Michigan is ranked No. 8 and is one of five Big Ten teams in the AP Top 25 poll released Saturday morning. The Big Ten added Wisconsin (No. 12), Michigan State (No. 13), Nebraska (No. 17) and Ohio State (No. 18). The Buckeyes, in their first season under coach Urban Meyer, are banned for the postseason this season because of NCAA sanctions.
Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase moves well, which he showed today in practice. He always has had good feet and is one of the more athletic signal-callers in the Big Ten. He also threw the short pass well, which is key in this spread offense that is predicated on quick decisions and intermediate toss.
The BTN bus heads west to Columbus, Ohio, to check in on Urban Meyer and Ohio State. Yes, the head coach gets billed over the school in this instance, as Meyer was the biggest coaching hire in the offseason. It will be fun to watch the swagger he brings to the field.
The BTN bus tour hit Champaign, Ill., on Friday so our crew could take in Illinois practice. Now that practice and filming of the show is over, it’s time for Gerry DiNardo’s post-practice tweets – a feature he’ll provide after all 12 stops across Big Ten country. You can also find tweets from Dave Revsine and Tom Dienhart in this post. And don’t forget to catch the debut of the Illinois Preview Show at 10 p.m. ET Saturday on BTN/BTN2Go.
The Minnesota football program has touted itself as six-time national champions since 1960. As it turns out, it’s been short-changing itself for five-plus decades. Minnesota owns seven national titles. The confusion arises because the Gophers were deemed 1904 national champions retroactively, but the school hadn’t been recognizing it. That team went 13-0 and outscored its opponents, 725-12.
Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great football careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fourth list ranks the top five quarterbacks of the last five seasons, aka the BTN era.
There’s no such thing as too much safety when it comes to football helmets. Helmet manufacturers work tirelessly on developing the latest technologies to prevent concussions and all forms of head trauma, and Riddell’s newest helmet, The Riddell 360, might be the best yet. One Big Ten team, Iowa, already has invested in the state-of-the-art lid that received a 5-star rating in Virginia Tech’s latest helmet protection study. See a picture of Iowa’s Riddell 360 helmet in this post.