Big Ten lunchtime links: Bielema gives sincere apology
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
It's Friday, and you deserve an extra helping of links.
- Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema apologized to his players for his actions in last Saturday's loss to Michigan State, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
"Coach feels awful about that penalty," said sophomore center John Moffitt, whose holding penalty wiped out a critical 21-yard run by John Clay in the closing minutes. "But the way he approached it, he took ownership of it.
"I think a lot of guys had respect for that. I had respect for that. That's not an easy thing to do, to stand up in front of the team. That's all you can do. No one is perfect. My case is an example."
- In a country big on change, Michigan wouldn't mind the old days of 9-3 and New Year's Day bowls, Bob Wojnowski opines in The Detroit News.
"If nothing else, there are lessons to be extracted from this mess:
No. 1: Maybe going 9-3 and regularly participating in a Jan. 1 bowl under that conservative ol' Lloyd Carr wasn't such a bad thing, hmm?
No. 2: Even though it has a wonderfully monotonous fight song, a frothing fan base and a frightening lack of humility, U-M isn't immune to the struggles every major program faces.
No. 3: If (Rich) Rodriguez wants people to show more patience and less frustration, he needs to show less frustration with people's frustration. Hey, this is all new to everyone!"
- Injuries have depleted Northwestern, and the Wildcats might move a quarterback to running back. And no, it's not Mike Kafka, Lindsey Willhite writes in the Daily Herald.
- The Big Ten Network's Dave Revsine admits the Big Ten is down with both Michigan and Wisconsin struggling, but Penn State still merits a national title shot if it runs the table.
- The (Champaign) News-Gazette's Jim Rossow checks in with the commish, Jim Delany, who doesn't envision the Big Ten expanding and isn't too concerned about the league's national reputation.
- Penn State fans should back away from the ledge, David Jones writes in The Patriot-News.
- While his big brother Vernon dealt with discipline from San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary, Illinois star cornerback Vontae Davis responded well after being benched for the start of last week's game, Herb Gould writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Spurred by cornerback Malcolm Jenkins and the emergence of defensive end Thaddeus Gibson, Ohio State's defensive line is coming together, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch.