Big Ten lunchtime links: Paterno rumors persist
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
TGIF. Here's your extra helping of links.
- Is the spread offense dead? Say it ain't so. But Michigan hasn't done much to resurrect the system this fall, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Retirement rumors have followed Penn State coach Joe Paterno for decades, and they're picking up again this week as Penn State plays its home finale, Jeff McLane writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
"One Internet message-board story has Paterno announcing his retirement at halftime and then handing the team over to defensive coordinator Tom Bradley for the bowl game. Because Paterno is expected to have 100 members of his family in attendance, including all five of his children, a leap was naturally made."'Everybody is looking for some kind of sign that something's going on. There isn't,' said Jay Paterno, Joe's son and quarterbacks coach."
- The Chicago Tribune's Teddy Greenstein is having some trouble deciding who gets the newspaper's coveted Silver Football trophy as the Big Ten's best player. Let's spell it out for him: S-H-O-N-N G-R-E-E-N-E.
- Rich Rodriguez wants some fans to get a life. Michigan fans want him to get a win. All parties want to see this season end already, Mitch Albom writes in the Detroit Free Press.
- Michigan State quarterback Brian Hoyer has held his own in Happy Valley before, Shannon Shelton writes in the Detroit Free Press.
- Here's an interesting Q&A with former Northwestern and Colorado coach Gary Barnett, who weighs in on the Northwestern-Illinois rivalry and whether he'll return to coaching, courtesy of The (Champaign) News-Gazette.
"Do you plan on coaching again?
"I haven't really made myself available for that kind of stuff. If I were going to do it, this would be the year. I've been away from coaching for three years, but I've been around the game. I miss it a lot and still have a lot to contribute. If the right thing came up, I'd do it. I don't have any expectations, though."
- Wisconsin tight end Travis Beckum keeps a picture of his gruesome season-ending leg injury on his cell phone as motivation, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal. Despite playing sparingly this season, Beckum hopes to boost his NFL draft stock at the scouting combine.
- The Big Ten Network's Dave Revsine runs down the key numbers that reflect each Big Ten team's success or failure this season.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Iowa 24 Pittsburgh 20 Final Eastern Michigan 14 11 Michigan State 73 Final Western Illinois 7 Northwestern 24 Final Southern Illinois 13 Purdue 35 Final Bowling Green 17 19 Wisconsin 68 Final Maryland 34 Syracuse 20 Final Utah 26 Michigan 10 Final Rutgers 31 Navy 24 Final Massachusetts 7 Penn State 48 Final San Jose State 7 Minnesota 24 Final Texas State 35 Illinois 42 Final Indiana 31 18 Missouri 27 Final Miami (FL) 31 24 Nebraska 41