- Dan Murphy, ESPN Staff Writer
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It’s the middle of another cold, snowy, football-less week in Big Ten country. We’ll do our best to put a smile on your face anyway with today’s edition of the morning links.
1. College football fans have come up with countless ways to process the agony of a tough season. Iowa fans have been more creative than most, going so far as to develop their own mythical deity to explain their misfortune. They’ve raised the bar again.
Two frustrated Hawkeyes, one of whom happens to tour with REO Speedwagon now and then, vented this week about a 7-6 record through the magic of Broadway musicals. They discovered that Kirt Ferentz’s healthy salary worked out to be $571,400 per win in 2014, which lends itself nicely to a familiar classic born in the mid-1990s. Be warned: This version is even more likely to be stuck in your head than the original.
Of all the ways to express anger over young men playing a game below a fanbase’s standards -- from poisoning trees to horrible social media mentions and death threats, this has to be among the most enjoyable. Kudos to @actioncookbook and @TimStop24 for a job well done.
And in other soon-to-be viral and entertaining Internet news this week, it appears Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh has struck up a Twitter friendship with daytime television’s Judge Judy. Harbaugh, a self-described devoted fan, congratulated her honor on signing a contract extension earlier this week. On Wednesday, Judge Judy responded.
Thank you so much for the kind wishes @CoachJim4UM, best of luck this year at Michigan!
— Judge Judy (@JudgeJudy) March 5, 2015
2. One of the ugliest scenes of the most recent bowl season may end up helping Mike Riley get off to a good start at Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers open the 2015 season by hosting BYU, a team that ended its appearance in the Miami Bowl in a sucker-punch brawl with Memphis. The game, a back-and-forth thriller, quickly deteriorated after BYU failed to score in its second possession of overtime. Cougars coach Bronco Mendenhall promised his players that were involved would be disciplined, and it looks like that could come in the week leading up to this year’ season opener.
The details of what type of punishment Mendenhall has in mind for roughly 10 of his players isn’t clear. They may miss game time or preparation time in the week leading up to the game. It’s a necessary move by BYU, and an unexpected benefit for Nebraska, who will likely still be working out some kinks under its new coaching staff in early September.
3. USA Today published its Big Ten spring preview Wednesday, which started with a nod to the team that everybody in the conference will be chasing for the foreseeable future. Urban Meyer was expected to change Ohio State for the better when he arrived three-plus years ago. But it wasn’t clear then how much of an impact, as the article points out, he would have on the entire conference. The Big Ten’s momentum from a 6-5 bowl record is spilling into the spring. The conference heavyweights have all done their best to keep pace with the Buckeyes. The quality of the league is on the rise, and as much as any fan outside of Ohio will hate to admit it, a lot of credit is due to Meyer and his staff for that change.
Now, onto the links...
Raheem Mostert ran a 4.32-second 40-yard dash at Purdue’s pro day. It would have been the third fastest time at the NFL combine.
For the second time in less than a year, Michigan State receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. was arrested for an alcohol-related offense.
Jim Tressel thinks Harbaugh is the man to restore the Ohio State-Michigan rivalry, but he says the Wolverines are "still a ways away" from competing with his Buckeyes.
What would a perfect 2016 recruiting class look like for Penn State’s defense? Well, like this.
Northwestern is happy to have receiver Christian Jones back at practice after his second ACL surgery.
Michigan plans to shape its offense around whoever wins the quarterback competition.
Maryland got to work on its new defense during the first day of spring practice in College Park.
Paul Chryst says if he can graduate from Wisconsin, he expects all of his players to be able to do the same.
Minnesota quarterback Mitch Leidner knows the Gophers have some work to do to replace offensive playmakers David Cobb and Maxx Williams.
The top five impact players for Illinois heading into the spring season.
It's the middle of another cold, snowy, football-less week in Big Ten country. Weâ