Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg
I'm flying back east for a wedding this morning (congrats Nate and Molly!), but you should definitely check in throughout the day for what's sure to be some riveting Big Ten content. My Big Ten tour has ended -- one final post might be on the way-- and I wanted to once again thank commissioner Jim Delany and the other league officials for letting me into their world for a day. Who knows? Maybe I'll be back this fall.
Preseason practice kicks off Monday for 10 Big Ten schools, and I'll be bouncing around the league. I'll be at Michigan on Monday, Michigan State on Tuesday and Northwestern on Thursday before swinging up to Madison next weekend for Wisconsin's open scrimmage/media day. Should be a fun week.
Here's your pre-weekend look at the Big Ten happenings:
The Sporting News' Michael Bradley wrote a good piece about Michigan-turned-Ohio State offensive lineman Justin Boren, who can't wait to get back to Ann Arbor in 2009. "It will be the happiest day of my life," Boren said.
State lawmakers are getting more involved in what looks to be a big ol' mess at Iowa. Can't be good. The university is taking on the cost for the second investigation into the handling of an alleged sexual assault.
Some good news from Iowa. All victims of the devastating floods that hit the state earlier this summer are eligible to receive free tickets to Hawkeyes home games.
A quick hoops note: Illinois guard Jamar Smith is off the team.
Jim Tressel isn't big on taking vacations, Tim May writes in The Columbus Dispatch.
Rich Rodriguez's first payment to West Virginia, written for $2.5 million, has arrived safely, the Detroit Free Press reported.
Several Wisconsin media bloggers picked up on the column by The Sporting News' Matt Hayes that put Badgers coach Bret Bielema in the mix to succeed Joe Paterno at Penn State. I really don't see it for a number of reasons, mainly Bielema's lack of experience as a head coach and his ties to Illinois, Iowa and Wisconsin.
Illinois is one of few teams (Northwestern is another) that heads off campus for part of preseason practice. The Illini will spend an extra week in Rantoul, or, as linebacker Brit Miller calls it, Rantucky.
Michigan State's 2009 recruiting class is shaping up quite nicely, Matt Dorsey writes in the Detroit Free Press.
You love rankings, so I give you rankings. The Hoosier Scoop blog from the Bloomington Herald-Times ranks the Big Ten this season. They're high on Northwestern and worried about Iowa.
Tongue planted firmly in cheek, Mgoblog fills in Rodriguez about the "traditions" he'll need to uphold at Michigan. They include: winning the Rose Bowl, unpredictable playcalling, fast starts and dominating our opponents. Funny stuff.