History: We’ve previewed this bowl twice already, with last year’s having a much more comprehensive discussion. This game as been the destination of Big Ten teams for the last 6 seasons, with only Indiana in 1991 participating before the current run.
Iowa: Kirk Ferentz’s team was a middle-of-the-road squad that went .500 in the Big Ten by beating Michigan but falling to MSU, PSU, and Nebraska. They’re not a quality team by any stretch of the imagination, but they can make things happen. They look primarily to junior quarterback James Vandenberg to do that as he completed 214 passes for 2806 yards and 23 touchdowns. RB Marcus Coker will also be looked on for production, with no solid second answer behind him.
Oklahoma: There’s no question that this is a mismatch. Oklahoma was at one point the #1 team in the country before succumbing to Texas Tech. They later fell to Baylor, and got crushed by Oklahoma State, likely dropping them from consideration for a better bowl spot. Sooner’s QB Landry Jones has thrown for an amazing 4302 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Not surprisingly, that was at the expense of the running game which, while good, is not up to Oklahoma’s standards.
Fun Fact: Pop Quiz – what famous NFL quarterback was named MVP of the Copper Bowl (the original name of the Insight Bowl) in 1992? Try Drew Bledsoe, Washington State quarterback in a 31-28 victory over Utah.
Who we got?
Up next on our preview list is the Iowa Hawkeyes, one of the cellar-dwellers of the Big Ten in the last several seasons.
To see the Hawkeyes scratching the bottom of the barrel the last several years is pretty depressing. Iowa was once a proud, quality team in the Big Ten conference. To have them sink so low really makes you long for the halcyon days of Big Ten basketball.
But new coach Fran McCaffery has a plan, and it’s going to be exciting to see him work to try to turn this program around. He has certainly got the philosophy and resume to be able to do it, he merely needs to get the players to buy in.
Under first year head coach Fran McCaffery the Iowa Hawkeyes took a step forward on the road to recovery. Despite not drastically improving their season record from Lickliter’s last year with the program, the team seemed far more upbeat and excited about playing the game. It’s obvious that McCaffery has effected a big change in the mentality of the Hawkeye’s players, and it’s spreading to the fans too.
Despite the poor 11-20 record, the Hawkeyes did have some true quality games. They nearly caught the Buckeyes off guard in Iowa, losing by only 5 points early in the Big Ten regular season. They also took Michigan to overtime, and pulled off upsets against #6 Purdue and Michigan State. Those are quality performances to build a program on, and there’s no reason to believe that McCaffery won’t have them moving up in the world in the near future. Read More
It’s that time of the year again folks! With the football season now a week away, it’s time to take you deep into the heart of Midwest football as we preview the Big Ten Conference.
Despite last year’s play resulting in a three way tie for the conference crown, this upcoming season in the Big Ten could be one of the toughest through and through for competing teams. Gone are the days of best records, three way ties, and
BCS controversy. Welcomed are a brand new institution in Nebraska that brings great competition to the conference, two new divisions with the worst names in college football, and a championship game that propels the winner into the best bowl game the conference has to offer.
Today Eric (Legends) and I (Leaders) break down the conference by division to get you ready for Ohio State’s upcoming opponents, and some great games on the schedule for 2011.
As the sun came up today, it was the dawn of the first day of “real” conference basketball tournaments! That’s right, folks, it is finally Day 1 of the Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament!
Each day this week, we will offer a brief rundown of the day’s matchups. It’s just a little something for you to whet your appetite with while you wait for the Buckeyes to take the hardwood.
Make absolutely certain you don’t take any of these predictions to your favorite betting locale. If you do, we’re not responsible for the results – unless you win.
The Big Ten tournament, as a whole has been a particularly unpredictable beast. Teams at the bottom of the seeding, knowing that their fates on in their own hands and their season is coming to a premature end, tend to play beyond themselves. It is not unusual for a team that plays in the first round to make it to the Championship game, though that’s also not particularly common either.
For our rundown of today’s games, Read More