowls and Heisman trophies in his latest online Q&A. BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina joined him an they took reader questions. Read the transcript below and check back in with Dienhart all week on his mailbag page.
The Big Ten is bursting with bowl teams, as a record 10 schools are headed to the postseason. The Big Ten has two teams in the BCS for the seventh season in a row. And its 10 bowl eligible teams are the most since 2007.
INDIANAPOLIS – The notion of three yards and cloud of dust was trashed on this night. Instead, the inaugural Big Ten championship game was a celebration of yards, points–and more yards and points. And a running into the kicker penalty on Michigan State that killed the Spartans’ last hope to score to rally for the winning score.
INDIANAPOLIS-Michigan State is hungry for its first Rose Bowl appearance since the 1987 season. It also is motivated to earn some respect. This is a program that has the best league record in the Big Ten over the past four years. This is a program that has won 10-games in consecutive seasons for the first time ever and is aiming for its first back-to-back Big Ten titles since 1965-66.