Tom Dienhart, BTN.com Senior Writer, November 17, 2015
Fun read from Dirk Chatelain of Omaha.com, who compares the paths of Iowa and Nebraska over the past 15 years. The results have been largely the same, but the courses taken by both schools have been vastly different. One school has been the beacon of stability with some big runs of mediocrity (Iowa). The other has been volatile with fewer lows but fewer highs (Nebraska).
Tom Oates of Madison.com has a good read on how he feels Wisconsin got a big break when Gary Andersen bolted for Oregon State after last season. Oates thinks the Badger program is in better shape. In fact, Oates calls Andersen?s hire a ?colossal mistake.?
Oates says Wisconsin athletic director Barry Alvarez hired a good coach in Andersen, he just hired the wrong coach. Andersen has solid credentials and is a great guy, but he was a bad fit for UW. It?s as simple as that.
Purdue?s hoops team is off to a torrid start because of its long-range shooting ability. If this team can keep bombing away, it will be very difficult to defend. Forced to defend the perimeter, opponents could be hurt by the Boilermakers? strong inside game. Yep, this could be a fun winter in West Lafayette.
There is a lot to like about Ohio State. But one worry point: the kicking.
Bill Landis of Cleveland.com says Ohio State hasn't been good at field goals this year. The Buckeyes are now 7-for-12 combined with Nuernberger and fifth-year transfer Jack Willoughby. That hasn't hurt Ohio State yet, the games, while sometimes sluggish, haven't been close enough for the Buckeyes to sweat out a field goal.
But with a potential five-game stretch now that will include Michigan State, Michigan, the Big Ten Championship and then the College Football Playoff, what happens if the Buckeyes find themselves in a close game and need a reliable kicker to avoid a loss?
The great Lee Barfknecht of Omaha.com had his interest piqued recently when he heard mention of five-year deals for athletic directors for ?recruiting? purposes. So, he called around to see if five-year contracts were the norm.
Bill O?Brien at Maryland? How juicy would that be if it happens?
Jason La Confora of CBSSports.com says O'Brien's perception as having a difficult demeanor, and of leaving jobs quickly, has not made the prospect of a return to College Park very popular among some alumni. But O?Brien generally fits what Maryland super booster Kevin Plank has told confidants he is looking for: a young (under 50), bright offensive mind who could run an attractive, pro-style offense.
It is Michigan State-Ohio State week-finally. And Kyle Austin of Mlive.com has a look at how these programs have dominated the Big Ten the last three years.
Heading into a top-10 matchup on Saturday in Columbus, Michigan State and Ohio State have combined for a 42-1 record against all other Big Ten schools since the start of the 2013 season. Should both teams win their season finales next week, they would complete a three-year stretch that's as dominant as any that Michigan and Ohio State — or any two Big Ten schools — have ever put together.
The Mackey Award is down to eight tight ends as semifinalists. The only Big Ten tight end on the list is Michigan?s Jake Butt. And, as a voter, I included him in the top three I sent to the Mackey committee on Monday.
Butt leads all Big Ten tight ends with 38 receptions for 500 yards. He's also caught two touchdown passes, including a 21-yarder in overtime last week during Michigan's 48-41 win at Indiana. Butt also leads all tight ends on the final eight Mackey list in receptions and yards through 10 games.
Indiana will try to rebound from a tough double-overtime loss at home to Michigan, needing to win its last two games (at Maryland; at Purdue) to get to 6-6. I like IU?s chances.
One area that?s lacking: The secondary, which just hasn?t developed under Kevin Wilson. Of the 128 Football Bowl Subdivision teams, Indiana ranks last in passing yards allowed per game (341).
Among Beathard?s many bullet points is his 10-0 record since being named the starter over Jake Rudock in January — following Iowa's 7-6 disappointment in 2014. And Beathard is tough, playing through limiting hip and groin injuries since Oct. 10 against Illinois.
?C.J.?s putting it on the line again,? Iowa center Austin Blythe said after Saturday?s 40-35 win over Minnesota. ?That?s just the kind of competitor he is.?
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