Pardon the hyperbole, but there may not be a better catch all season long than the one Ohio State’s Devin Smith made in Saturday’s season opener against Miami (OH) at Ohio Stadium. Early in the second quarter, with Ohio State trailing Miami (OH), Smith gave the Buckeyes the lead with an incredible one-handed touchdown grab. Watch Smith use nothing but his right hand to bring down Braxton Miller’s 23-yard touchdown pass right now.
As promised, Ohio State rolled out a new tradition called “Quick Cals.” What are those? At works: 23 minutes before every home kickoff, in the south end zone, the Buckeye players will do fast, upbeat pregame exercises while facing the students. And the students can participate. Watch the video to see their first one this Saturday morning.
Friday night’s game between Michigan State and Boise State featured its share of Did You See This? moments. None, perhaps, were bigger than the couple of unforgettable plays from the first quarter. The first one occurred when Michigan State’s Darqueze Dennard and a Boise State receiver accidentally knocked down a trio of Bronco cheerleaders on the sideline following an incomplete pass that took the players outside the white lines. It was a lot like a game of Dominoes, and we’re happy to report no one was hurt in the process.
The 2012 NFL season kicks off Wednesday night, which means it’s time to look back at some of the best plays Big Ten products made during the exhibition season. Watch all the highlights, via links to NFL.com, in this post. And with opening day just around the corner, teams are currently making final cuts. Unfortunately, the list includes several Big Ten names.
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The last thing we need is another reason to get excited about Michigan’s season-opening test against reigning national champ Alabama on Saturday. But we have it, and it comes in the form of a terrific pump-up YouTube video. Watch the full video in this post.
Here’s an understatement: Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde is a big boy. At 6-feet, 235 pounds, the junior running back can runs with plenty of power and packs a pretty serious punch. Big Ten linebackers might want to take notice, because if not careful, Hyde will bowl them over.
Wisconsin has “Jump Around,” and now Ohio State has “Quick Cals.” Urban Meyer and Ohio State created the new Ohio Stadium pregame activity, which will debut prior to the season opener Sept. 1 against Miami (Ohio). Here’s how it works: 23 minutes before every home kickoff, in the south end zone, the players will do Quick Cals – think pregame exercises – and ask for student participation.
Purdue product Ryan Kerrigan spent four seasons terrorizing Big Ten quarterbacks, and now he’s trying to sack another thorn in his side: high utility bills. At least that’s the case in a new Thompson Creek Window Company ad that features Kerrigan, a rising second-year star on the Washington Redskins, as the spokesperson. The company is based in Lanham, Md., and it played to Kerrigan’s strengths in the commercial, having the former Boiler tackle a man dressed as a utility bill. No joke.
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There was some greatness on the sidelines of Indiana basketball practice Wednesday. Former star Calbert Cheaney, now Indiana’s Director of Operations, was there, per usual, but so too was ex-Duke standout Jay Williams. Williams, now an analyst for ESPN, was in Bloomington to observe the Hoosiers, who many experts think will be a top 5 team in 2012-13. And Indiana coach Tom Crean (@TomCrean) tweeted a picture of the two at practice.
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Perhaps you heard the story of the 5-year-old Oklahoma boy whose school forced him to turn his Michigan shirt inside out last week? If not, evidently, the shirt was against the school district’s dress code, which states only Oklahoma college apparel is allowed. Clothes from all other schools are against the current policy. The reasoning? Gangs.
The Penn State Preview Show debuts at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday on BTN/BTN2Go. The guys over at GoPSUTV’s YouTube page posted a solid behind-the-scenes video of the making and filming of the one-hour special this afternoon.
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When sports fans see something new and odd on the shelves of their local grocery store, it’s almost become tradition to take a picture of it and tweet it to ESPN Sports Business Reporter & Business Correspondent Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell). Rovell tweeted a couple of the latest Big Ten-related items he’s had sent his way Monday. One was a bottle of Ohio State ketchup, which happened to be on sale, and the other was Michigan branded Pop-Tarts.
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Brock Mealer, the brother of Michigan fifth-year senior Elliot Mealer, almost lost his life in the fatal car crash that took the lives of his father and his brother’s girlfriend on Christmas Eve 2007. Nearly five years to the day, on Dec. 22, 2012, Mealer, who was left paralyzed from the waist down in the accident, will get married. Here’s the best part: Mealer will walk down the aisle ahead his bride, Haley Frank, and he’ll do it walking unassisted, according to @stephenjnesbitt. Not bad for a guy who was given a one percent chance to walk again.
What happened when three Navy Seals crashed Camp Kenosha? It provided one of the most memorable experiences in the Northwestern football program’s history, according to head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s Twitter account (@coachfitz51). Memorable indeed, it also resulted in the Wildcats being put through one of the more difficult workouts of their careers. See the complete YouTube.com/NUAthletics video in this post.
If you subscribe to Sports Illustrated and reside in the Big Ten footprint, chances are, you’ll see Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in you mailbox this week. The popular magazine is releasing five regional covers to preview the season, and Robinson is one of five quarterbacks featured. He joins Alabama’s A.J. McCarron, Oklahoma’s Landry Jones, USC’s Matt Barkley and West Virginia’s Geno Smith as cover boys. @SInow tweeted a picture of the covers, and you can see it in this post.
Big Ten football players probably think the autograph requests can get a little out of hand at times. Should they feel this way, they need to take a look at a photo taken Tuesday at the 10th annual “Meet the Spartans.” The Michigan State Athletics Facebook page posted a photo gallery from Tuesday’s event, and one of the pictures features a young Michigan State fan looking on in awe as his football is signed. See the picture in this post and view the entire gallery.
Coaches go to great measures trying to build team camaraderie. Second-year Minnesota football coach Jerry Kill recently approved a fun and enjoyable team building activity that could only make the team grow closer. The Gophers went paintballing Sunday. And goldengophergridiron’s YouTube page has a video from the event. See the full feature in this post.
Suffering from a case of the Mondays? You’re in luck, because former Penn State defensive linemen and current NFL free agent Anthony Adams is here to entertain. In a recently uploaded YouTube video, Adams takes his mammoth figure to the basketball court, where he delights with his self-deprecating humor. The video is part of a series called “Stuff NFL Free Agents Say,” and it’s pretty memorable. Watch the entire video in this post.
It was a hard days work for Illinois football coach Tim Beckman on Friday. Or perhaps, he really felt like bonding with standout linebacker Jonathan Brown. Either way, the first-year head coach capped Friday’s practice with a plunge in the ice bath. No joke. And from the picture @IllinoisFootball tweeted, it sure seemed as though Beckman enjoyed the cold temperatures. See the photo in this post.
We can only hope the Minnesota freshmen were paying attention when a couple of young Gopher fans recently led the team in the school’s fight song, Minnesota Rouser. Watch GoldenGopherGridiron‘s video of it in this post. The little guys nailed it. Nothing scared them – not the camera, not the circle of Gophers around them, not head coach Jerry Kill, on a knee, right next to them. Good stuff.
A few days ago, the shorts (short-pants?) Auburn wore at practice, forced me to look at some of the new fashion trends across Big Ten football practices. At the time, I didn’t see anything as old-school as Auburn’s look. Then, on Thursday, MGoVideo posted a YouTube video that featured Michigan linebacker in a pair of shorts that would make John Stockton very proud. See a picture of the shorts and watch the entertaining feature, as well, in this post.
In town playing Detroit, injured New York Yankees 3B Alex Rodriguez toured Michigan’s new basketball Player Development Center on Wednesday. Not exactly sure of the connection, but here’s something we’re pretty confident about: Yankee teammate and Ohio State product Nick Swisher was nowhere near Ann Arbor and will have some choice words for the three-time AL MVP. See Michigan Basketball’s Facebook page’s picture of Rodriguez with the basketball staff in this post.
Kirk Ferentz is a happy man. Yes, he has a revamped staff around him entering the 2012 season, but he also has all three of his sons in the same city for the first time since 2005. Another first: every Ferentz boy is an official member of the Iowa program. The oldest son, Brian, returned to Iowa City this past offseason as the offensive line coach; the middle son, James, is back for his senior season; and the youngest, Steven, is a freshman tight end. See a picture of the Ferentz family in this post.
College football is coming to FOX on Saturday, Sept. 1, and you know what that means: Gus Johnson, Charles Davis and Erin Andrews are ready to bring you all the action. The network debuted a new commercial Saturday night that plays on Johnson’s knack for calling great games and for making games better. The promo features two friends on a couch flipping the channel back and forth between a boring football game and an exciting Johnson-called game, and when it goes to Johnson’s, one of the friends explains: “It’s the Gus Effect, it makes everything more exciting.” Watch the full ad here.
What’s the craziest thing you’ve asked an athlete to autograph? Maybe one of his or her game-worn sweatbands. Or your forehead. Well, an Illinois fan recently asked Illini offensive lineman Graham Pocic to sign his baby. OK, not the actual baby, but the baby’s miniature Illinois jersey. It made for a terrific photo op. See the picture, courtesy of the Fighting Illini Football Facebook page, in this post.