The Big Ten was well represented on the AP All-America team, with nine players tabbed. Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, Michigan C David Molk, Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy, Penn State DT Devon Still and Wisconsin RB Montee Ball and G Kevin Zeitler were all first-teamers, while Nebraska LB Lavonte David and Wisconsin C Peter Konz earned second-team honors, and Ohio State DT John Simon was a third-team pick. Most impressive, Mercilus, Still and Worthy represent three of the four defensive lineman on the first team. Yeah, it was that kind of year for the Big Ten in the trenches.
New Ohio State coach Urban Meyer is wasting no time in assembling a top-notch staff that figures to rate among the best in the Big Ten. Soon after getting the job, Meyer announced he would retain co-defensive coordinator Luke Fickell, who served as interim head coach in 2011 and will coach the Buckeyes in the bowl game. Fickell is widely lauded as one of the nation’s top young coaches.
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Pete Fiutak at FoxSports.com decided to get out in front of the college football crowd and write about his top candidates for the 2012 Heisman Trophy. Oh come on, don’t pretend you haven’t at least thought about it, too. He’s produced a slideshow of 16 names, and three of them are Big Ten players. Can you guess who they are? Scroll down in this post and we’ll tell you, then you can tell us what you think in the comments section, then click over to FoxSports.com for the full reports on all 16 players.
Tonight on our special “The Big Ten Football Report: Year in Review” at 10 p.m. ET, our BTN football crew looks at the following how the conference’s quarterbacks defined the destiny of many of the Big Ten’s top teams in 2011. Also, we’ll put in perspective the events at Penn State this season and how the program looks to move forward. Wisconsin’s Montee Ball joins us to talk about his Silver Football award-winning season and we present “Twelve for 2012,” our choice for one breakthrough player from each Big Ten team next season.
In today’s Big Ten Blast, we touch on Illinois advancing to the National Semifinal round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament for the third time in school history and the first time in 23 years. The Illini reached back-to-back Final Fours in 1987 and 1988. In Thursday’s NCAA Semifinal Match Illinois (31-4) faces USC (29-4) at 9 p.m. ET. Read more at FightingIllini.com and track the entie tournament at NCAA.com. In other news, Jerry Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing. Find the latest headlines on the Penn State scandal on the team report page.
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