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:
- The Sporting News' Michael Bradley wrote a good piece about Michigan-turned-Ohio State offensive lineman Justin Boren, who can't wait to get back to Ann Arbor in 2009. "It will be the happiest day of my life," Boren said.
- State lawmakers are getting more involved in what looks to be a big ol' mess at Iowa. Can't be good. The university is taking on the cost for the second investigation into the handling of an alleged sexual assault.
- Some good news from Iowa. All victims of the devastating floods that hit the state earlier this summer are eligible to receive free tickets to Hawkeyes home games.
- A quick hoops note: Illinois guard Jamar Smith is off the team.
- Jim Tressel isn't big on taking vacations, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
- Rich Rodriguez's first payment to West Virginia, written for $2.5 million, has arrived safely, the Detroit Free Press reported.
- Several Wisconsin media bloggers picked up on the column by The Sporting News' Matt Hayes that put Badgers coach Bret Bielema in the mix to succeed Joe Paterno at Penn State. I really don't see it for a number of reasons, mainly Bielema's lack of experience as a head coach and his ties to Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
- Illinois is one of few teams (Northwestern is another) that heads off campus for part of preseason practice. The Illini will spend an extra week in Rantoul, or, as linebacker Brit Miller calls it, Rantucky.
- Michigan State's 2009 recruiting class is shaping up quite nicely, Matt Dorsey writes in the Detroit Free Press.
- You love rankings, so I give you rankings. The Hoosier Scoop blog from the Bloomington Herald-Times ranks the Big Ten this season. They're high on Northwestern and worried about Iowa.
- Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mgoblog fills in Rodriguez about the "traditions" he'll need to uphold at Michigan. They include: winning the Rose Bowl, unpredictable playcalling, fast starts and dominating our opponents. Funny stuff.
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.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Penn State 14 Illinois 16 Final Indiana 27 6 Ohio State 42 Final 25 Minnesota 28 23 Nebraska 24 Final Northwestern 38 Purdue 14 Final Rutgers 3 11 Michigan State 45 Final 16 Wisconsin 26 Iowa 24 Final Maryland 23 Michigan 16