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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?
It was interesting to watch to NFL commissioner Roger Goodell talk about various issues recently on NFL Network. One idea he said the league is studying is dropping extra point kicks after touchdowns – just see the NFL Network video here. Would the college game ever consider dumping PATs? It may be worth considering and studying.
If Buckeyes fans aren’t feeling good today, we understand. That’s four losses in a row for Ohio State, which fell at Nebraska last night to a Cornhuskers’ squad that was 0-4 in the Big Ten. This is OSU’s longest losing skid since 2007-08.
What was speculated has been officially announced: Indiana has a new defensive coordinator: Brian Knorr. And, he may have the biggest job of any coordinator in the Big Ten.
Another week, another raft of games that will go a long way toward shaping the Big Ten race. And this much is becoming clearer: Michigan State, Michigan and Iowa are the teams to beat. Speaking of the Big Ten’s holy trinity, it’s a big week for Michigan. BIG week. Here’s a look at the week that’s on our doorstep.
There is so much to like about Iowa hoops. Where to start after witnessing its win over Minnesota? Let’s count the ways with this look at its remarkable depth. If Devyn Marble and Aaron White aren’t doing damage, guys like Josh Oglesby, Zach McCabe and Gabe Olaseni are. It’s quite impressive, really. Minnesota actually led Iowa on Sunday at halftime, 43-41. It lost, 94-73. Stunning.
It’s mid-January. Seems like a good time to start taking a look at some mock NCAA brackets. Things are looking good for Wisconsin and Michigan State, which are primed to be No. 1 seeds.
Toughness. It’s needed in any sport to be successful. And there are many definitions of toughness, which is displayed in various ways. Show me a successful team—and I’ll show you a tough team. Knowing that, I asked some writers who cover Big Ten hoops teams who they felt is the “toughest” player in the conference.
It’s time for my Big Ten basketball 3-Pointers, my look back at the week that was in the Big Ten—with a sneak peek at what’s to come. It has been a good week to be Minnesota and Indiana. It hasn’t been such a good week to be Ohio State and Illinois. And if you’re Richard Pitno’s jacket from Thursday night, you had a little bit of good and bad this week.
The Ohio State tailspin continues, as the loss at Minnesota last night makes it three in a row for the Buckeyes. Weren’t they just ranked, like, No. 3 in the nation the other day? No one denies that this Ohio State team plays good defense. But the offense is struggling. More shooters are needed, among other things. And the turnovers need to be reduced. I’m looking at you, Aaron Craft and Shannon Scott.
Time for me to reach into my mail bag that runs deep with a thicket of letters from you, passionate BTN.com readers. Thanks for your thoughts! Lots to get to, with many questions about football, even though we are neck-deep in hoops season.
So, Philip Nelson is bolting Minnesota because he wants to play for a program that “centers more around the pass game which utilizes my skill sets.”
The BCS era is over, and to me that is a very good thing. The era ran 16 seasons stretching from 1998-2013. As a way to celebrate the end of the BCS and with an eye on the first college football playoff after next season, I present to you my 10 best Big Ten teams of the BCS era.
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January 15 is the deadline for underclassmen to declare for the NFL draft. And, the Big Ten isn’t taking too many big hits, which would seem to bode well for the conference in 2014. Just four players have declared: Indiana WR Cody Latimer; Penn State WR Allen Robinson; Ohio State CB Bradley Roby; Ohio State LB Ryan Shazier.
National Signing Day is Feb. 5th, but schools have been inking mid-year prospects for a few weeks in the early-signing period. And today is the deadline.