Schedule is shaping up. We know Michigan state is the big one but home vs Penn state now looks very important and critical to division race. Northwestern is an important game from a mentality standpoint. A win on the road is so important at that point.
Michigan leads all Big Ten schools in conference championships for the year with 8. This was borrowed from the MSU 247 board, which took from the Maryland 247 board, which took from a Rutgers board.
Conference championships by school, including both regular season and tournament titles, co-champions noted:
Michigan (8/9**) - Men's Swimming & Diving; Women's Gymnastics Regular Season; Women's Gymnastics Tournament; Women's Tennis Regular Season; Women's Tennis Tournament; Softball Regular Season; Softball Tournament; Baseball Tournament
Maryland (7) - Field Hockey Regular Season; Men's Soccer Regular Season; Men's Soccer Tournament; Women's Basketball Regular Season; Women's Basketball Tournament; Men's Lacrosse Regular Season Co-Champions; Women's Lacrosse Regular Season
Ohio State (6) - Football; Women's Indoor Track & Field; Wrestling Co-Champions; Men's Tennis Regular Season Co-Champions; Women's Golf Co-Champions; Women's Rowing
Illinois (5) - Men's Tennis Regular Season Co-Champions; Men's Tennis Tournament; Men's Golf; Men's Outdoor Track & Field; Baseball Regular Season
Wisconsin (5) - Men's Cross Country; Women's Soccer Tournament; Women's Volleyball; Men's Basketball Regular Season; Men's Basketball Tournament
Minnesota (4) - Women's Swimming & Diving; Men's Ice Hockey Regular Season; Men's Ice Hockey Tournament; Men's Tennis Regular Season Co-Champions;
Penn State (3) - Women's Soccer Regular Season; Men's Gymnastics; Women's Lacrosse Tournament
Johns Hopkins (2) - Men's Lacrosse Regular Season Co-Champions; Men's Lacrosse Tournament
Michigan State (2) - Women's Cross Country; Women's Outdoor Track & Field
Northwestern (2) - Field Hockey Tournament; Women's Golf Co-Champions
Iowa (1) - Wrestling Co-Champions
Nebraska (1) - Men's Indoor Track & Field
Of note: Maryland more than held their own in the conference in their first year. Rutgers, not so much. Only Michigan, Ohio State, and Penn State participate in all sports which award conference championships.
** Women's water polo was also CWPA regular season co-champions. I footnoted it since I was referring to Big Ten championships, but it is worth mentioning.
Big Ten Presidents are voting this Sunday on proposed divisions, division names, and 9 game schedule for 2014. It also sounds like one school is thinking about trying to ask for a change because they were unhappy with the new divisions--Rittenberg surmised that this school was Michigan State. Where's the threat?
From ESPN's Big Ten Blog:
A coworker sent this article to me just now. Apparently due to the ongoing situation at Penn State, the conference has been mulling a proposal that would give the commissioner, along with the presidents and chancellors, the ability to "penalize individual members of an institution, should their actions significantly harm the league’s reputation."
I'm not sure how I personally feel about this without seeing the proposal itself, but it would obviously be unprecedented.
Michigan has picked up more commits, so that means we hit the front page. (Tons of) action since last rankings:
7-21-11 Iowa gais commitment from Ryan Ward.
7-24-11 Illinois gains commitment from Joey Warburg.
7-25-11 Iowa gains commitment from Michael Malloy.
7-26-11 Michigan gains commitment from Sione Houma.Penn State gains commitment from Jake Kiley.
7-27-11 Indiana(!) gains commitment from Gunner Kiel.
7-28-11 Michigan State gains commitments from Aaron Burbridge and Jermaine Edmondson. Indiana gains commitment from Jason Spriggs.
7-29-11 Purdue gains commitment from Andy Garcia.
7-30-11 Minnesota gains commitment from Jonah Pirsig.
7-31-11 Michigan gains commitment from Chris Wormley.
PLUS, Scout updated their rankings, so there's a little bit of movement there.
|Big Ten+ Recruiting Class Rankings|
|Rank||School||# Commits||Rivals Avg||Scout Avg||ESPN Avg||24/7 Avg|
*ESPN doesn't rate JUCOs, so Isaac Fruechte is not included in Minnesota's average, Darius Stroud doesn't count against Indiana's average, and Steffon Martin is excluded from Purdue's.
On to the full data, after the jump.
In the loosely adapted ways of Dante, I present to you the eleventh canto of Formerly's Football Inferno. I promise nothing when it comes to grammar, punctuation, logical plots, or anything that normally goes into story writing.
For those of you unfamiliar, Dante walks through each region of hell to learn the sins and punishment by talking to those souls trapped. In this circle of Dante's version, those who would commit fraud are punished. In each of the 10 bolgie (subsections), a different type of sin is punished, be it pimpin', flattering, simony (paying the church for blessing), magic, corrupt politicians, hypocrites, thieves, advisors who would promote fraud, "schismatics" (those that would schism religion), or counterfeiters.
As we reached the edge of the 7th circle, we encountered a cliff so steep, it would be impossible to climb down. The abyss seemed to be an endless drop down into darkness. Naturally, we needed a Geryon. Unfortunately, none was to be found.
"So what now?" I asked Crockett.
"Say something bad about America."
"What?" I inquire.
"Say something bad about America. Anything. I'm not going to do it, I'm Davy Crockett for goodness sake."
"Umm… okay? America smells funny?"
Without a second passing, a great "CAW!" came bellowing from the depths. In a flash of fireworks and with the Star Spangled Banner blaring from nowhere, a giant creature came screaming from the deep.
"Who dares defile the name of America! In the name of Ricky Stanzi and J Leman, this aggression will not stand!" proclaimed the great bird.
Cowering on my side, and pointing at Crockett, I yell, "This guy made me do it! He tricked me! Hey wait, why can you talk normally?"
"ENOUGH! I am the great Hawkeye, devourer of corn, strangely named after only my eye, and defender of patriotism!"
Crockett stepped forward, "That'll be enough Hawkeye. The boy didn't mean any harm. We just need your services. We need a ride to the bottom of this here cliff."
"Well, honorable Davy Crockett, I shall grant your request on one stipulation," said the Hawkeye. "You must sing me my favorite song."
"You've got to be kidding me," I reply as I gather my wits.
"Well, Hawkeye, are we talking the Star Spangled Banner, America the Beautiful, or what?" asked Crockett.
"No. Better. I want you to sing Oh! by Girls Generation!"
Crockett and I simultaneously, "You've got to be kidding me."
"No! You will not fly without you singing my favorite song!"
"You obviously didn't see me in Riders of Destiny did you?" asked Crockett.
"There weren't movies in your time Crockett," said the beast.
"Dammit, you've got me there." After a short pause, "Alright, I've got an idea."
In a whirl, John Wayne magically transformed into a 16 year old Korean Girl!
오!Hawkeyes 너무 멋져! 지금은 그들에 대해 노래 것입니다!
After the song was completed, with a tear in his eye, the Hawkeye proclaims, "By Leman, that was beautiful. I shall take you down this cliff. Climb on to my back, and we shall fly like a Ricky Stanzi pass to the endzone!"
With a look of confusion, I ask, "Does this mean we're going to be intercepted and go backwards?"
"Blasphemy! You want a ride or not?!" shouted the Hawkeye.
"Just sayin'. But yes."
Crockett and I climbed aboard. During the flight, I had to ask Crockett just what the hell happened up above. His reply, "you'd be amazed what you learn on the set of Rio Bravo with that slut Angie Dickinson.".
Stunned, I decided to just let things go, finishing the flight in silence.
After landing, we walked down the path, and came up to two cave entrances. To the left, a purple sign reads Chicago; to the right a red sign reads Indiana. "Interesting that Chicago has their own place in hell. They're always the forgotten team," I state.
"Actually, that bolgie is Chicago and Northwestern. Chicago didn't provide enough space to fill the entire realm, so they started putting Northwestern fans in their, too. It really pisses off the Wildcat faithful, being called in Chicago instead of Evanston."
"So this is where fans from opposing schools are kept?"
"Indeed. Each is subjected to a punishment deserving of their respective bases. If you look into the Chicago bolgie, you'll see that Northwestern fans are whipped into pumping gas for eternity. This is punishment for jingling their keys at football games. The Chicago fans are just whipped into submission, as they're just quitters anyway."
"Huh, gas pumpers, huh? I like the irony. It's like rain on a wedding day."
"That's not ironic."
"Nevermind. Anyway, what happens to the Indiana fans?"
"Their heads are turned backwards and they are forced to play basketball without seeing what their doing. They suck horribly and couldn't beat even the lowliest of teams. To complicate it, they're shown clips of the current Hoosiers under Tom Crean. The tears they cry from this freeze right to their face."
"That's so cruel."
"Oh just wait. You see the next two caves, to the left is Illinois. There the fans are subjected to carry lead coats to weigh them down, while being forced to watch the entire history of Illinois football as if Ron Zook had been their coach since the team was started. They're amazingly worse. And to the right, you'll see Penn State's bolgie. There, the Nittany Lion fans are afflicted with a disease that turns them into zombies. They march around hungering for brains."
"I think I'd prefer being a zombie over watching Ron Zook coach a 1920s Illini football team into crap."
"You and me both, son. The next set of bolgies feature Iowa and Purdue. The Hawkeye fans are destined to a life as a stalk of corn. They start as a seedling, grow into a 6 foot tall crop, and then are reaped, feeling the blade tear them into bits, before they return to a seedling."
"As if living in Iowa City isn't boring enough, eh?" I ask as a loud drumming became audible in the distance."
"Purdue on the right here, they've got it about as bad. They spend the after life being dunked into a vat of boiling tar, a victim of their own vats. On top of that, their stupid drum beats in their bolgie, but the demon Purdue Pete has no rhythm, so it's not even a constant beat."
"That's awful, let's move faster."
"That can be done, partner."
"Who's next?" I ask.
"Next is Wisconsin and Minnesota. The Badger fans are placed over a bed of hot coals and forced to jump around."
"The more I hear these, the more I go back to that whole cliché thing we discussed back at the gates to Columbus."
"Noted. But quit interrupting me, boy," Crockett started. "On the left, you can see the Gopher fans crucified to the ground so that people can walk all over them. As you can see, the roof and walls mimic the Metrodome, a place I'm sure all Michigan fans can appreciate."
"Getting walked all over in the Metrodome? Sounds like a familiar Gopher story."
"That it is. The next bolgie coming up is Michigan State's. Before I even tell you what happens there, I'll remind you how cliché everything has been so far, then let you guess. Any ideas?"
"They're subjected to Gerard Butler prance around in a skirt for eternity kicking them into wells, yelling 'this is Sparta?' "
"No, but close! They're made to believe they've been reincarnated into Spartan boys, but as the youngest son, they are to be forever tormented by their stronger, smarter, better looking big brother. And once they've reached a certain age, they're sent to war against the Persians who kill them and start the process over again."
"We've got to get more creative people down here."
"Yeah, you've got to remember, most of the people that run this place are basically the blue hairs from Michigan stadium circa 1927. In life, they were entertained by playing with a stick."
"Indeed. Now, on past the last bolgie."
"Sweet, I'm interested to see how those idiots from Ohio are tormented. Please tell me that they get their nuts busted by continuous kicks to the groins?"
"Actually, the next bolgie belongs to Notre Dame. They may not be a conference member, but to hell with the Irish. The Buckeyes go somewhere else, deeper in hell. We'll get to them later."
"Huh, fair enough. So what happens to the Irish?" I ask.
"Well, you see, they have to plug their head into the ground like emus while their feet are scorched on hot rocks. They're told the strategy of putting their head in the ground is a schematic advantage to lessen the burn. It doesn't really do anything but make them look funny."
Disappointed by such a weak punishment, I reply, "It'd been funnier if punch drunk leprechauns came up and kicked them in the shins at the same time, maybe beat the crap out of them."
"I'll make note and pass that along to Ufer. He's never been much on trusting leprechauns. They look too much like gingers. We're still unclear if gingers have souls, and if they ain't got a soul, then they ain't coming to hell."
"It may suck, but not as bad as Michigan is playing right now. They just lost three straight to Penn State, Illinois, and Purdue. Bad things are happening in your world. Fans are growing restless. We must escape hell quickly, before we lose our chance."
And with that, we quickly made our way toward the final circle of hell.
(Special gif thanks to chunkums)
The rumors make it seem like Texas might be considering the Big Ten or the Pac 10. I know a lot depends on who else goes with Texas (or on their own). But, if the decision were up to Texas, its an easy one for the B10 against any conference. Let's look at the two most important things, academics and football:
1. Best option academically? B10. This stems out of the CIC membership. Although Cal and Stanford can hold their own against Michigan and Northwestern, the benefits to Texas' academic bottom line are bigger from the CIC.
2. Best option for football tradition? B10. The B10 has some of the best all-time programs steeped in tradition. The Pac10 has USC (more on them later) and... um... UCLA....
3. Best option for football reputation? B10. While we can debate Ws and Ls with oterh conferences, one things seems clear. The B10 wins "the right way." They are the conference where you want your kids to play football. Think about USC, Alabama, Miami, SMU, etc.. all the BIGGEST cheating scandals in college football. None of them (as far as I know) come from the B10. Sure, there may be some minor violations here or there, but overall the integrity of the B10 football programs put the other conferences to shame.
Everything else is either a wash or in the B10's favor.
C'mon Horns, if its really up to you, dance with the prettiest girl and not the easiest.
Michigan took two of three games at Penn State this weekend to claim a #2 seed in the Big Ten Tournament. While all three games had many great positives, the ending to game two is how this series will be remembered. Michigan held a 4 run lead going into the bottom of the 9th, and the bull pen collapsed.
Weekend recap, series thoughts, and a look at the Big Ten bracket after the jump
It's everybody's favorite non-pollutionary, anti-institutionary, pro-confectionary conference conundrum...
I've got a real good question for you:
If money is the driving force behind Big Ten expansion, and academics are the official sticking point, and the Big Ten Network makes this conference so attractive that almost any team would be in for joining, who is really a potential expansion candidate now?
This Has All Been Chewed Before
Gum chewing's fine when it's once in a while
It stops you from smoking and brightens your smile
But it's repulsive, revolting, and wrong
Chewing and chewing all day long
I realize I'm not exactly the first person to start talking about Big Ten Expansion. But this isn't just any old stick of gum: this gum has an entire meal in it. You probably won't learn anything new here, but you'll get some information to back up what we already know.
This diary is a look at current FBS (formerly Division I-A) teams that might be considered for Big Ten Expansion, and others that might fit the academic profile, even if there's no way they would join the Big Ten.
When expansion to 12 or 14 teams was the modus operandi, this blog reviewed the leading candidates. However, with even 24 teams having been mentioned by NCAA people (by which I mean "Just Tom Osborne"), the field has grown.
The question: are there that many schools out there that fit the conference's academic profile, or at least close enough the Big Ten can continue to claim itself the most academic FBS conference?
In reality, there is a clear cutoff: does the school match the criteria to join the American Association of Universities?* and the Big Ten's own little version of that, the CIC. There are currently 63 members, but I would imagine a Big Ten addition not already part of the AAU would be able to join, if it matches the academic criteria. Therefore, the lower bound of AAU membership is the functional lower bound of Big Ten expansion consideration.
To find out who has a golden ticket, follow me, overjoyed, enraptured, entranced. Are we ready? Yes, good. In we go.
* If not, MaizeAndBlueWahoo is going to neg me.
In my laundry list of Google Alerts, I had a bit of a doosy show up today. The finale to the Michigan/Iowa game was a side story in Business Week's particle on Are Sportswriters Really Necessary.
Below are the opening lines of three stories written about a recent college baseball game. Two are from schools' sports information departments. The other was produced by software that takes box scores and spits out news articles. Which one was done by machine?
a) "The University of Michigan baseball team used a four-run fifth inning to salvage the final game in its three-game weekend series with Iowa, winning 7-5 on Saturday afternoon (April 24) at the Wilpon Baseball Complex, home of historic Ray Fisher Stadium."
b) "Michigan held off Iowa for a 7-5 win on Saturday. The Hawkeyes (16-21) were unable to overcome a four-run sixth inning deficit. The Hawkeyes clawed back in the eighth inning, putting up one run."
c) "The Iowa baseball team dropped the finale of a three-game series, 7-5, to Michigan Saturday afternoon. Despite the loss, Iowa won the series having picked up two wins in the twinbill at Ray Fisher Stadium Friday."
So yeah. I was able to pick out which one it was (follow the link to find out yourself). But still. It's crazy to think that with just the stats of the game, an entire release was formulated without spelling errors or human intervening. Crazy.