Preview: #6 Michigan State versus #10 Ohio State

Michigan State’s New Year’s Resolutions: Buckle Down Before Big Ten Play

christmas gift

‘Tis the season, my friends, and as 2012 approaches, a few new items may be on Tom Izzo and the Spartans’ “Wish List.” With conference play starting soon, here are a few things that Michigan State will be looking to fine-tune in time for big, bad Big Ten play.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers-Iowa Hawkeyes Rivalry: Tom Osborne is Excited

On the last Friday of November in Lincoln, Neb., the college football teams from the University of Iowa and the University of Nebraska will square off in the first of what is expected to be a long and competitive and entertaining rivalry between one of the Big Ten Conference’s original member institutions and the league’s most recent addition.
It could be the beginning of a huge rivalry between the Cornhuskers and the Hawkeyes.

“It is the last regular season game, so it may have implications on the Big Ten title game which will be a week later. I have not spoken to the players on how much it will mean but it will be like every game,” said Nebraska Athletic Director Tom Osborne.

Northwestern moves to 6-5, gains bowl eligibility

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four weeks ago, Northwestern had hit rock bottom. The ‘Cats were 2-5 after a five-game losing streak – blowing substantial leads in several of those games – and were on the verge of a losing record, which would have ended the streak of four consecutive years of bowl eligibility. With a four-game winning streak, however, including an upset over Nebraska on the road, the Wildcats have completed the miraculous comeback to bowl eligibility. As head coach Pat Fitzgerald has said multiple times during the winning streak, the ‘Cats are trying to make it a November to remember. [Read more…]

Going Inside Big Ten Network Headquarters, Conference Expansion Rumors

Last night I was lucky enough to be at a small private reception that included Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany. Yes, I was at the same party as the most powerful man in the prestigious college basketball and college football league.

Delaney’s a University of North Carolina alum, and this was a Chicago Carolina Club gathering at Japonais, a downtown restaurant located a few floors below the Big Ten Network (BTN) studio. Yes, I infiltrated a group of Tar Heels (despite the horrors of the 2005 national title game) in order to get the story.

Before we get to the tour, we’ll go over some conference expansion rumors and innuendo. Because once you get on any topic remotely connected to this issue these days, the conversation inevitably leads there anyway.

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#8 Nebraska Cornhuskers: College Football 77 in 77

Nebraska’s Jared Crick: Best NFL Talent in Big 10, Not the Next Suh

Jared Crick has really torn up opposing offenses in his three years with the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Ndamukong Suh’s alma mater. Crick is a dominating player in his own right; but he’s not like Suh. Detroit Lions DL Ndamukong Suh was fined $20,000 by the NFL last Wednesday for a hit on Cincinnati Bengals QB Andy Dalton.

Infractions aside, Suh is a beast among beasts, and the search is on for NFL teams to find the next game-changing DL in his mold. Crick’s name comes up often in this specific discussion because well obviously he played with Suh and wears the same uniform. But Crick has his own legacy to build.

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Nebraska Cornhuskers Back-7 Blackshirt Stars: Lavonte David and Alfonzo Dennard

Defense is a tradition in Lincoln, Nebraska. The “Blackshirts” are a legendary point of pride for the Nebraska Cornhuskers college football program, and this year’s unit looks especially special. There are future NFL stars and potential national award winners in all three position groups. We’ll get to DTs Jared Crick and Baker Steinkuhler later.

For now, let’s focus on seniors LB Lavonte David and CB Alfonzo Dennard.

David was described by NU Defensive Coordinator Carl Pellini as “another quick reactor that has a great feel for the box. He just always seems to be around the football. He has that knack that great linebackers have and is equally good defending the run and the pass. He’s a very balanced player.”

Lavonte is a junior college transfer who set the school record for single season tackles last year.

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Next Ndamukong Suh: Michigan Wolverines Mike Martin? Possibly?

suh

Detroit Lions DL Ndamukong Suh was fined $20,000 by the NFL Wednesday for a hit on Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton, Suh’s third fine of this sort in the past year. He was obviously upset, tweeting before practice: “$20,000REALLY???!!!!!!… #NFL #BIGFAIL”

The reigning NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year grabbed the Bengals rookie ginger-haired quarterback after he released the ball, and threw him to the turf in the first quarter of Friday’s preseason game. Suh was penalized for unnecessary roughness.

Infractions aside, Suh is a beast among beasts, and the search is on for NFL teams to find the next game-changing DL in his mold. How about Jared Crick, who’s tearing it up for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, Suh’s alma mater? Well, Crick is a dominating player in his own right; but he’s not like Suh. We’ll explore this more in a future post.

But we may have found another Suh.

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With Nebraska Cornhuskers in Big 10, All “NU” Rivalry with Northwestern Developing?

northwestern wildcats

There’s a new college football team which simply has a “N” on it’s helmet in the Big Ten this year. This year, the addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers means we have a new NU in the league. Contrary to popular practice/belief, the Northwestern Wildcats are NU, not NWU or NW as you’ll sometimes hear/see on ESPN. The school chant is “Go U, NU!”

The Cats and Cornhuskers haven’t played all that much, so they don’t have much of a rivalry and obviously, the two programs are at opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to winning tradition- 5 national titles on one side, versus zero bowl wins this past half-century). But they did meet in the 2000 Alamo Bowl.

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Big 10 Football to Play 9 Game Conference Schedule starting in 2017

Big Ten football announced today that the conference will move to a nine-game Big Ten schedule beginning in 2017.

“Today’s announcement is another significant step for the Big Ten,” Purdue athletics director Morgan Burke said. “Nothing beats two conference teams getting after one another on Saturdays, and I know our fans will embrace the additional Big Ten matchup.”

Only one team in history (the 1983 Illinois Fighting Illini Rose Bowl team) has gone 9-0 in conference. In those days, the league had 10 teams and played every other team once every year. That team will go down as the only squad ever to defeat all other league teams in nine games.

But we’ll see in ’17 if anyone can go 9-0 with 11 other teams in the conference. Here’s how it breaks down:

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Big Ten Preview

iowa cheerleaders

I gave this interview to college football zealots.com who asked me to preview my alma mater, the University of Illinois for them.

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