Yes, the national championship will be decided tonight in New Orleans. But spring football is in full bloom across Big Ten country. And here are some of the bigger things scribes are writing about on this glorious Monday.
It’s not Friday the 13th, but it probably feels like it at Iowa, where another running back (Jordan Canzeri) has gone down with injury. Is the position cursed in Iowa City? Mike Hlas of the Cedar Rapids Gazette scoffs at that notion. Still, you have to wonder … Marcus Coker … Mik’ail McCall … Adam Robinson … Jewel Hampton … Brandon Wegher … all gone earlier or hurt since Shonn Greene’s huge 2008 season. Hmmm. Just sayin’.
Here’s a look at some of the happenings on Big Ten gridirons, as the fallout from Danny O’Brien’s decision to attend Wisconsin continues. Poor Penn State.
Big doing today, as the Danny O’Brien sweepstakes have ended with the Maryland quarterback picking Wisconsin. This is two years in a row the Badgers will welcome an ACC QB transfer. Russell Wilson from N.C. State worked out pretty good. If O’Brien is anywhere close to Wilson, 2012 will be a fun year in Madison. Fire up the grill and open the brats! Find more on that and other happenings in this post.
Lots buzzing around Big Ten football gridirons on this day, with Michigan State taking the wraps off its spring drills. And questions loom, as you’ll see in this post. I talked to Northwestern’s Pat Fitzgerald today, and he has some pretty passionate feelings about protecting the sanctity of the bowl experience for student-athletes. More to come from Fitz later. Here’s some interesting items that I came across today.
Big week in Big Ten football, as the last three schools begin spring practice this week. Penn State kicks off today; Michigan State on Tuesday; Ohio State on Wednesday. If you can believe it, the first spring games will begin on April 14. Clean up your Weber Smokey Joes and mark your calendars.
Who’s battling for the the left tackle spot at Iowa? How has Michigan’s Denard Robinson improved since last season? Can Purdue’s Ralph Bolden hold up? I found some great stuff from the beat writers in the Big Ten today, so come have a look. I’ll continue to track updates from around the Big Ten during this spring football season in my Football Fix posts.
Took a spin around the Internet and found a few solid pieces. With spring ball here, it’s time to rearrange the puzzle at Wisconsin; at Michigan, offensive coordinator Al Borges would like more depth on the Wolverines’ offensive line. Who will win the Penn State quarterback job? What’s new on the Iowa defense? And MarQueis Gray is the starting quarterback at Minnesota ‘right now.’
In Wednesday’s web links, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart sends you to some of the best Big Ten spring football stories and offers his perspective on each one. Among the topics: Kirk Ferentz and his offense in need of a fix, a pair of receivers who need to prove something and an update on Maryland transfer QB Danny O’Brien, among other things. See the links, plus Dienhart’s take, in this post.
With spring practice underway, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is scouring the web for the best Big Ten football headlines. Tuesday’s links include a story about Devin Gardner’s possible expanded role, Nebraska’s desire to extend its recruiting footprint south and an update on Penn State’s quarterback battle, among other things. Get all the links, plus Dienhart’s take, in this post.
In Wednesday’s web links, we look at what some of the Big Ten beat writers are saying about their school’s chances in the NCAA tournament, which tips Thursday for three Big Ten teams. Also, find links and my thoughts on a trio of Big Ten big men who are filling equally big roles for Indiana and Michigan State. There’s some football talk in here, too, as coaches discuss position changes. Find it all in this post.
In today’s links we take a look at what some think the previous Illinois athletic director would have done with Bruce Weber. Plus, Michigan State’s men’s basketball team has incredible chemistry, but is that enough for the Spartans? Purdue’s shooting is heating up just in time. Could the Nebraska men’s basketball job search be warming up, too? And let’s shift gears to football where one writer reports linebacker is the deepest position on the Michigan team. Lots of others links plus the Big Ten Blast video, too.
What are my colleagues around the Big Ten saying this morning? The Spartans are a sure thing in an unpredictable tourney while the Buckeyes challenge is to move on. The Wolverines look to stick around a while in the NCAA while the Badgers’ bracket is dangerous even with Kentucky nowhere near. And the NCAA committee did Purdue a favor. What was it? Find out in my daily web links post.
Check out these Thursday morning headlines from around Big Ten country before the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament tips off.
The heart of the Big Ten Tournament could be the Hoosiers, but conference balance should translate into a wild tournament. Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t want bowls to be limited to picking seven-win teams. Fran McCaffrey is disappointed that Matt Gatens wasn’t first-team All-Big Ten and Pat Fitzgerald doesn’t want bowls to be limited to picking seven-win teams. What do these stories have in common? They’re all in my Daily Links for Wednesday. Dive in and have a look.
In another edition of my daily links, I suggest five top stories worth a read plus a handful of others, too. But before I get to my usual breakdown, Mike DeCourcy of The Sporting News and a frequent guest on BTN TV rolled out his publication’s All-American team and there are two familiar names on the first team and another one on the All-Freshman team. Read his piece here and see the list of teams here.
In my first daily batch of links for this week, Matt Charboneau of the Detroit News tells us that Delvon Roe feels Branden Dawson’s pain. No doubt, and Dawson’s loss for the rest of the season to a knee injury suffered in the loss to Ohio State will have a big impact on Michigan State in the postseason. This is a slumping Spartan squad that enters the Big Ten tourney as the No. 1 seed but riding consecutive losses at Indiana and at home yesterday to the Buckeyes on Senior Day. Now, this: News that the freshman sensation is done.
Draymond Green for Big Ten MVP? It’s an easy pick, says Terry Foster of the Detroit News. Who can argue with that? Green is the only player in the Big Ten who is averaging a double-double. And his leadership is unmatched, as he has led the Spartans to at least a share of Tom Izzo’s seventh league championship. Is there any way Michigan State will lose at home to Ohio State on Senior Day on Sunday? I will be shocked if it happens. Read more of my newsy links for Friday. And remember? I do this every weekday.
I took my usual spin around the Internet this morning and found my five conversation starters for Thursday. Click inside for a look at those stories, my take on each, and more links to the Big ten stories you need to read today.
It was just last week when many felt Northwestern played perhaps the biggest game in school annals. And it lost, 67-55, in overtime at home to Michigan. But the Wildcats rebounded to score a huge win at Penn State over the weekend. Now, comes yet another “biggest game in school history” for the Wildcats tonight when Ohio State visits. In the first of today’s five big links worth a look, Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune says Northwestern needs another big game from John Shurna if it wants to beat Ohio State.
A busy weekend in the Big Ten saw Michigan State clinch a share of Tom Izzo’s seventh Big Ten title without even playing on Sunday. Thanks, Badgers! Here’s some other news you need to know on this Monday, including Steve Greenberg of the Sporting News and his 12 burning questions as spring drills approach. More Monday links below in this post.