2013 Big Ten Football Power Rankings: Hip Hop MCs Edition

kanye-west-big-ten-football

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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Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. Georgia Bulldogs in Capital One Bowl

Georgia Bulldogs Cheerleaders

The SEC championship game runner-up Georgia Bulldogs (11-2) were extended, and accepted, an invitation to the Capital One Bowl (we used to know it as the Citrus Bowl)
Sunday to face Big Ten championship game runner-up Nebraska (10-3) in Orlando, Tuesday, Jan. 1.

UGA will be HUGE favorites! They were five yards away from playing for the national title, and taking on a team that just surrendered 70 points to a 7-5 opponent.

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Can Nebraska RB Rex Burkhead win the Big 10 Silver Football?

Perhaps the position with the most tradition at Nebraska is tailback. The starter this fall is Rex Burkhead, a senior who’s been inspired by some of the past greats in Lincoln.

“Roy (Helu) last year, he was a guy I looked up to quite a bit. He was a great player, but also a great person. Seeing how he went about his business, and his daily routine,” Burkhead said.

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Will Compton: Nebraska Cornhuskers leader on defense

will-compton

The Nebraska Cornhuskers will be without their three superstars on defense from last year: Alfonzo Dennard, Jared Crick and Lavonte David. All are in the NFL now. Even with the trio, the team’s defense wasn’t all that spectacular in 2011. Linebacker Will Compton may not have as much NFL potential as Baker Steinkuhler, or some of the other blackshirts, but he’s the heart and soul of their defense this fall.

Compton talked about all the challenges he faces as a Linebacker going against the various offenses in the Big Ten.

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Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez Continues Throwing Progression

Taylor Martinez

While college students across the nation were enjoying a week-long break from the pressures of schoolwork, Nebraska’s Taylor Martinez was doing something quite different.

The quarterback, instead of relaxing at the beach, went back home to California and used the time to work on his throwing.

Talk about commitment.

Martinez worked for three days with quarterback coach Steve Calhoun, a man who runs a quarterback development camp called Armed and Dangerous Football Camp and can count Cam Newton and Jake Locker among his former students.

Martinez praised the three days with Calhoun as a wonderful learning experience, but if there was one lesson to be taken from their work, it was a simple, yet important message: improve footwork. [Read more…]

Nebraska spring football: preview of the Cornhuskers offense and defense

Bo Pelini

After ending their 2011 campaign with a disappointing defeat at the hands of the South Carolina Gamecocks, the Nebraska Cornhuskers are more than happy to herald in a new season with the return of spring football.

Nebraska began its spring football season on March 10 and ran three practices before ending temporarily on March 14. The season has been idle since as players enjoy their spring breaks, but they will be back soon enough with the return date to practice of March 26 and the spring game date of April 14 set firmly on their calendars.

The Cornhuskers finished a solid 9-4 in 2011, but were rather disappointed with that mark, hoping to win the Big Ten in its maiden year in the league rather than finishing a measly third place in the Legends Division.

This is a time for the team to do some spring cleaning, sweeping out any issues that plagued them last season. So, here are the issues coach Bo Pelini will attempt to clean up on each side of the ball.

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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.

#16 Nebraska vs. #18 Michigan: Brutally Honest Game Preview

michigan-wolverines-cheerleaders

In both the present and the future these two teams matter much for Big Ten. The loser between the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Michigan Wolverines is officially eliminated from the conference title. The winner stands as the #2 should Sparty falter down the stretch, and would grab the trip to Indianapolis in place of Michigan State. That’s the short term.

In the long run, these two programs will have to carry the league flag for awhile. There are only four big traditional powers in the Big Ten, and these two right here will need to step up while the other two (Ohio State and Penn State) are in disarray for a few years. Of course, the level of disarray and the fallout yet to come is a million times worse at PSU.

Coincidentally, the two scandalous league powers play each other this Saturday. While the two “clean” powers do battle with each other as well. I’m sure league officials are really glad now that Nebraska joined, and that Michigan seems to have turned the corner.

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Penn State is “Radioactive” to Bowl Selection Committees; Big 10 Bowl Projections

penn st logo

“They’re radioactive,” a bowl official told Herb Gould of the Chicago Sun-Times yesterday. “[Bowls] wanted Joe Paterno ‘s last game, not a nightmare.”

The Nittany Lions finish the season at Ohio State and Wisconsin. The OSU game looks like a toss-up, and the Badgers will likely destroy them. That season ending tilt is looking like it’ll be the Leaders division championship game, with the winner going to Indianapolis. So Penn State still has a chance to go to the Big Ten title game and the Rose Bowl; although it looks much less likely given how they performed Saturday.

Remember, the bowl selection process is arbitrary and capricious to say the least, and since PSU is a branding and PR nightmare right now, they could fall to the Ticketcity or  Meineke Bowl. If it comes to that, hopefully the school will do the right thing and decline their bid. Even if it doesn’t come to that, and PSU ends up in one of the top five slots, they should do the right thing and decline their invitation.

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#12 Penn State Nittany Lions #19 Nebraska Cornhuskers: Brutally Honest Game Preview

Darren Rovell's photo Penn State's logo today (via @Quickish, @n2st)

Penn State news that actually focuses on college football? Hhmm, yeah, we’ll try.

It’s hard to think about football when you have a campus in mutiny due to the firing of one of the game’s biggest icons. And that firing was justified because of the university’s looking the other way while a defensive coordinator raped children.

It’s also harder to preview this game when Penn State cancelled their weekly press conference. But alas, we will talk about football. It’s SAD and PATHETIC that PSU is “carrying the flag” for the Big Ten conference. They’re the highest ranked team, the only team with just one-loss and the only squad undefeated in conference play.

So, until further notice they are the Big Ten’s (sigh) “best team.”

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Nebraska National Champion Wes Mabin Sees Nephew Become Star at Northwestern

The addition of the Nebraska Cornhuskers to the Big Ten in 2011 means there are now two NUs in the league. And there’s connections between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Huskers. Former blackshirt/cornerback Wes Mabin (1968-1971), won two national titles under Bob Devaney (Tom Osborne was still offensive coordinator) at Nebraska in the early 1970s. The 6-2, 184 DB played left corner and wore #39.

His nephew is 5-11 (and that’s a very generously listed height) Northwestern cornerback Jordan Mabin, a three year starter.

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Big 10 Bowl Projections; Much Hinges on Wisconsin Badgers

When looking at the Big Ten conference standings, and trying to figure out the hierarchy for the college football bowl system, I can’t help but think of one of my favorite lines from the ’80s movie “Fletch.”

“I’d say we’re in a gray area.”

“How gray?”

“Charcoal.”

We do know this however- the Big Ten bellcow is still Wisconsin (get it bellcow, dairy state?). The Badgers, last year’s Rose Bowl representative is still the favorite to go to Pasadena this year.

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