CHICAGO – Face paint, chants, cheerleaders, marching bands, pep rallies, grilling and die-hard fans are all part of the excitement surrounding Big Ten football. BTN gives fans an inside look at how Big Ten campuses prepare for game day with its new show Tailgate 48, presented by Omaha Steaks. Tailgate 48 kicks off with a trip to Camp Randall Stadium to capture the pregame festivities and party atmosphere as Wisconsin hosted Nebraska in the Huskers’ Big Ten debut. The new eight-episode series airs at 7 PM ET Thursdays beginning tomorrow.
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A trio of Big Ten products land on ESPN.com’s Rookie Watch, which ranks the NFL’s top 10 rookies every week. Ryan Kerrigan (Purdue) leads the group, at No. 3, up four spots form last week, J.J. Watt (Wisconsin) comes in at No. 7 and Adrian Clayborn (Iowa) rounds out the contingent, at No. 9. Kerrigan skyrocketed up the list after recording another sack Sunday, his third sack in as many games. Here’s what Matt Williamson said about Kerrigan: “Kerrigan continues to make big plays. He is a game-changer. And Kerrigan now has a sack in three straight games. Having Brian Orakpo on the opposite side certainly helps Kerrigan’s cause, but this guy is a fine player already in his own right.”
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Penn State coach Joe Paterno is getting rid of his cane and says he’ll be on the sidelines this week. That’s just one of the tidbits you can hear in the audio from the weekly Big Ten Conference football coaches teleconference with reporters. Read the selected tweets from @B1Gfootball at the conference office, then listen to any of the 12 Big Ten football coaches now.
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Sporting News has released its annual Best Sports Cities: The list from 1 to 271, and Big Ten cities are very well represented. Three cities land in the top 15, headlined by Chicago, which includes Evanston, at No. 4, and 11 of the 12 schools land in the top 100. Dallas-Fort Worth came in at No. 1, while Boston, Philadelphia and New York round out the top 5. How’s the list constructed? Sporting News assigns point values to various categories, including but not limited to, won-lost records, postseason appearances, applicable power ratings, number of teams and attendance. See where all the Big Ten cities land in this post.
“Big Ten Football & Beyond” analyzes the latest news around the Big Ten and the nation at 7 p.m. ET Wednesday on BTN. Join Dave Revsine, Gerry DiNardo, Chris Martin, Teddy Greenstein and Andy Staples as they discuss the wide open Legends Division following Wisconsin’s rout of Nebraska, the Ohio State turmoil and dissension and the latest realignment rumors. Our crew also will break down Michigan’s much-improved defense, its up-to-date Heisman candidates, plus an under-the-radar selection, and offer up its scouting reports on undefeated Stanford and Clemson.
From Archie Griffin to Eddie George to Ron Dayne to many others, the Big Ten always seems to boast its share of nationally acclaimed running backs. While no Big Ten back took home the Heisman Trophy during the 2000s, there were worthy candidates. For example, Mike Hart, who finished fifth in 2006, after rushing for 1,562 yards and 14 touchdowns, or Larry Johnson, who in 2002 became the first back to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season (2,087) and not bring home the trophy. Throughout the decade, Big Ten backfields had great talents, and that’s clear when one takes a look at our top 10 list. Watch a clip from Tuesday’s show and see the complete list in this post.
Seeing as how “The Next Level” crew spends much of the football season analyzing the transition from the college game to the NFL, who better to consult about the differences between the two levels than Big Ten products in the NFL? That’s exactly what the show did Tuesday night with a piece featuring former Big Ten standouts on the Chicago Bears, including Anthony Adams, Gabe Carimi, Kellen Davis and Dane Sanzenbacher, among others. So what did the Big Ten products say? You’ll have to watch the feature to figure out. Also, check out our interview with Michigan State defensive tackle Jerel Worthy in this post.