In Thursday's Big Ten links, we take a look at a number of basketball and football stories. Wisconsin looks loose headed into the Final Four. Michigan State shares some things in common with last year's NCAA champs. Maryland's Melo Trimble is staying at Maryland. Christian Hackenberg is refocusing at Penn State. Read all that and more in this post.
Pardon me, Kennedys: But this is Camelot for Michigan State, right? I mean, will it ever get any better than it is right now in East Lansing with the Tom Izzo-Mark Dantonio dynamic duo? Final Fours and league titles have become the norm. Jeff Seidel of the Detroit Free Press says this is a giddy, glorious time for Spartan Nation — MSU fans, students and alumni — because of these coaches, the success they have built and how they have done it with so much class. To wit: The football team has finished in the top five in the country
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
Ohio State’s spring football practice is underway as the Buckeyes prepare to build on their incredible 2014 national championship season. [MORE: Big Ten spring football dates ] Urban Meyer’s team posted a 14-1 record last season, including victories over Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Oregon in the inaugural College Football Playoff National Championship game. As 2015 spring practice gets underway, several media members were on hand today at the Buckeyes’ practice facility, including ESPN.com’s Austin Ward. There, Ward tweeted out a photo of Ohio State’s 2015 schedule, which includes next year’s national championship game on the schedule. It also
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
Former Michigan State standout Le’Veon Bell, who is set to enter his third NFL season, has already developed into one of the top running backs in the league. The 23-year-old running back rushed for 1,361 yards last season, which ranked second in the NFL, to go along with 83 receptions for 854 yards and three more scores. Bell was named a first-team All-Pro and was selected to his first NFL Pro Bowl this past season. However, NFL Draft Analyst Mel Kiper Jr. did not give Bell great reviews coming out of Michigan State, and Bell went off on the analyst
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
Suzy Merchant and Jerry Kill both got their head coaching starts at Saginaw Valley State University, a Division II school located in Saginaw, Michigan.
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.”