The Big Ten Conference has been catching grief for its choice of division names since they were first introduced in 2010. Now, it appears something may be done about it.
ESPN.com is reporting that the league could ditch the names Leaders and Legends for different names. With Maryland and Rutgers scheduled to join the conference in 2014, the league must also decide which division the schools must be placed.
A decision could be made by June, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delaney said.
“We weren’t going to go with ‘Bo or Woody,’ ‘Black or Blue,’ or ‘Plains or Lakes,’ ” Delaney said. “Obviously we got some acceptance (with Legends and Leaders), but not as much as we would have liked.”
The Leaders Division has Ohio State, Penn State, Wisconsin, Purdue, Illinois and Indiana. The Legends Division has Michigan, Nebraska, Northwestern, Michigan State, Iowa and Minnesota.
Illinois center Graham Pocic was kind enough to oblige a fan who shoved their baby in his face and asked him to kindly sign the kids jersey.
No. 19 Illinois has suspended sophomore linebacker Jonathan Brown for Saturday’s game at Indiana after he intentionally kneed a Northwestern player during the Illini’s victory over the weekend.
Coach Ron Zook says the team is “extremely disappointed” in Brown’s actions. He says Brown got caught up in the moment and made a mistake.
Brown was flagged twice for unsportsmanlike conduct during the game is tied for second on the team with 30 tackles. Earlier this season, Brown was named Big Ten defensive player of the week after making seven tackles and 1.5 sacks in beating then-No. 22 Arizona State. He also had an interception and forced another.
The son of rapper, producer, actor, business mogul Sean “P. Diddy” Combs is drawing the interest of quite a few BCS schools to play football. Justin Combs is a 5-9, 175 pound cornerback for New York’s Iona Prep and already has offers on the table from Virginia, Wyoming, Middle Tennessee State and UAB. Combs says he’s also been contacted by Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas State, UCLA, Arizona State, Cincinnati, and Illinois.
“I talked to the coach at Illinois, and they told me that they were going to give me an offer,” Combs said. “They seemed very excited. We talked about the academics, the football team, the campus, the life there and stuff like that just so I could know a little bit about it. I am going to go out there and see the campus soon before my season.”
The younger Combs said it’s always been a dream of his to play college football and make a name for himself.
“I just want to show my hard work and how it pays off and to show that I deserve that spot and I deserve that scholarship. This why I deserve that scholarship I am going to show you why.”
This game goes down on the ESPN network and it features University of Illinois Fighting Illini taking on Baylor University Bears in the 5th annual Texas Bowl at Reliant Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Illinois, 6-6, 4-4 Big Ten, will be appearing in its second bowl game since 2002. Once again the Fighting Illini had an up-and-down season under head coach Ron Zook, who only won consecutive games once this season.
Illinois offense is all about the running game and depends on it to have any kind of success downfield. The Fighting Illini come into the game ranking 13th nationally in rushing with 242.3 ypg. Mikel Leshoure ran for a school-record 330 yards and 2 touchdowns in their last game of the season and has averaged 126.1 rushing yards per game on the season, while scoring 17 touchdowns. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase is also a threat with his legs, as he ranks second on the team with 815 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns. In the passing game Scheelhaase though averages just 131.9 ypg to go along with 17 touchdowns and 8 interceptions. A.J. Jenkins heads up the receiving corps with 694 yards and 7 touchdowns.
Baylor, 7-5, 4-4 Big 12, is going bowling for the first time since 1994 and is playing just three hours away from its campus. Head coach Art Briles watched as his team started the season strong but faded down the stretch, dropping each of their final three games after a 7-2 start. The Bears haven’t had much success against Big Ten teams though posting a 2-9-1 mark all-time.
Baylor’s offense is capable of picking up yardage in huge chunks, as the Bears rank No. 12 in the nation in total offense with 478.5 ypg. They have a potent air-ground combo to keep defenses off balance in quarterback Robert Griffin and running back Jay Finley. Griffin is completing 66.3 percent of his passes on the year and has thrown 21 touchdowns and only 8 interceptions. He is an asset on the ground too with 8 rushing touchdowns and averaging 50 ypg. Finley averages 6.3 ypc and has scored 11 touchdowns.
Kendall Wright is Griffin’s favorite target on the season with his 825 yards and 6 touchdowns.
Baylor won the only previous meeting between these two schools back in 1976.
PICK: Baylor University Bears
Only one end zone will be used for offense Saturday at Wrigley Field for the Illinois-Northwestern game because of safety concerns, the Big Ten announced. The east end zone is just feet away from the right-field wall, and although there is padding, there still were concerns that players could be injured there.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald had said this week that he would have different game plans for each end zone to avoid the possibility of injury.
In a statement issued by the Big Ten, the following changes will be made:
- All offensive plays will head toward the west end zone, including all extra points and all overtime possessions.
- All kickoffs will be kicked toward the east end zone.
- After every change of possession, the ball will be repositioned for the offense to head toward the west end zone.
- As a result of a coin toss held by the conference office Friday morning, Illinois will occupy the west team bench in the first half and Northwestern will occupy the west team bench in the second half and for all overtime periods.
Remember former Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Mora’s famous playoffs rant in 2001? Now jump to 2010 in college football and meet University of Illinois Fighting Illini head coach Ron Zook as give his own interpretation of the famous tirade but replaces playoffs with bowl game.
Less than three months after moving the statue of announcer Harry Caray, which his widow Dutchie Caray opposed to, the Chicago Cubs will have to order new granite to fix the damage they caused when a vehicle being used for renovation work at the stadium ran into the base of the statue.
The damage occurred when one of the vehicles used in the ballpark makeover accidentally clipped the corner while going over the sidewalk, striking the base of the statue. It caused a crack that ran through the inscription Liberty Bell-style.
The renovation to Wrigley Field is part of a makeover for this month’s football game between Illinois and Northwestern.
University of Maryland Terrapins defeated the Navy Midshipmen 17-14 on Sunday. The Terrapins defense went into lock-down mode in the second quarter near the goal line, especially senior linebacker Adrian Moten who went airborne on third and goal.
Nice as it may be, it’s still no LaVar Arrington leap against Illinois.