Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
Except for the guy living under a rock—you know who you are—we all have heard 1,000,001 times that the SEC has won the last seven national titles. Bravo! It is an awesome feat. If a Big Ten team is gonna end the skein, it figures to be Ohio State, says Stewart Mandel of SI.com as I present Friday’s edition of my weekday Big Ten links.
The 2013 Big Ten Softball Tournament started Thursday as four teams advanced to play again Friday. Northwestern, Ohio State, Penn State and Purdue all won on Thursday. Reminder: Saturday’s semifinal games and Sunday’s championship air live on BTN & BTN2Go.
Iowa may be hard-pressed to get bowl eligible coming off a disappointing 4-8 season, the program’s worst since 2000. Keep an eye on the trip to Minnesota on Sept. 28 in the Big Ten opener. This game figures to set the tone. Iowa beat the Golden Gophers and claimed Floyd of Rosedale last season but has lost the last two games in Minneapolis. These are two teams trying to climb over each other in the loaded Legends Division. Iowa’s cross-over games also have gotten appreciably more difficult, as the Hawkeyes have picked up Ohio State and Wisconsin—arguably the two best teams in the Leaders Division.
Andrew Weber-US PRESSWIRE
The Big Ten has said that it wants schools to beef up their non-conference schedules. Well, so far, so good. Michigan is the latest school to add a marquee non-conference foe. Today, the school announced a home-and-home series with Virginia Tech in 2020 and 2021. The schools have met just one time, with the Wolverines beating the Hokies, 23-20, in the Sugar Bowl after the 2011 season.
Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports
Spring football is over and the offseason is officially here. Let’s all let loose with a collective sigh. Now we have to wait until the night of Thursday, August 29, for the first Big Ten game when UNLV plays at Minnesota. There are lots of barbecues, cannon balls into the swimming pool, croquet, Wiffle Ball and Jarts between now and then.
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
Who doesn’t love predictions? We all do. Well, the great Andrew Logue of the Des Moines Register ranks the Big Ten teams. He has Iowa No. 10, ahead of No. 11 Purdue and No. 12 Illinois. Who is No. 1? Do you really have to ask? Logue has Michigan No. 2 ahead of Nebraska. This is just wrong. No love for Northwestern.
Kevin Wilson is making strides as he enters his third season in Bloomington in search of his first winning record with what should be a strong offense. But the schedule is tough. IU has one of the toughest Big Ten road slates possible—Michigan State; Michigan; Wisconsin; Ohio State. Lord have mercy!