News, notes and everything in betewen from the Big Ten as I prepare to join Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo and Howard Griffith on tonight’s Big Ten Football Report. Tune in at 7:30 p.m. ET!
After winning a share of the Big Ten title for the first time since 1979, Michigan State has been selected by the conference coaches as the favorite to win in 2012, the Big Ten office announced Tuesday. Big Ten coaches voted on the top six teams and also selected three players from their own squads to a Players to Watch list. Following the Spartans on the coaches’ preseason top six list are No. 2 Purdue, No. 3 Minnesota, No. 4 Nebraska, No. 5 Ohio State and No. 6 Illinois.
The roster of games this week is littered with some intriguing matchups that will go a long way toward determining the pecking order at the top of the Big Ten standings as we enter the final few weeks of the season. And no tilt on this week’s list of contests is bigger than Wisconsin’s visit to Michigan State on Feb. 16. Now that you know BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s No. 1 game for this week, what about the others? Dienhart ranks them all, from 1 to 11, in this post.
It’s time to release my latest Big Ten men’s hoops power rankings. The rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply my thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands right now and who would win on a neutral court. Agree? Disagree? Tweet @BTNBrentYarina or leave your comments below. Also, did you see my top 10 Big Ten plays from the past week? Watch them and vote for your top play.
Find out more about: Hoops Power Rankings
With Michigan State’s huge—and surprisingly convincing–win at Ohio State on Saturday, the Big Ten title chase has become a jumbled four-team race (standings). The Spartans and Buckeyes are tied at the top with 9-3 league marks, while the Wolverines are one half-game behind, at 9-4, and the Badgers are one game behind, at 8-4.
Find out more about: Big Ten Whiteboard
You look at this picture, courtesy @BigWeitz, and probably ask yourself, “Why is Fran McCaffery’s autograph on a Michigan State chair?” Fair question. OK, think back about a month ago when McCaffery and the Hawkeyes visited the Spartans. It was a forgettable performance — Iowa lost 95-61 — but few will forget the second-year coach’s intense and passionate display during a timeout. You remember it — McCaffery, fresh off being hit with a technical, gathered his players, yelled some words of encouragement and spiked the chair pictured above to the floor. No wonder the autograph includes “Coach with passion.”
The Big Ten men’s basketball coaches held their weekly Big Ten teleconference Monday with reporters from around the league, and we’ve posted the audio from each phone interview in the post below. BTN.com will post these media sessions each Monday right up to the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament, and all of our audio can be found in our BTN.com audio archive.
Find out more about: Teleconferences