Hitting the Links Is Brave
Cam Heyward has been floating into the news on and off over the last couple weeks, because he's honored his father in small ways that break NFL strictures regarding appearance. The NFL, of course, fined him for it, and he made a courageous and (in my opinion) wonderful choice this past week to do it again. The NFL and Heyward talked about it, and the matter is now settled.
Honestly, I am very impressed that Illinois has done as well as it has without Dudek and running back Josh Ferguson. The Illini are third in the West and 4-2 overall, but the rest of the schedule is brutal: Wisconsin, Penn State, Purdue, Ohio State, Minnesota, and Northwestern. They'll need Ferguson back to make a dent.
I keep wanting to write something longer on Iowa; in essence, their defense is solid to very good across the board, and Ferentz has shown a deft touch on the offensive and defensive lines. The secondary has good talent, and I suspect they've started changing something in their workout regimens. They're developing speed in a way they didn't used to be.
The offensive line choices are debatable, but a solid selection. Also, I guarantee you there's another safety in the country better than Vonn Bell.
Fun fact: until this weekend's game with Indiana, three Rutgers running backs were in the top ten in yards per carry in the conference. Paul James, Josh Hicks, and Robert Martin III have all played wonderfully. The combined stats of those three: 1,142 yards, 5.8 yards a carry.
Wisconsin has dipped into other positions to bolster its running back depth; B5Q talks in more depth about Dare Ogunbowale and Alec Ingold.
A long time coming. The bottom end of the conference needs to build a foundation to start winning some recruiting battles against Big 12, SEC, and ACC opponents.
The Trojans, meanwhile, are in a sticky spot until they find a new coach. I spent some time last off-season talking about the potential value of dipping into the NFL for coaching talent, and I still think that's true. It's harder to pry away a top college coach than it used to be, and a college program could offer an NFL guy more recognition and a platform (see: Bill O'Brien, Jim Mora, Pete Carroll).
The Texas deal will be worth close to $200 million, a dime and a penny more than the $169 million Michigan signed for. Congrats to them.