When sports fans see something new and odd on the shelves of their local grocery store, it’s almost become tradition to take a picture of it and tweet it to ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell). Rovell tweeted a couple of the latest Big Ten-related items he’s had sent his way Monday. One was a bottle of Ohio State ketchup, which happened to be on sale, and the other was Michigan branded Pop-Tarts.
The Big Ten announced its 2012 men’s soccer Preseason Coaches’ Poll and Players to Watch List on Tuesday, with the conference’s last two regular-season champs tied at the top. Northwestern, fresh off its first Big Ten title, and 2012 champ Indiana were picked as the conference favorites.
Believe it or not, BTN will celebrate its fifth anniversary later this month. The big day is Aug. 30, to be exact. As a way to celebrate – not to mention kill time before the 2012 season kicks off – I’m spotlighting some of the great careers during our time on the air. I’ll do it in the mold of “Big Ten’s Best,” our popular countdown show that returns this fall for another season of ranking the best in Big Ten history. My fifth list ranks the top five individual seasons of the BTN era.
SI.com’s Andy Staples knows the Big Ten. Not only does he cover the beat for SI.com, he is a frequent guest of ours on “Big Ten Football & Beyond.” Staples posted his Big Ten 2012 Conference Report on Monday, and it’s a great read. The biggest thing that stands out has to be Staples’ prediction for Purdue: 5-7, 2-6.
Another week before the college football season kicks off is in the books. Now, it’s less than two weeks before Minnesota travels to UNLV for the Big Ten’s first game Thursday, Aug. 30. What happened in the last week? Check out BTN.com’s top 10 stories from the week that was in this post.
The BTN bus tour has entered the final stretch, with three stops remaining. Today, we’re at Penn State to get our first look at the Nittany Lions under Bill O’Brien. You can find all of my tour previews and recaps over here. I’m also providing updates via Twitter. Don’t forget to check out my colleagues @BTNDaveRevsine, @GerryDiNardo, and @HowardGriffith, too. Now, let’s get to my Monday links.
Throughout the seasons, I answer your Big Ten football and basketball questions in my Big Ten Mailbag. During the BTN summer bus tour, I’m fielding questions along our 3,000-plus mile trek across Big Ten country. We saw Ohio State practice Saturday (recap), and excited Buckeye fans sent me their questions. Read all of my answers to your latest Big Ten questions in this post. If you have a question, send it to me in the box at the bottom of this post or tweet it to me (@BTNTomDienhart). We’re at Penn State practice Monday (preview).