Big Ten lunchtime links: What went wrong at Illinois
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
I'm hitting the road for Chambana this afternoon to gear up for No. 11 Ohio State and Illinois tomorrow (ESPN2, noon ET). Your last-minute restaurant recommendations are always welcome, though I believe a colleague has got it covered.
Here's your Friday installment of links:
- The over-reliance on young players, a vague rushing attack, and a midseason letdown, are some of the factors contributing to Illinois' decline, Herb Gould writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Minnesota players still draw inspiration from last year's senior class, which finished 1-11 in its final college season, Sid Hartman writes in the Star Tribune. Also, check out this little nugget toward the end of the column.
Tim Brewster said he can't understand where the rumors are coming from connecting him with the Tennessee job. "I'm very happy at Minnesota," he said.
- The trendy "Wildcat" formation has come to Penn State, and wideout Derrick Williams is the trigger man, Ron Musselman writes in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Maybe watching Williams in action will get The Patriot-News' David Jones more excited about this game.
- Michigan might stick with a 4-2-5 defensive alignment Saturday against Northwestern, which would be fine with defensive tackle Will Johnson, Kevin Ryan writes in The Ann Arbor News.
- Here's a plan to get Wisconsin students to start showing up for football games, courtesy of The Capital Times' Andy Baggott.
"Start by charging UW students the same per-game ticket price as everyone else (currently $39 instead of $19). That should separate the serious fans from those motivated solely by the money they can make selling the cheaper tickets.
Bar codes on the tickets make it possible to track the exact time students walk through the turnstiles. If a person has perfect pregame attendance at the end of the season, they not only avoid the ticket lottery the following year, but the price of their ticket also goes back to the cheaper level."
- The Ohio State-Illinois game features arguably the nation's top two cornerbacks in Malcolm Jenkins and Vontae Davis, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
- It's been an exciting week for Iowa kicker Daniel Murray, even though he might not handle field goals Saturday against Purdue, Eric Page writes in the Quad City Times.