You have questions, I have answers in this week’s mailbag. Many of you are still in football mode, wondering about the recently completed bowl season—while also wanting to sneak a peek toward 2012. Here we go. Just judging from the Big Ten’s recent bowl records, is there anything that can be done either from an administrative standpoint or otherwise to make the conference more competitive in bowl games?– Stephanie What is the league gonna do? These things just go in cycles. The Big Ten will bounce back and started to do so in this postseason in forging a 4-6 record.
How exciting would it be to see Wisconsin play USC in the Rose Bowl to kick off a season? Well, It could happen under a new partnership announced today by the Big Ten and Pac-12 that will include inter-conference scheduling across all sports as well as cross-promotion on each league’s TV network. “It’s sort of in lieu of what some other people are doing (with expansion),” Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. “Our idea is you can’t stand still. You have to build in an environment where people are competing for attention, where they’re competing to have the best competitive
Illinois released a statement Tuesday announcing that sophomore guard Crandall Head has left the Illinois basketball program. Head played in 26 career games with the Illini, averaging 1.2 points. Last season he played in 17 games and nine games this season. “We are disappointed with Crandall’s decision not to continue his career at Illinois, but ultimately we want what is best for him,” Illinois coach Bruce Weber said in the statement. “I still have love for my teammates and coaches and wish them the best, but I’ve come to the decision that I need to make a fresh start,” Head
Wisconsin suffered a big blow with offensive coordinator Paul Chryst taking the Pitt job. In eight seasons at Wisconsin, Chryst built some of the nation’s top offenses while at Wisconsin, helping lead the Badgers to consecutive Rose Bowl appearances the past two seasons. His Wisconsin offense is averaging 44.6 points and 466.9 yards per game entering the Rose Bowl with Oregon on Jan. 2 for a program that has gone 60-18 the past six seasons. Over the past three seasons, the Badgers have the Big Ten’s best record (32-7). And Chryst’s offense has averaged 39.3 points during that span. Chryst
It had been speculated, and now it’s true: Everett Withers has been hired as co-defensive coordinator and assistant head coach at Ohio State. Withers was the interim head coach at North Carolina this season after Butch Davis was fired in July. Withers, who also was UNC’s defensive coordinator, guided the Tar Heels to a 7-5 mark and spot in the Independence Bowl vs. Missouri on December 26. Withers has an extensive background that includes stops at Minnesota, Texas, Louisville and with the Tennessee Titans, among other places. Ohio State also announced today that it will retain Mike Vrabel, pushing new
On tonight’s Big Ten Football Report, our Rick Pizzo, Gerry Dinardo and Howard Griffith get you updated on the latest in college football, including the NCAA sanctions on Ohio State and how the penalties will impact the Buckeyes moving forward. Also, we look ahead to the bowl games and the most intriguing story lines, including a look at Marcus Coker’s suspension for the Insight Bowl. Our handy bowl game schedule with TV and game times is right here, too. It’s also good time for you to read BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s Big Ten football season reviews. Dienhart also ranked
Every Sunday night during the hoops season, BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina recaps the week that was on the men’s hardwood and hands out his weekly honors. See Brent’s latest installment, for action from Dec. 12-18, in this post. And get ready for the coming week of Big Ten action with our Big Ten scoreboard. Also, watch our latest installment of the Big Ten Blast right now. Player of the week: Deshaun Thomas, Ohio State – No Jared Sullinger, no problem. With the preseason Big Ten Player of the Year forced to the bench early Saturday at South Carolina, Thomas
The Big Ten was well represented on the AP All-America team, with nine players tabbed. Illinois DE Whitney Mercilus, Michigan C David Molk, Michigan State DT Jerel Worthy, Penn State DT Devon Still and Wisconsin RB Montee Ball and G Kevin Zeitler were all first-teamers, while Nebraska LB Lavonte David and Wisconsin C Peter Konz earned second-team honors, and Ohio State DT John Simon was a third-team pick. Most impressive, Mercilus, Still and Worthy represent three of the four defensive lineman on the first team. Yeah, it was that kind of year for the Big Ten in the trenches. The
In today’s Big Ten Blast, we touch on Illinois advancing to the National Semifinal round of the NCAA Women’s Volleyball Tournament for the third time in school history and the first time in 23 years. The Illini reached back-to-back Final Fours in 1987 and 1988. In Thursday’s NCAA Semifinal Match Illinois (31-4) faces USC (29-4) at 9 p.m. ET. Read more at FightingIllini.com and track the entie tournament at NCAA.com. In other news, Jerry Sandusky waived his preliminary hearing. Find the latest headlines on the Penn State scandal on the team report page.
Week 14 of the NFL season is in the books, and Big Ten products compiled some impressive days. All season long, use our Big Ten NFL Stat Tracker to see how ex-Big Ten stars perform. Simply click on a player’s name, and the link will lead you to his NFL.com game log. Every Tuesday, Brent Yarina singles out the best offensive, defensive and special teams performances, plus links to their NFL.com highlights. See Brent’s Week 14 winners in this post. Offense: Shonn Greene, New York Jets – The former Hawkeye running back ran for a season-high 129 yards and had