CHICAGO — College sports have been awash in change in recent years. And change isn’t always easy or welcome. But, it’s inevitable for progress to be achieved. It’s an exciting time. And it’s also a time of challenge, as the collegiate model is on the precipice of forever being altered through remarkable NCAA reform—the biggest change of all in these turbulent times of lawsuits, union talk and expansion as leagues position themselves for the 21st Century. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany has been a central figure in this coming new-world of collegiate athletics, helping shape tomorrow with other college leaders.
Big Ten media days kicked off Monday in Chicago, and every Big Ten school covered the day on Twitter, among other social media sites. See a couple tweets from each school in this post. ILLINOIS Triple view of #Illini TE Jon Davis (@JD3_ILLI) with @BigTenNetwork at #B1GMediaDay pic.twitter.com/0nmfR056P2 — Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) July 28, 2014 The #B1GMediaDay grind continues for @coachbeckman. #illini #B1G pic.twitter.com/dYnNapNolX — Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) July 28, 2014 INDIANA #B1GMediaDay Press Conference time for @IUCoachWilson #IUFBinCHI #GoIU pic.twitter.com/b055Dw1b6T — Indiana Football (@HoosierFootball) July 28, 2014 Deep dish pizza in Chicago? Check. #IUFBinCHI pic.twitter.com/VaAhcywpG7 — Indiana Football (@HoosierFootball)
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald clarified comments he recently made about Nebraska fans. “It’s a pretty boring state, so they’re really excited to see Chicago,” Fitzgerald told the Chicago Tribune last week. “I talked to the state senator about putting state troopers out on I-80 (to block them.)” As you could image, those words stirred things up in Nebraska. Fitzgerald said he wasn’t trying to call-out Nebraska fans or take a shot at them. But he was bummed his own fans had allowed so many Cornhuskers fans to get tickets to Ryan Field when Nebraska came to Evanston in 2012. [MORE:
Looking for a bounce-back team? Look no further than Northwestern in what should be an intriguing and wide-open Big Ten West race. The Wildcats began 2013 glowing, coming off five bowls in a row with dreams of a division title dancing in their head. But after a 4-0 start, NU slumped to a 5-7 mark. Close losses were killer. There was a three-point defeat to Minnesota; seven to Iowa; three to Nebraska; and a triple-overtime loss to Michigan. The Wildcats have 18 starters backs and are thinking big—again. Why not? Few coaches emote positivity better than Pat Fitzgerald. [MORE: Read
Thousands of Big Ten fans and runners came out for the third annual BTN Big 10K in Chicago on Saturday and ran along the city’s lakefront with a variety of Big Ten celebrities, mascots and cheerleaders. Have a look at a few videos from the event and come back Monday for more photos. If you have our free BTN2Go app, you can go back watch the finish line all over again right here. And don’t forget to bookmark BTNBig10k.com for next year’s event.
With Big Ten media days Monday and Tuesday in Chicago, BTN.com asked one writer from every school to help compose our 2014 preseason All-Big Ten Team. Each writer picked a first-team offense and defense, plus superlative winners, and the players who amassed the most overall votes, by position, made the team. See the team and how each writer voted in this post. [ MORE: Tom Dienhart’s media day questions | Which players are attending media days? ] 2014 BIG TEN WRITERS’ PRESEASON ALL-BIG TEN TEAM Editor’s note: First-team honorees are listed in bold, with their total votes, and unanimous selections
Every college, it seems, has at least one well-known celebrity backer, whether it be on the gridiron, the hardwood, the diamond or the mat. But who are those figures in the Big Ten? I asked our Twitter followers that very question, and then came up with this list of the top celebrity fans for all 14 Big Ten schools. Here we go. Illinois: Bill Murray Born and raised in Wilmette, Illinois, a northern suburb of Chicago, Murray is a huge Fighting Illini fan. In fact, Murray followed the 2005 Illini hoops team from the Chicago Regional to the national title
Like traveling? You might want to check into becoming a Big Ten mascot. In the last month alone, the mascots have been in New York, Washington D.C. and, finally, Chicago. Everybody’s favorite furry friends are in our home city to help promote the BTN Big 10K on Saturday. Speaking of the race, you can watch a live stream of the finish line. Find out how. Anyway, check out some of the best photos from the mascots’ tour of Chicago. Ever been to the Skydeck? You should. @TheIowaHawkeyes #Herky must have felt right at home up on #TheLedge with the other
The Big Ten no longer releases a preseason football poll, but the team at cleveland.com polled 29 Big Ten writers to compile their own poll. The voters picked Ohio State and Wisconsin to win the East and West, respectively, with the Buckeyes garnering 23-first place votes and the Badgers 15 first-place nods. Nineteen of the voters picked Ohio State to win the Big Ten title, while Michigan State (9) and Nebraska (1) also received votes. [ MORE: Voters pick Calhoun to win DPOY | Miller OPOY ] Here are the full results. EAST 1. Ohio State, 195 points (23 first-place
Big Ten media days kick off Monday in Chicago. Myriad queries will be asked by reporters, but not all of them will be posed or answered. Me? I have a long list of questions—101, to be exact–as we sit on the precipice of the 2014 season. So, for a little fun, I shared my questions with colleagues Brent Yarina and Sean Merriman to see their answers. We broke the activity into two parts, and you can see the second installment here. [ MORE: 101 questions for Big Ten media days: Part I ] 51. Will Braxton Miller win a third