U-S-A! U-S-A! We hope you enjoyed the thrilling World Cup win last night, but now it’s time for today’s top Big Ten headlines.
It’s a fun debate: Who’s the best basketball coach in the Big Ten? We all have our favorites. Marcus Jackson’s of the Champaign News-Gazette does, too. And he ranks ‘em. Guess who is No. 1? C’mon. It’s not that difficult to guess.
The gang at Athlonsports.com cranks out some quality stuff. You’ll wanna check out the site’s 10 must-see Big Ten non-conference games. At the top of the list? Michigan State at Oregon. No shock there. If the Spartans can leave Eugene with a win, they may have a good shot to run the table.
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Who is the Big Ten’s best quarterback? According to Bucky Brooks of NFL.com, it’s Michigan State’s Connor Cook, who is No. 6 on the former scout’s preseason “Quarterback Tracker.” My pick? Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg, a classic passer who embodies everything that a big-time quarterback should be.
NFL.com continues its series examining top players at each position in college football. The defensive backs are up. And Michigan State’s Trae Waynes is No. 5. Fellow Spartan Kurtis Drummond also is on the list at No. 8, while Ohio State’s Doran Grant is No. 7.
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Want a ticket for the Michigan-Notre Dame game? Get ready to pay up. The cheapest ticket available via the secondary market? It’s $419.95. I don’t see that price going down, as the last scheduled meeting between these iconic schools should draw lots of interest.
Wanna see Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill dance (sorta)? Check out this video, in which Kill tells students to dance after delivering the commencement speech.
Here’s some more news that won’t shock anyone: Christian Hackenberg already is on the radar of NFL teams. “Hack” had a boffo debut in 2013 and figures to be the first Big Ten quarterback selected in the first round of the NFL draft since … Kerry Collins in 1994!!! I still can’t believe that fact.
When discussing schedules, seven home games often are mentioned as a magical benchmark for schools. Well, the Big Ten is not set on it, apparently, according to this piece by Lee Barfknecht of the Omaha World-Herald. The coming move to nine Big Ten games in 2016 is one factor causing schools to rethink scheduling. The other is lucrative neutral-site games.
The start of the football season is less than 100 days away, if you can believe it. And there are few more anticipated non-conference games than Michigan State’s visit to Oregon. The Spartans are using the summer as prep time to get ready for that high-flying Duck offense led by Heisman contending quarterback Marcus Mariota. MSU will need the extra prep work. Everyone does.
The hype surrounding the Ohio State defensive line already is building. And with good reason. The unit may be the best in the nation, headlined by Noah Spence, Michael Bennett and Joey Bosa. In fact, all three of these guys could be first-round draft picks.
Oh, boy. You know the football season isn’t too far away when someone starts a countdown of some sort. Well, here’s one from the Lincoln Journal Star counting down the Top 25 Big Ten players of 2014. Here are Nos. 11-25. Check back for the rest.
If it’s Friday, it must be time for another football-is-bad-for-your-brain story. (That’s your cue to act shocked.) Then again, these stories are churned out seemingly every day. And, for good reason. THIS JUST IN: Football is a dangerous sport and really can’t be made into a safe sport, no matter how hard P.R. folks or the NFL try to convince you.
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The Big Ten athletic directors are meeting in Chicago. Envision pitchers of water sitting on tables covered in linen clothes with the smell of Drakkar Noir in the air. Not much big news has emerged from the confab. The topic of the Big Ten’s move East was a hot one.
The Big Ten has gone six years without a top-10 NFL draft pick. Think about that for a moment. As a point of reference, the SEC has had 23 top-10 picks in that span. We won’t even mention the Big Ten’s 2-7 Rose Bowl record and 27-47 bowl mark over the past decade. Oops. Why the struggles? This story tries to explain.
One of the most stunning revelations of the NFL draft was the fact Michigan State had just one pick (CB Darqueze Dennard) off a 13-win team that won all nine Big Ten games by double-digits. This was one of the top squads in league annals!
Last year, the Big Ten had one first-round pick. Things went better last night in what was a good first night at the NFL draft for the Big Ten with four selections. Ohio State led the way with two picks. The first Big Ten player off the board? Michigan offensive tackle Taylor Lewan. He also was the third OT tabbed, going No. 11 to Tennessee.
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It’s NFL draft eve, people! It’s almost here … finally! Stock up on the Ro-Tel and chips. So, I would be remiss if I didn’t include at least ONE mock draft in today’s links, right? Right. This is a good one from CBSSports.com that combines draft experts.