Illinois Fighting Illini
First-year Illinois head coach Tim Beckman landed on Sports Illustarted columnist and reporter Stewart Mandel’s list of the Five Worst Coaches in the nation.
The Champaign Room takes exception to including a coach with just four seasons to his name, two of which at Toledo ended in bowl games. Where did we rank Beckman on our countdown of Big Ten coaches? Read on.
IU Equipment tweeted out an image of the Hoosiers’ custom adidas cleats for the 2013 season. These will complement a set of new helmets Indiana will wear, visible at CollegeSpun.com. In a word? Crimson-y:
— Hoosier Equipment (@IUFBEquipment) July 9, 2013
Another inclusion on Mandel’s “Worst Coaches” list is well-tenured Iowa head man Kirk Ferentz. Ferentz is coming off a 4-8 finish, and his often-maligned contract draws plenty of ire. Still, Hawkeye followers like those at Black Hearts Gold Pants question Ferentz’s inclusion, offering suggestions of more suitable names.
Ferentz did not finish in the bottom five of coaches we ranked in the Big Ten, say nothing of all of college football.
Brady Hoke’s presence has been felt on the national recruiting trail. GBMWolverine is profiling the crop of 2014 Michigan verbal commits.
Michigan State Spartans
Michigan State’s defense is among the best the nation. The offense? That’s a whole other story. With question marks at quarterbacks and workmanlike Le’Veon Bell gone, Sparty has changes to make. Among them is a running game by platoon, per The Detroit Free Press.
Minnesota Golden Gophers
Minnesota seeks to parlay a bowl bid into surprise contention for the Big Ten Legends Division in 2013, Jerry Kill’s third at the helm of the Golden Gophers. Offensive line play will be critical to that effort, and The Daily Gopher has a profile of what it calls a “young and talented” front.
Decommitments happen; such is the nature of the recruiting beast, writes Big Red Today’s Sam McKewon. Jason Hall became the first decommit of the 2014 class, following five such reversals in 2013.
Pat Fitzgerald has won with unheralded prospects in the past, but now that Northwestern is becoming a viable Big Ten contender, he is experiencing success on the recruiting trail, SI.com’s Ben Glicksman writes.
Ohio State Buckeyes
Urban Meyer has had to address a deluge of criticism in recent days, stemming from the arrest of former Florida Gators pupil Aaron Hernandez. The Sporting News reports that Meyer and his “worked very hard” to put Hernandez on the right path.
Penn State Nittany Lions
Offensive lineman Eric Shrive has set a goal to raise $100,000 for Lift For Life, a charity he started in 2003 dedicated to eliminating kidney cancer. WNEP 16 in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre has more:
The son of a legend from the Purdue hardwood will take to the Boilermaker gridiron. Gelen Robinson is committed to Purdue football, The Northwest Indiana Times reports. He is the son of former National Player of the Year Glenn Robinson and brother of Michigan Wolverines basketball star Glenn Robinson III.
The shift in offensive philosophy Gary Andersen’s staff brings is evident in the commitment of quarterback D.J. Gillins, who Bucky’s Fifth Quarter profiles. Wisconsin competed with Boston College’s Steve Addazio and Arizona’s Rich Rodriguez for Gillins — both run offenses built around dual-threat quarterbacks.
Andersen’s 11-win Utah State team prominently featured two-way talent Chuckie Keeton.