Penn State announced extra security measures for Saturday’s football game as well as any home athletic events through Sunday. “Bags of any sort, including purses, will not be permitted at the Bryce Jordan Center, Greenburg Ice Pavilion, Jeffrey Field and Rec Hall,” the school announced. A,so, all fans at the football game are encouraged to wear blue. Also fans are encouraged to arrive at the football stadium gates earlier than usual as the extra safety measures may delay fans entrance into the stadium. Inspections will be more deliberate and thorough, and the University’s regulation on bags will be strictly enforced.
Mike Hall reports an update on Penn State’s Board of Trustees asking interim head football coach Tom Bradley to keep assistant coach Mike McQueary off the field during Saturday’s game. Hall also has an update regarding Ohio State’s NCAA investigation. Watch it now in this post. Also, read a statement posted today from Interim Penn State President Rodney Erickson.
Wednesday morning, Penn State football coach Joe Paterno released a statement announcing his decision to retire at the end of the season. “I have come to work every day for the last 61 years with one clear goal in mind: To serve the best interests of this university and the young men who have been entrusted to my care. I have the same goal today. That’s why I have decided to announce my retirement effective at the end of this season.” Read the full statement here.
Lots of interesting storylines and angles to watch in Week 11, as the divisional chases firm up—at least a little. Two games will go a long way toward determining who wins each division: Michigan State at Iowa is a big Legends clash, while Nebraska at Penn State is a major Leaders encounter. But there also are other intriguing matchups this Saturday.
BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart chats live every Monday at noon ET during the football season. Did you miss it? We took questions for about an hour and Dienhart touched on the past weekend and he upcoming one, too. He was joined by BTN.com web editor Brent Yarina. Look back at the conversation we had and come back next Monday at 10:30 a.m. ET for the next football chat with Dienhart. Next chat will be here!
With Saturday at our doorstep, many questions nag: Can Wisconsin get back on track after losing two in a row? Should Michigan State be worried about its offense? Can Iowa stop anyone from running the ball? Is Michigan’s defense for real? Following is a look at those topics and what else to watch for this Saturday.
Illinois basketball player Crandall Head has been suspended for four games of the season for violation of team rules. Also, Iowa running back Mika’il McCall will play in Saturday’s game against Michigan after the true freshman was out with a broken ankle suffered in the season opener. Watch the Big Ten Blast now.
Have a Big Ten football question you want answered? I’m Tom Dienhart and I want you to fire off an email to me. This is a great place for us to interact, sharing our passion for all things Big Ten as the season prepares to hit the home stretch. This week, there were many good questions—as usual—but there was a theme in many emails that I received, asking: What are the tiebreakers to determine division champs? I address that, as well as—get this—a BASKETBALL question. Really.
The Big Ten is loaded with many good running backs (see the stats). In fact, it may be the deepest position in the conference. So, it should be no surprise that Penn State’s Silas Redd has taken over the No. 1 spot in my weekly ranking of the Top 25 players in the Big Ten.
Indiana had already begun to move along without receiver Damarlo Belcher, who was dismissed from the squad Monday for violating team rules. Belcher had started six games this season, but he missed the Iowa and North Texas games due to injury and was suspended for last week’s game against Northwestern. He paced Indiana with 25 catches for 286 yards and a touchdown.
This week’s guest list for The Big Ten Football Report at 7 p.m. ET includes: Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi, Illinois offensive coordinator Paul Petrino, Wisconsin running back Montee Ball and Nebraska radio football color commentator Matt Davison. We’ll also welcome into the studio BTN LiveBIG host Dhani Jones, who will breakdown the matchup between the Spartans’ defense and the Cornhuskers’ offense.
The Big Ten championship game won’t be played until December 3 in Indianapolis. But a de facto Legends Division game may be taking place at Nebraska this weekend. Michigan State plays at Nebraska in a game that will go a long way toward determining who will win the Legends Division. The Spartans are the lone unbeaten team in the division. The Cornhuskers have one loss—and likely can’t afford another. Bottom line: A win by Michigan State would give it a virtual stranglehold on the Legends Division race.
On tonight’s Big Ten Football & Beyond, at 7 p.m. ET, Dave Revsine and his cast of characters discuss what they learned about Wisconsin and Michigan State following last week’s unforgettable finish, analyze the latest developments in realignment and break down Saturday’s highly anticipated matchup between Nebraska’s offense and Michigan State’s defense.
The stretch drive of the season is entering a higher gear with two big matchups on tap in what looks like the best collection of games yet in 2011. The headliner is Michigan State at Nebraska in a key game that will determine pecking order in the Legends Division. The other tilt to watch is a big Leaders Division battle between Wisconsin at Ohio State. The Buckeyes are coming off an off week rested, ready and perhaps with a few new wrinkles. How will the Badgers respond coming off their first loss of the season? Come tell me in the comments box below, or drop me a note in my BTN.com mailbag.
Rob Christy-US PRESSWIRE
Prior to the 2011 college football season, the Big Ten announced the creation of 18 new trophies, including two for the new Big Ten Championship Game and two for postgraduate awards. Each trophy honors the Big Ten’s rich history, with two Big Ten legends’ last names on it (i.e. Nagurski-Woodson Defensive Player of the Year).
Last Saturday we posted a page with video clips of ten Big Ten football plays on it, one for each of the schools playing that day. Then we let fans rate any and all of the plays all week long right up until kickoff of the next games. In fact, if you missed the feature you can still rate the plays right here. Good news: We’re going to do this again for every football weekend left in the season, including the Dec. 3 Big Ten Championship. Right now, Iowa’s Tanner Miller has the highest-rated play. Watch it here.
In the latest installment of the Big Ten Blast, Kara Lentz provides updates on the condition of a pair of injured Big Ten wide receivers. It’s a case of good news in Madison, where Nick Toon practiced Tuesday and is scheduled to play Saturday night in Wisconsin’s highly anticipated game at Michigan State. And it’s a case of bad news in Happy Valley, where Derek Moye is expected to miss Penn State’s next two games. Both players are battling foot injuries.
BTN.com has partnered with UPickEm.com to let Big Ten fans rank some of the best plays every week on the gridiron. Click here to rank 10 of the Big Ten’s best plays from Week 7. This feature is fun and simple. Simply watch all 10 plays and rank them, from 1 (lowest) to 10 (highest). Your votes will help determine the week’s best play from here on out. The number of candidates will vary from week to week, depending on how many Big Ten teams are in action. Every week, BTN.com selects one play for each team to enter the contest. Watch our Northwestern-Iowa highlights from Saturday’s shootout on BTN.
Tonight on the Big Ten Football Report at 7 p.m. ET our crew of Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin and Tony Banks previews the first weekend of all divisional games with a host of interviews and analysis. We’ll be talking to a handful of head coaches including Penn State’s Joe Paterno, Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio, Illinois’ Ron Zook, and Iowa’s Kirk Ferentz. Plus, BTN LiveBIG host and Michigan product Dhani Jones (@DhaniJones) joins us in studio to talk with Banks about the Michigan-Michigan State rivalry and what it means to them.
The Big Ten offensive, defensive and special teams players of the week and freshman of the week for games on Oct. 8 were announced this morning by the Big Ten Conference. Who do you think won them? Find out inside and watch our latest edition of the Big Ten Blast.
Mike Hall, Rosevelt Colvin, and Tony Banks are getting ready for tonight’s Big Ten Football Report at 7 p.m. ET, which will set you up for Saturday morning. Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald joins us for an interview while we also take reports from Bloomington setting up Saturday’s Illinois-Indiana game. Banks rates Illinois’s A.J. Jenkins and Colvin talks about Illinois’ defense making the Illini real contenders in the Leaders Division.
As if 1-4 Indiana didn’t have enough on its plate with perfect Illinois coming to town Saturday, there’s this: Nick Turner and two other players quit the team Wednesday. Turner, a redshirt sophomore, had been moved from running back to safety two weeks ago, although he did receive his first carry of the season last week against Penn State. Sophomore running back Antonio Banks and redshirt freshman defensive lineman Marlandez Harris also quit the team this week, making it six Hoosiers who have left the program in the past two weeks. Read more about the losses on IndyStar.com.