Predictions. Everyone has them, and rarely do people prognosticate correctly. As the saying goes, that’s why they play the game. I’ve been burned with predictions several times, the most recent one coming when I said Illinois was for real and a Rose Bowl contender. We all know how that turned out! With the calendar flipping to 2012 Sunday, it’s time to offer up some more educated guesses, posted in a multiple choice test format to give it a different wrinkle. Feel free to post your answers or fill in your “other” selection in the comment box. The predictions are listed in chronological order and, just for clarity, many of the football ones take into account likely early NFL departures.
(AP) Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 26 points, and freshman Trey Burke added 13 points and seven assists to lead No. 18 Michigan over Penn State 71-53 on Thursday night in the Big Ten opener for both teams. Evan Smotrycz chipped in 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Wolverines (11-2, 1-0), who have won six straight since losing to Virginia in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Michigan won its conference opener for the first time in coach John Beilein’s five seasons. Tim Frazier had 20 points and four assists for Penn State (8-6, 0-1). Read the full AP recap and see the box score.
Find out more about: Hoops Rapid Recaps
We received a great photo from our friend John Lewandowski, Michigan State’s football SID, Thursday night. With the Spartans preparing for Monday’s Outback Bowl in Tampa, Fla., Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio decided to have an alligator attend Thursday’s practice for “a little extra motivation,” according to the email. The team posed with the beast, jaws taped together, of course. See the photo, courtesy of MSU Athletic Communications, in this post.
Any trip to the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex these days must include a detour to Cowboys Stadium. Now in its third season, the world’s largest domed stadium cost $1.3 billion to construct, and it used every single penny. The place is impressive on TV, so just imagine what it’s like in person. The Penn State football team knows how majestic the place is, as it toured the famous stadium Wednesday. Penn State faces Houston in the TicketCity Bowl at noon ET Monday at the Cotton Bowl. Watch the team’s tour, courtesy of GOPSUTV’s YouTube page, in this post.
You heard about Wednesday’s announcement that the Big Ten Conference and the Pac-12 Conference made a unique scheduling agreement where among other things the football teams from each conference will play one inter-league football game each year. Now you can listen to Wednesday’s teleconference where commissioners of both conferences took questions from reporters – just jump down further in this post.
Find out more about: Pac-12
You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mailbag. With bowl season heating up, some wonder how the Big Ten will fare in the postseason after a rough 2010 experience. Also, which hoops teams have impressed with conference play just beginning? And some fans wonder how the Ohio State defense will look with Everett Withers arriving as co-coordinator to work in concert with Luke Fickell.
Find out more about: Dienhart's Mailbag
For the second straight year, BTN will provide delayed television coverage of the Midlands Wrestling Championship at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday. The network’s Tim Johnson will call the action from Northwestern’s Welsh-Ryan Arena with fellow Hall of Famer and legendary Iowa State coach Jim Gibbons providing color analysis. The annual Midlands event features its traditionally strong field, with 13 Division I teams ranked in the top 30 of InterMat’s latest poll, including three top-10 teams (read more at NUsports.com). The event has historically proven to be a preview of the NCAA Championships. Five Big Ten will participate in this year’s event, including No. 1 Iowa, No. 7 Illinois, No. 18 Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin.