Tuesday night on “Big Ten Football Report,” Gerry DiNardo visited Lincoln, Neb., to catch up with Nebraska offensive coordinator Tim Beck and watch film of the Cornhuskers’ offense this spring. Yes, quarterback Taylor Martinez’s progression as a passer was a popular topic. Also, Howard Griffith visited with Michigan State’s William Gholston, one of the nation’s most feared defenders.
Who is the longest-tenured coach at his Big Ten school? It’s Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz, who is entering his 14th season in Iowa City. And as he embarks on another spring practice, he faces a unique set of challenges he never before has encountered. Chief among the challenges is developing chemistry on a coaching staff that long has been a beacon of stability but has been shaken up like never before on Ferentz’s watch. On top of the staff overhaul, Ferentz also has some key personnel issues to deal with this spring. I caught up with the Iowa coach this week to discuss those issues—and others.
Lots buzzing around Big Ten football gridirons on this day, with Michigan State taking the wraps off its spring drills. And questions loom, as you’ll see in this post. I talked to Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald today, and he has some pretty passionate feelings about protecting the sanctity of the bowl experience for student-athletes. More to come from Fitz later. Here’s some interesting items that I came across today.
Let’s say you were running for Student Body President — how would you separate yourself from the competition, make yourself stand out? Whatever you came up with, Purdue’s Ishmael Aristide just topped you. The safety is going all “Old Spice” on Purdue’s campus to promote his presidency and QB Rob Henry’s vice presidency. Watch Aristide’s spot, plus Henry’s, in this post.
Find out more about: Gone Viral, Purdue's Best
Former Maryland QB Danny O’Brien visited Penn State again Monday as the Nittany Lions opened spring practice and the Bill O’Brien era. Of much interest, O’Brien, who also was in State College, Pa., a week ago, donned a Penn State jacket. What does this mean for the transfer who’s also visited Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Wisconsin? Perhaps nothing more than it was cool and O’Brien needed another layer. See a picture of O’Brien and a relevant tweet in this post.
Find out more about: Gone Viral
Big week in Big Ten football, as the last three schools begin spring practice this week. Penn State kicks off today; Michigan State on Tuesday; Ohio State on Wednesday. If you can believe it, the first spring games will begin on April 14. Clean up your Weber Smokey Joes and mark your calendars.
The Urban Meyer era has dawned at Ohio State. And with it comes big dreams—national championship dreams. Why not? Meyer led Florida to BCS titles in 2006 and 2008. Yes, Ohio State is ineligible for the Big Ten title and a bowl this season as it serves probation incurred under Jim Tressel. But Meyer still wants to lay the foundation for future greatness for a team that went 6-7 last season, the program’s first losing season since going 4-6-1 under John Cooper in 1988 and the school’s first seven-loss season since 1897.
Find out more about: Football Fix, Roundtable