When you think of Nebraska, you don’t typically think of receivers. You think ground-pounding offenses that play physical football behind big lines and star running backs. Well, this year’s edition of the Cornhuskers has some very good receivers. In fact, it’s the best collection in the Big Ten. Here’s my ranking of the Big Ten receiving units.
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Forget classification for a moment, Michigan’s Mitch McGary and Glenn Robinson III and Michigan State’s Gary Harris should be mentioned among the nation’s elite any time it comes to 2013-14 outlooks. Consequently, it was quite the surprise not to see any of the three guys featured on ESPN.com Myron Medcalf’s impactful sophomores list.
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The Big Ten lost its top two rushers in Michigan State’s Le’Veon Bell and Wisconsin’s Montee Ball. And Nebraska standout Rex Burkhead also is gone. But most of the conference’s other top running backs are back. Here is how I rank the Big Ten running back units, and it’s my latest look at how the various football teams units stack up by position. Read the others right here. Agree? Disagree? Tell me in the comments below, email me about here, or track me down on Twitter (@BTNTomDienhart).
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Quarterback play hasn’t been at an elite level in the Big Ten in recent years. In fact, many feel that’s one reason for the conference’s struggles. But this year’s collection of passers teems with potential.
What would it be like to move to a new country, play one year of high school football, and then go on to become one of the greatest placekickers in NFL history? That’s exactly what happened with former Michigan State All-American kicker Morten Andersen. I recently spoke with Andersen and asked him to share some of his best, untold stories during his playing days at Michigan State.
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This time of year, it’s always fun to look at the rosters and try to pick out the conference’s breakout stars. A year ago, if you had your eye on, say, Venric Mark, Allen Robinson, Jake Ryan or Ryan Shazier, you hit it out of the park. It’s time to go out on a limb and offer my top five candidates for who will go from an under-the-radar player to a household name in 2013.
The Big Ten announced Tuesday its 2013 All-Big Ten teams and individual award winners. Big Ten champion Indiana was well represented, as it took home Pitcher of the Year (Aaron Slegers) and Coach of the Year (Tracy Smith). Illinois’ Justin Parr was named Player of the Year and Kevin Duchene earned Freshman of the Year honors. See the teams in this post.