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Phil Miller's Big Ten short takes

  • November 22, 2012 - 8:57 PM

• It could be an awkward day at Ohio Stadium on Saturday, and Michigan has nothing to do with it. Former coach Jim Tressel will make his first appearance on Ohio State's campus since resigning 18 months ago, as part of a reunion of the Buckeyes' 2002 national championship team. Too soon? As the Buckeyes try to finish off an unbeaten season, Tressel's presence will remind fans why the Buckeyes aren't in the running for the 2012 title.

• Amid speculation that the Big Ten's next TV contract could return as much as $50 million per school every year, Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald has an idea about where some of that money should go: to the players. "It would be great to be able to take care of [players'] families, help them fly to a bowl game," the coach said. "Take some of the money and allow them to get more from bowl gifts and things of that nature. They've earned that."

• It's been a remarkably successful season at Penn State, considering all the hurdles the school faces, post-Sandusky. But the Nittany Lions have a new worry because of that: Bill O'Brien's name is beginning to be floated as a potential NFL head coach, possibly with the Jacksonville Jaguars. "There's no story. I'm the head coach at Penn State," O'Brien said this week. "I love coaching here."

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