What a crazy, loony night in the Big Ten. First, last-place Penn State waltzed into No. 24 Ohio State and won. If that wasn’t zany enough, Northwestern cruised into No. 17 Wisconsin and shocked the world with a triumph. The more I learn about this Big Ten race, the less I seemingly know. Confused? You betcha.
The arrival of the Super Bowl means many things to many people. Ro-tel and Velveeta dip … the end of the most wonderful time of the year … spring is approaching. For me, it means we basically are at the halfway point of the Big Ten hoop season.
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Turns out, Philip Nelson is going to stay in the Big Ten. News has broken that the disgruntled Minnesota quarterback is transferring to Rutgers, which officially will join the Big Ten for the 2014 football season. He’ll sit out next season and have two years of eligibility beginning in 2015.
A huge win for Michigan State last night at Iowa City. I didn’t think the Spartans could prevail without Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson in that hostile environment vs. that talented Hawkeyes squad.
This season hasn’t gone as expected for Penn State, but it’s not because of a lack of effort by point guard Tim Frazier.
Well, look at who is a Heisman contender for 2014: Michigan State QB Connor Cook. No doubt, the national front-runner entering next season will be Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, who won the award last season. But don’t discount Cook, who hit 58 percent of his passes for 2,755 yards with 22 touchdowns and just six interceptions during the Spartans’ 13-1 Big Ten title season.
The move to unionized college athletes continues to gain momentum.
The best Big Ten game this week is the first one, tonight in Iowa City when Michigan State visits Iowa. Each team is looking for a win to keep pace with Big Ten leader Michigan. The Wolverines beat each team last week, adding to the sense of urgency for both clubs. Here is my ranking of this week’s action.
If you are a Big Ten hoops fan, then you wanna be in Iowa City tonight. That’s where Michigan State will play Iowa in what’s the best matchup of the week. Each squad is chasing Big Ten front-runner Michigan, which beat the Hawkeyes and Spartans last week. No doubt, playing at Iowa will be a big challenge for Michigan State.
Happy Signing Day, Big Ten fans! The classes are filling up fast, with early reports showing Ohio State in line to ink the top collection of talent in the Big Ten. Here’s a look at the recruiting needs for each school, as we all cast an eye toward the future and get excited about the possibilities.
Can we just hurry up and get to Tuesday? Why, you ask? Because that’s when Michigan State plays at Iowa in what is the best matchup of the week. And that’s one of two big games for MSU in what shapes up as a big week for the ailing Spartans as we chug toward the halfway point of the conference season. Here’s a look at what to watch for this week.
No doubt, it’s good to be Michigan. The Wolverines are coming off a monster week in which they took control of the Big Ten with huge victories vs. Iowa and at Michigan State.
Yes, it’s that time of the week when I reach into my mailbag and answer your questions. See my latest installment in this post. And don’t forget, send me your questions via the comment box at the bottom of the post. My survey to Big Ten hoops writers that posed the question “who is the Big Ten’s toughest player” struck a chord.
The weekend is officially here. So that means it’s time for my weekly survey of seven Big Ten hoops writers. This week’s question: Who is the Big Ten’s most underrated player? Check out the responses. No consensus, but some interesting responses.
The season is nearing the halfway point, and the Big Ten race is starting to crystalize. Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa look like prime contenders. Wisconsin, Ohio State and Minnesota are lurking. The other six schools? Well, let’s just say they have a lot of work to do.
If it’s not one thing, it’s another for Michigan State. Or, so it seems. News broke late Thursday afternoon that Branden Dawson had broken his right hand and will be out four to five weeks. How did it happen? Dawson slammed his hand on a table in frustration while watching film. He explains in this video. Looks Kenny Kaminski will need to step up as a defender on Glenn Robinson III. Meanwhile, reaction in social media circles has been critical. And that has MSU coach Tom Izzo fuming.
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Joshua S. Kelly
Ohio State has officially tabbed Chris Ash as co-defensive coordinator and safeties coach. That’s a nice hire. Ash was defensive coordinator at Arkansas last season under Bret Bielema, for whom Ash worked for as DC at Wisconsin in 2011 and 2012. And Ash’s area of expertise—the secondary—will dovetail well with what has been the biggest weakness on the Buckeye defense.
If you aren’t on it already, you may want to jump on the Michigan bandwagon before it hits 88 mph and vanishes. The Wolverines are legit, notching another big win last night. This time, hard-charging and high-flying Iowa was the victim, as the Wolverines moved to 6-0 in the Big Ten. And, they are doing all of this without injured Mitch McGary, out with a back injury. Oh, and Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway, Jr., also are gone. It’s incredible, really.
The Big Ten basketball season is approaching the midway point and the conference picture is beginning to take form. Michigan (5-0) and Michigan State (7-0) are the only remaining unbeaten teams in the Big Ten, while Iowa is close behind at 4-1 and climbing up the national rankings. So, we ask, who is the best team in the Big Ten at this point?
We already knew Michigan’s Nik Stauskas was one of the top shooters in the Big Ten. This 3-point dagger last Saturday at Wisconsin was further proof of that.
The midseason John Wooden Award watch Top 25 list is out. This is a big deal, as the Wooden often is considered to be the premier national player of the year honor.
Big game tonight, Hoop Heads: Iowa at Michigan. And the Hawkeyes’ Roy Devyn Marble has some extra motivation. “I’m trying to knock a couple of teams off the bucket list,” said Marble, a senior and Michigan native who has never won at Michigan or Michigan State during his Iowa career. “I got both of them at home. I want to get them (on the road). It’s an important game because it’s the next one. Each game is important when you’re in the race to win a Big Ten championship.”
Northwestern received great news Tuesday, as running back Venric Mark was granted a medical hardship for a fifth season of eligibility. Mark’s return bolsters what will be a strong collection of running backs in the Big Ten in 2014. Here’s my ranking of the conference’s Top 10 backs for next season.
Ohio State at Nebraska kicked off the week with a rare Monday night game. And, it was a doozy, as the Cornhuskers sent the Buckeyes to a fourth loss in a row. Was that a portent of things to come this week?