Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Big Ten Morning Briefing: RichRod remains realistic
Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
A light news day around the league. More answers will come later today.
- The struggles by both the Pac-10 and the Big Ten could put the Rose Bowl in a tight spot, Loren Tate writes in The (Champaign, Ill.) News-Gazette.
- Despite his team's bland performance against Louisiana-Lafayette, Illinois coach Ron Zook is staying positive, Herb Gould writes in the Chicago Sun-Times. Safety Donsay Hardeman should be in the mix next week after WR Jeff Cumberland and DT Josh Brent returned from injuries against the Ragin' Cajuns.
- Ball State is getting pumped for Saturday's matchup at Indiana, Doug Zaleski writes in The (Muncie) Star Press.
- A torn hamstring sidetracked Andy Brodell last fall, but the Iowa wideout/return man is making plays again, Andy Hamilton writes the Iowa City Press-Citizen. Can you spot Hawkeyes coach Kirk Ferentz in this 1980 picture?
- Michigan has a multitude of problems, but quarterback may not longer be one of them as Steven Threet emerges as the starter, John Heuser writes in The Ann Arbor News. Rich Rodriguez continues to take a realistic approach to the season and not side with the Chicken Little crowd, Mark Snyder writes in the Detroit Free Press. Also, tight end Carson Butler won't be suspended despite being ejected from the Notre Dame game.
- Who's the Big Ten MVP at this point? Michigan State RB Javon Ringer, hands down, as Steve Grinczel details. The Spartans will face an improved Notre Dame offensive line this week, Neil Hayes writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Sorry I missed this from the other day, but Minnesota star wideout Eric Decker, who also could play pro baseball, says he'll be back with the Gophers in 2009, Marcus Fuller writes in the St. Paul Pioneer Press.
- Northwestern quarterback C.J. Bacher has limited mistakes so far. Now his coach wants him to stretch the field in the passing game, Lindsey Willhite writes in the Daily Herald. Pat Fitzgerald also weighs in on Northwestern's surprising poll placement and Andrew Brewer's nicks and bruises, Jim O'Donnell writes in the Chicago Sun-Times.
- Chris "Beanie" Wells might have made a veteran Ohio State offensive line look better than it actually is, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch. May and fellow Dispatch beat writer Ken Gordon sift through Ohio State's disastrous loss to USC.
- Penn State center A.Q. Shipley plays through pain, but the team loses another defensive lineman in converted O-lineman Mike Lucian, Jeff Rice writes in the Centre Daily Times. Has unheralded Evan Royster surpassed LeSean McCoy as the best back in Pennsylvania? The Patriot-News' Bob Flounders takes a look.
- It sounds a bit odd at Purdue, but offense is the area that needs an upgrade going forward, Stacy Clardie writes in The Fort Wayne Journal Gazette.
- Wisconsin coach Bret Bielema continues to bite his tongue about the blown fumble call against his team at Fresno State, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal. Bielema was much more chatty about Michigan, a team he's wary of despite its 1-2 start.