Hitting the Links Has Lots To Read
Heisman For Zeke Would Be Right On Schedule | Four Make Maxwell List
Michigan's defense has busted plenty of Heisman campaigns before. They'll have their work cut out this year.
'The Perfect QB' | Injury History Photo
It's an underrated quality here that, in the second piece that breaks down quarterback skills, all three QBs have their own case for best pocket presence.
Also, hats off for a great and informative photo that shows the injury history for all three Ohio State QBs.
Jake Butt In Running For Mackey Award
A serious contender, despite being an unknown candidate, is Stanford's Austin Hooper. The redshirt sophomore totaled 499 yards, on only three catches a game, his first year on the field. Then, during the spring game, he had 103 of Kevin Hogan's 187 passing yards.
Jabrill Has Challenged His Teammates, Helped Everybody
Jim Hackett Discusses Interim Status | & Minick's Situation | Brings On Advisor
This is a lot of administrative stuff. Fun fact: Oregon State's recently departed athletic director was our softball coach before Carol Hutchins replaced him.
SI has a great piece on the nation's top recruit in 2016. On a slightly related note, Rivals released their Top 100 for 2017, and two Buckeye pledges are in the top twenty. Five are in the top 110.
B1G's Best Quarterback? | Best DB? | More 1,000-Yard Rushers?
Minnesota has been marvelous at finding and developing talent at DB. When the Gophers broke out with their 8-5 season in 2013, many people predicted that losing DT Ra'Shede Hageman (2nd round) and safety Brock Vereen (4th round) would hurt them. But in fact, the defense improved marginally in yards per game and drastically in Defensive S&P+.
As for rushing the ball... the Big Ten has simply reloaded.
Success of MSU, OSU Has Been Good For B1G
An opinion that, frankly, I found worrisome was the notion that the rest of the conference could wallow in terrible play, as long as one fan's team was good. In fact, the worse that other programs became, the easier the wins, right?
But sadly, that's not how the sport works, and it's also something the Big Ten has been shaking off. Recruiting will always follow talent, as the SEC has proven, and players improve thanks to competition with other, better players. Programs that manage to skate by (2012 Notre Dame, 2014 Florida State) eventually get embarrassed. Even having memorable, exciting games - a core foundation of watching the sport - is in jeopardy when a whole conference devolves into an also-ran.
Prepare all summer. Pounce in the fall. Christian Hackenberg strikes a pose with #Elite11. pic.twitter.com/USI8XoatyR— Elite11 (@Elite11) July 6, 2015
Assume the Position: Defensive Tackle
Carl Davis and Louis Trinca-Pasat are gone, and as BHGP points out, so is Iowa's most recent approach to bolstering the tackle position.
Summer Checklist: Nebraska Cornhuskers
Nebraska has an underrated group of receivers, and their whole offense has enough skill (not to mention some really good offensive coaches) to be the most explosive offense in the Big Ten West.
This combines a scouting report and a look ahead to Carroo's chances for success in 2015. Also comes with awesome gifs.
Wasn't expecting to see Urban Meyer referenced in Oregon's facility. pic.twitter.com/dqVSJl96cR— Trav Haney (@TravHaneyESPN) July 8, 2015
SB Nation's Texas Preview | A Terrible, No Good, Very Bad A.D.
A team that may have had too many cooks in the offensive game plan last year added another with OU co-coordinator Jay Norvell. The result, so far, has been a mis-managed offense, says Bill Connelly.
According to advanced stats, OU was a top-20 team last year, but finished 8-5. You might just see that again this year, thanks to a round-robin conference schedule that's gotten sneakily difficult. In addition to seeing playoff contenders Baylor and TCU, Oklahoma has to face four other teams projected 43rd or better, plus another team of that caliber in their non-conference slate. Again, 70% of the Big 12 is projected to be at least 43rd. For context, Minnesota, a Big Ten West contender, is 42nd on Projected S&P+. And since everyone plays everyone, it's harder for one team to get separation by beating up an extra light-weight.
Also, Trevor Knight has been dismissed somewhat, and ultimately it's up to him to prove he can perform at a high level. But from what I saw of him early last year, as well as the Alabama game, I believe he has almost no ceiling. There is incredible talent there, if he can harness it. It's unclear what kind of offense Stoops will use - Knight excels in a read-option game, while Perine and a stable of running backs that could rival any in college football would seem to demand some tough, downhill running. The new OC, meanwhile, is an Air Raid guy.
Teams That Deserve More Preseason Respect
Las Vegas has both Florida State and Alabama pegged at 9.5 wins this year. Also, Minnesota has an over/under of 5.5 wins. Um, ouch.
I've had a hard time watching Michigan-Ohio State games after the fact; I don't think I've ever seen a game a second time. Anyway, there are 142 days until we do this again. It's been 1,321 days since we beat them in 2011. The last time we beat Ohio State by more than two touchdowns: 21 years, 7 months, and 19 days.