Sunday, July 31, 2011

B1G Football 2011: A lot of interest in the first ever race for the Big Ten Title Game

Season One of a new era of B1G football ...

General tickets for the inaugural Big Ten football title game at Lucas Oil Stadium sold out in less than two hours today, the conference announced. - Indianapolis Star

Big Ten Title Game will be Saturday, December 3Rd

    The 40Th annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon unfolded this past week, as all 12 Big Ten coaches and 36 student-athletes meet in Chicago to discuss the 2011 Big Ten Football season, as division play and the first Big Ten Title Game will unfold, with the addition of Nebraska in the conference.

    The Big Ten welcomed four new football coaches, along with Nebraska's Bo Pelini to the conference media day in Chicago for the upcoming 2011 season. We will have to wait until about mid-August on whether the Ohio State will be eligible for the inaugural Big Ten Title Game.

    The Iowa Hawkeyes has been competitive in all games over the past three seasons, with all of their losses within seven points or less. After a 6-6 season in 2007, Iowa has finished 9-4, 11-2 and 8-5 the past three seasons. NFL bound QB Ricky Stanzi lead Iowa to three straight bowl wins the past three seasons.

    "Really in a nutshell for us, last year came down to how we handled close games. We dropped three games in November, total of 10 points. If you look at all of our losses over the season, about four points a game. If you contrast that to the year before, we ended up in the Orange Bowl. That was a year we did very well in close games." - Iowa's Kirk Ferentz

    Will the Hawkeyes be one of the teams headed to the Big Ten Title Game in 2011? One member of the media indirectly was predicting it or simply didn't remember that Iowa vs. Ohio State isn't on the regular Big Ten schedule. The past two seasons the game has been played down the wire.

    Iowa-Nebraska rivalry?

    We believe that the people of Iowa and the people of Nebraska are very much alike in many ways. Both believe in an honest day’s work, the importance of community and family, and both love college football and their football heroes.” - Nebraska's Dr. Tom Osborne

    Iowa and Nebraska announce `The Heroes Game' where both institutions to use national stage to honor `citizen heroes,' provide support for charity. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes and Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving will provide a football game to spotlight such.

    Questions heading into August Camp in the B1G:

    • Will quarterback North Carolina State transfer Russell Wilson fill the void at Wisconsin for the loss of Scott Tolzien or will it be someone else nor not happen in 2011?

    • Iowa saw success in Year 3 of J. Hayden Fry in 1981 running a two-quarterback system, so will Purdue's Danny Hope enjoy the same with QB Robert Marve and Rob Henry in his Year 3 in West Lafayette?

    • Michigan State hasn't been to the Rose Bowl in last 24 seasons, so can Mark Dantonio overcome the hurdles to get Spartans at the top of the Big Ten in '11?

    • I don’t think we’re rebuilding. Period,” New head coach Brady Hoke said. “We’re Michigan.” So, should the rest of the Big Ten buy this approach for the team in Ann Arbor?

    • Sophomore QB Rob Bolden was denied his release to transfer in the Spring by Joe Pa at Penn State. So, will Bolden win the QB derby or will it be junior Matt McGloin again?

    • Illinois won first bowl game, since 1999, with win over Baylor, as the Fighting Illini must reload for Ron Zook, which didn't work well, after 2007 season and Zook's first bowl trip. Will 2011 be any different from 2008 for Ron Zook's program?

    • Welcome back to B1G new Indiana coach Kevin Wilson, who was on the late Randy Walker's first staff as OC for three years, before leaving to run Oklahoma's offense for Bobby Stoops. How will the adjustment be in Bloomington?

    • Battle-tested veterans Mike Daniels and Broderick Binns will anchor the defensive line for Iowa's Kirk Ferentz, but will the combination of players to fill the other two open spots work for the Hawkeyes?

    • Minnesota first-year head coach Jerry Kill rebuilt Northern Illinois, after success at the FBS level, so will his next project be successful too?

    • Pat Fitzgerald has lead Northwestern to three straight bowl games, but with a record of 1-8 overall, since the first win 1949 Rose Bowl... do the Wildcats pull out a win in '11?

    • Luke Fickel steps in at Ohio State for the season, after Jim Tressel was released after the Spring. So, will Fickel maintain the Buckeyes at a high level or will the NCAA issues cost the Buckeyes too much in '11? Suspensions remain heading into the first five games.

    • How will Bo Pelini and Nebraska enjoy the first campaign in the Big Ten?

    Sunday, July 24, 2011

    Iowa is a "wholesome" and "no-nonsense" program like Nebraska

    Nebraska will likely be favored as the team to beat in the first Legends division race of the Big Ten in 2011. Gerry DiNardo of the Big Ten Network labels Nebraska as potentially the team to beat, while calling Iowa a "wholesome" and "no-nonsense" program like Nebraska.

    The Big Ten Conference will hold its Media Day in Chicago on July 28Th and 29Th, including the 40Th Annual Big Ten Kickoff Luncheon. The SEC held its Media Day this past week to kickoff the beginning activities leading up to the 2011 College Football season. The Big 12, without Colorado and Nebraska, will kickoff on Monday and Tuesday.

    Thirty-six student athletes will join head coaches in Chicago for Media Day. Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz, entering his 13Th season as head coach of the Hawkeyes, is bringing DT Mike Daniels, WR Marvin McNutt, Jr. and LB Tyler Nielsen. All three players are seniors for the 2011 Hawkeye football team.

    The 2011 season will kickoff for the Big Ten on Thursday, September 1St in Madison.

    • UNLV at Wisconsin
      7:00 p.m.
      ESPN (HD)

    Wisconsin is the reigning co-champion of the Big Ten and represented the Big Ten in the 2011 Rose Bowl, losing 19-21 to TCU. Excitement in Madison is high with transferring QB Russell Wilson, from North Carolina State, competing for the open QB position in 2011. Wisconsin could be the team to beat in the Leaders division in 2011? DiNardo like the Badgers and "window" of opportunity.

    The Hawkeyes finished 8-5 in 2010 and haven't won a share of the Big Ten, since 2004. Will the young Hawkeyes make noise in 2011? Iowa will start 2011 with a new QB, as junior James Vandenberg takes over the reigns, with Ricky Stanzi, Iowa's first 3-0 bowl winner as a starting QB, moves on to the NFL.


    Sunday, July 3, 2011

    Big Ten officially welcomes the University of Nebraska at Lincoln

    The University of Nebraska officially became the 12Th member of the Big Ten Conference on July 1, 2011. The first official activity will be the 2011 Big Ten media day later this month in Chicago on July 28-29.