Big Ten: James Scott

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

The links are a little light today, but still tasty. 

"We do need to get the deck done," said Burke, attaching no timeline for the project. "We haven't forgotten about it, and I think strategically it needs to be accomplished. We're stuck right now because we can't move tickets in the north or south end zones so if you don't introduce some better price points, you're going to have difficulty."

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State starting safety Kurt Coleman most likely will miss Saturday's season opener against Youngstown State after injuring his ankle in practice this week.

Coleman, who ranked third on the team with 64 tackles last year, would be replaced by sophomore Jermale Hines, a converted linebacker.

Though Coleman's absence shouldn't hurt the Buckeyes on Saturday, it's another loss for a secondary already playing without starting cornerback Donald Washington and reserve Jamario O'Neal, who are suspended for the first two games for an unspecified violation of team rules. Defensive back James Scott wasn't invited to preseason camp for an unspecified reason.

So many absences could hurt the secondary's ability to build on-field chemistry before a Week 3 trip to USC.  

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

It's not a misprint. College football will be played today in America. Not in the Big Ten -- gotta wait till Saturday -- but the season is here, and that's a good thing. I'll be chatting at 4 p.m. ET, and Week 1 predictions are coming in a little bit.

First, the links.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Ohio State defensive backs Donald Washington and Jamario O'Neal told reporters Thursday at media day that they've been suspended for the first two games of the season. Here's the report from the Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises. Neither player elaborated on the reasons for the suspensions. Washington is a starting cornerback opposite Malcolm Jenkins, while O'Neal has been a reserve safety.

Both players missed part of spring practice, though no one said why.

This isn't a major blow for a still-stacked Buckeyes defense, especially since the first two games come against Youngstown State and Ohio. A three-game suspension would have been a different story, given that the Buckeyes travel to USC in Week 3. Still, it's never ideal to face USC in your first game of the season, but that'll be the reality for both players. And the Buckeyes' secondary is already without Eugene Clifford (transferred) and James Scott (out for preseason).

Sophomore Chimdi Chekwa, who likely will start the first two games in place of Washington, has the chance to impress the coaches and possibly keep the top job against the Trojans. Washington started every game last season and racked up 39 tackles.

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Day 2 of practice around the Big Ten is in the books, and my tour of Michigan has finished. Up next is Northwestern for practice and media day on Thursday before a weekend with the Wisconsin Badgers in Madison.

Let's hop on the Big Ten bus:

  • Wisconsin's team leadership should be more solid this season, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Linebacker Jonathan Casillas served as a captain last year, but he'll share the load with linebacker DeAndre Levy and fullback Chris Pressley.
  • The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Doug Lesmerises tuned into the Big Ten Network for coverage of Ohio State's practice on Tuesday. What did he see? Linebacker Tyler Moeller practiced with the first-team defense, reserve running back Brandon Saine isn't getting hit yet and Curtis Terry is working with the first-team offense at fullback. The Columbus Dispatch's Ken Gordon also watched practice from his couch and liked what he saw from reserve quarterback Joe Bauserman.
  • Cornerback James Scott didn't make Ohio State's 105-man roster for training camp, which seems a bit odd, The Columbus Dispatch's Gordon writes in his blog.
  • Kirk Ferentz still has the same coordinators at Iowa, but the rest of his coaching staff shuffled around quite a bit during the offseason, Andy Hamilton writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
  • Minnesota's freshmen are getting immediate opportunities to play at both wide receiver and along the offensive line, Marcus Fuller writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. The line will have to be a group effort this season, as coach Phil Meyer experiments with different combinations, Kent Youngblood writes in The [Minneapolis] Star Tribune.
  • Quarterback Ben Chappell is running with Indiana's first-team offense, but Kellen Lewis looks to be closing the gap quickly. 
  • The Detroit Free Press' Shawn Windsor goes inside Michigan's first preseason practice under coach Rich Rodriguez.
  • The Champaign (Ill.) News-Gazette's Bob Asmussen has an extensive report from Illinois practice, including a breakdown of the team's wide receivers.
  • Chris Burke of The Diag blog released his preseason top 25. He's not too high on Georgia but has Wisconsin higher than most prognosticators.
  • Will Indiana retire James Hardy's number? No one has claimed it so far in preseason practice, The Indianapolis Star's Terry Hutchens writes in his blog.
  • Man, I love these photo galleries from the Detroit Free Press. Here's one that chronicles Michigan State's top wide receivers of the last 30 years. Not surprisingly, Plaxico Burress is No. 1.
  • When Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio split the team into classes to sing the fight song earlier this week, the freshmen filled the stage while the crowd of seniors was sparse. Not surprisingly, Dantonio is looking for leadership from the younger players, Dave Dye writes in The Detroit News.
  • Yes, this story is about a punter. But at Wisconsin, both punter and placekicker are in the spotlight after the losses of two All-Big Ten players.
  • The Penn State blog Black Shoe Diaries had some issues with my list of top Big Ten rivalries, but I'm not bitter. And besides, they followed up by putting together a list of the league's coolest rivalry trophies. Mmmm, bacon.
  • The Ohio State blog Eleven Warriors takes a look at the Buckeyes' projected starting offense and defense, complete with diagrams. Some good analysis here.

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