Who has the best shot to get to the title game: Wisconsin or Michigan State? How do you defend Duke big man Jalil Okafor? Thoughts on Iowa QB Jake Rudock going to Michigan? BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart takes on those reader questions and more in this week's mailbag. Read on.
Iowa has seen a lot of success in the last 10 NFL drafts—especially along the trenches. And that success should continue in this year’s draft, set for April 30-May 2 in Chicago. [ MORE: Get Tom Dienhart’s team-by-team NFL draft snapshots ] Offensive tackle Brandon Scherff looks like a top-10 pick, joining fellow ex-Hawkeye blockers Riley Reiff and Bryan Bulaga as first-round picks in the last 10 years. (Robert Gallery was a first-rounder in 2004.) Defensive tackle Carl Davis also should be a hot commodity. And look for offensive tackle Andrew Donnal and defensive tackle Louis Trinca-Pasat likely to go
This is a great time of year, with March Madness in full swing and spring football rolling. So, it’s a good time to reach into my mail bag. Here we go! Do you think Michigan State can win the national title? – Richard Cobb You have to like the Spartans’ chances to at least reach the Final Four for the first time since 2010. Tom Izzo’s team is playing well, winning six of its last seven games. And the lone loss was an overtime defeat to Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship tilt. Michigan State is deep and motivated. If
Iowa quarterback Jake Rudock won’t be back with the Hawkeyes. The 6-3, 208-pound senior will be immediately eligible wherever he lands after he graduates in the spring. Speculation surrounding Rudock transferring had been growing since Kirk Ferentz announced that C.J. Beathard would be the No. 1 quarterback when spring drills opened. Rudock will have one season of eligibility left, and there are rumors that he has already visited Michigan. With Rudock gone, the backup quarterback spot will become a situation to watch. Redshirt freshman Tyler Wiegers is slated to be the No. 2 man. Behind him would be incoming freshmen
The Big Ten saw three schools make coaching changes after last season, with Michigan, Wisconsin and Nebraska all bringing in new leaders. But other schools didn’t stand pat, making significant changes to their staffs. Here’s a look at the six key coaching changes made on existing staffs after 2014. 1. Ohio State: Tim Beck, co-offensive coordinator: When offensive coordinator Tom Herman took the Houston job, Urban Meyer scored a home run when he landed this former Nebraska play-caller. Beck is a Youngstown, Ohio, native who is well-connected in Ohio and Texas recruiting circles. And he’s smart. Beck will double as
No position garners attention like quarterback. And, it’s an unsettled position at several Big Ten schools, as spring drills have begun to open. Here is what we know: Penn State (Christian Hackenberg), Minnesota (Mitch Leidner), Iowa (C.J. Beathard), Illinois (Wes Lunt), Nebraska (Tommy Armstrong), Michigan State (Connor Cook), Maryland (Caleb Rowe) and Indiana (Nate Sudfeld) all appear to have a good grasp on who will be their starter in 2015, eliminating much drama in spring drills. But the quarterback situation on some other campuses isn’t as clear. Here’s a look at the “Six Spring Quarterbacking Hot Spots” in Big Ten
On Tuesday night’s “BTN Live,” Glen Mason shared who he thought each Big Ten football team would miss the most in 2015. Watch the full feature in the video above, and see his answers in the text below. ILLINOIS: Reilly O’Toole, QB “You look at Reilly O’Toole, how he hung in there, how he persevered, how he competed, and the victory against Penn State, the victory against Northwestern that enabled them to go to a bowl game, I think that next year Coach Beckman will say, ‘You know, I wish Reilly O’Toole was still around here.'” INDIANA: Tevin Coleman, RB
Much has been written about the stipend that will be granted by “Power Five” conference schools beginning in 2015-16 as part of radical NCAA reforms. David Jones of Pennlive.com put together an interesting story and graphic on the subject. Now, student-athletes will not just receive tuition, books and room-and-board but also an extra amount to be used toward incidental living expenses—Little Caesar’s crazy bread, gas for the Vespa, iTunes downloads, “Cracked” magazine subscriptions … stuff like that. It is known in university parlance as “cost of attendance.” Me? I like to call it “kicking around cash,” or “Friday night loot.”
If every college football head coaching job became available tomorrow, which would be the most desirable? ESPN.com’s Travis Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) recently headed a project, which ranked each of the 65 college football jobs at the Power 5 level. He released them in three categories: Bottom of the barrel jobs, middle of the road jobs, and top 24 jobs. According to the article, the list includes factors such as location, administrative stability, support from those bosses, facilities, recruiting base, path to conference titles/playoff, sense of tradition, fervor of fan base, too much fervor from a fan base, etc. Our friends over
Big Ten faculty, administrators and student-athlete representatives met this week to further discuss the importance of keeping education central to the mission of intercollegiate athletics.