Football season is here, and that means it’s time to shift our focus to the Week 1 slate. Every Big Ten school is in action in the opening week, starting with reigning co-Big Ten champ Wisconsin hosting UNLV on Thursday night and finishing up with Indiana entertaining Ball State on Saturday night. That said, it’s time to kick off my weekly Big Ten Football Previews. Here’s your Week 1 addition:
Find out more about: Weekly B1G Previews
There will be plenty of great Big Ten games during the conference season for the Leaders Division. Conference play starts off with a bang on October 1st, with two much-anticipated match-ups: Michigan State at Ohio State and Nebraska at Wisconsin. Ohio State hasn’t lost a conference opener since 2004, but that could change when it faces the Spartans. Wisconsin, meanwhile, becomes the first team to take on Nebraska in conference play when the Cornhuskers visit Camp Randall. Things won’t get any easier for Nebraska after that, as they play host to Ohio State the following week. Watch now as Dave Revsine gives you the rundown of all the great Leaders Division match-ups.
Chances are, you’re no stranger to auto-tune, the audio processor that ESPN has made popular with its “Ultimate Highlight.” The Indiana football program turned to the technology to create a commercial that promotes 2011 ticket sales. In it, Wilson, in addition to several Hoosiers, talk about what it’s going to take to turn around the program. The commercial also shows clips from fall practice, the first for Indiana under Wilson, the former Oklahoma offensive coordinator.
Every week during the college football season, Brent Yarina posts his latest Big Ten Power Rankings. With the season kicking off Thursday — Wisconsin hosts UNLV in the Big Ten’s lone game on opening night — he figured it’s time to unveil his Week 1 edition. As a reminder, these rankings are not meant to mimic the Big Ten standings. What fun would that be? They aren’t scientific, either. They’re simply Brent’s thoughts on where each Big Ten team stands after its latest game and entering its next contest. Agree? Disagree? Tweet him: @BTNBrentYarina.
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Hawkeye, the dog who garnered plenty of attention all over the world for lying next to the casket of a slain Navy SEAL, might lead the Iowa football team onto the field. On Tuesday, Iowa announced it will honor Hawkeye’s owner, Jon Tumilson, an Iowa native who died on August 6 in Afghanistan, as part of a commemoration of Veteran’s Day. A former Hawkeye player recommended having Hawkeye lead Iowa onto the field before Saturday’s season opener — an idea that many got behind — and Iowa plans to work with Tumlinson’s family to decide what role Hawkeye might play.
Michigan Stadium isn’t the only iconic Big Ten football stadium introducing new features for the 2011 football season. Penn State’s Beaver Stadium added several significant upgrades, including a new entry gate (Gate F) and eight new restroom facilities. The improvements began immediately following the 2010 season and were completed in two phases, according to the school. Watch a tour of the new additions here.
What if Nebraska had been a Big Ten Conference member for the past 15 seasons and the 12 schools competed in two six-team divisions for a decade and a half? BTN.com partnered with WhatIfSports and Narrative Science to simulate those mythical Big Ten Conference football seasons. Below is the 2010 season. Click here for the other seasons.
Find out more about: WhatIfSports 2011