Our “Tailgate 48” team was in Madison this past week, and it got a first-hand look at how rabid Wisconsin fans prepare for a big game on campus. We even attended Freakfest, Madison’s Halloween tradition. Don’t forget each week that the TV show spotlights a few great Big Ten fan tailgating photos (see the latest on BTN.com/connect now). Get your photo considered by tweeting it to @BigTenNetwork and use the hashtag #tailgate48.
When it comes to biggest surprises of the 2012 season, the emergence of Philip Nelson as quarterback at Minnesota ranks right up there. Only one quarterback in the history of Golden Gopher football that has won the job as a true freshman and kept it for four seasons. That was Rickey Foggie. See what Foggie has to say about Nelson and check out other Big Ten news in my daily links.
Michigan State, Ohio State and Purdue all hosted exhibition games Tuesday night. As expected, the three teams carded wins over Northwood, Walsh and Montevallo, respectively. Michigan State’s Branden Dawson and Ohio State’s Deshaun Thomas both opened the season with a flurry, registering back-to-back buckets off the opening tip. Watch Dawson’s opening sequence and Thomas’. Check out Dawson’s left-handed jam now and get our video recaps from all three games in this post.
The exhibition season already has tipped off for Big Ten men’s hoops teams. Before the games start to count, though, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina wanted to offer his Big Ten players in the spotlight. Whether the players have big shoes to fill, they’re considered the missing piece or they’re coming off down years, Yarina offers one guy for every Big Ten team. See the list in this post.
Michigan State sophomore Branden Dawson suffered a season-ending knee injury in the final week of the regular season last year. How does he look on the surgically repaired knee? Well, if Michigan State’s exhibition opener against Northwood on Tuesday night is any indication, Dawson will be just fine. Watch the Spartan throw down on the opening tip now and see a couple of his other highlight-reel slam dunks in this post.
You may never see a more awkward buzzer-beater than the one Ohio State’s Aaron Craft hit at the end of the first half in Tuesday’s exhibition win over Walsh. Consider the mess that occurred before Craft beat the buzzer: There was a loose ball following an errant 3-pointer, which led to Walsh attempting to save the ball from going out of bounds, which led to Sam Thompson trying to do the same before finding Craft, who dribbled backward, to the left and then to the right before finally getting a shot off that touched seemingly every part of the rim before falling.