The 2011 season was barely punctuated, and the 2012 football polls were already coming out. LSU looks like a consensus pick for No. 1, but the Big Ten is well represented. In the five polls I found, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all were ranked. And Nebraska appeared in all but one poll. Ohio State, which is ineligible to win the Big Ten title or play in a bowl in 2012 because of probation, is in two polls.
Tom Bradley sits and waits. It’s all he can do at this point. The former Penn State defensive coordinator told me last night that he doesn’t have any coaching jobs in the works despite several schools across the nation being in the market for defensive coordinators. In fact, three Big Ten schools need defensive coordinators: Iowa, Illinois and Purdue. If nothing transpires, the affable Bradley told me that he may explore opportunities in broadcasting. Still, he would offer a lot to any staff that hired him.
You have more questions, and I have more answers in this week’s mailbag. With the basketball season heating up, readers wonder who the best team is in the Big Ten, what’s wrong with Wisconsin, and who have been the top freshmen. But also: Did Montee Ball make the correct decision to come back for his senior year? I’ll tell you what I think but then you can tell me what you think about that question and others in the comments box at the end of my post.
Eight NCAA bids. That’s how many Big Ten teams CBS Sports bracketologist Jerry Palm has in the NCAA tournament. Of course, there’s still a lot of time left in the season until March Madness unfolds, and schools will be working madly to enhance their resumes. Between then and now, I will talk to Palm each Wednesday and upload the phone conversation right here. This week we discussed the Illini’s big win over Ohio State, the upcoming Indiana vs. Ohio State tilt, and how many No. 1 seeds the Big Ten theoretically has right now.
Bradley Leeb-US PRESSWIRE
On a night when legendary Illinois coach Lou Henson was honored with a banner that was raised to the rafters of Assembly Hall, Illini guard Brandon Paul raised the roof on the place. Paul notched a career-high 43-point effort in propelling Illinois to a 79-74 victory over Ohio State in what could be a season-defining game for the Illini.
News that Iowa running back Marcus Coker has asked for his release from his scholarship is bad news for the Hawkeyes. The sophomore, who was suspended for Iowa’s Insight Bowl matchup with Oklahoma for violating team rules, was one of the Big Ten’s top backs, ranking second in the league in rushing (115.3 ypg). He ran 281 times for 1,384 yards and 15 touchdowns, bringing a tough, physical presence to the Hawkeye rushing attack after bursting on the scene at the end of 2010.
Another week, another look at the top players in the Big Ten. Ohio State big man Jared Sullinger has dominated all year. The question: Will anyone dethrone him this season from his perch atop these rankings?
The Big Ten men’s basketball season is really heating up as we enter a third week of league action, so it’s time to roll out the first installment of my Monday basketball column. We’re calling this my Big Ten Whiteboard, because I’ll be drawing up all the good stuff you’ll need to keep track of in the week ahead.
For now, football is in my rear view window and the road for me ahead has plenty of Big Ten hoops. In my first installment of my Big Ten Three-Pointers, my aim is to fire up 3-pointers from around the Big Ten as I look back at the previous week’s news and then ahead to what’s coming. Ready, set, shoot …
You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mailbag. Many of you are still in football mode, wondering about the recently completed bowl season—while also wanting to sneak a peek toward 2012. Here we go.
Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema just finished his season, but his work is only beginning. Bielema is watching his coaching staff fall apart. Offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has taken the Pitt job and reportedly will take Wisconsin offensive line coach Bob Bostad with him.
The Big Ten already has seen two top underclassmen officially declare for the draft: Illinois defensive end Whitney Mercilus and Iowa OT Riley Reiff. And one report has Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy bolting (read the report), while many speculate that Wisconsin RB Montee Ball will opt for the NFL, too.
Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Michigan’s exciting overtime victory over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl on Tuesday in this post.
Brady Hoke has Michigan back in a BCS bowl game for the first time since a Rose Bowl berth after the 2006 season. The Wolverines, a BCS at-large selection, take on Virginia Tech in the Allstate Sugar Bowl at 8:30 p.m. ET tonight. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See everything in this post. Also, read all of Dienhart’s bowl columns and catch up on all the bowl action thus far, including the Big Ten’s first nine games, on our 2011-12 bowl schedule.
PASADENA, Calif. – Back and forth they went, like two UFC fighters exchanging blows toe to toe. Wisconsin scored. Oregon scored. Wisconsin scored. Oregon scored.
Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Michigan State’s thrilling triple-overtime victory over Georgia in the Outback Bowl on Monday in this post.
Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Ohio State’s loss to Florida in the Gator Bowl on Monday in this post.
Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Nebraska’s loss to South Carolina in the Capital One Bowl on Monday in this post.
Throughout the bowl season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his thoughts on the Big Ten’s record 10 bowl games. Find Dienhart’s reaction to Penn State’s loss to Houston in the TicketCity Bowl on Monday in this post.
The Rose Bowl is nearly 24 hours away. All the talking has stopped and it’s time to focus on the game. Find Tom Dienhart’s breakdown and analysis of the matchups that will take place on Monday in the Rose Bowl between Wisconsin and Oregon in this post.
Wisconsin and Oregon are no strangers to the Rose Bowl. The Badgers are making their second consecutive trip to the Granddaddy of Them All, while the Ducks are back for the second time in three seasons. Both teams are fresh off their respective conference title games, and both can score points in a hurry. Like many seasons before, the Rose Bowl should be one of the more exciting bowl games of the year. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.
There’s a good chance the Gator Bowl will be the most talked-about and viewed bowl involving a pair of six-win teams since, well, ever. The Buckeyes (6-6) are still led by Luke Fickell despite Urban Meyer’s hiring, and they’ll play Meyer’s old team, Florida, at 1 p.m. ET Jan. 2. BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart breaks down the game, gives his keys and offers his prediction. See it all in this post and find the entire 2011-12 bowl schedule.