Big Ten lunch links
August, 30, 2012
By Adam Rittenberg | ESPN.com
At last, the season is here, and not a moment too soon. You ready?
- Week 1 gives the Big Ten its biggest and only regular-season chance to earn national respect, Dan Wetzel writes. The Big Ten's image will be shaped early this fall, Todd Jones writes.
- Big Ten Week 1 predictions here and here and here.
- Act II begins tonight for Jerry Kill's Minnesota team, which is focused on improvement. Tonight marks a homecoming of sorts for Gophers safety Brock Vereen.
- Purdue coach Danny Hope made the right call and dismissed troubled linebacker Dwayne Beckford. Boilers cornerback Ricardo Allen sets the record straight about his weight.
- Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson is more comfortable with his stardom. A look at how Robinson stacks up with his Alabama counterpart on Saturday. Like me, Kyle Meinke thinks Michigan will have a stronger team with a weaker record (8-4) in 2012.
- Penn State linebacker Michael Mauti has become a leader and a program symbol in recent weeks. The Bill O'Brien offense will finally make its debut Saturday. Former Lions running back Silas Redd says he thought about leaving Penn State back in November.
- It's Andrew Maxwell's show at Michigan State this season. Some good Michigan State notes and nuggets from my guy Joe Rexrode. Both Maxwell and his Boise State counterpart, Joe Southwick, are in similar situations entering Friday's game.
- Urban Meyer makes Ohio State football an even bigger brand, Doug Lesmerises writes. Ohio State cornerback Travis Howard responds to a challenge in camp. Buckeye fans took Urban around the world this offseason.
- Nebraska knows it needs to improve its third-down defense. Tom Shatel writes that Huskers offensive coordinator Tim Beck has a chess mind and a blue-collar attitude. A Q&A with Nebraska running back Rex Burkhead.
- Wisconsin's new assistants bring fresh ideas to the program, Tom Oates writes. Danny O'Brien's Badgers teammates love him, but not his taste in music. After its opener was postponed, Oregon State will begin its 2012 season against Wisconsin.
- Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg has benefited from new offensive coordinator Greg Davis. The Hawkeyes will mix and match with its tight ends this season.
- The "Paterno" book will debut at No. 1 on the best-seller list. The book's author, Joe Posnanski, has doubts about the Freeh report.
- After doing it all for Northwestern in 2011, Kain Colter is focused on playing quarterback this fall. Wildcats coach Pat Fitzgerald prepares his team for "the dome sweat" at Syracuse.
- Illinois coach Tim Beckman doesn't need to be sold on Western Michigan's star quarterback. Some Illini notes, including the starting safeties still being limited in practice.
- Cornerback Brian Williams moves up Indiana's depth chart (subscription required). The Hoosiers still must make some strides to reach mediocrity.