Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, January 29, 2015
Nice win by Purdue over Indiana last night. The Boilermakers are suddenly hot, winners of three of four. And the team has a good shot to win its next five games before a return trip to Bloomington.
The victory further jumbles a muddled Big Ten race after first-place Wisconsin and second-place Maryland. Michigan is 6-3; Ohio State, Indiana and Purdue are 5-3; Michigan State and Iowa are 4-3. It?s gonna be interesting to see how many teams beyond the Badgers and Terrapins earn NCAA bids.
It has been a year since there was a movement by Northwestern football players to unionize. Time flies, huh?
A lot has happened since then. This good piece by Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune lays out all of the change in college sports the last 365 days. Transformative and historical are a few words that come to mind to describe this.
Here is a good look at some key numbers for Michigan State?s basketball team as the Big Ten season is closing in on the halfway mark.
Kyle Austin of Mlive.com notes that in their last five games, the Spartans have been outscored by 55 points in the final 11 minutes of first halves. Outside of those 11-minute segments, the Spartans are outscoring their opponents by 64 points. Put simpler, Michigan State is getting outscored by an average of 11 points per game in the latter stages of the first half and are outscoring opponents by more than 12 points per game the rest of the time.
Count Pete Carroll among those who think Jim Harbaugh-his one-time rival and pain-in-the-neck at Stanford–can thrive in his return to the college game.
Kyle Meinke of Mlive.com notes that Carroll took over the Patriots in 1997 and led them to back-to-back playoff appearances, but was dismissed after going 8-8 in 1999 when Bill Belichick replaced him. Carroll took a year off, then went back to college at USC. And that proved to be a much better fit for his personality. The rest, as they say, is history.
This is interesting: Penn State coach James Franklin asked his offensive line coach Herb Hand to cool his jets on a Twitter beef with Pitt. Hand and his Pitt offensive line counterpart John Peterson had some fun banter. Check it out.
Yep, like an election night full of results, another precinct reports in on how good the Big Ten East will be next season.
This roll call of coaches is incredible: Mark Dantonio, James Franklin, Jim Harbaugh, Urban Meyer ? impressive, huh? Randy Edsall is pretty good, too, while Kyle Flood and Kevin Wilson have rising fortunes.
Dan Duggan of NJ.com wonders who will step up as a complement for stud wideout Leonte Carroo in 2015?
Duggan thinks it could be Andre Patton, who has all the tools to be a strong complement to Carroo. Patton missed the first four games last season with a bruised kidney, but he began to hit his stride down the stretch. Also, keep an eye on Janarion Grant and Carlton Agudosi.
If Iowa stud Aaron White can?t play, how will the Hawkeyes line up vs. Wisconsin on Saturday? He suffered a stinger at Purdue last Saturday. White is Iowa?s Mr. Everything. And even that undersells his value.
Do the Hawkeyes have a shot to beat the Badgers, who thumped the Hawkeyes by 32 points the last time they played? Hmmmm.
I love the gang at InsideNU.com. No one covers the Wildcats better. The website has a nice piece on why Northwestern?s loss at Maryland on Sunday night hurt so much. Such tough luck/hard losses are too common in Evanston.
Daniel Rapaport of InsideNU.com notes that the past two seasons, Northwestern football is a combined 4-12 in Big Ten play. The basketball team hasn't been any better, posting a combined conference record of 7-18 over the past two years. So, in the last two years of football and basketball conference play, Northwestern's teams are 11-30.
Speaking of Northwestern, ex-coach Bill Carmody has landed on the staff of ? Fairfield.
Good luck, Coach. He always was one of my favs.
|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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