Big Ten: Yankee Stadium
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
Kick the ball, already.
- Back on Sunday night, which feels like a year ago, Rich Rodriguez's financial adviser said in a statement that the Michigan head coach had been the victim of a Ponzi scheme and that the "promoter of the scheme is currently awaiting trial on criminal charges." Well, we know who the promoter is now. All the details can be found at annarbor.com.
- The heat is rising on RichRod this fall, CBS Sports.com's Dennis Dodd writes.
- A Big Ten bowl game at Yankee Stadium? Could be a possibility, while Northwestern might move a future home game to The Bronx, Teddy Greenstein writes in the Chicago Tribune.
- Penn State's depth at defensive tackle will be tested since Brandon Ware will miss a month with a broken foot, Bob Flounders writes in The (Harrisburg) Patriot-News. While several Nittany Lions players are banged up, head coach Joe Paterno feels just fine as he prepares to return to the sideline, Bernard Fernandez writes in the Philadelphia Daily News.
- Ohio State's offensive line finally practiced as a unit Monday, easing concerns before the opener against Navy, Doug Lesmerises writes in The Cleveland Plain Dealer.
- Quarterback Kirk Cousins will start the opener for Michigan State, but the competition under center is far from over, Joe Rexrode writes in the Lansing State Journal. Caulton Ray will start at running back, and a few spots behind him sits Glenn Winston, who recently served four months in jail and returned too soon, Drew Sharp writes in the Detroit Free Press.
- This fall, new Minnesota offensive coordinator Jedd Fisch takes another step on his path to a head-coaching position, Kent Youngblood writes in the Star Tribune.
- Illinois finds itself in a battle with USC for the services of heralded prep wide receiver Kyle Prater, Jeremy Werner writes in The (Champaign) News-Gazette.
- Jewel Hampton's season-ending knee injury has prompted Iowa to look for Plan B at running back, Pat Harty writes in the Iowa City Press-Citizen.
- Indiana will finish 4-8 this fall, Terry Hutchens predicts in The Indianapolis Star.
- Facing Toledo in the season opener has signaled good things for Purdue in the past, Mike Carmin writes in The (Lafayette) Journal and Courier.
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
I'll be off most of Friday, so your regularly scheduled mailblog comes to you a little bit early.
Andy from Cullom, Ill., writes: I really doubt there is a "movement" for 9 conference games.It is impossible to do with 11 teams. I repeat IMPOSSIBLE. I have heard Jim Delaney mention this.10 teams will have played 9 games and leave 1 with 8.Lets just take this year's schedule for example. We will add an extra week where teams will play one of the two conference teams they missed.Illinois vs IowaIndiana vs Michigan StMichigan vs MinnesotaOhio St vs NorthwesternPenn St vs PurdueWisconsin BYESo the 10 team who played now have 9 conference games, but Wisconsin still has 8. If Wisconsin then plays one of their two misses (Illinois, Penn St) that would give that team 10 games.You see, the math doesn't work. The schools know this and have discussed this. That is why there is no "movement" from any serious person in the conference.Lets end this myth before it gets started
Adam Rittenberg: It's not a myth, Andy, and serious people are behind it. Michigan athletic director Bill Martin expects to see it happen in the near future, and Wisconsin AD Barry Alvarez said it has been discussed. Everyone is aware of the mathematical problem it presents, and one team would have one fewer league game than the rest (and one more non-league contest). It doesn't make a ton of sense to me, but Big Ten ADs are more likely to approve a ninth conference game than to truly get behind a 12th team, which would make things much easier schedule-wise.
Nathan from Plymouth, Mich., writes: Adam, great work on the blog! I bleed green and white and carry season tickets to MSU. We look to have a solid defense and of course the questions go to the offense at quarterback and running back. Both quarterbacks look great, at this point from what you may have seen, who do you think would be the better quarterback for MSU's offense? Regarding the RB position, the spring game had little running. With incoming freshman Edwin Baker and Larry Caper, who do you think will come out as the starting RB? Caper seems to be more of an every down back if I'm not mistaken, although Baker is the more touted back. What are your thoughts on these two positions?
Adam Rittenberg: Quarterback and running back are the two big positions to watch in East Lansing next month. The starting quarterback will largely be determined by what type of offense Don Treadwell and Mark Dantonio intend to run. Keith Nichol certainly seems more suited to a spread system where he can use his legs, while Kirk Cousins operated well in the offense last year and has terrific mechanics for a drop-back passer. Both guys will play, and this could drag on through September. As for the running back spot, I've seen both freshmen being projected as starters. I really like Caper's size, but you're right about Baker getting a bit more hype. I'd really like to hold off on predicting a starter there until I see them perform in camp.
BIG TEN SCOREBOARD
Final Iowa 24 Pittsburgh 20 Final Eastern Michigan 14 11 Michigan State 73 Final Western Illinois 7 Northwestern 24 Final Southern Illinois 13 Purdue 35 Final Bowling Green 17 19 Wisconsin 68 Final Maryland 34 Syracuse 20 Final Utah 26 Michigan 10 Final Rutgers 31 Navy 24 Final Massachusetts 7 Penn State 48 Final San Jose State 7 Minnesota 24 Final Texas State 35 Illinois 42 Final Indiana 31 18 Missouri 27 Final Miami (FL) 31 24 Nebraska 41