Thursday, August 4, 2011
Big Ten lunch links
By Adam Rittenberg
Illinois and Penn State hit the practice field today. RIP, Bubba Smith.
- Michigan State great Bubba Smith was a trailblazer in football, Drew Sharp writes in the Detroit Free Press. Smith gave State some swagger, Lynn Henning writes in The Detroit News. More thoughts on Smith here and here.
- A Penn State preseason primer from The (Allentown) Morning Call's Mark Wogenrich. Tight end and defensive end are among Penn State's camp questions, Jeff Rice writes in the Centre Daily Times. Offensive lineman Tom Ricketts transfers to Pitt.
- Illinois coach Ron Zook will keep his players fresh in camp, Mark Tupper writes in the (Decatur) Herald & Review. Illini tackle Jeff Allen is a big man with big dreams, Herb Gould writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. Some burning questions for Illinois.
- Jim Tressel's final class of Ohio State players will work hard to honor The Vest, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch. An ambitious freshman class is what Ohio State needs this year, Michael Arace writes in The Dispatch.
- Nebraska coach Bo Pelini sounds confident about his team's Big Ten title chances in Year 1. The Huskers are recruiting more in Big Ten country -- and other notes from the Omaha World Herald's Sam McKewon.
- Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald went to bat for his boss to get a long-term contract, Tina Akouris writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. The Daily Herald's Lindsey Willhite on why Jim Phillips is staying at Northwestern.
- The division names still stink, but the Big Ten took the right approach with division alignment, SI.com's Stewart Mandel writes.
- Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins is bracing for the Blackshirts.
- A heavy dose of Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz from Big Ten media days.
- Brady Hoke's message to his assistants: Don't assume anything. Las Vegas seems to be downgrading its outlook for Michigan this fall.
- Wisconsin has made a few changes to the plan for its new athletic performance center, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Badgers safety Aaron Henry has grown on and off the field, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal.
- Minnesota picks up a running back for the 2012 class.
- Wisconsin, Iowa and Ohio State rank among the nation's best offensive lines, according to Rivals.com.
- Indiana wants to be more decisive and aggressive on defense, Pete DiPrimio writes in The (Fort Wayne) News-Sentinel.