Big Ten Basketball Season Preview


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Big Ten basketball season cannot get here fast enough. Especially for someone like me, who covers two college football teams, Northwestern and Illinois who are #10 and #11 in everybody’s conference power rankings. Then again college basketball season is always something that never gets here soon enough for me. I prefer college hoops over college football.

The two times I went on spring break in college I don’t recall anything about the partying I did in Cancun or Key West, but I can tell you the exact score of the 2001 Michigan State versus Penn State Big Ten Tournament game. I don’t remember the names of any of the girls I hooked up with on spring break, whether they were hot or ugly or mediocre. Or even if they were any good in bed. They probably were as refined and classy as the lovely young ladt pictured above I’m sure. But I vividly remember the Maryland vs Duke ACC Quarterfinal game that went into double-overtime.

The point is, even paying hundreds of dollars to go escape the winter chill and enjoy the alcohol and sunshine; I was still more into watching college basketball.

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Ra’Shede Hageman looks like a top 10 NFL Draft Pick


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Ra’Shede Hageman is a hometown product getting it done for the Minnesota Golden Gophers.

The Minneapolis native is leading the Gophers in tackles for losses and looks like a top ten pick in the NFL Draft in May. It’s a toss-up between Ra’Shede Hageman or Michigan OT Taylor Lewan to be the first Big Ten player taken in the draft. They are also the only guys who could be top ten picks.
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Tracy Claeys gets win for Jerry Kill, Gophers


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Tracy Claeys scored his first win as Interim Head Coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers today in front of an announced attendance of 36,587 at Ryan Field in Evanston.

Tracy Claeys got blown out by the Michigan Wolverines two weeks ago on the road, but had a bye week to prepare for this one. And his Gophers responded by winning 20-17 in a game that was essentially a play-in contest for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl. Or maybe the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl actually.
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Golden Gophers Donnell Kirkwood returning this week vs NU?


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“You have to be finesse, it’s everything war is, just without a gun and bullets. And I think that’s what I like about it,” Donnell Kirkwood said about the game he plays.

The Minnesota Golden Gophers running back was by far the best interview at Big Ten football Media Day.

He was so good that he was also the second, third and fourth best interview at this college football media day. And perhaps he’ll make his return this Saturday for Minnesota. Kirkwood and the Gophers head to Northwestern for an 11 AM Saturday kickoff. If he plays, it will be Kirkwood’s first Big Ten action this season.

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Marc Trestman “playing ’74 Golden Gophers football” –Dungy


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Marc Trestman has been called many things lately: mad scientist, Willy Wonka, Quarterback Guru, Quarterback Whisperer. Tony Dungy, who was Trestman’s roommate for road games in college described the Chicago Bears ’ new offense: “You’re not seeing Canadian football. What you’re seeing is University of Minnesota 1974 football.”

If Marc Trestman mania hadn’t already started last night…well it’s morning now in Chicago, Marc Trestman mania has officially begun.

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#59 Minnesota Golden Gophers: College Basketball 111 in 111


richard pitino minnesota

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s fourth annual college basketball season preview series where we break 111 teams in the 111 days leading up to the opening tip-off of the 2013-2014 season.  We will rank the 84 power conference teams (including the new Big East and American Athletic Conferences) and top 27 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

Good bye, Tubby Smith.  Hello, Richard Pitino.  The Minnesota Golden Gophers made a needed coaching change this off-season and now enter a new era.  It will take Pitino some time to make his mark on the program though as Minnesota will struggle in the Big Ten this year due to a ton of uncertainty at frontcourt (to be honest, I totally over-ranked them.)

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Big Ten football power rankings: lipstick on a pig edition


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During Big Ten football Saturdays like this, how do you spin what happened? How do you put lipstick on these pigs? And even though Northwestern out-gained an AWFUL Western Michigan team by just 126 yards, they’ve still earned the second slot.

You can argue that a different Big Ten football team deserves to be there. But my argument is pretty solid for NU. Also, Illinois gave up 615 yards and lost “at home,” and yet they move UP not down this week.

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100th Rose Bowl Game logo, stadium and trophy get updated


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The Rose Bowl is hitting the century mark!

Like Dr. Dre and 2pac Shakur told us in “California Love:” “Pasadena. Pasadena, where ya at?”

The SEC might have better football but they don’t have the Rose Bowl oh, and Big Ten Media Day is in an actual city. And a much more civilized place. Just like the conference teams themselves, are in places you would actually want to live; unlike the SEC.

Anyways, today was a big day for the Rose Bowl. I’ll be back later with more quotes from the Tournament of Roses Chairman about the game from Big Ten Media Day.

The Rose Bowl will become the first college football bowl game to reach 100 this Jan 1. And the Rose Bowl is also hosting the next college football national title game on top of that. The Tournament of Roses, the Big Ten and Pac-12 Conferences unveiled modifications to the champion’s trophy and a new logo to commemorate the 100th Rose Bowl Game.

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Taylor Martinez headlines Big Ten Football Luncheon/Media Days


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Nebraska Cornshukers QB Taylor Martinez headlines the Big Ten Conference player list announced today. What list is that? The 36, three from each team, scheduled to attend the 2013 Big Ten Media Days and Kickoff Luncheon Wednesday and Thursday, July 24 and 25, at the Hilton Chicago.

The Kickoff Luncheon begins on Thursday, July 25, at 10 a.m. with the players and coaches autograph and photo session for fans attending the luncheon. The luncheon is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m., with comments from all 12 coaches and Big Ten Medal of Honor recipient John Urschel of Penn State. T

Taylor Martinez might be the most polarizing, or interesting player attending from a media point of view, but the best player is certainly the league’s reigning offensive player of the year, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller. He’s not as interesting a story or as good a soundbite, but he’s the only true Heisman contender on this list.

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2013 Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Hip Hop MCs Edition


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Can’t leave Big Ten football alone the game needs me. Notorious B.I.G. once said that he raps about the ghetto because that’s what he knows. And…”if I worked at McDonald’s, I’d be rapping about Big Macs and fries.”

You write and talk what you know and live. And I know Big Ten football. We’re still a ways away from Big Ten football media days. Well, less than two weeks now. The preseason is indeed here, time for some WAY TOO Early Big Ten football power rankings

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2013 College Football rankings 1-77


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Welcome to the 2013 college football preseason! It officially starts today. Whatever keeps me from having to write about baseball; as that actually subtracts page views from my website- for whatever reason.

Sadly, the 2013 college football 77 in 77 does not include the Illinois Fighting Illini. We’ll rank and preview one team a day for the next 77 days, ending with #1 Alabama Crimson Tide on the Thursday before the 2013 college football season begins.

This is the first year I’ve done the 77 in 77 in which my alma mater, the Illini, are not included.

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2014 NBA Mock Draft (6/28/13)


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It’s already time to start looking ahead.  The 2014 NBA Draft class is shaping up to be way more loaded than the 2013 group.  Here is an insanely early 2014 NBA Mock Draft where team needs and outstanding trades have NOT yet been taken into account.

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