Andrew Weber-US Presswire
Please tell me you aren’t shocked by news that Michigan State running back Le’Veon Bell is going pro a year early. Running backs have only so many carries in their body. And Bell already has used up a lot of them at Michigan State. In three years, he ran 671 times for 3,346 yards and 33 touchdowns. He also caught 78 passes, which surely will impress NFL scouts.
Phil Sears-USA TODAY Sports
Every week this season, Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) and myself (@BTNBrentYarina) offered our predictions for each Big Ten football game and provided polls for fans to pick their winners. We continued it this bowl season, and BTN.com fans and Dienhart each went 7-0, meaning the former claims the 2012 crown.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
In the opening game of the conference season, Minnesota held serve at home by pulling away from Michigan State in the final minutes. Over the last 10 minutes of the game, the Gophers outscored the Spartans 22-6, erasing a three-point lead by MSU. This was a game between two teams that play very similar styles. For the most part, neither squad is blessed with outside shooting, and they know it—only Purdue shoots fewer three-pointers than these teams.
Andre Hollins had 22 points and six assists and Rodney Williams added 15 points and six rebounds to lift No. 9 Minnesota to a 76-63 victory over No. 18 Michigan State on Monday. Trevor Mbakwe had 11 points and 12 rebounds and the Golden Gophers (13-1, 1-0 Big Ten) shot 56.6 percent to open conference play with an emphatic victory over a team that has owned them for years.
This may be the last day of 2012, but it’s the first for Big Ten league hoop action. What a great place to begin my daily links!
Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
Following Saturday night’s narrow 17-16 victory over TCU in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, BTN’s Lisa Byington caught up with juniors Le’Veon Bell and William Gholston to discuss each star’s upcoming career decision. Do they forgo their senior campaign and enter the NFL draft, or do they come back for their final year and try to improve their stock? Watch their answers now.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
And just like that, it’s time for the Big Ten season to tip. It was a highly successful nonconference season, with the Big Ten owning the national polls. We have even more to look forward in the coming months, however, as many feel this could be one of the better conference races in recent history. Check out my All-Big Ten Nonconference Teams in this post.