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.
The Big Ten's reputation has suffered since the 2007 Rose Bowl, but the biggest struggles have come against the SEC, Teddy Greenstein writes in the Chicago Tribune. ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit is reminded of how far the league has fallen each time he sits down on the College Gameday set, Bill Rabinowitz writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
Missouri is the blueprint for an Illinois program on the rise, Herb Gould writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. Kicker remains a question mark, but Illinois coach Ron Zook is pleased with his special teams, Daniel Johnson writes in The Daily Illini.
Indiana is sprucing up Memorial Stadium with 21 new banners, Chris Korman writes in the Bloomington Herald Times (subscription required). On the field, expectations are high for the Hoosiers after last year's bowl run.
After academic issues forced him to leave the program, cornerback Amari Spievey is back in Iowa's starting secondary, Eric Page writes in the Quad-City Times. Hawkeyes starting center Rob Bruggemen grew up in Iowa's backyard, but he didn't get much attention in the recruiting process, Andy Hamilton writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Iowa will sink or swim this fall based on an offensive line that used to be the program's trademark, Pat Harty writes in the Press-Citizen.
Michigan's Rich Rodriguez downplays the uniqueness of his offense, but history has shown few coaches run the spread more effectively, Mark Snyder writes in the Detroit Free Press. Snyder also takes a detailed look at the changes RichRod has made at Michigan. Here are some burning questions for the Wolverines.
The offensive line is a question mark for Michigan State, especially with little depth, Joe Rexrode writes in the Lansing State Journal. Coach Mark Dantonio expects plenty of Michigan State fans in Berkeley. Detroit Free Press columnist Drew Sharp expects the Spartans to go 8-4.
The bed in Tim Brewster's office isn't being used as the Minnesota coach is pleased with his team's preparation, Dennis Brackin writes in the Star Tribune.
Northwestern running back Tyrell Sutton wasn't named a captain, but his voice will be heard this fall, Jim O'Donnell writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. The Wildcats' new coordinators bring experience to the coaching staff, Shannon Ryan writes in the Chicago Tribune.
Five Ohio State seniors passed up NFL millions for another year in school, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer. Buckeyes defensive coordinator Jim Heacock coaches against his brother this weekend, and Ohio State denies rumors that cornerback James Scott will transfer, Tim May writes in the Columbus Dispatch.
Despite some obvious disappointment on Wednesday's teleconference, Penn State backup quarterback Pat Devlin likely won't transfer, Jeff McLane writes in the Philadelphia Inquirer. Nittany Lions safety Mark Rubin used to beat Michael Phelps in swimming (Phelps also beat Rubin a bunch, too), Cory Giger writes in The Altoona Mirror.
Purdue quarterback Curtis Painter will set plenty of records in his career, but he wants some marquee wins as well, Tom Kubat writes in The Journal and Courier. Kubat also takes a look at the Boilermakers linebackers and a new-look receiving corps.
Wideout Maurice Moore could surprise defenses this fall after working his way into a starting position, Jeff Potrykus writes in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Wisconsin also plans to honor its 1998 Rose Bowl team this weekend.