Penn State seniors Michael Zordich and Michael Mauti led a group of about 25 players who met the media Wednesday to announce their commitment to the football team. Noticeably missing from the players was junior running back Silas Redd, the most sought after Nittany Lion. Southern Cal has shown interest in the star back, but his absence could have been the result of his role at Big Ten media days, starting Thursday morning. Penn State has since announced it will not send players to Chicago, after all.
Wisconsin football coach Bret Bielema has long been a proponent of playing Big Ten games during the season’s first four weeks, and he’ll get his wish in 2013. Wisconsin announced Wednesday in a press release that it will host Purdue on Sept. 21, 2013 – also known as Week 4 – one week before the Big Ten typically starts conference play.
Find out more about: Big Ten Schedules
Big Ten media days kick off on Thursday in Chicago. Get all the latest Big Ten web links in this post.
The Illini basketball team has the state of Illinois outlined at midcourt at Assembly Hall. Many other college arenas do the same with the outlines of their states. The practice, for whatever reason, isn’t as popular in football stadiums across the nation – Indiana does it. Make it two Big Ten teams now. @IlliniAthletics tweeted a picture of the team’s new field design, and it includes the outline of the state of Illinois at midfield. Just like the basketball team. See the photo in this post.
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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.
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Big Ten media days kick off Thursday in Chicago, so I thought I’d release my preseason Big Ten player rankings. I’m going to do these a little different this year. In previous years, I’d rank the top 10 players, which often became a tough task with all the talent on both sides of the ball. To account for both sides, I’ll rank the top six offensive and defensive players each week.