Big Ten: Mike Alstott
- Wisconsin offensive linemen Zac Matthias and Dallas Lewallan are making big contributions this spring. New Badgers assistant Jeff Genyk didn't have to introduce himself to one player.
- Two Michigan State redshirt freshmen tight ends eye bigger opportunities this fall. Should MSU protect likely top QB Andrew Maxwell in the spring game?
- A look at Bill O'Brien's right-hand man at Penn State. Lions recruit Troy Reeder is excited about the tradition at Linebacker U. Reviewing O'Brien's fearlessness and success on fourth down.
- After a final visit to Ohio State, wide receiver recruit Drake Harris knew Michigan was the right spot for him. Michigan installed more than 90 percent of its pro-style offense this spring. Greg Mattison expects continued improvement from Michigan's defense this summer.
- Marc Morehouse details his impressions of Iowa's offense from the Des Moines practice. Check out video interviews of Iowa players in Des Moines. Tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz will play a vital role for Iowa's offense in 2013.
- Ohio State has fewer question marks this spring than last. The Buckeyes' right tackle spot concerns coach Urban Meyer, who said it could determine whether the offense is good or great this fall.
- Jon Nyatawa breaks down Nebraska's defensive line following spring practice. Former Nebraska LB Sean Fisher earns a major academic honor from the Big Ten.
- Illinois hopes to land its first recruit from Belleville West High School near St. Louis. New Illini offensive coordinator Bill Cubit challenged RB Donovonn Young this spring. Former Illinois LB Matt Sinclair joins the team's recruiting staff.
- Matt Hayes ranks the Big Ten coaches entering 2013.
- Making the case for Indiana to go bowling this season. The Hoosiers appear to be on the rise. Former Hoosiers star James Hardy hopes to make it in Hollywood.
- Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald believes this is his deepest team. The always enjoyable dizzy bat race took place during the Wildcats' final workout.
- Purdue great Mike Alstott thinks new coach Darrell Hazell will get it done with the Boilers.
Armstrong succeeded another Boilers' ball-carrying standout, Leroy Keyes, and starred for Purdue from 1970-72. Unlike Keyes, Armstrong played on mostly weak teams under Bob DeMoss, which made his accomplishments fly under the national radar. But Armstrong got his due Tuesday as the Big Ten's only member of the 2012 College Football Hall of Fame class.
A Chicago native, Armstrong arrived at Purdue in 1969 and, like all freshmen, sat out the season. He announced himself the following fall with 1,009 rush yards on 213 carries, becoming just the second Purdue back (Keyes being the other) to eclipse 1,000 yards on the ground. After a solid junior campaign, Armstrong sizzled as a senior, racking up 1,361 rush yards and nine touchdowns en route to earning consensus All-America honors. He finished his career with a flourish, piling up 276 yards against archrival Indiana, a single-game team record that stands to this day.
Armstrong still holds Purdue's record for career rushing attempts (671), and his career rush yards mark (3,315) is third behind two players (Mike Alstott and Kory Sheets) who played four seasons. He twice recorded five 100-yard rush games in a season (1970, 1970) and trails only Alstott for most career 100-yard rush performances at Purdue (13 in 31 career games).
Armstrong also stood out as a kick returner, averaging 30.1 yards per runback with two touchdowns in 1972. He added five receiving touchdowns on 36 career receptions.
Although Purdue went just 13-17 during Armstrong's career, his accomplishments didn't go unnoticed and he was selected No. 9 overall by Denver in the 1973 NFL draft. Armstrong played eight seasons with the Broncos, earning two Pro Bowl selections and rushing for 4,453 yards and 25 touchdowns.
Two other Big Ten programs cracked the Top 25 but fell short of the bracket.
Michigan State comes in at No. 23 with 48 points, boasting nine first-team All-Pro selection, eight second-team All-Pro selections and 31 Pro Bowl appearances for players drafted between 1979-2009. The Spartans' top pros during the time span included kicker Morten Andersen, wide receiver Andre Rison, linebacker Julian Peterson and offensive tackle Flozell Adams.
Iowa is tied with Michigan State at No. 23 in the standings. The Hawkeyes produced 10 first-team All-Pros, 10 second-team All-Pros and 27 Pro Bowl appearances. Iowa's top players during the last three decades included linebacker Andre Tippett, safety Merton Hanks (love the funky chicken dance!), punter Reggie Roby, safety Bob Sanders, defensive end Aaron Kampman and kicker Nate Kaeding.
Purdue finished at No. 26 in the standings with 47 total points. The Boilers are led by former Defensive Player of the Year Rod Woodson and reigning Super Bowl MVP Drew Brees, along with former All-Pro fullback Mike Alstott.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
|Paul Jasienski/Getty Images|
|Joe Tiller leaves Purdue as the school's all-time winningest coach.|
Joe Tiller wanted to keep the focus on Purdue's rivalry matchup against Indiana. He found out very quickly that it would be nearly impossible to do so.
Tiller's Monday began with a luncheon at the quarterback club, where those in attendance held up "Thank you, coach" placards. As usual, Tiller had a witty response.
"Are those left over from coach [Gene] Keady's retirement?" he joked, referring to Purdue's longtime basketball coach.
When Tiller did his television show later that day, the final segment was devoted to his career at Purdue.
"I didn't particularly care for that much but I appreciate [it] immensely," he said. "So it's starting to sink in a little bit."
Tiller will coach his final game at Purdue on Saturday (ESPN2, noon ET) before retiring to Wyoming, where he'll trade playbook and whistle for rod and reel. He leaves as Purdue's all-time winningest coach (86-62 record) after spending 12 seasons at the school and guiding the Boilermakers to 10 bowl games.
The 65-year-old admits things could get emotional on Saturday, but until then he's trying to concentrate on the game.
"You get a little nostalgic," said former Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez, who coached his final game at Camp Randall Stadium in 2005. "You start thinking of your career. You start to reminisce about all the players and the good times. You start thinking a little bit about the future and what you're going to do and what it's going to be like without football because that's what you've done all your life.
"That's all he's done. That's all I ever did."