If there was a darling at Big Ten media days, it was Northwestern. Expectations are at an all-time high in Evanston, where talk of winning the Big Ten is legit for a program that has eight starters back on offense and seven on defense from a 10-win squad that won the program’s first bowl game since the 1948 season.
This is a pivotal season for Iowa, which is coming off its worst year since 2000 as the Hawkeyes missed the postseason for the first time since 2007. Iowa hasn’t missed a bowl two seasons in a row since a three-year drought from 1998-2000. Kirk Ferentz made more coaching changes in the offseason, as he searches to steady a listing ship.
Saturday’s Big Ten B1G 10K isn’t the only organized run this weekend. There’s also the second annual Run for Walk, a 4.1 mile trek through Evanston’s tree-line streets and lakefront, Sunday morning (7:30 a.m. CT). The event is in honor of former Northwestern coach Randy Walker, who died of a heart attack in the summer of 2006.
With media days complete, there is a long list of stories to check out. Here is a nice run down to get you caught up on each team from the goings-on in Chicago the last two days. By the way: The season begins Aug. 29, with Indiana State playing at Indiana.
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CHICAGO – How often do some of the best players from all 12 Big Ten teams gather under one roof? Once a year, at the annual Big Ten media days. To take advantage of the opportunity, I conducted a Big Ten poll Thursday that asked one player from every team the same five questions. Who’s the most exciting Big Ten player? What’s the toughest Big Ten road venue? See all the results in this post.
CHICAGO – There’s no better time or place to get an up-close look at the latest changes to Big Ten uniforms and helmets than at the annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon. Teams deck out their designated areas with all of the latest, greatest threads and equipment. Take a look at all the new looks the Big Ten will debut this season in this post.
BTN’s Dave Revsine hosts our two-hour “Kickoff Luncheon Special,” which airs at 8 p.m. ET Friday. Revsine, who also served as the emcee for Thursday’s Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon, will be joined by analsysts Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith as they look ahead to the 2013 season.