Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, December 8, 2014
Like everyone else, I already am looking forward to the Alabama-Ohio State clash in the Sugar Bowl on Jan. 1. What a coaching battle between Nick Saban and Urban Meyer.
Cleveland.com has a nice breakdown of their meetings. This will be Encounter No. 4. By the way: Saban leads, 2-1.
Rick Brown of HawkCentral.com thinks Iowa?s bowl vs. Tennessee is big in scope for the program. And, he?s correct. This team needs to finish on an up note.
The eighth bowl trip to Florida under coach Kirk Ferentz will provide an opportunity for the program to take a positive step into 2015. A chance to wash away some of the bad taste of an underachieving 2014 season. And a chance to develop some young players through the bowl prep practices.
"If you lose a bowl game, it doesn't ruin the next season," Kirk Ferentz said Sunday during a news conference. "But any time you win a bowl game, it gives you a little bit of an extra charge into the next season."
This trip to the Citrus Bowl is another step in the development of Jerry Kill?s program at Minnesota.
The New Year?s Day bowl is the program?s first since the 1961 season. The amazing journey under Kill continues. How far can he take this program in the Twin Cities?
With Penn State back in a bowl for the first time since 2011, Pennlive.com has a nice collection of photos from the Nittany Lions? bowls of the 1990s-1980s and 1970s, too. I love nostalgia.
Nice to see Illinois land in a bowl for the first time since 2011. But A.D. Mike Thomas doesn?t want his program to be ?one-hit wonders.?
The inability of this program to win consistently is one of the great mysteries of the Big Ten, as Bob Asmussen of the Champaign News-Gazette points out. Steady success on the field hasn?t happened at Illinois since the John Mackovic era in the late 1980s and early ?90s. Until 2010-11, the school had never won bowls in consecutive seasons. Up, then down. Good, then bad. Thomas wants more.
?If you establish a culture on the field where you?re winning consistently, then I think you can get to the point where even when you have a tough patch, you can fight through that,? he said. ?I don?t think we?re at that point yet as a program. We don?t want to be one-hit wonders.?
Beckman will get more time to deliver.
It seems Steve Politi of NJ.com isn?t too stoked about Rutgers? bowl destination to Detroit.
But, hey, the Scarlet Knights are in a bowl. That?s something to celebrate in a season when many felt-myself included-that RU would be a last-place team. So, cheer up!
The coverage of Nebraska?s hiring of Mike Riley continues from Omaha.com. Lots of good stuff. The former Oregon State coach is in the midst of building a staff, according to reports.
A big item: It looks like Oregon offensive coordinator Scott Frost, a former Husker, won?t be coming home.
Tough Saturday for some Big Ten hoop teams. Michigan lost to something called NJIT, which earned $92,000 for its effort and upset win.
The non-conference meeting was a "guarantee game," a contracted contest in which U-M paid NJIT for the visit without giving it a return home game. NJIT athletic director Leonard Kaplan revealed the figure to ESPN's Darren Rovell. The Highlanders' trip to Ann Arbor is among numerous "buy games" on Michigan's 2014-15 schedule, joining the likes of Nicholls State and Coppin State.
Purdue got dumped in Mackey Arena by Northern Florida. Defense is and will remain an issue, as the Boilers allowed 45 points in the second half.
A report is out that says the Big Ten will play it hoops tourney in Madison Square Garden in 2018. This had been widely anticipated.
According to the report, Madison Square Garden will host conference tournaments for both the Big East and the Big Ten in 2018. That means the Big Ten tournament will have to be moved up a week and conclude the Sunday before Selection Sunday and 11 days before the start of the NCAA tournament. I?m guessing some coaches won?t like this.
|About Tom Dienhart||BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart is a veteran sports journalist who covers Big Ten football and men's basketball for BTN.com and BTN TV. Find him on Twitter and Facebook, read all of his work at btn.com/tomdienhart, and subscribe to his posts via RSS. Also, send questions to his weekly mailbag using the form below and read all of his previous answers in his reader mailbag section.|
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