Alabama put the finishing touches on the 2012 season with an annihilation of Notre Dame in the BCS championship game. And, never in the history of college football has a 42-14 score been so misleading. Truth be told: It wasn’t really that close. So, that’s three BCS titles in four years for Bama, and then seven in a row for the SEC. Maybe Ohio State can put an end to this SEC dominance in the near future. Until then, let’s kick off the daily links with a gander at the final polls, which still mean something in college football. Coaches’ Rankings Rankings as
Bill O’Brien is a terrific coach. We saw that in just one season of work at Penn State. He walked into an untenable situation and promptly led a shorthanded team to an 8-4 record (6-2 Big Ten) when most forecast gloom. But, much heavy lifting remains. And O’Brien is going to be around for it. That has the message hammered home during a press conference today at Penn State, in which O’Brien addressed a variety of issues. On if a donor had ponied up $1.3 million to get him to stay: “No. You can ask anyone that knows me; in
No doubt, Wisconsin’s loss to Stanford in the Rose Bowl was disappointing. But, hopes are high for 2013, says Tom Mulhern of the Wisconsin State Journal. And that’s where I’m gonna start my daily links. Yes, in the Leaders Division, Wisconsin will have to deal with an Ohio State that is loaded and off probation, but the Badgers still will be formidable. Lots of talent returns, as 16 players who started the Rose Bowl will be back, bolstered by 26 juniors. Some areas to watch: The receivers and tight ends need to become more productive, and the secondary needs to
News of the Big Ten title game percolates, with kickoff set for 8:17 pm ET on Saturday in Indianapolis. One of the interesting stories is Wisconsin quarterback Curt Phillips, a fifth-year senior who will be making just his fourth career start. Read about that—and other conference grid news—in my daily links. Phillips’ story of perseverance and never giving up despite suffering multiple knee injuries is impressive. It’s quite a contrast to Nebraska counterpart Taylor Martinez, who emerged as a star as a true freshman and never has looked back. For either of their teams to win, they will need to
Suffice it to say, 2012 wasn’t a banner year for Iowa. The 4-8 Hawkeyes are coming off the program’s worst season since 2000 and are riding a six-game losing skein. There will be no bowl for the first time since 2007. So, Iowa now points to winter conditioning and prep work for 2013. What’s next? Read about that and other juicy items in my daily links. The future looks better, perhaps. Hawkeyes will welcome back nine starters on offense, as Iowa’s top three rushers in 2012 will return but no signal-caller will have thrown a pass. But Pat Harty of
Are Ohio State and Wisconsin rivals? Apparently so. Sure, Buckeyes-Badgers isn’t on par with Buckeyes-Wolverines. It’s not even close. Still, it’s a rivalry. Check that out and other newsy tidbits in my daily links. The burgeoning Wisconsin-Ohio State feud was fueled the last time the Buckeyes visited Madison in 2010. Ohio State arrived with a No. 1 ranking and left with a 31-18 loss that cost the Buckeyes a shot at playing for the national title. Last year, Ohio State knocked off Wisconsin, 33-29, with a game-winning touchdown pass in the waning seconds. What’s a stake this Saturday? Ohio State
Happy Thursday to you, Big Ten Nation! It certainly must be a happy one for Wisconsin’s Curt Phillips, who according to reports will be the quarterback for Wisconsin at Indiana. Read about that and other Big Ten news in my daily links. I’ll be honest: I’m shocked about Phillips. I thought Bret Bielema would opt for the more proven and experienced Danny O’Brien. But Philips, a fifth-year senior who has overcome three knee injuries and didn’t play in 2010 and 2011, apparently will be the guy, says Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Philips is more of a run-first
Happy Election Day, Big Ten denizens! But before you get out and vote—if you haven’t already—read these Big Ten links. Fittingly, they begin with a big decision that has to be made at Wisconsin. See what I just did there? Big. Decision. It’s Election Day. OK, forget it and read on. The big question looming at Wisconsin: Who will start at quarterback? It’s between Curt Philips, who has had three surgeries on his right knee and hasn’t thrown a pass in 2012, and Maryland transfer Danny O’Brien, who has three starts this year but hasn’t looked great—especially in the second
Welcome to the calm before the storm of football Saturday. First up on my Friday links is a look at Michigan. I’m gonna go ahead and call the Wolverines’ game at Minnesota a must-win if they want to stay in the Legends Division race – just look at the standings. So, what is it that the Wolverines must do to defeat the Golden Gophers? Kyle Meinke of MLive.com tells us here. A big key: getting more production from running back Fitz Toussaint. Yes, the line may be having issues opening holes, but at some point, Toussaint has to make plays.
Among my other daily links from around the Big Ten, Doug Lesmerises of the Cleveland Plain Dealer got an exclusive interview with New York Jets quarterback Tim Tebow. You may have heard of him. In addition to being known for an iconic pose, Tebow once was a Heisman winning quarterback for Urban Meyer at Florida. Lesmerises talked to Tebow about a variety of subjects, including Buckeye quarterback Braxton Miller. What advice would Tebow give Miller? Now my other links … *** Check out this uplifting story—among my other daily links from around the Big Ten–from Marcus Fuller of the St.