Ben Woloszyn-US PRESSWIRE
Brandon Paul scored 26 points and Illinois used a hot first half to ride to an easy 94-64 win over USC Monday night at the Maui Invitational.
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Today’s point/counterpoint is more like point/point. Sorry, Northwestern fans.
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There’s plenty of movement in my latest Big Ten Player Rankings following an entertaining Week 12. For starters, white-hot Devin Gardner debuts on the list. See all the changes inside. Remember, this feature ranks the Big Ten’s top six offensive and defensive players. So, consider offense the Legends Division and the defense the Leaders Division, or vice versa.
The Big Ten bowl picture continues to solidify. Nebraska remains the favorite to get to the Rose Bowl. But with Notre Dame—my projection last week to play the Huskers in Pasadena–now projected to play in the BCS title game, the Cornhuskers have a new foe: Oregon.
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Early season tournaments tantalize with their meaningful matchups (played in front of a lot of empty seats), and they offer a glimpse into what we should expect over the year. A thirty-point beatdown over Texas Pan Am doesn’t tell you as much about a team as a loss to Villanova. But still, we should take these with a grain of salt. As I’ve mentioned elsewhere, some teams that really struggle with challenging early season games end up making lots of deep runs in March.
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It’s almost December, and that means awards season is almost here. That being the case, the finalists for college football’s most prestigious awards, other than the Heisman Trophy, were announced Monday. Ohio State’s Braxton Miller and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball were named finalists for Davey O’Brien Award and Doak Walker Award, respectively.