Several Big Ten teams took to the diamond Friday as the Big Ten softball regular season comes to a close this weekend. Illinois softball suffered a pair of losses against Northwestern, falling in game one, 3-2, before dropping the second contest, 7-3. Watch highlights of that game now and jump inside for more, including baseball wrap-ups from Seattle University vs. Ohio State where Aaron Craft made a cameo visit.
The Big Ten will be bolstered by the return of nine starting quarterbacks in 2012. The only schools breaking in new starters under center are Michigan State (Kirk Cousins gone), Northwestern (Dan Persa gone) and Wisconsin (Russell Wilson gone). Without a doubt here, Michigan’s Denard Robinson looks like the top quarterback in the league. Could he become the first Big Ten quarterback to win the Heisman since Ohio State’s Troy Smith turned the trick in 2006?
Before we get to Friday’s Big Ten news links, let’s review the week. Monday’s post asked , “Which college fo0tball playoff format do you prefer?” On Tuesday and Wednesday we looked at the buzz around next year’s top offensive and defensive stars. And Thursday’s post included a possible college football playoff tweak, next year’s NFL Draft prospects, and a singing coach. My bookmark-friendly weekday links are always here, and you get the RSS over here.
Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany says teams that don’t win their division shouldn’t be part of a playoff. Good idea? Bad idea? I’ll tell you what I think, then you tell me what you think, but only after you check out my take on Thursday’s selected Big Ten football headlines.
On one hand, he’s often the most popular player on campus. On the other hand, you may not even know his name. He’s the backup quarterback. If he’s pressed into duty, it usually means one of two things: 1. The starter got hurt. 2. The starter was, ahem, ineffective. Knowing all this, it’s time for you to get to know your school’s No. 2 signal-caller. Here’s is how I rank ‘em.
The Big Ten Baseball Tournament right around the corner, which means the NCAA baseball tourney isn’t far away either. A number of sites are rolling out their tourney projections, including PerfectGame.org. Writer Kendall Roger has Purdue winning the Big Ten’s automatic bid as the No. 1 seed in the Gary Regional, one of sixteen regional brackets in the 64-team tournament. By the way, we featured Purdue’s baseball team earlier this season so you can get to know the squad by watching the video in this post.
Danny Hope admits that this is his best team at Purdue. He enters his fourth season in West Lafayette with a 16-21 record (10-14 Big Ten) after first arriving from Eastern Kentucky as Purdue’s head-coach-in-waiting in 2008 under Joe Tiller. Hope assumed command in 2009 and guided Purdue to its first bowl since 2007 last season, when the Boilers downed Western Michigan in the Little Caesar’s Bowl.