It’s the third component of every team. It’s also the most overlooked component. It’s special teams. And it’s often the difference between winning and losing. So, pay attention to these rankings, from 1 to 12, of the Big Ten special teams. Oh, and don’t forget about all of my 2012 unit rankings. Don’t agree with the rankings? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comment box at the bottom of the post or tweet me: @BTNTomDienhart.
CHICAGO — There was a time when the Chicago Blackhawks games weren’t broadcast locally and the team played in front of a sparsely filled United Center. The season was 2007-08. Four years and one Stanley Cup later, the Blackhawks are one of the hottest tickets in hockey. Much of the credit goes to social media, said Adam Kempenaar, director of new media and creative services for the Blackhawks, Wednesday at the BTN Social Media Summit.
Find out more about: Big Ten Tweets
Yesterday, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart and BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina hit email to debate the 2012 Big Ten receiving TDs leader, the seventh in our series of Big Ten statistical predictions. Up next: Receptions. Who will lead the Big Ten in 2012? See Tom and Brent’s email thread in this post and vote for your leader, too.
Illinois defensive end Michael Buchanan suffered a broken jaw in a Champaign area altercation and is expected to miss a couple weeks of training time, Bob Asmussen of IlliniHQ.com reports. Buchanan’s jaw is wired shut and the team is investigating the injury. A season ago, Buchanan tallied 7.5 sacks en route to earning second-team All-Big Ten honors.
Find out more about: Michael Buchanan
Wanna make your Wednesday even better? Get over the hump in your week by surfing to these 100 percent guaranteed links to awesomely good Big Ten football content.
How good was Nebraska’s first volleyball season as a Big Ten member? Put it this way: The Huskers won the Big Ten crown, with a 17-3 conference record, snapping four-time reigning national champ Penn State’s remarkable eight-year reign atop the loaded Big Ten. Yeah, it was pretty good — so good, in fact, Nebraska’s historic volleyball season highlights the school’s 2011-12 athletic year. Not even an unexpected second-round exit from the NCAA tourney can change that.
Find out more about: School Days
Purdue offensive coordinator Gary Nord has acquired an array of offensive knowledge over the years, working for many seasons under legendary Howard Schnellenberger.
Find out more about: Big Ten Q&A, Football Fix