Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
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).
Greg Bartram-US PRESSWIRE
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.
While Round 1 of the Big Ten Helmet Bracket was all chalk, Round 2 featured a couple upsets, including this stunner: No. 4 Indiana over No. 1 Ohio State. Big Ten fans advanced the Hoosiers, in a 54%-46% decision, setting up a Leaders Division final of Indiana vs. No. 3 Penn State.
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.
Matthew O'Haren-USA TODAY Sports
Bill O’Brien’s debut was a success, as Penn State finished 8-4 after opening 0-2 during a season wrapped in tumult. But the Nittany Lions may be in for a long season, as the effects of NCAA probation begin to sink in. Penn State will operate with just 67 scholarships, so any attrition could be devastating for a team that’s still ineligible for the postseason or to win the league championship.
The Detroit Free Press has a neat piece that chronicles the salaries of Big Ten assistant coaches. Look here and here.
Rich Barnes-US PRESSWIRE
It was all chalk in the opening round of our Big Ten helmet bracket. The biggest winner: Michigan State routed Northwestern, 71 percent to 29 percent. Now, it’s time for Round 2. See all of the matchups and cast your votes in this post.