Fun With Calendars
The last time the Big Ten won back-to-back Heisman Trophies: 1974 and 1975, Archie Griffin
1956: The only time a Heisman winner played for a losing team. Quarterback Paul Hornung of Notre Dame passed for 917 yards, ran for 420 more, and threw 3 touchdown passes to 13 interceptions. After the '56 season, in which Notre Dame went 2-8, Hornung was selected #1 in the NFL Draft. Hornung would go on to be NFL MVP and enter the Hall of Fame for both college and pros.
September 21st, 2008: Miami ends the New England Patriots' 21-game regular season win streak, using the Wildcat. Jeremy Gallon watches from his home in Florida, having run the Wildcat offense (also known as the single wing, which in fact dates back more than a hundred years) for a year and a half at his Apopka high school.
The last time the Iron Bowl did not feature a #1 or #2 ranked team: 2007
Time until Florida and Michigan square off in Cowboys Stadium: 2 years, 1 month, and 19 days
The last time Florida went out of state to face a non-conference team: September 21, 1991
The number of Big Ten teams on Notre Dame's future schedules: 4 (Michigan State, Northwestern, Purdue, Ohio State)
The last time Indiana beat Ohio State: October 8, 1988
The last time Michigan beat Ohio State and MSU in the same year: 2003
The last time Michigan scored 30 against Little Brother: 2006, the year before Mark Dantonio took over
December 1st, 2001: Army beats Navy in the aftermath of 9/11, but it's also the most recent time the Black Knights have been able to win.
The last time Notre Dame had back-to-back 10-win seasons: 1992 and 1993, under Lou Holtz
Number of players left from Kansas' 2013 recruiting class: 5
November 18th, 1972: Oregon fans storm the field after the Ducks beat Oregon State. They celebrate the first win in their rivalry in nine years by tearing down the south goalposts; Oregon State fans defend the north goalposts amidst a playing field brawl.
Last time Iowa won more than 8 games: 2009
Kirk Ferentz's record, and salary, since that time: 34-30, $19 million
Number of five-stars who have signed with current Big Ten West schools since 2009: 0
1993: Kirby Hocutt leads Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats in tackles from the linebacker position. He hung up his pads in 1994, making him the most recent player currently on the CFP Selection Committee. Every other member was in coaching or administration ten years earlier.
Hitting the Links Is Ready For Art Fair
Ohio State Roundup: Watch Lists
Five Buckeyes were on the Nagurski Award Watch List for best defensive player of the year. (There are eleven players on defense.) The rest of the conference has ten total, and none from Michigan.
Steve Spurrier At SEC Media Days
This has been an under-the-radar tradition in college football: the Ol' Ball Coach talking at the SEC Media Days.
List of Players At Big Ten Media Days | Ten Most Quotable Players
A tiny but meaningful gesture: Joel Stave will be one of Wisconsin's representatives. Paul Chryst has moved Tanner McEvoy out of the quarterback room and handed Stave the keys to the offense ... and the locker room. The leadership structure is very different now than it was in 2014.
Miami Signs With Adidas, Joins Night Club Scene
College football can be a bit of an arms race. Michigan beat out Notre Dame for the biggest apparel deal in the country, but it will be beaten out eventually by somebody (Under Armour and Texas?). Meanwhile, Adidas is trying to ink DJ Khaled to do an invite-only unveiling of their new jerseys.
First, Dalvin Cook allegedly punched a woman in a convoluted confrontation. Then, video footage came out of De'Andre Johnson and a woman getting angry at each other at a bar, starting to fight for no reason, and then Johnson clocking her with every ounce of viciousness he could. Later, the news came out about Cook's dispute, and then it came out that in July of 2014, he was cited for poor treatment of puppies.
If there is a silver lining of this, it's a reminder that stars given out by Rivals or Scout do not tell the whole story for a team's future success. For Cook, the signs were there. He had had brushes with the law before he came to college, and while that's not a guarantee he would do it again, it was not something FSU took seriously enough. Some coaches get a lot out of their conversations with recruits - measuring their motivations, their toughness, their smarts. Other coaches see recruiting as lip service to get an elite athlete.
Elite 11 MVP: Shea Patterson | The Next Matthew Stafford?
These are two articles on elite 2016 QB recruits - one, an Ole Miss commit, and the other, a Georgia commit. I had pointed out before that the SEC has not dominated recruiting the quarterback position the way it has at other positions, and that's something that might come to a head in 2015. In the 2016 recruiting cycle, though, the SEC has snagged some elite talent. Four of the 8 quarterbacks in the Rivals100 are committed to LSU, Tennessee, Mississippi and Georgia. Looking at a larger sample size (the Rivals250), things even out pretty quickly; the Big 12 and Pac-12 are still big draws for quarterback talent, and the Big 10 is seeing a rejuvenation of sorts. But the SEC might have fixed some (very minor) flaws.
MLive Ranks The B1G's Best Quarterbacks
This is a fun list, and I think I'll do one later in the off-season. With all the hype around OSU's quarterbacks (and I confess I've linked to much of it), I have wanted a chance to pump the brakes a little bit or add something other than rote praise. Still, this ranks "the best." By definition for this list, it's entirely appropriate to not have to make any decisions about who starts and who rides the bench.
It's more dangerous - and more fun - to predict actual production, which quickly becomes the measuring stick as soon as the season gets underway.
Big Ten Position Outlook: Quarterback | Five Most Likely 3,000-Yard Passers
These are some pieces by ESPN. The first mentions Michigan as "problems for a contender."
Washington State Looking At Bigger, Tougher Offense
Frankly, this makes a lot of sense. The Pac-12 is a bit faster, a bit lighter, a big thinner than the SEC or the Big Ten. Mike Leach has not made a dent in his conference yet, but he realistically might cause a big splash if he dials the needle the other way.
Kansas Loses Yet Another Starter
This looks like it will be a ridiculously awful season for Kansas. Still, women's soccer went 15-6 last year, and they start up in August. Then, there's Christmas, and basketball season! (Well, hopefully that helped a little bit.)
Northwestern Previews: Linebackers | DBs | Special Teams
Again, depth at linebacker is perilous, while special teams has quietly been a key part of Northwestern's recent funk. Fitzgerald's special teams were exceptional in 2012; they were lousy in 2013 and terrible in 2014.
What Is Northwestern's Best Unit? | Its Worst? | 5 Biggest Position Battles
I'm pretty sure I'm the only person who appreciate Northwestern's pass catchers a year ago: Dan Vitale, Kyle Prater, and Tony Jones were a lot better than the general criticism heaped on the unit. But now two of those three are gone, and Vitale hasn't been used much. I could see a more horizontal attack in 2015, dependent on short gains to the outside and a thinner box to run the ball.
For Group of Five Elites, The Race Is On
Houston is the most likely school to find its way into the Big 12. A former Southwestern Conference school, already recruiting at a Power 5 level, UH has the right coach, a winning record and even a 1989 Heisman winner.
Richard Sherman At The Opening, Thomas Rawls Could Make Roster
"Mike Hart, he was my favorite player. Honestly, I want to play early like he did. I want to play as a true freshman running back. I know I am going to make an impact. Also, Mike Hart holds a lot of records at Michigan, and with all due respect to Mike, I want to shatter those records." Thomas Rawls enjoyed a spectacular high school career - breaking records held by local product Mark Ingram - and he might yet enjoy a great pro career. His college career, though, was a curveball. Best of luck to him.
Todd Huber, a personnel director at The Opening, said that Gary was the best prospect he has seen in five years of doing the camp.
The 25 Most Influential People In College Sports
Mark Emmert comes in at #5. A very familiar face is #1.
College Football's Most Crowded Stadiums
Coming in dead last? Purdue.
Paul Chryst Talks About Russell Wilson
Wilson might have a glamorous personality, but Chryst is a little boring talking about him. Still, you rarely get coaches reminisce about players from recent past.
Assume the Position: Tight End
"He runs and catches like a receiver, which would make him a prime candidate to split wide and provide Iowa some perimeter versatility if that wasn't too new-fangled a concept for this offense." Kirk Ferentz has become a bit of a punch line, especially among Iowa fans. Unrelated: the Hawkeyes have recently completed construction of a brand-new media room, which will let their players watch film with Technicolor.
In addition to his shot at Michigan, Malzahn called Will Muschamp "the best defensive mind in all of football" and took a passing dig at Nick Saban. Okay, Gus.
Texas Kicker Nails 80-Yard Field Goal
You know the off-season is getting long when kickers are getting attention.