It’s almost time for an unofficial national holiday: The arrival of the college football annuals. Athlon’s offers a look at its 2013 edition. And, for Iowa fans, it isn’t a pretty sight: The Hawkeyes are picked to finish last in the Legends Division. The 2013 publication pegs Iowa with a 1-7 record in the Big Ten. It also has Iowa finishing 4-8 overall, which would match last season’s overall record–the program’s worst since 2000. This isn’t good news—but, it isn’t shocking, either.
Is there a harder working writer than Mike Griffith of MLive.com? Of course not. Today, the Spartans writing machine has four talking points on Michigan State. Please read if you wanna impress your friends at the barber shop. Learn this stuff, and you’ll wow and impress your friends. The tips about the quarterbacks are pure gold, Jerry. I’ve also got more Big Ten links in today’s post.
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Michigan has a lot to like about next season’s team which is in pursuit of the school’s first Big Ten title since 2004, but one glaring issues is the lack of a pass rusher. Who will it be?
Penn State’s roster will be limited to 65 scholarship players — other schools are allowed 85 — for four years beginning in 2014. Here’s how Bill O’Brien plans to cope. “This is really a six-year sanction,” Bill O’Brien said during a caravan stop. “We have until 2014 to get down to 65 scholarships. We’re at 65 in 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017, and we’re already at 65, probably, in August of 2013. So it’s not just a four-year sanction.”
If you are tired of the current lineup of Big Ten bowl games, fear not as change may be coming, according to Commissioner Jim Delany. The Big Ten will remain tethered to the Rose Bowl, Capital One and Outback Bowls. But, changes could ensue beyond that trio of games.
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Ohio State quarterback Braxton Miller won the Chicago Tribune Silver Football as league MVP last year as a sophomore. Now, he has improved and could be better than ever—and a legit Heisman contender. “If Braxton was a 1 on a scale of 1 to 10 when we got here, he finished (last) season around a four,” Buckeye offensive coordinator Tom Herman told Ozone.net. “By the end of spring ball he was around a six, but the cool thing with him is he could be about a 12.”
It was a busy weekend in the Big Ten. A REALLY busy weekend, with the NFL Draft as well as the big announcement of a new divisional alignment and a nine-game schedule for the venerable Big Ten. So much to cover in daily links. Let’s start with a view on the conference’s new configuration from a few Big Ten ports-of-call.
The NFL draft is here. Hallelujah! But, Thursday night’s opening round may not be a joyous occasion for the Big Ten. In fact, the league may not have a first-round choice for the first time since—are you sitting down?–1953. Gulp. Yes, that’s 60 years.
That recent grant of rights agreement inked by ACC schools apparently has stuck a fork in expansion, Big Ten commish Jim Delany said at an on-going gathering of college commissioners.
Iowa has produced some great offensive linemen under Kirk Ferentz. In fact, since 2003, 13 Hawkeye offensive linemen have been drafted—guys like Robert Gallery, Bryan Bulaga and Riley Reiff, among others. Who is the next great one? Check out tackle Brandon Scherff. In fact, I wonder if Scherff may be Iowa’s most talented player on offense. Think about it.
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Much was made last year about Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez working with quarterback guru Steve Calhoun in southern California. But, the results were good. Well, Martinez will be back at it in May, looking to further hone his technique for a big senior season send-off.
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Count Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Bill Livingston among those who are an Ohio State believer after watching the spring game. Who can blame Livingston? There is a lot to like about this edition of Ohio State. No doubt, the Buckeyes’ second spring game impressed even Urban Meyer.
Brian Spurlock-US PRESSWIRE
There are a lot of things to like about an Ohio State offense led by QB Braxton Miller. But the Buckeye offense will be even better if some big-play receivers step up. Could Michael Thomas be one of those guys? Let’s start links here.
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Michigan’s run for the national championship game up short. But the Wolverines have no shame in falling 82-76 to No. 1 overall seed Louisville. Have to start daily links right there. Michigan’s improbable march to the national championship game is evidence that the program is back among the nation’s elite—and it’s not going anywhere.
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Tonight’s the night when Michigan aims to win its first national championship since Glen Rice shot the Wolverines to the top in 1989. Gotta start daily link there. It has been 24 years since “interim” head coach Steve Fisher led Michigan to the Promised Land. Since then, the school has been through four coaches, one scandal and some bad basketball.
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The honors keep rolling in for Michigan’s Trey Burke. And more likely are coming. Let’s start daily links there. The latest Burke bauble: AP player of the year. The only other Wolverine to win the honor was Cazzie Russell in 1966. Yes, it has been that long. And I still can’t believe those are the only two Wolverines ever to win the honor.
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Let’s hear it for Iowa! I said: Let’s hear it for Iowa!! The Hawkeyes beat Maryland last night in the NIT semifinals. Gotta start daily links there. When folding seemed possible, Iowa seemingly found a way to straighten up and seal the deal against the Terps, notes the great Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette.