Tag:Big Ten
Posted on: January 30, 2012 4:05 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:24 pm

Illinois considering new helmets for 2012

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Illinois will take to the football field with a new head coach in Tim Beckman next season, but could the Illini be sporting some new headgear as well?

As the Big Ten Network's Brent Yarina informs us, the school is displaying three new helmets for recruits as they visit the Illinois campus. Though Illinois SID Derek Neal says that just because the helmets are on display, that doesn't mean the school is ready to make the change.

“While our coaches have been displaying those for recruits, those are just options we’ve been exploring for new helmets,” Neal told BTN.com. “No decisions have been made yet on helmet, uniform changes, or if there will even be a change.” 

If Illinois does in fact go through with the change, I'd like to put in a vote for the matte blue helmets with the block "I." Of the three pictured, that one is far and away my favorite.

Photo courtesy of IllinoisLoyalty.com

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 3:45 pm
Edited on: January 30, 2012 4:09 pm

VIDEO: Kirk Ferentz takes a polar plunge

Posted by Tom Fornelli

People, by and large, are a strange species. We do odd things that generally don't make sense pretty often. At some point, after the Wright brothers invented the airplane, somebody was flying in a plane and said to themselves "I want to jump out of this thing." It's not a natural reaction, but it's one many have had over the years.

The same goes for bungee jumping, walking on hot coals, diving with sharks or even climbing Mt. Everest. These are all things that you probably shouldn't do, and all could lead to disasterous results, but people do it anyway. Whether for the sense of accomplishment, or just the adrenaline rush. 

I understand that. I get that. What I have never understood, however, is that whole Polar Bear Club deal. I just don't see the point in it, though apparently that's not the case for Iowa head coach Kirk Ferentz.

Now, I ask you, what does this accomplish? I know Ferentz did this to help the Iowa Wrestling Club, so I'll give him a pass. He did it for charity, to help others, and there's nobility in that. But why would anybody else do it?

I have a friend who did this once in Lake Michigan in the dead of winter. When he told me about it and I asked him why, his answer was "I don't know." This is not an acceptable answer. He didn't know why he was doing it, yet he did it anyway. When he finished, I asked him if it was worth it.

"No, not really."

So while I give Ferentz a pass for it as he was doing it to help others, I implore the rest of you who have considered doing it just for the sake of doing it not to. Go jump out of a plane or something.

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Posted on: January 30, 2012 11:39 am

Hoke named Maxwell Club's Coach of the Year

Posted by Tom Fornelli

If Brady Hoke is still trying to seal the deal with a couple of recruits this week before signing day on Wednesday, he just found some more ammo to convince them that Michigan is the place they want to play.

The Maxwell Football Club, which wants you to know it's the oldest football club in America -- maybe there's an American football club in Tanzania that's older -- announced on Monday that Brady Hoke had been named its coach of the year for 2011.

"Coach Hoke has engineered a tremendous turnaround in the Michigan football program in just one year and it was obvious that his team improved each week," said Maxwell Club executive director Mark Wolpert in a release. "It is quite an accomplishment to compile an 11-2 record playing a rigorous Big Ten schedule in his first year at the helm. Coach Hoke has set the tone for a high degree of future success for the Michigan program." 

Hoke did lead quite the turnaround in Ann Arbor this season, taking Michigan from a 7-6 mark in 2010 to an 11-2 record in 2011, including a win over Virginia Tech in the Sugar Bowl. Hoke became the third coach in history to win a BCS bowl game in his first season as a head coach.

He's also the third Michigan coach to be given this award by the Maxwell Club, along with Lloyd Carr and Bo Schembechler

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Posted on: January 28, 2012 5:36 pm
Edited on: January 29, 2012 1:08 pm

Kyle Prater transferring to Northwestern

Posted by Tom Fornelli

USC's loss has become Northwestern's gain.

Northwestern announced in a press release on Saturday that wide receiver Kyle Prater was transferring to the school.

"We're extremely excited for Kyle to be able to come home to Chicago and join our Northwestern football family," head coach Pat Fitzgerald said in the release. "He is a tremendous young man from a great family and is a product of a high school program we really respect in Proviso West. Kyle's decision to attend Northwestern made sense for everyone involved and we're looking forward to him contributing to our program on and off the field."

"This is one of the best days in my life for me and my family and I'm just happy to be back close to home, my family and my support group," Prater said. "I'd like to thank USC and their administration for my release. I have the utmost respect for USC and the coaching staff, players, fans and everybody I was in touch with there. This Northwestern degree will take me far and help me become a better person. The dynamics of the school and the team have shown me a lot and I'm just happy to be a Wildcat." 

Prater didn't see much time on the field at USC. He redshirted in 2010 and battle injuries in 2011, catching only 1 pass for a total of 6 yards. Still, he came to USC as part of its 2010 class as a five-star receiver and was considered one of the best players in the country -- with some scouting services ranking him as the top receiver -- out of high school.

As per transfer rules, Prater will have to sit out the 2012 season with the Wildcats, but he'll have two years of eligibility remaining once he can begin playing again in 2013.

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Posted on: January 26, 2012 8:27 am

Paterno service to be streamed on CBSSports.com

Posted by Eye on College Football Staff

Those interested in watching a memorial service for legendary Penn State head coach Joe Paterno may do so live on CBSSports.com, Thursday at 2:00 PM. The service, held by Penn State and titled "A Memorial For Joe," is being held at the Bryce Jordan Center on the Penn State campus, and will be streamed in CBSSports.com ULive HERE free of charge.

Penn State made 10,000 free tickets available to the public event, and all were quickly acquired by fans on Wednesday. Penn State is providing this coverage for fans that are unable to attend the event live.

Coverage for the event will also be provided by GoPSUSports.com as well as the Big Ten Network and its website.
Posted on: January 26, 2012 7:33 am
Edited on: January 26, 2012 7:40 am

Michigan State unveils new scoreboard plans

Posted by Adam Jacobi

The Michigan State football program is in rarified air, winning 11 games in a season in 2010 and 2011 -- the only two times in program history such a win total has ever been achieved. And if a program's playing like a powerhouse, well, it might as well look like a powerhouse, and let's face it: the Spartan Stadium scoreboard is no powerhouse. With that, Michigan State has unveiled a proposal for three new video boards at Spartan Stadium, including a mammoth new HD video scoreboard in the south end zone. Pictures? Yes, pictures, via the Michigan State athletic department:

That's a massive video screen/scoreboard in the south end zone and two smaller video screens (called fascia in the proposal, so if they catch on fire, is that fasciitis?) on the north side, along with an LED ribbon below the two fascia in an NBA arena-esque move.

The proposal is expected to go before the MSU Board of Trustees on Friday. For Spartan fans' sake, let's hope that the project passes and is undertaken; the upgrade from a regular screen to HD video at a stadium is... well, it's about as dramatic and welcome as the same transition at home. If MSU's got the money to make this happen, it really ought to.

And as for those who are looking at the graphic setup of the scoreboard mockup shown above and are wondering where all the ads are, it's possible that Michigan State will keep the same setup as its current south end zone scoreboard, where most of the ads are on billboards placed next to the scoreboard. The graphic configuration has been different in earlier mockups too, with more screen space devoted to ads, so there's probably some fluidity here in terms of what the final product will look like in September.

One thing that we can't let pass, however: Michigan State played Texas Tech once in its history, and at no point was MSU ever up 37-10 on the Red Raiders; Texas Tech won that game 41-31 in the 2009 Alamo Bowl. Moreover, Texas Tech is not on the Spartans' future schedules (where deals reach as far as 2023), so we're clearly dealing with an alternate version of reality in the mockups here. Do they have flying cars in that alternate reality? Legitimate question.

For more up-to-the minute news on Michigan State, follow the CBSSports.com Michigan State RapidReports by Dana Garuder.

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Posted on: January 24, 2012 12:56 pm
Edited on: January 24, 2012 4:40 pm

Paterno memorial tickets hit $99K on eBay

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

As expected, demand in State College for tickets to Penn State's planned "A Memorial for Joe" public service at the Nittany Lion basketball team's Bryce-Jordan Arena has been astronomical. Less expected, in this time of mourning, was that some unscrupulous ticket holder would (apparently) attempt to make a quick buck off of Joe Paterno's death.

With officials announcing Tuesday that the event had sold out, an auction appeared on eBay selling two tickets to the memorial service:


Bids would reach as high as $99,509 before the website shut down the auction. While many of the bids were likely fake -- and possibly even an attempt to ruin the auction for the seller -- that the total so quickly escalated also shows how badly Paterno's legions of admirers would like to be present at the service ... and, sadly, why the seller (assuming sincerity on his or her part) tried to profit off the service in the first place.

Amanda Coffee, a spokeswoman for eBay Inc., said the site does not "allow the sale of tickets to events in which all tickets are free to the public" and removed multiple ads offering tickets to the memorial.

"I think it's absolutely repulsive that people are taking an event that's supposed to be a celebration of life and trying to use it for monetary profit," Penn State student Emily Ricken told the Associated Press Tuesday. Ricken, like hundreds of others, was waiting in line to view Paterno's closed casket at the campus spiritual center. 

The memorial service tickets were issued via the PSU athletics website on a first-come, first-serve basis. More than 10,000 of the tickets were claimed within the first seven minutes of their availability.

Penn State fans without tickets -- as well as other Paterno admirers from across the country -- will still be able to view the service on the Big Ten Network, which will broadcast it live Thursday at 2 p.m. ET.

Among those offering condolences to the Paterno family Monday were President Barack Obama and his family, who fondly remembered meeting the legendary coach.

Screencap HT: Kegs n' Eggs. Information provided by the AP was used in this report.

For more coverage on Paterno's death (including recent comments by his son, Scott) and the week of mourning in State College, follow our CBSSports.com Penn State RapidReports by Jim Rodenbush.

Posted on: January 23, 2012 10:47 am
Edited on: January 23, 2012 10:49 am

Al Golden reflects on former mentor Joe Paterno

Posted by Chip Patterson

Of all the coaches in the ACC, few were impacted by the career of Joe Paterno quite like Miami head coach Al Golden. Golden suited up at tight end for Penn State for three seasons (1989-1991), serving as team captain his senior year.

While often connected with the Penn State head coaching job throughout the season, Golden has made his home in Miami while maintaining a public respect of Paterno and his alma mater. On Monday morning Golden took to Twitter to offer words in response to Joe Paterno's passing.

@GoldenAl: Walter Payton once said, "Always remember that every opportunity you have to meet someone is an opportunity to leave a piece of yourself."

@GoldenAl: Joe Paterno not only fulfilled a promise he made to his father by making an impact, he left an indelible piece of himself with everyone he touched.

@GoldenAl: The values Coach Paterno instilled in each of us fortunate enough to play for or work alongside him will never be diminished.

@GoldenAl: They are manifested in our leadership, character, class and dedication to improving the lives of others in the classroom, workforce, and community.

@GoldenAl: They are distinctly evident in the way we raise our children and the types of husbands and fathers we have grown to be.

@GoldenAl: I am forever grateful for the impact that Joseph Vincent Paterno has made on my life and I am not ashamed to say to Coach and his family…

@GoldenAl: that the way of your former players will carry your legacy forward is by humbly improving the lives of those we touch every day. #ThankUJoe!

Golden senior season with the Nittany Lions was one of the most successful in the last two decades of Joe Paterno's career. Penn State finished the season with an 11-2 record, Fiesta Bowl win, and No. 3 ranking in the final AP poll. Only Paterno's undefeated 1994 campaign resulted in a better national finish for Penn State after Golden's graduation.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com