With the Big Ten athletic year now complete, we decided to compile a fun list. No, this isn’t a list that ranks the top athletes or breakout players. It’s one that’s all about puns on Big Ten basketball players’ names, both past and present. Whether you’re a horse racing fan or a fantasy sports geek, you’ll appreciate these creative names.
Remember Braylon Edwards’ standing backflip following Michigan’s 2004 win over Minnesota? It was impressive. Edwards went on to do an “easier” flip in the NFL. It’s one thing for a receiver to do a backflip, but it’s a completely different thing when a defensive lineman does it. In a J.J. Watt-esque gym video, Ohio State’s Joey Bosa made a standing backflip look way too easy. Update: the video is from two years ago but was just posted.
If any Michigan fan wasn’t head-over-heels excited about heralded recruit Jabrill Peppers, the video of the defensive back’s speedy 100-meter dash at last Friday’s state meet should do it. Peppers, a five-star recruit out of New Jersey, used his incredible breakaway speed to defend his crown, with a time of 10.52 seconds. Watch Peppers’ speed in this post.
Forget about the fastest player in the Big Ten, NFL.com’s Bryan Fischer ranked Purdue speedster Raheem Mostert as the nation’s fastest player. So much for the narrative that the Big Ten has no speed, huh? Regardless of conference affiliation, Mostert can fly. He’s shown his speed on the football field (see video above), but he’s done most of his damage in track and field.
Sam Travis is one of the Big Ten’s best baseball players. He’ll be an early pick in this week’s MLB First-Year Player of the Draft. Clearly, the 2014 Big Ten Player of the Year knows how to motivate himself. You can’t have the success he’s had in baseball without that ability to learn from disappointments.
Northwestern has no shortage of uniform combinations. Under Armour revamped the team’s look prior to the 2012 season, and last year it introduced an all-white design. There’s countless helmets to go along with the three different jerseys and pants (white, black and purple). Basically, there’s no telling what Northwestern will wear from one Saturday to the next.
The future is bright for the Big Ten. So bright, in fact, you might need some shades. Former Maryland receiver and current NFL star Torrey Smith is excited about his school’s move, and he posted a photo to Instagram to prove it. The shot features Smith holding his young child, with both wearing Maryland glasses that feature the school logo on the right lens and the B1G logo on the left lens.
Ohio State soccer player Kayla Varner got engaged to boyfriend and MLB star Bryce Harper last week. Varner, a Las Vegas native just like Harper, spent her first two seasons at BYU before playing in Columbus last fall. A forward and midfielder, Varner tallied two goals and five assists in 15 starts.
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Nebraska receiver Kenny Bell lost a recent bet, and it cost him his recognizable hairdo. Yes, Bell’s afro is no more. The Husker posted a picture on Twitter of his new, less recognizable look. To the surprise of no one, the photo garnered plenty of attention. Even Bo Pelini chimed in with a funny tweet about Bell’s new look, saying “Gone but not fro-gotten.” See a picture of the new hairdo and Pelini’s tweet in this post.
Pat Fitzgerald is all for helping out good a cause, so it was no shock to see him taking pies to the face during a recent Pi Beta Phi fundraiser. For just $2, anyone could smash a pie in the football coach’s face, with all proceeds going to children’s literacy.
Hitting home runs has become second nature for Indiana slugger Kyle Schwarber. But hitting a go-ahead homer in the Big Ten championship game at TD Ameritrade Park probably meant a little more to the Hoosiers’ junior catcher than his previous 37 home runs.
What is the most memorable gift you received for your college graduation? Former Michigan basketball center Jordan Morgan won’t forget his anytime soon.
Videobombing has become the biggest trend during this year’s Big Ten Baseball Tournament. We have seen both silly and serious videobombs from Indiana, as well as a Minnesota player getting a fake tattoo drawn on his arm in the middle of an interview. Well, Michigan State’s videobomb in Saturday’s semifinal matchup against Indiana could be the best one yet.
Go to an MLB game, and you’re almost guaranteed to see at least one bat break into multiple pieces. A college game? Not so much. It happened, though, in Friday night’s Michigan-Iowa Big Ten tourney game. Making the super-rare event all the more impressive, Jackson Glines got an RBI single to center on the swing. Watch the play and see a picture of the bat in this post.
A steal of home is always exciting. It’s even better when the baserunner makes a ridiculous slide to avoid the tag. We saw that happen in the nightcap of the Big Ten tourney Friday night, when Iowa’s Jake Yacinich was the lead runner on a double steal attempt. Michigan, on what looked like a designed play, threw down to second and had the shortstop cut it off and toss home. The Wolverines had Yacinich dead to rights. That’s when he decided to leave his feet and dive around the tag.
The Indiana baseball team has made a habit of standing behind Tracy Smith during each and every one of his recent BTN in-game interviews. The videobombing has been silly and serious, you name it. Well, for Thursday night’s scheduled fifth-inning interview vs. Michigan, Smith decided to take a page out of Blake Griffin’s book.
Minnesota was eliminated from the Big Ten baseball tourney Thursday afternoon, and that’s bad news for fans of entertaining dugout fun. In case you missed it late Wednesday night, Minnesota freshman pitcher Cody Campbell hijacked coach John Anderson’s BTN dugout interview by getting a fake tattoo drawn on his right arm in the background of the shot. In Thursday’s loss to Iowa, Campbell and his wild beard stole the show.
Minnesota freshman Cody Campbell has rightfully earned the reputation of being the “team jokester.” And make no mistake, it’s not just his shaggy black beard or pair of thick black glasses with a gold plate on the top that’s grabbing all the attention.
Indiana enjoys videobombing head coach Tracy Smith’s BTN dugout interviews. They did it during the season-ending series vs. Minnesota, and they did it in their Big Ten tourney opener Wednesday vs. Iowa, Smith’s first in-game interview since being named Big Ten Coach of the Year. Watch the Hoosiers look very serious behind Smith in this post.
Austin Darby is no stranger to the highlight-reel grab. After all, the Nebraska right fielder pulled off this ridiculous catch earlier this month. Darby, once again, flashed the leather in the Huskers’ Big Ten tourney opener vs. Ohio State on Wednesday afternoon. Watch Darby’s run-saving catch vs. the Buckeyes in this post.
One of the biggest questions facing Nebraska’s football team this season is who will replace Taylor Martinez? It looks like the leading candidate right now is sophomore Tommy Armstrong Jr., who played in nine games last season as a redshirt freshman following an early-season injury to Martinez.
Union talks have put Northwestern in the news the last few months. The school didn’t expect it and it didn’t want it. In an effort to show its student-athletes are just that – student-athletes – the school posted an Instagram video that features WR Tony Jones spinning a football and then a book while wearing team gear. Jones then tosses the book in the air, spins and catches a work bag while donning a suit.
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Wisconsin held its commencement Saturday at Camp Randall Stadium. Even cooler: Wisconsin has posted a time-lapse video of the preparations, event and clean up. See the video in this post.
Northwestern’s Chris Collins proved he can coach against the nation’s elite in his first season as a head coach. That’s great and all, but what kind of singer is he? It’s a random question, yes, but Collins had the honor of singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” on Sunday at Wrigley Field. So many Chicago personalities have butchered the song and embarrassed themselves. Not Collins. The second-year coach nailed his rendition.