The calendar says 2012, but it may as well be 1975. The Big Ten is all about Michigan and Ohio State on this Signing Day, hearkening to days of the “Big Two and the Little Eight.” Only in today’s world, it’s the “Big Two and the Little 10.” According to Scout.com, Ohio State and Michigan dominated the Big Ten in recruiting.
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There’s a designer out there, Charles Sollars, who is designing FAUX Nike Pro Combat helmets for BCS conference schools. While the helmets are just concepts and something he does as a hobby, I assume, they’re still really fun for all of us to consider and critique. Many of the lids are pretty cool, too. He has a design for every Big Ten school — some good, some ridiculous — and you can see them in this post.
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Urban Meyer took the strong start by Luke Fickell and company and closed even stronger. The Buckeyes flipped several players committed to other schools, including five-star defensive tackle Tommy Schutt and four-star offensive tackle Taylor Decker.
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Illinois picked up a much needed home victory over Michigan State, and Illini fans would probably appreciate if the discussion ended right there. It was about as ugly as basketball can get, with turnovers and missed shots aplenty. The Spartans had more missed shots than points, and their 26.7 effective field goal percentage represented the program’s worst shooting night in at least 15 seasons (I only have eFG data back to 1997-98). To top it all off, conference player of the year contender Draymond Green, who hadn’t played anyway much due to foul trouble, left the game late with an apparent injury. Green has been diagnosed with a sprained left knee and is considered day-to-day, which is certainly better than many of the possible alternatives.
LeBron James’ ridiculous dunk against Chicago on Sunday and Blake Griffin’s silly slam against Oklahoma City on Monday got us thinking about the best dunks of the 2011-12 Big Ten season. Rodney Williams, Victor Oladipo and Sam Thompson’s highlights immediately come to mind, but there have been so many other memorable dunks. See my top 10 slams in this post. Did I forget a dunk? If so, click “other” on the poll or enter your selection in the comment box at the bottom of this post. Also, check out a collection of our dunk-centric highlights with our Did You See This? archive.
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Following back-to-back losses to Ohio State and Penn State, the Iowa wrestling team rebounded with a 19-17 victory over Minnesota this past weekend. The win also helped Iowa’s 125-pound wrestler Matt McDonough nab Big Ten Wrestler of the Week honors. Kara Lentz recaps all of the action, and BTN analysts Tim Johnson and Jim Gibbons look ahead to the weekend’s upcoming matches between Michigan-Ohio State and Nebraska-Minnesota. Both events can be seen on BTN and BTN2Go.
The race for top honors continues to be a battle between Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger and Michigan State’s Draymond Green. But the Big Ten also is marked by good point guard play, with players like Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor, Michigan State’s Keith Appling, Michigan’s Trey Burke, Ohio State’s Aaron Craft, Purdue’s Lewis Jackson and Penn State’s Tim Frazier, among others, excelling.
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