Big Ten Big Revenue

Posted on May 31, 2016. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports, Sports Business | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten revenue jumps…

May 20, 2016

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BIGTEN-LARGE

Business is booming for the Big Ten or should we say CHA-CHING$$$

statefarm1According to tax records obtained by USA Today, the Big Ten had a significant revenue increase – nearly $110 million – during the fiscal year that ended June 30, 2015 – WHEW! Overall, the conference brought in $448.8 million in total revenue, which divvies up to “roughly $32.4 million to each of its longest-standing 11 members.”

Not too shabby. By comparison, during the same time frame, the SEC brought in $527.4 million to distribute to its 14 members.

The introduction of the College Football Playoff also undoubtedly played a role in the increased revenue.

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From USA Today:

The Big Ten annually provides a figure for what it terms “Sports Revenue.” Based on the way the conference categorizes other revenue streams, “Sports Revenue” includes — but is not exclusively comprised of — TV revenue and revenue from football bowl games.

The conference reported about $317 million in “Sports Revenue” in fiscal 2014 and almost $397 million in 2015 — an $80 million difference. Based on reports from other conferences that approximate their bowl revenue increases from the CFP, it is likely that $50 million to $60 million of the Big Ten’s “Sports Revenue” increase is attributable to the TV rights fee increases that resulted from adding Maryland and Rutgers.

In addition,  the Big Ten is working toward a new TV deal. SportsBusiness Journal reported last month that the conference is nearing a $250 million per year agreement with Fox (which owns 51% of Big Ten Network) that would span six years.

The reported deal with Fox, which is said to have outbid ESPN by a significant margin, would cover just half of the league’s overall package. Whether ESPN gets back in the mix for the Big Ten’s remaining media rights (as John Skipper says it wants to) remains to be seen.

For more visit SportsBusiness Journal.

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Big Ten Week 11 Recap

Posted on November 13, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Movers weekend…

November 13, 2015

What a week: Buckeyes and Iowa are still unbeaten… Hoosiers push Wolverines in OT… Sparty’s Cook is hurt

Given what we have to look forward to over the next couple weeks, this week’s lineup felt a bit like the calm before the storm. There weren’t any “huge” surprises… Let’s recap…

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CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Ohio State now may look ahead to the Michigan State game many have had circled all season as they defeat Illinois 28-3.

Ohio State (10-0, 6-0 Big Ten) again started the game sluggish as the Buckeyes led just 14-3 at halftime. After J.T. Barrett was ruled short of the end zone on back-to-back runs and Ohio State missed a field goal on its opening drive, he hooked up with Thomas for a 24-yard touchdown pass on the second drive of the game.

Illinois then added a field goal to trim the deficit to 7-3 before Barrett plunged it in from 6 yards out late in the second quarter to give the Buckeyes their 11-point halftime lead.

Running back Ezekiel Elliott topped the 100-yard mark for the 15th-straight game, the Buckeyes limited Illinois to just 20 yards rushing and Ohio State racked up 440 yards of total offense and scored in each and every quarter – Whew!

Elliott gained 181 yards on the ground on 27 carries with a pair of touchdowns. The junior running back scored from 1 yard out to give the third-ranked Buckeyes a three-score lead midway through the third quarter and then put the game on ice with a 10-yard scoring run early in the fourth.

Barrett went 15-for-23 passing for 150 yards with one touchdown and one interception and Michael Thomas led the Ohio State wide receivers with six catches for 76 yards and a score. Barrett also gained 74 yards on the ground on 16 carries.

Ohio State held the Illini to just 101 yards of total offense in the first half while racking up 209 of its own. Barrett was 9-for-13 passing for 106 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while also carrying the ball 11 times for 56 yards and a score. Elliott had 47 of his yards in the first half.

“To come on the road, our defense is playing lights out and that’s obvious. The only issue I have, I think we controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides and the negative is we have to be more balanced,” coach Meyer said after Ohio State won it’s 10th game of the year, defeating Illinois 28-3 Saturday. “We know what’s coming down the road next week and we have to be a little bit more balanced than we were and that starts with pass protection. That was the only negative.”

Ohio State hosts 13th-ranked Michigan State next Saturday, and I’m certain ESPN GameDay will be in Columbus for this one!

NOTE: Ohio State has won a Big Ten-record 30 conference games in a row, breaking the current conference landscape mark of 29 consecutive wins in the ACC by Florida State from 1992-95.

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The health of Connor Cook is going to be a pretty big discussion point leading up to next weekend’s showdown in Columbus. The senior went out in the first quarter with a shoulder injury and was clearly in a lot of pain. Though Cook did return for the second quarter, backup Tyler O’Connor was under center for the second half.

It wasn’t the most prolific passing day for the Spartans as Cook completed just 6 of 20 passes for 77 yards and an interception. O’Connor was 6 of 11 for 44 yards with one touchdown and an interception of his own. Gerald Holmes led the rushing attack with 18 of the team’s 41 carries. The sophomore finished the day with 83 yards and a score. After a hot start to the season, true freshman L.J. Scott continues to see limited touches, rushing just two times for 12 yards. Wideout Macgarrett Kings Jr. added 48 receiving yards—including a very nice one-handed grab—and hauled in a touchdown pass.

The Maryland offense was plagued by turnovers and could only manage 289 yards on the day. Quarterbacks Perry Hills and Caleb Rowe combined for 182 yards and three interceptions. Junior tailback Wes Brown rushed for 52 yards while Hills added another 39 on the ground.

Gigantic contest next week… who will seal the victory Sparty or Buckeyes?

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It is being reported that LeShun Daniels had a career day for the Hawkeyes, rushing for 195 yards and a trio of touchdowns. And his QB, C.J. Beathard, connected on 18 of 26 passes for for 213 yards and an additional 50 yards on the ground with a pair of scores.

Mitch Leidner and Shannon Brooks led the way for the Gophs’ offense. Leidner totaled 291 yards of offense and a pair of scores. Brooks added 86 yards and a rushing touchdown. The freshman tailback also connected with Drew Wolitarsky for a touchdown off of a halfback pass.

With a win over Purdue next week, the Hawkeyes will clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship Game. Any takers that they won’t win next week?

48 michigan2014  indiana-helmet 41 OVERTIME

The Hoosiers had a chance to tie the game—or possibly win it—but they were unable to punch it in as Nate Sudfeld’s pass fell incomplete at the goal line. The Indiana ground attack had been gashing the Michigan defense all game, leaving many to question the decision to throw the football from two yards out.

De’Veon Smith and the Wolverine running game were stymied for the majority of the day, but quarterback Jake Rudock put together the best performance of his career. The senior threw for 440 yards and six touchdowns while adding another 64 yards on the ground. Outside of a bad third-quarter interception, Rudock was nearly perfect. Jehu Chesson hauled in ten passes for 207 yards and four touchdowns, including the five-yarder that tied the game with no time left in regulation. Amara Darboh and Jake Butt each caught touchdown passes as well.

Junior tailback Jordan Howard put on a show for the Hoosiers, rushing for 238 yards and two scores against the nation’s third-ranked rushing defense. Sudfeld threw for 220 yards and a score. Simmie Cobbs Jr. led all IU pass-catchers with four receptions for 86 yards. The Hoosiers have now lost six consecutive games after starting off 4-0.

Believe it or not, the Wolverines kept their Big Ten title hopes alive with a double-overtime win in Bloomington.

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And finally…

With Week 11 in the books, we are down to just two more weekends of regular season Big Ten play. Yes, it’s sad that things are winding down, but the fun is really just beginning. Ohio State fans have watched their Buckeyes (mostly) cruise through the past few weeks, but it’s going to be a different ballgame from here on out.

Next weekend is gonna be a doozy. The Buckeyes will host the Spartans (and a number of the nation’s top high school talent will be on the sidelines – visitors weekend in Columbus), the Wolverines travel to Happy Valley, and the Badgers are home against Northwestern. Should be a good one in the Big Ten!

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BIG Ten Week 9

Posted on November 2, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Suspension, Movement, Emotions and Blow outs….

October 31, 2015

Let’s recap….

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Barrett Benched for BOOZ
Shortly after J.T. Barrett was arrested for operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated, Ohio State announced that the quarterback would be suspended for the Buckeyes’ next game, Nov. 7, against Minnesota.

This was a first offense for Barrett, and since it was an alcohol violation, the school’s alcohol/substance abuse policy dictates that Barrett must enter a management program. Beyond that, no suspension is mandated by program policy.

This is an important distinction: Urban Meyer was not obligated to suspend J.T. Barrett (https://twitter.com/AWardESPN/status/660490132382969856), but did so, anyway.

Given the reaction by some fans – particularly fans of other programs – and some in the media, condemning Meyer for being too lenient, it’s worth looking at what other schools have done in similar situations.

Barrett will serve his time and hopefully learn from this incident. And Urban Meyer isn’t doing anything that other coaches have done when faced with similar situations.

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Michigan 29, Minnesota 26

It was another crazy finish for the Wolverines, but this time they came out on top as Minnesota failed to find the endzone on the game’s final play. Down by a field goal, the Gophs had the ball on the Michigan one-yard line with just two seconds left to play. New interim head coach Tracy Claeys elected to go for the win, but quarterback Mitch Leidner was stuffed on a quarterback sneak as time expired.

Jake Rudock had an up-and-down day before exiting the game with an apparent head injury late in the third quarter. The senior completed 13 of 21 passes for 140 yards with one touchdown and an interception. Rudock took a big hit just before he could slide down after a short scramble. Sophomore Wilton Speight took over at quarterback and hit Jehu Chesson for a 12-yard touchdown that would prove to be the game-winner. Amara Darboh led the Wolverine receivers with six reception for 73 yards. Rudock connected with Chesson for a 13-yard score in the second quarter and Jabrill Peppers scored his first career touchdown on a six-yard rush out of the wildcat.

The Gophers were able to move the ball against the nation’s top-ranked defense, putting up 461 yards of total offense. Mitch Leidner accounted for 354 of those yards and a pair of touchdowns. Freshman tailback Rodney Smith was able to find some success on the ground as he rushed for 74 yards on 12 carries.

After a long pass play, Minnesota had the ball inside the Wolverine one-yard line with 18 seconds left in the game. However, it seemed that Leidner wasn’t aware that the clock would be running as he let precious time tick away.

After spending a year in Minneapolis, the Little Brown Jug will head back to Ann Arbor.

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Iowa 31, Maryland 15

Akrum Wadley, LeShun Daniels, and the Hawkeye running game led the way as Kirk Ferentz moved to 8-0 on the season. Wadley tallied 67 yards rushing while Daniels added 60 yards of his own. Both backs also found the endzone. Junior quarterback C.J. Beathard completed 12 of 23 passes for 183 yards; the majority of those yards going to junior wideout Matt VandeBerg.

Cornerback Desmond King once again led the way as the Hawkeye defense forced four turnovers on the day. The junior recorded his seventh interception—tied for tops in the nation—and returned it for an 88-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Penn State 39, Illinois 0

While the defense has been the talk of the season for Penn State, the offense showed up on Saturday against the Illini. Christian Hackenberg completed 21 of 29 passes for 266 yards and two touchdowns. The junior quarterback was also on the receiving end of a throwback touchdown from tailback Nick Scott. Saquon Barkley continues to be the workhose for the Nittany Lions, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown. The hurdle is still an integral part of the true freshman’s repertoire.

Chris Godwin and DaeSean Hamilton led the Penn State receivers. Godwin hauled in seven passes for 76 yards and a score while Hamilton added 54 yards on four catches. Barkley also caught three passes for 58 yards. The kicking game may have been the lone blemish for the Nits. Freshman kicker Joey Julius was benched after having two extra points blocked and booting a kickoff out of bounds.

The Illinois offense could only manage 167 yards of total offense against the Nittany Lion defense. Junior quarterback Wes Lunt threw for 129 yards and one interception. Tailbacks Ke’Shawn Vaughn and Cameron Tucker combined for just 56 yards on 17 carries.

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Wisconsin 48, Rutgers 10

Corey Clement’s return provided a spark for the Wisconsin running game as the Badgers dominated the Scarlet Knights in Madison. The junior tailback missed seven weeks after undergoing sports hernia surgery but appeared to be close to 100% on Saturday. Clement played for three quarters and ended the day with 11 carries for 115 yards and three touchdowns.

Senior quarterback Joel Stave connected on 13 of 25 passes for 217 yards with one touchdown and a pair of interceptions. Alex Erickson led all receivers with six receptions for 103 yards and a touchdown.

The Wisconsin defense held the Scarlet Knight offense in check, allowing just 165 yards of total offense. With wide receiver Leonte Carroo sidelined with an injury, quarterback Chris Laviano could only manage four completions for 31 yards and an interception. The lone touchdown for Rutgers came on a pick six by cornerback Blessuan Austin.

Purdue 55, Nebraska 45

Things haven’t been going so well for the Husks, and now many are questioning whether Mike Riley will last more than one season in Lincoln. Darrell Hazell’s Boilermakers gave their third-year head coach his first home conference win on Saturday, topping Nebraska in a 100-point shootout.

Freshman quarterback David Blough accounted for five touchdowns for the Boilermakers as he threw for 274 yards and added another 82 on the ground. Markell Jones rushed for 92 yards and a pair of touchdowns while DeAngelo Yancey hauled in five passes for 111 yards and two scores; including an 83-yarder.

Quarterback Tommy Armstrong was sidelined with a foot injury, so the Huskers turned to junior Ryker Fyfe. Fyfe threw for 407 yards and four touchdowns but was also picked off four times, including three by Purdue’s Anthony Brown. Jordan Westerkamp and Brandon Reilly led the Nebraska pass-catchers as both wideouts found the endzone on the day.

And finally…

what did we learn this week? Nebraska is really bad and Mike Riley may be on some thin ice, Minnesota played some pretty good football after Jerry Kill’s surprising resignation, the Hawkeyes remain unbeaten, and Corey Clement is still good at running with the football in his hands.

As for next week? Cardale Jones and the Buckeyes will play host to the Gophs, Michigan takes on Rutgers, and the Spartans will head to Lincoln.

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Big Ten Week 5 Recap

Posted on October 2, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Conference play time… time to make a move!

October 3, 2015

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With non-conference play done for the season, it’s finally time to test each other and figure out who is the best in the Big Ten this season. These are the real games where every win and loss will determine who will be making that trip to Indianapolis in December, and that first step begins this weekend.

Conference upsets? Mmmmmmm… Let’s take a look at how things transpired.

There are three pivotal games in the Big Ten this weekend.

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Coach Harbough has these guys believing in each other as well as the system as them steamrolled Maryland and shut them out at home.

The Wolverines were solid on both sides of the ball and senior QB Jake Rudock controlled the tempo and finished the contest going 16 of 32 for 180 yards with one touchdown.

The Michigan defense forced three turnovers as the Terps’ quarterback situation continues to look disastrous. Junior Caleb Rowe was picked off three times before being benched for the second straight week. Rowe has now thrown 12 interceptions on the season.

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The Wildcats pitched a shutout while only allowing just 173 yards to the Gophs’ offense. Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner was held to just 72 yards passing and one interception on the day. Can you say defense?

The Wildcat offense was led by quarterback Clayton Thorson and tailback Justin Jackson. Thorson threw for 128 yards and added another 24 yards and two scores on the ground. Jackson rushed for 120 yards on twenty carries.

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Nebraska has had some major issues in the waning minutes of its games thus far, and that continued Saturday in Champaign. The Illini scored the game-winning touchdown with just seconds left on the clock; something that is becoming all too familiar to Husker fans. Talk about disappointment.

The Illini (4-1, 1-0 in Big Ten) defense stopped the Cornhuskers (2-3, 0-1) on a fourth-and-7 at their own 27-yard line with only 51 seconds to play to give Wes Lunt one last shot at winning the drive. At that point, on three straight plays, Lunt went to his favorite target, Geronimo Allison. Twice Allison caught the ball, only it was out of bounds. But the Nebraska secondary also interfered with Allison to move the ball to the 1.

Lunt finally hit Allison in bounds, low and just inside the end zone for the game winner with 10 seconds to play.

Lunt led the way for the Illini as the junior threw for 251 yards and a pair of scores, while Allison finished with eight passes for 91 yards and a score.

Tommy Armstrong struggled just about all day for Nebraska, completing just 10 of 31 passes for 105 yards and an interception. True freshman tailback Devine Ozigbo ran for 70 yards and a touchdown on just seven carries.

The win snapped a three-game losing streak in Big Ten openers, and was Illinois’ first victory against Nebraska since 1924.

Attendance: 40,138

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Upset? Naw… just slow, sloppy game. The Badgers held Iowa quarterback C.J. Beathard to just 77 yards passing but the Hawkeye defense forced four turnovers in leading the way to the victory.

Jordan Canzeri led the way again for the Iowa offense, rushing for 125 yards on 26 carries. The lone touchdown of the contest came just before halftime as Beathard connected with tight end George Kittle for a one-yard score. The Hawkeye offense managed just 221 yards on the day and failed to put up any points in the second half.

For the Badgers, senior quarterback Joel Stave did not have his finest day. He threw for 234 yards with two interceptions while also losing a pair of fumbles.

This lose snapped Wisconsin’s ten-game home winning streak.

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Moral victory or did the Spartans play down to the Boilermakers and took their feet off of the gas pedal?  State was up 21-0 halftime and Purdue’s running back Markell Jones caused all kinds of fits for the Spartans. The true freshman rushed for 157 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. Quarterback David Blough added 136 yards and a score through the air. Late in the fourth quarter with a chance to pull off one of the season’s biggest upsets, but they failed to convert on fourth down, allowing the Spartans to remain among the unbeatens.

Connor Cook threw for a meager 138 yards and a touchdown, but the Michigan State running game continues to lead the way on offense. True freshman L.J. Scott had the best game of his young career, rushing for 146 yards and two touchdowns on just 18 carries. Madre London added 97 yards on the ground while Cook chipped in another 48 yards.

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Army 14,  Penn State 20

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It was a bit of an ugly week for the conference as Ohio State and Michigan State both struggled but they snagged the ‘W’ – no one will care how they won in November. Northwestern and Iowa continue put together some impressive performances and the Hawkeyes should find themselves ranked this week. And Michigan’s defense continues to look like one of the top units in the country as Jim Harbaugh has the Wolverines on the up and up.

Next week we’ll all be watching as the Buckeyes host Maryland amidst all the homecoming festivities. Indiana travels to Happy Valley for what could be an intriguing matchup. The game of the week will take place in Ann Arbor where Michigan will take on Northwestern.

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BIG Ten Week 3 Recap

Posted on September 19, 2015. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten Week 3….

September 19, 2015

All four of the conference’s ranked teams were victorious this weekend, but there’s been a shake-up in the bottom half of the power rankings. Here’s how things went…..

VIRGINIA TECH 51, Purdue 24

We were LIVE in West Lafayette covering the matchup between Purdue and an ACC powerhouse, Virginia Tech Hokies.  What a sign of two-halves….

Coach Frank Beamer looks at his team as they warm up to play…

Both teams started out 1-1 and this is a non-conference game, both teams are desperate to win for many reasons and looking and for some momentum for the season.

In the end, the Boilermakers’ passing game struggled on Saturday, totaling only 121 yards and zero touchdowns to go along with a pair of interceptions. Hokies’ fullback, Sam Rogers, did better than the Boilermarks actual QB, as he threw two passes – including a touchdown. Thus, the overwhelming score in the loss.

Junior Austin Appleby completed nine of 28 passes for 110 yards and two interceptions. Backup David Blough was three of seven for 11 yards. Markell Jones led the Purdue running game with 90 yards and a touchdown on just six carries. Virginia Tech quarterback Brenden Motley finished the day 15 of 23 for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He also added a rushing score.

Beamer Ball was alive and well as they played their very first game in the fine State of Indiana on Saturday as the Hokies scored a touchdown off a blocked punt. Both defenses also found the endzone by way of fumble recoveries.

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NORTH CAROLINA 48, ILLINOIS 14

After a nice start to the season for the Illini, things came crashing down in Chapel Hill this weekend. The Illi running game seemed to be the only bright spot as they had a total of 227 yards and two scores on the ground. Junior quarterback Wes Lunt completed 15 of 32 passes for 140 yards and an interception.

Senior Josh Ferguson rushed for 133 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries.

NORTHWESTERN 19, DUKE 10

For the Wildcats, Clayton Thorson struggled throughout the day. The redshirt freshman was 9 of 23 for just 70 yards and a pair of interceptions. Tailback Justin Jackson added 120 yards on 35 carries. Backup running back Warren Long led the way for Northwestern. While the junior only touched the ball three times, he recorded a 55-yard touchdown run and recovered a punt late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Wildcats.  Winning ugly is part of a good season. Come November who will actually care how ugly this win was as long as a W was in the right place…

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INDIANA 38, WESTERN KENTUCKY 35

The Big Ten’s leading rusher led the way for the Hoosiers this weekend as Jordan Howard ran for 203 yards on 31 carries. Quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 355 yards and a trio of touchdowns as the offense continued to have its way with opposing defenses. When all was said and done, the IU offense had amassed 639 yards.

MIAMI 36, NEBRASKA 33

A wild comeback by the Huskers forced overtime, but they ended up falling just short after an errant pass by quarterback Tommy Armstrong. The Hurricanes got off to a 17-0 lead in the first quarter, and with just over eight minutes left in the fourth, that lead had grown to 23 points. Nebraska then answered with 23 unanswered points to tie the game at 33-33 and force overtime.

On the first play of overtime, Miami defensive back Corn Elder picked off Armstrong. An ugly late hit by Nebraska offensive tackle Alex Lewis gave the Canes great field position which ultimately led to a chip-shot field goal.

Armstrong tossed four touchdown passes on the day – three of which came in the fourth quarter to help lead the comeback. He threw for 309 yards but also added three costly interceptions.

PENN STATE 28, RUTGERS 3

The Penn State ground game was too much for Rutgers as Big Ten play kicked off on Saturday night. The Nittany Lions rushed for 330 yards, most of which came from Saquon Barkley and Akeel Lynch. Barkley, a true freshman, continues to make an early impact as he rushed for 195 yards and two scores. Lynch added 120 yards and a touchdown of his own.

On the other side of the ball, the Nittany Lions defense continues to be stingy as they allowed less than 300 total yards and forced three turnovers. Rutgers’ quarterback Chris Laviano threw for 213 yards and a pair of interceptions.

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NORTHERN ILLINOIS 13, OHIO STATE 20

MICHIGAN STATE 35, AIR FORCE 21

MICHIGAN 28, UNLV 7

IOWA 27, PITTSBURGH 24

WISCONSIN 28, TROY 3

MINNESOTA 10, KENT STATE 7

MARYLAND 35, SOUTH FLORIDA 17

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Overall, it wasn’t a very impressive from the standpoint of the boxscore this week for the Big Ten, but they went 9-3 including the multiple games with ACC teams.

Nebraska and Illinois both suffered bad losses. The Buckeyes and Spartans weren’t up to snuff against inferior opponents while Minnesota and Indiana barely squeaked by.  But a win is a win right?

What’s on the itinerary for week four? Michigan faces off against BYU – whew! The Hoosiers will be on the road at Wake Forest. Maryland takes on an undefeated West Virginia squad. And the Buckeyes’ offense will look to get back on track against Western Michigan. See yall then…..

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BIG Ten Week 1 Recap

Posted on September 8, 2015. Filed under: Football | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

BIG Ten week 1… improvements!

September 6, 2015

The Big Ten football season kicked off this weekend, and there were a lot of improvements, but it’s difficult to ignore the conference’s struggles from the 2014 campaign. While a 7-5 record may not sound especially awful, you have to consider the quality of the opponents. Let’s take a look at how things transpired…

UTAH 24, MICHIGAN 17

Things got started Thursday in Salt Lake City as head coach Jim Harbaugh made his highly-anticipated Michigan coaching debut on FoxSports1. As expected this was going to be a tough test for the Wolverines but despite the final score, they were able to keep it reasonable. Now on the other side of the ball, UM’s D was pretty tough as they held running back Devontae Booker to just 69 yards on 22 carries.

ALABAMA 35, WISCONSIN 17

The Badgers were able to hang around early against the Crimson Tide, but the Bama was just too much especially on the ground. Derrick Henry ran for 147 yards and three scores while averaging over eleven yards per carry. Kenyan Drake added another 77 rushing yards and a touchdown of his own. Robert Foster led the way for the Bama receivers, hauling in four passes for 50 yards and a score.

Joel Stave was a bright spot for Wisconsin as he threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and a late-game interception. The biggest issue for the Badgers was their lack of a running game.

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NORTHWESTERN 16, STANFORD 6

Upset? Sure according to the analysis but the Wildcats are forreal. And their defense came to play on Saturday, holding the Cardinal offense to 240 yards and forcing two turnovers. The Northwestern offense was led by redshirt freshman quarterback Clayton Thorson and sophomore tailback Justin Jackson. While Thorson didn’t put up huge numbers – 105 yards passing and 68 rushing – he ran for a 42-yard touchdown in the second quarter and, most importantly, didn’t turn the ball over. Jackson added 134 yards on 28 carries.

TCU 23, MINNESOTA 17

The Gophers were looking to avenge last season’s loss to the Horned Frogs, but two costly first-half fumbles ruined that. Quarterback Mitch Leidner fumbled the ball on the Gophs’ second possession which would ultimately lead to a Trevone Boykin touchdown run. After a promising second-quarter drive, Minnesota running back Rodrick Williams Jr. fumbled at the TCU one-yard line; the Horned Frogs recovered in the endzone for a touchback.

BYU 33, NEBRASKA 28

The most heartbreaking loss of week one undoubtedly took place in Lincoln as Mike Riley’s Nebraska debut was spoiled by a BYU hail mary.

MICHIGAN STATE 37, WESTERN MICHIGAN 24

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IOWA 31, ILLINOIS STATE 14

The Hawkeyes kicked things off against a highly ranked FCS team and defending runner-up Illinois State Redbirds. Iowa’s defense shut down the Redbirds’ rushing attack, allowing a mere 35 yards on the ground. The Hawkeye offense was led by quarterback CJ Beathard and running back LeShun Daniels Jr. Beathard threw for 211 yards and one score while also adding two touchdowns on the ground. Daniels Jr., a Warren, OH native, rushed for 123 yards.

ILLINOIS 52, KENT STATE 3

After Friday night’s scheduled showdown was postponed due to lightning, the Illini faithful had to wait a day to dominated the Golden Flashes. The start of the Bill Cubit era featured a much-improved, opportunistic defense that forced four turnovers while holding the Kent State offense to just 59 yards rushing.

On the other side of the ball, Junior quarterback Wes Lunt tossed four touchdown passes and senior tailback Josh Ferguson rushed for 76 yards and scored a pair of touchdowns. When the game got out of hand and some of the younger players began to see the field, true freshman running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn added 43 yards on the ground and a touchdown of his own.

INDIANA 48, SOUTHERN ILLINOIS 47

After suspending nine players for the season opener, the Hoosiers were barely able to fend off the Salukis of Southern Illinois – surviving only after a failed two-point conversion attempt. The Indiana defense gave up a whopping 659 yards as the Hoosiers found themselves down 32-21 at the half.

Offensively, the Hoosiers looked to be in mid-season form. Senior quarterback Nate Sudfeld threw for 351 yards and a score. Running back Jordan Howard, a transfer from UAB, rushed for 145 yards and three scores in his Hoosier debut. While the suspensions definitely played a part in their performance, head coach Kevin Wilson has a lot of work to do on the defensive side of the ball.

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TEMPLE 27, PENN STATE 10

MARYLAND 50, RICHMOND 21

RUTGERS 63, NORFOLK STATE 13

Bottom line? The Big Ten needs to perform better, especially in its more prominent non-conference matchups. There is still a lot of football left – things worked out pretty well after last season’s rough start, wouldn’t you say?

 

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BIG Ten Week 11 Recap

Posted on November 9, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Just another week of football….

November 8, 2014

Wow… what a week for the Big Ten… my staff and I are speechless. And people are questioning why isn’t any Big Ten teams in the top four… whew!!!

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Wisconsin 34, Purdue 16

The Badgers are balanced and have a well-oiled offense.

Melvin Gordon got Wisconsin going with two touchdown runs, and Joel Stave had a great game throwing the ball (17-27, 190 yards, 2 TDs). The only Purdue player to stand out was kicker Paul Griggs, who kicked three field goals. Purdue brought it within 24-16, but Wisconsin pulled away in the fourth quarter.

Michigan 10, Northwestern 9

Another last minute heartbreaking lose for Northwestern…. That’s three years in a row.

Overall, this game had no offense at all. On social media, Michigan-Northwestern was jokingly called the M00N game since the score remained 0-0 for most of the game.

In the third quarter, Michigan turned a botched punt return into a short field touchdown. Northwestern couldn’t respond until the mid-fourth quarter when it marched 95 yards only to kick a field goal (given the game’s context, the dumbest field goal I’ve ever seen).​ After a Michigan field goal, the Wildcats drove for a touchdown with three seconds left to cut it to 10-9. Pat Fitzgerald mercifully called for a two-point conversion to end the game, but Michigan knew what was coming and Trevor Siemian fell down to end the game.

Penn State 13, Indiana 7

This game featured the battle between punters as both teams had a grand total of 20 punts….

The Hoosiers’ struck first on a pick-six by Mark Murphy. A few seconds later, the Nittany Lions countered on Bill Belton’s 92-yard touchdown run, the longest by any player in Penn State history. It was the only offensive highlight on the day. Other than two second half field goals by Penn State’s Sam Ficken… that’s it folks….

Tevin Coleman finished the game with 71 yards on 20 carries.

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Minnesota 51, Iowa 14

Every year, Minnesota and Iowa play for Floyd of Rosedale, a bronze trophy shaped like a pig. The Big Ten’s most idiosyncratic trophy went to the Golden Gophers, as Minnesota handed Iowa its worst loss in 15 years.

Iowa opened with a touchdown, and that was it for a while for them… The Gophers rattled off 51 consecutive points, demolishing Iowa on the ground and through the air. Maxx Williams had three touchdown catches, including a fantastic spear in the second quarter, and the defense shut down Iowa until the waning seconds of the game.

After this dominant performance, it’s time for the nation to reconsider the Gophers as a force to be reckoned with. They are one of only four Big Ten teams to control their destiny in the conference championship race, and they have an outside chance of breaking into the top 25 rankings by year’s end. With games remaining against Ohio State, Nebraska and Wisconsin, Minnesota needs all the gravitas it can muster.

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Next week (week 12) brings some good action, namely a matchup between ranked Nebraska and Wisconsin teams and a consolation game between Michigan State and Maryland. Whatever happens, it ought to be better than this week. See you all then.

 

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 8 Recap

Posted on October 19, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 8…

October 18, 2014

Week 8… not sure how to describe it – you are either a fan of the B1G Ten or not. For me, this weekend was like going out on a second date, to a mediocre restaurant, and the check comes, and it’s a little more than you thought it would be – expectations were not met.

On the flip side, two B1G TEN teams did stamp their eligibility on for a bowl game. I guess this is when games start to really matter.

 

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Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17

Each team made a fashion statement: Northwestern with its alternate Gothic jerseys, Nebraska fans by taking over Ryan Field. Northwestern’s Justin Jackson made his own statement with two touchdown runs, and the Wildcats defense contained Nebraska en route to a 17-14 halftime lead.

Nebraska’s Blackshirts adjusted in the second half, shutting out Northwestern and limiting them to 30 yards of offense. Ameer Abdullah broke free for 146 rushing yards and four touchdowns, and Tommy Armstrong made you believe a large man could fly.

It’s a tough loss for Northwestern, which had shown some fight after a rough start to the season. Beyond the emergence of freshman running back Justin Jackson (who would be performing like Abdullah or Melvin Gordon if he had a better offensive line), not much is going well. To make a bowl, the Wildcats have to sweep Michigan, Purdue and Illinois or else pull an upset. As for the Cornhuskers, this finally looks like the year Bo Pelini loses fewer than four games.

 

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Minnesota 39, Purdue 38

Is Minnesota for real? Well Saturday they proved they deserve a seat at the table like everyone else.

It was sloppy but it’s a ‘W’ period.

The Gophers took the lead on Ryan Santoso’s 52-yard field goal. On Purdue’s final drive, Cedric Thompson intercepted Austin Appleby to preserve the win.

Purdue played a solid game in the first-half behind the play of running back, Raheem Mostert, who had 100 rushing yards after two carries, and Appleby’s second touchdown pass put the Boilermakers up 31-20 at the half.

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Maryland 38, Iowa 31

Hawkeyes got things started frist and jumped out to a 14-0 lead, but the home team, fought back behind the fine play of Stefon Diggs, who finished the day with 9 catches, 130 yards. And in the fourth, bam… a pick-six which sealed the victory.

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Michigan State 56, Indiana 17

The Spartans continue to dominate including three straight touchdown drives let the Spartans put the game out of reach by halftime, and then Mark Dantonio added three more in the fourth quarter for good measure.

Week 9 in the Big Ten, which has Rutgers-Nebraska, Maryland-Wisconsin, Minnesota-Illinois and Michigan-Michigan State going for it.

 

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Nebraska, RB Ameer Abdullah, 146 yards and a career-high four touchdowns

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 7 Recap

Posted on October 15, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 7…

October 11, 2014

No ranked games for any BIG TEN teams… Really? Wow… Well, at least every game was competitive. As a sidebar, I’m still a little confused on Big Ten football…

 

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Wisconsin 38, Illinois 28
Although the Illini took an early lead against the Badgers, 14-7, but it wouldn’t be for the entire game, of course. The Badgers dominated much of the second and third quarters behind Melvin Gordon and Corey Clement’s 339 rushing yards, but the Illini scored twice in the fourth quarter to make the final line more respectable.

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Michigan State 45, Purdue 31
The Spartans were just too much for the Boilermakers. There one-two punch of Connor Cook and Tony Lippett resembled an NFL-caliber quarterback-receiver duo.

The Boilermakers did make it a game beind for 21 in the fourth. The Boilermakers got the ball back with three minutes and a chance to tie, but pressure from the Spartan defense (which harassed Purdue QB Austin Appleby all game) forced an errant throw Darien Harris picked off and returned for a touchdown to seal the win.

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Michigan 18, Penn State 13
Close but necessary victory for Michigan.

The Nittany Lions led 13-10 at the half thanks to a Devin Gardner pick turned into a touchdown. From this, they were only able to score 3 points, and the Wolverines hit two field goals. Facing fourth and long in its own territory, Penn State took an intentional safety and attempted a last-ditch onside kick. They recovered it, only for a bogus offside penalty to wipe it out. Yawn….

Minnesota 24, Northwestern 17
Gophers keep doing just enough to win games and on this Saturday they improved to 2-0 in conference play. This is the first time in a decade. Way to go!!!

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Iowa 45, Indiana 29
In the first quarter, Iowa exploded for four touchdowns to take a 28-7 lead. The Hoosiers got it close, pulling within seven at 28-21, but returning Hawkeye quarterback Jake Rudock propelled Iowa to a couple more scores to ensure he could wear his plaid victory cap.

Running-back Tevin Coleman (15 carries, 219 yards) is doing all he can to buoy the Hoosiers, busting out for three 40+ yard touchdown runs, but he can’t save the season all by himself.

NOTE: Iowa is just one win away from bowl eligibility.

Week 8 features four Big Ten games outside of the Ohio State-Rutgers game: Purdue-Minnesota, Iowa-Maryland, Michigan State-Indiana and Nebraska-Northwestern. I recommend Iowa-Maryland for its delicate combination of crab and corn and Purdue-Minnesota for the gleeful uglyball the Gophers will play. See you all then.

 

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Tevin Coleman, Indiana, Jr., RB, Tinley Park, Ill./Oak Forest 15 carries, 219 yards

 

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2014 Big Ten Week 6 Recap

Posted on October 6, 2014. Filed under: Football, NCAA Sports | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Week 6…

October 4, 2014

What an EPIC college football weekend as five top-10 teams lost in the same week for the first time ever, and two others barely survived. The Big Ten was just as strange and after six weeks of play, the best conference record belongs to Northwestern. Who knew….

 

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Purdue 38, Illinois 27

Purdue coach Darrell Hazell promoted QB Austin Appleby to starter which lead to an efficient performance. The Boilermakers, led by Appleby and Akeem Hunt, exploited Illinois’ horrid rush defense for 551 yards of offense, 349 of those on the ground.

Illinois was never able to dig out of a 7-11 point hole, and quarterback Wes Lunt left the game late with a leg injury. Only receiver Mike Dudek (eight catches, 200 yards) was a bright spot for the Illini.

The Boilermakers won their first Big Ten game since 2012.

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Northwestern 20, Wisconsin 14

Northwestern pulled off a Big Ten stunner for the second week in a row, taking down a ranked Wisconsin team in Evanston for the fourth time since 1999.

It was Miles Shuler who put the Wildcats up 17-7 in the third quarter, and Godwin Igwebuike had three interceptions to move Northwestern to 2-0 in Big Ten play for the first time since 2000.

Melvin Gordon had a career high 259 rushing yards, but Wisconsin’s quarterbacks were worse than ever. Tanner McEvoy was so ineffective that he was pulled for Joel Stave, who is battling the yips. The Badgers are afflicted by Le’Veon Bell Syndrome, which occurs when a team relies on a star running back so much that the rest of a team’s offense becomes ineffective (see Michigan State, 2012).

Michigan State 27, Nebraska 22

The Spartans jumped out early with a 27-3 lead until the tables turned… The Spartans had three giveaways in their own territory, two of them in a row, and Nebraska still couldn’t score.

A good punt return gave Nebraska strong field position, which it converted into an Abdullah power-rush touchdown. Nebraska again pounded Abdullah for a rushing touchdown, and a 62-yard return by De’Mornay Pierson-El after a MSU punt made it a one score game. Michigan State’s field goal attempt with a minute left hit the upright; Nebraska advanced to the MSU 37, but an interception by Trae Waynes sealed the game.

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Rutgers 26, Michigan 24

The Scarlet Knights defeated Michigan to move one win away from bowl eligibility and send the Wolverines to 0-2 in the Big Ten for the first time since 1967. Michigan had a chance to take the lead late in the fourth quarter, but Kemoko Turay blocked a 56-yard field goal to preserve the win for Rutgers.

This was a classic good news/bad news game for Michigan. The good news: the rush defense is stout, the Wolverines averaged 4.5 yards a carry, and Devin Gardner was nearly good enough to guide Michigan to an upset of Rutgers. The bad news: Devin Gardner was not quite good enough to guide Michigan to an upset of Rutgers, and 2-10 is a real, horrifying possibility with Northwestern and Indiana looking spry.

Indiana 49, North Texas 24

Indiana has to be the Big Ten’s most hot-and-cold team. They were hot on Saturday, trouncing North Texas.

The Hoosiers used a short field and a timely onside kick to race out to a 21-0 lead, which they maintained for the rest of the game. The maligned defense, led by Donovan Clark, contained the Mean Green to 348 yards. Tevin Coleman, the Big Ten’s leading rusher, added 150 yards and a touchdown to seal the win.

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Week 7 will put some interesting matchups on the same field including Northwestern-Minnesota, Indiana-Iowa, and Penn State-Michigan among others. Hhhhmmmmm see you next week!

 

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Gary Nova, QB, Rutgers – 404 yards, 3 three touchdowns

 

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