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Morning Briefing: RichRod takes center stage

7/24/2008

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It's a big day in the Big Ten, as the media sessions begin in several hours. Illinois coach Ron Zook leads off on the dais at the Hyatt Regency Chicago. I'll be checking in throughout the day, but first here's a look at what's happening around the league:

  • Michigan coach Rich Rodriguez will get top billing at media days, at least according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune. Greenstein has a nice rundown of the top storylines for the other 10 Big Ten teams.

  • The second investigation by the Iowa state Board of Regents into the sexual assault case involving two former Hawkeyes football players could include an interview with the alleged victim, a female student-athlete, the Iowa City Press-Citizen reports.

  • Ohio State will be the media's pick to win the league, but can the Buckeyes sweep the preseason offensive and defensive player of the year awards? Running back Beanie Wells and linebacker James Laurinaitis are likely choices. It would mark the first sweep of the preseason accolades since Northwestern in 1996 (RB Darnell Autry and LB Pat Fitzgerald), Ken Gordon writes in The Columbus Dispatch blog.

  • Michigan State players attended a golf outing Wednesday to benefit Heroes for Kids, a foundation that supports youth athletic programs in Saginaw. Spartans players weighed in on several topics, including how Michigan will adjust to a new coaching staff.

  • Mark Dantonio has Michigan State on the right track, but a tougher schedule and the pressure to beat Michigan loom large this fall, the Oakland Press' Pat Caputo writes.

  • Minnesota announced its 2008 Hall of Fame class, which includes former football player Francis Twedell (1936-38).

  • Another home sellout for Illinois, this time for the Iowa game.

  • I'm a sucker for college football highlights set to melodramatic music. Penn State fans will enjoy this.