Big Ten: Jamar Smith

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

I'm flying back east for a wedding this morning (congrats Nate and Molly!), but you should definitely check in throughout the day for what's sure to be some riveting Big Ten content. My Big Ten tour has ended -- one final post might be on the way-- and I wanted to once again thank commissioner Jim Delany and the other league officials for letting me into their world for a day. Who knows? Maybe I'll be back this fall.

Preseason practice kicks off Monday for 10 Big Ten schools, and I'll be bouncing around the league. I'll be at Michigan on Monday, Michigan State on Tuesday and Northwestern on Thursday before swinging up to Madison next weekend for Wisconsin's open scrimmage/media day. Should be a fun week.

Here's your pre-weekend look at the Big Ten happenings:

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Hope you enjoyed Hater Tuesday. There will be a little carry-over today, as I boldly make predictions on the league's top rivalries. But first, here's a look at what's happening around the league.

  • High praise for Ohio State's Beanie Wells from two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin, who thinks the junior running back is "the closest thing to Jim Brown that I've ever seen," The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises writes in his blog.
  • Former Michigan coach Lloyd Carr sounded off on several topics, including Rich Rodriguez's nasty departure from West Virginia and the outlook for the season.
  • Mike Barwis isn't the only strength coach in the state of Michigan, Dave Dye writes in The Detroit News. The Michigan State notebook also has an item about running back Javon Ringer possibly returning kicks this fall. Interesting.
  • A big check is supposed to travel from Ann Arbor to Morgantown by Thursday night, Mickey Furfari writes in The (Martinsburg, W.Va.) Journal.
  • In case you missed it, Illinois basketball player Jamar Smith may be in trouble again. If the allegations are true, this brings even more embarrassment to a program that should have cut ties with Smith a long, long time ago.
  • The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Jeff Potrykus continues his position-by-position look at Wisconsin. Next up are the running backs, considered the team's deepest position group despite the legal problems of junior Lance Smith.
  • Joe Paterno's reaction to the Outside the Lines piece about Penn State's off-field issues could play a role in getting the longtime coach out the door, Bob Smizik writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
  • Interesting but sad story about former Minnesota star Dominic Jones, who has gone from wearing No. 2 as a cornerback to wearing No. 00425759 as an inmate serving time for sexual assault, Rochelle Olson writes in The (Minneapolis) Star Tribune.
  • Missed this one from CBSSports.com's Dennis Dodd, who lists five things to watch in the Big Ten this fall. He likes Ohio State and Wisconsin, while Michigan should expect seven or eight wins in RichRod's first season.
  • After losing stud offensive tackle David Barrent to Michigan State, Iowa's 2009 recruiting needs a boost in a hurry, Andy Hamilton writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
  • Michigan State's Brian Hoyer hasn't forgotten the Champs Sports Bowl, as if anyone would let him, Alex Altman writes in The State News.

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