Good morning! This is going to be a daily(ish) post that discusses the goings on of the rest of the Big Ten Conference, and the country as needed. Much like the European Union, the Big Ten is a loosely confederated group of entities that sometimes have the same goals (like free movement of people between countries or not winning national titles in football or basketball) and sometimes accept new members that they later regret (Estonia or Rutgers).
We hope that you will use this post to comment on things happening around the conference and also as a sort of daily open thread to discuss breaking news or argue about Spotted Cow (which we NO LONGER DO).
- Wisconsin long snapper Adam Bay, who was robbed of a spot on the finalist list for the Mannelly Award, at least got some good news this week. WHAT ELSE CAN THIS KID DO!?!?
Thank you for this honor coach! https://t.co/D15u1aodzF— Adam Bay (@LongSnapper51) December 21, 2020
- While she wasn’t named Big Ten Player of the Week, sophomore guard Sydney Hilliard was still recognized for her outstanding performance last week.
Hilliard’s improvement from last season to this season is a big reason why the Badgers are looking better as a team this year. If she and Imani Lewis keep playing at such a high level, UW should put a scare into some of the top teams in the conference this year.
- I don’t really understand how the hockey polls are working this year, but the Badgers men’s team is still ranked even though they haven’t played in what seems like months.
#B1GNews ⬇️— Big Ten Hockey (@B1GHockey) December 21, 2020
#B1GHockey has 4️⃣ teams in the @USCHO poll this week:
Congratulations to all of our #B1G programs!
Complete Poll ➡️ https://t.co/Y55yor2zFr pic.twitter.com/0YIDS3eo7D
- Speaking of the men’s hockey team, the World Juniors start on Friday, however, there are a few pre-tournament games first and Cole Caufield of Team USA scored twice in 35 seconds to lead the Americans over Finland, 3-2.
Caufield and fellow (former) Badger Alex Turcotte each wore the A for Team USA on Tuesday, but apparently the three leadership roles haven’t been finalized yet. The Americans open up the actual tournament on Friday against Russia, who won the silver medal last year. The USA finished a disappointing sixth and will have revenge on their minds all tournament long.
FINAL— Here's Your Replay ⬇️ (@HeresYourReplay) December 23, 2020
USA 3-2 FIN
Cole Caufield leads the way for USA with 2 goals. pic.twitter.com/FgcsVpPOFs
- After signing with the Sacramento Kings this offseason, he was waived on Friday but snatched up by his former team, the Phoenix Suns! With the offseason addition of Chris Paul, the Suns will be looking to compete for a playoff spot this year and a versatile big man like Kaminsky coming off the bench could be valuable.
- There will be more on T.J. Watt in Kevin’s Badgers in the NFL piece later today, but this is a fun little tidbit for you.
Players with 13+ sacks in 3 of their first 4 years:— Wisconsin Football (@BadgerFootball) December 22, 2020
Reggie White, Derrick Thomas and... @_TJWatt
- If you were watching the Monday Night Football game between the Bengals and Steelers you may have seen the scary play where Pittsburgh FB Derek Watt tried to make a special teams tackle and was inadvertently
kneed in thekneed in the head by Cincinnati return man Alex Erickson, coincidentally the two were Badgers teammates years ago.
Just wanted to send a quick message to say thank you to everyone for the well wishes and let you know that I’m going to be ok.— Derek Watt (@DerekWatt34) December 22, 2020
It sounds like Watt will be ok and we wish him a speedy and safe recovery.
- A couple of All-America team notes for the Badgers: freshman OLB Nick Herbig was named to The Athletic’s All-Freshman 2nd Team ($) and junior ILB Jack Sanborn was named to PFF’s All-America 2nd Team. The AP also announced their All-Big Ten teams and TE Jake Ferguson made the 1st Team and OT Cole Van Lanen made the 2nd Team.
#illini Bret Bielema on how he's grown since last in the Big Ten: "Unfortunately, I've physically grown. I have to take care of that."— Jeremy Werner (@JWerner247) December 21, 2020
- Iowa’s football team is on pause due to COVID-19. The Hawkeyes are still planning on playing in the Music City Bowl on Dec. 30.
- Here is the view from the other sideline as Nebraska has now lost 18 straight Big Ten men’s hoops games.
- Luka Garza and the Hawkeyes bested Purdue in the Big Ten opener for both teams.
- Northwestern football has had a whole host of players enter the transfer portal this offseason.
- In terrible news for Wisconsin’s football team, Michigan fired DC Don Brown on Tuesday. Here are some potential replacements.
- Can Rutgers win the men’s basketball Big Ten title?
- What if the NCAA Tournament were held only in Indiana high school gyms? Crimson Quarry has the best options.
- Illinois OC Rod Smith will not be coming back as new HC Bret Bielema will be building his own staff in Champaign.