Spring football is nearing a close. There are three more spring games Saturday (Iowa, Michigan State, Rutgers), and that will mark the end of the Big Ten’s spring season. With most eyes already on the 2014 season, I decided to rank my top five offensive players (I took some liberties with that number) who should be receiving more attention entering the season.
Earlier this morning, we released BTN’s 2014 primetime football selections. The six games to air in prime-time this fall will include the 2013 Big Ten Champion Michigan State, Ohio State, Michigan and Big Ten newcomers Maryland and Rutgers. The day prime-time schedules are released is always exciting, because it’s like the unofficial start of football season. What most people may not realize is how extensive the research and planning process is prior to finalizing and announcing the selections.
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The Big Ten announced a six-game prime-time schedule for BTN/BTN2Go that is highlighted by a mid-November telecast and two appearances by Nebraska and Rutgers. Rutgers is the only Big Ten team that will play host to two BTN night tilts, kicking things off with a visit from East rival Penn State on Sept. 13 in the Scarlet Knights’ first Big Ten game. Rutgers also will welcome Michigan on Oct. 4.
The deadline to declare for the 2014 NBA Draft is less than a week away, and the Big Ten draft class is beginning to take its final shape. Baring any surprises, Michigan’s Mitch McGary is the only player in the conference who has yet to announce whether he will stay in school or bolt early for the NBA. Big names like Nik Stauskas, Gary Harris and Noah Vonleh highlight this year’s Big Ten Draft class, but how do they compare to other conference’s top draft hopefuls?
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We are inching closer to the NFL draft. And the Big Ten can only hope the 2014 draft is more fruitful than the 2013 draft. The Big Ten had just one first-round pick in 2013—and it didn’t come until No. 31 overall, when the Cowboys tabbed Wisconsin center Travis Frederick.
Fourteen former Big Ten stars are listed on 2014 NBA playoff rosters. Ohio State paces the conference with four players: Mike Conley, Kosta Koufos, Greg Oden and Evan Turner. In all, six Big Ten schools are represented. The team with the most Big Ten products? That would be Memphis, which features the aforementioned Conley and Koufos and Jon Leuer and Zach Randolph.