The 2011 season was barely punctuated, and the 2012 football polls were already coming out. LSU looks like a consensus pick for No. 1, but the Big Ten is well represented. In the five polls I found, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin all were ranked. And Nebraska appeared in all but one poll. Ohio State, which is ineligible to win the Big Ten title or play in a bowl in 2012 because of probation, is in two polls.
At 5-foot-7, Courtney Boylan is the smallest player on Michigan’s roster, and one of the smallest players in the league. But she’s a big, big reason the Wolverines are 13-3 and coming off one of the biggest wins in the Big Ten this season. Basketball analyst and writer Patricia Babcock McGraw talks to Boylan in her latest Gimme 5 audio segment. Jump down in this post to read and hear more.
Tom Bradley sits and waits. It’s all he can do at this point. The former Penn State defensive coordinator told me last night that he doesn’t have any coaching jobs in the works despite several schools across the nation being in the market for defensive coordinators. In fact, three Big Ten schools need defensive coordinators: Iowa, Illinois and Purdue. If nothing transpires, the affable Bradley told me that he may explore opportunities in broadcasting. Still, he would offer a lot to any staff that hired him.
Big Ten wrestling is in full swing, and with that being the case, it’s time for a fresh “BTN Wrestling Report,” our webisode dedicated to all that action on the mat. Kara Lentz highlights Iowa’s Tony Ramos’ Co-Wrestler of the Week honor for his take down of Oklahoma State’s top-ranked Jordan Oliver. The full slate of weekend matches is previewed, including No. 1 Penn State’s visit to Northwestern. Catch all of it on BTN, BTN2Go and BTN.com.
Michigan’s Zack Novak has a knack for making the all-important plays for the Wolverines. Whether it’s taking a charge, throwing his body on the floor for a loose ball or grabbing a rebound, Novak is does all the little things to help Michigan. In Wednesday night’s game against Northwestern, he did all of the usual things, but he also added a not-so-common highlight-reel slam. In transition, Novak saw a hole in the Wildcats’ defense, and he took advantage with a powerful two-handed jam. Watch the big-time dunk now.
Considering the Michigan football team’s struggles the previous three years, no one could have expected a better result from the 2011 season. After all, in Brady Hoke’s first season at the helm, the Wolverines won 11 games, including their first BCS bowl victory since 2000, after going 15-22 the previous three seasons. The Wolverines, of course, beat Virginia Tech, 23-20, in overtime of the Sugar Bowl earlier this month. And during a break in the action of Wednesday’s men’s basketball game against Northwestern, the school honored its Sugar Bowl champions. Watch David Molk and company get honored now.
You have more questions, and I have more answers in this week’s mailbag. With the basketball season heating up, readers wonder who the best team is in the Big Ten, what’s wrong with Wisconsin, and who have been the top freshmen. But also: Did Montee Ball make the correct decision to come back for his senior year? I’ll tell you what I think but then you can tell me what you think about that question and others in the comments box at the end of my post.