When the 2011 NFL season kicks off Thursday night, expect to see a lot of familiar faces. The Big Ten, according to BigTen.org research, boasts 234 players on the league’s recently finalized 53-man rosters. That’s the second-highest total of any BCS conference, trailing only the SEC (268). Ohio State has the most Big Ten pros, with 35 — good enough to be tied for fifth among all schools.
One week in the books. I was obviously fascinated to see a number of Big Ten teams in their openers for a variety of reasons – everything from coaching changes, to new quarterbacks and offenses, to overhauled defenses. It’s dangerous to jump to too many conclusions, particularly given the level of the competition that some conference teams played. But there were certainly a few numbers that stood out. Let’s start with the teams breaking in new coaches.
Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins joined BTN on Tuesday night for the season debut of “The Next Level.” Cousins, the three-time Michigan State captain, talked about his early NFL chances with Rick Pizzo, Brandon Williams and Jon Jansen. Cousins’ take on the ultra-competitive NFL? “You have to be able to play at a high, high level every day and work at a high level,” he said. That’s exactly what Cousins has done during his successful Spartan career, going 17-9 and throwing for 6,037 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Hello, soccer fans! BTN.com is proud to bring you “BTN Soccer Report,” our new web-only show dedicated to everything Big Ten soccer. In the debut webisode, host Kevin Egan takes a quick glance at the Big Ten Preseason Coaches Poll, catches up with Indiana men’s soccer coach Todd Yeagley to discuss the Hoosiers chances of repeating as Big Ten champs, and touches upon Yeagley’s long connection with the Indiana soccer program. Watch the debut webisode right now.
The Big Ten Conference hosts a weekly football coaches teleconference. Each coach is invited to participate in the call and takes questions from the media. Here, the coaches look back at the opening weekend of Big Ten Football and look ahead to the second week of action.
The college football season just kicked off this past week, but there’s some college basketball news to report. On Tuesday, the Big Ten announced that 44 men’s hoops conference games will be televised on CBS Sports or an ESPN network.
Jon Jansen had quite the career at Michigan. The “Rock” of Michigan football, Jansen started a school-record 50 games, all at right tackle, during his time in Ann Arbor. These days, the 1998 Big Ten Offensive Lineman of the Year is part of “The Next Level,” our weekly show dedicated to Big Ten players in the NFL and current conference stars who could have a future at, well, the next level. Get Jansen’s latest analysis at 7 p.m. ET Tuesdays. And check out BTN.com every Tuesday afternoon as Jansen recalls a story or memory from his career. Watch now as he talks about Tom Brady.