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Articles filed under Big Ten

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  • Imrem: Much smaller goals for Northwestern, Illinois Dec 3, 2014 10:08 PM
    Illinois and Northwestern live in a world that college football left behind. Others shoot for a national championship while the Illini and Wildcats can't even win the state title.

  • Coach Brady Hoke fired at Michigan Dec 2, 2014 4:52 PM
    Brady Hoke is out after four years at Michigan. Interim athletic director Jim Hackett made the announcement Tuesday after weeks of speculation about Hoke’s future. “I wanted to make sure that Brady received adequate time to exhibit the results that would come from his effort and I believe that Brady and our coaching staff had enough time to produce those results and unfortunately they are not there,” Hackett said.

  • Mike North video: North’s picks for the college football playoff Dec 1, 2014 11:19 AM
    Mike North picks his four teams for the college football playoff but wonders why the SEC is always overhyped and thinks it might change now.

  • Coroner: Exam will look at brain of Ohio St. player Dec 1, 2014 7:56 PM
    A neuropathologist will look for signs of traumatic brain injury in an Ohio State athlete who was found dead in a trash bin of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound and had a reported history of concussions, a coroner said Monday.

  • Illini: Beckman will return as football coach Nov 30, 2014 6:16 PM
    After a season of speculation about whether he would lose his job, Illinois coach Tim Beckman will be back for 2015, athletic director Mike Thomas said Sunday. Beckman apparently secured his job with a 47-33 victory at Northwestern on Saturday and three wins in the team’s final five games. That made the Illini (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) bowl eligible in Beckman’s third season and apparently signified the kind of progress Thomas said he needed to see in the football program. “Our student-athletes have played their best football of the season down the stretch of a tough schedule that included nine bowl-eligible opponents. It’s my expectation that with the upcoming bowl and another offseason of development, that Tim’s continued leadership will keep Fighting Illini Football moving forward and even more competitive in the conference and nationally,” Thomas said in a brief statement. Beckman hopes he can build on the six wins. “We all understand that this is a work in progress and that we need to continue moving forward in a positive way,” he said in an emailed statement. “I’m very proud of our six wins so far this season and the toughness we showed down the stretch.” “I know this program’s gotten better since we first started it — in every way, not just on the football field,” he said. “I challenge the negativity; it’s about building something, to me. We can always point fingers, but that’s the easy way out. Instead, change, be positive, for the kids’ sake. Be positive for them, don’t worry about me.” The team’s bowl destination is undetermined. Illinois is 12-24 under Beckman. His contract expires in January 2017. Sunday’s announcement didn’t include a raise or contract extension. Beckman took over at Illinois after Ron Zook was fired following a 6-6 season in 2011. But Zook’s team finished with six straight regular-season losses. Major challenges remain, on the field and off. Illinois’ defense has been a problem, giving up 33.9 points and 464.3 yards a game, including 249.6 yards on the ground. All of those are Big Ten worsts. The Illini also struggled to create turnovers, forcing 18 in 12 games, five of them in the Saturday win over Northwestern. And many fans appear to have already voted with their wallets. Attendance has been dropping since the Zook years, from 61,707 for every home game in 2008, the season after a surprise trip to the Rose Bowl, to an announced average of 41,549 this season. Only Purdue and Northwestern drew fewer fans among Big Ten schools, and actual attendance was often much smaller than the announced figures in 60,670-seat Memorial Stadium. But Beckman’s 2014 team avoided the collapse that cost Zook his job. After they appeared to hit rock bottom with a 38-27 home loss to the Boilermakers on Oct. 4, the Illini rebounded with wins over Minnesota, Penn State and Northwestern. The offense has been fairly effective, scoring 26.6 points a game —eighth in the conference. Quarterback Wes Lunt should be back, too, though he sat out the final two games of the season after struggling in his return from a broken leg. And Beckman’s players rallied around him as speculation about his future grew. “There are a lot of naysayers out there, and for us to get that win today was, I’m sure, a huge weight off of his shoulders,” running back Devin Church said.

  • Police: Ohio State football player shot himself Nov 30, 2014 8:52 PM
    An Ohio State football player who disappeared shortly after sending a text message about his concussions was found dead Sunday in a Dumpster, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot wound, police said. Police spokesman Sgt. Rich Weiner said police received a call around 2:30 p.m. from someone reporting a body found in the trash bin. Weiner said a woman and her son apparently were looking for items in the dumpster when they found the body.

  • Nebraska fires football coach Bo Pelini Nov 30, 2014 6:16 PM
    The number of wins and losses didn’t get Bo Pelini fired. It was the way some of those losses happened. Pelini was dismissed as Nebraska’s coach Sunday after a seven-year stint marked by an inability to restore the football team to national prominence and too many embarrassing defeats. Pelini extended his streak of winning at least nine games every season with a 37-34 overtime win at Iowa on Friday, but he never won a conference championship and his teams lost four games in every season he completed. Pelini was 66-27 and led the Cornhuskers to three league championship games in the Big 12 and Big Ten. “I didn’t see enough improvement in areas that were important for us to move forward to play championship-caliber football,” athletic director Shawn Eichorst said at a news conference. “We just, for whatever reason, weren’t good enough in the games that mattered against championship-caliber opponents. And I didn’t see that changing. It wasn’t a lack of effort by him or his staff or our wonderful players, but I think new leadership was in order.” Associate head coach Barney Cotton, a Nebraska alum, will be the interim head coach for the Cornhuskers’ bowl game. Pelini was under contract through February 2019. Eichorst said the university will owe him a settlement of about $7.9 million, which can be reduced once he lands another job. Asked for comment on Sunday’s developments, Pelini wrote in a text to The Associated Press: “I’m good. Thanks for asking!” Eichorst said he alone would conduct the search for a new coach. He gave no timetable for naming a replacement. Nebraska joins Florida as a high-profile program with a coaching vacancy, and others could arise soon. Eichorst said he wasn’t worried about competing with other schools. “Resources are not the question here at Nebraska,” he said. “That doesn’t mean we’re not going to be responsible and good stewards of our resources. I’ve seen people spend a lot of money and not do very much winning, so we’re going to get it right.” Eichorst said his decision to fire Pelini “crystalized” Saturday night. Eichorst said he met in his office for 20 minutes with Pelini on Sunday morning and their conversation was “cordial and professional.” “After I told him that we were going a different direction,” Eichorst said, “I think there was agreement that that probably was a good idea.” A number of players expressed disappointment in the decision, with quarterback Tommy Armstrong Jr. tweeting, “Biggest mistake you ever made.... Bo was the best coach I’ve ever had and I’ll always appreciate the things you taught me.” Pelini brought the Huskers out of the depths of the failed four-year Bill Callahan experiment that ended in 2007. But his four-losses-a-year habit and frequent losses on the national stage wore on a fan base that has filled Memorial Stadium for every home game since 1962. Nebraska ranks fourth in career victories and has won five national championships, including three in the four years before Tom Osborne retired as coach after the 1997 season. The dominant run in the mid-1990s has been an albatross for the coaches who followed — first Frank Solich and then Callahan and Pelini. Bad losses started to haunt Pelini after Nebraska moved to the Big Ten. The 70-31 pummeling by unranked Wisconsin in the 2012 conference championship game was the worst, followed closely by this year’s 59-24 throttling by the Badgers in a game in which Melvin Gordon ran for a then-FBS record 408 yards. Nebraska, as a ranked team, lost seven games by 17 or more points since 2011. No other ranked team has lost so many games so lopsidedly over that span, according to STATS. “There are standards and expectations at Nebraska that are high both on and off the field and although we did win a bunch of games, we didn’t win the games that mattered the most, and I think we gave Coach ample time, ample resources and ample support to get that done,” Eichorst said. Eichorst indicated he wasn’t worried about the message he was sending by firing a coach who won 71 percent of his games. The dismissal was reminiscent of the one in 2003, when then-athletic director Steve Pederson fired Solich after a 9-3 regular season and after Solich had won 75 percent of his games over six years. Pelini drew detractors almost as much for his volatile temper as for his team’s performances in big games. He was reprimanded by chancellor Harvey Perlman for sideline meltdowns during a loss at Texas A&M in 2010. Last year, Pelini found himself in a storm after the website Deadspin released audio of Pelini’s profanity-laced tirade against what he called fair-weather fans and two newspaper writers. Pelini had initially endeared himself to Nebraska fans as defensive coordinator in 2003. After Solich was fired, Pelini was interim coach for the Huskers’ Alamo Bowl victory over Michigan State. As he walked off the field in San Antonio, Husker fans chanted, “We want Bo!” Callahan was hired instead, and Pelini took defensive coordinator jobs at Oklahoma and LSU, winning the 2007 national title with the Tigers. Osborne, as athletic director, picked Pelini to replace Callahan, saying an immediate defensive fix was needed. After the Huskers shut out Arizona 33-0 in the 2009 Holiday Bowl, Pelini famously shouted, “Nebraska’s back and we’re here to stay.” The proclamation proved premature.

  • Northwestern women upset No. 18 DePaul in 2OT Nov 29, 2014 10:32 PM
    Nia Coffey scored 23 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and blocked four shots to help Northwestern women beat No. 18 DePaul 97-91 in double overtime on Saturday night.

  • Illini bowl eligible with 47-33 win over Cats Nov 29, 2014 5:04 PM
    Reilly O’Toole passed for 147 yards and three touchdowns and also ran for 147 yards, Josh Ferguson had a pair of rushing scores and Illinois took advantage of five Northwestern turnovers for a 47-33 victory over its in-state and Big Ten rival. Illinois (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) is bowl eligible for the first time since 2011, and the win may end speculation that coach Tim Beckman could lose his job in his third season.

  • Michigan State makes statement against Penn State Nov 29, 2014 7:55 PM
    The Spartans downed Penn State 34-10 for their third straight win and hit the double-digit victory mark for the fourth time in the last five seasons under coach Mark Dantonio. Up next, a likely spot in one of the six Jan. 1 bowl games.

  • Rutgers overcomes 25-point deficit against Maryland Nov 29, 2014 6:51 PM
    Gary Nova threw for 347 yards and four touchdowns, and Rutgers rallied from a 25-point deficit to beat Maryland 41-38 Saturday. The Scarlet Knights (7-5, 3-5 Big Ten) trailed 35-10 late in the first half before scoring touchdowns on four straight possessions to pull even.

  • Wisconsin headed to Big Ten title game Nov 29, 2014 6:47 PM
    Melvin Gordon ran for 151 yards and accounted for two scores, and No. 14 Wisconsin rallied from a two-touchdown deficit to beat No. 22 Minnesota 34-24 on Saturday night to earn a trip to the Big Ten championship game. The Badgers will play Ohio State next week for the league title after claiming the West Division crown.

  • No. 19 Michigan crushes Nicholls St. 91-62 Nov 29, 2014 5:52 PM
    Caris LeVert scored 19 of his 24 points in the first half, and No. 19 Michigan bounced back from its first loss of the season with a 91-62 victory over Nicholls State on Saturday.

  • Iowa takes down Longwood 77-44 Nov 29, 2014 5:51 PM
    Aaron White scored 19 points and the Hawkeyes forced a season-best 20 turnovers as they rolled to a 77-44 win over Longwood on Saturday. Iowa blocked nine shots and converted 21 points off the turnovers.

  • Another 9-win season can’t stop Pelini debate Nov 29, 2014 5:24 PM
    Another nine-win season puts Nebraska in elite company in college football. Only Alabama and Oregon can match the Cornhuskers’ streak of winning at least that many games every season since 2008. But the debate for Nebraska fans — and what athletic director Shawn Eichorst must decide — is whether that’s good enough for a program with the proud history of the Cornhuskers.

  • Indiana rallies past Purdue 23-16 to keep Bucket Nov 29, 2014 5:07 PM
    Zander Diamont led Indiana to five scores on its final six possessions, the last coming on Diamont’s 1-yard touchdown run with 27 seconds left to give the Hoosiers a 23-16 victory over rival Purdue and the Old Oaken Bucket. Tevin Coleman ran 29 times for 130 yards, becoming the first Indiana player and the 18th in Football Bowl Subdivision history to top the 2,000-yard mark in what could be the junior’s final college game.

  • Ohio State tops Michigan but loses starting QB Nov 29, 2014 4:58 PM
    For Ohio State, the thrill of beating rival Michigan was tempered by a season-ending injury to star quarterback J.T. Barrett. Ezekiel Elliott scored untouched on a 44-yard run on fourth-and-1 with 4:58 left to help Ohio State, which lost Barrett early in the fourth quarter to a broken right ankle, beat the Wolverines 42-28 on Saturday.

  • NU, DePaul, Illinois women all off to fast starts Nov 29, 2014 5:34 PM
    Some really great things are happening right now with the women’s college basketball teams in Illinois. Northwestern (4-0) travels to No. 18 DePaul (4-1) on Saturday night (7 p.m.) for a crosstown rivalry matchup that features two of the most accomplished coaches in the sport. Another Big Ten contender suddenly could be Illinois, which, on Thanksgiving, pulled off one of the best wins of the college basketball season.

  • Rice, Hill lead Illinois past Baylor 62-54 Nov 29, 2014 12:16 AM
    Rayvonte Rice and Malcolm Hill each scored 17 points to lead Illinois to a 62-54 win over Baylor in the championship game of the Las Vegas Invitational on Friday night. Rice, who had seven rebounds and three steals, was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player. The Illini are 6-0 and have won 32 straight November games.

  • Illini improve to 5-0 Nov 27, 2014 7:40 PM
    Rayvonte Rice scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds to lead Illinois past Indiana State 88-62 on Thursday in the third round of the Las Vegas Invitational. Malcolm Hill scored 17 points with eight rebounds, while going 11 of 12 at the free-throw line for the Illini (5-0). Nnanna Egwu, Aaron Cosby and Kendrick Nunn each had 10 points for Illinois, which is 3-0 in the Invitational. The Illini, who never trailed, hit 8 of 9 of their first shots and jumped to a 30-8 advantage. Grant Prusator led Indiana State (3-2) off the bench with 17 points. Before Thursday, he only played two games this season with one field goal. Brenton Scott added 10 points for the Sycamores, who are 2-1 in the tourney. Indiana State got no closer than 19 points the rest of the first half and trailed 40-21 at intermission. By halftime, Illinois’ field-goal percentage fell to 38 percent, but the Illini still made 6 of 13 from 3-point range. Indiana State finished the half at 25 percent from the field. The Illinois lead grew to as many as 30 with 13:04 left in the game. The Sycamores cut it to 17 twice with just under 5 minutes left, but came no closer.

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