Star RB picks Huskers
After being denied admission to Wisconsin, Jordan Stevenson, a consensus four-star running back from Dallas, announced Thursday that he landed at Big Ten West rival Nebraska.
The Cornhuskers need to replace standout running back Ameer Abdullah, and Stevenson will jump right into the mix, competing with Imani Cross and Terrell Newby.
“There’s a big part of me that’s really happy Jordan’s going to a good place,” Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst said at Big Ten media days in Chicago.
Chryst also hinted that Wisconsin’s admission standards could use a tweak. His predecessor, Gary Anderson, reportedly fumed about those standards, helping spur his departure for Oregon State.
“The thing that’s good about this is I think it’s bringing up some discussions that we will have,” Chryst said. “How much will we learn from this?”
No Gophers on watch list
Big Ten media members vote on a preseason watch list, and once again the Gophers were shut out. The list went:
East — Shilique Calhoun, Connor Cook (Michigan State), Joey Bosa, Ezekiel Elliott (Ohio State), Anthony Zettel (Penn State). West — Drew Ott (Iowa), De’Mornay Pierson-El, Maliek Collins (Nebraska), Justin Jackson (Northwestern), Corey Clement, Michael Caputo (Wisconsin).
The Gophers believe their best player is cornerback Eric Murray and feel he is one of the best players in the conference — period. But quarterbacks tend to avoid him, limiting his interceptions and accolades. Minnesota will be one of seven teams meeting with the media Friday.
No shock: OSU big favorite
In the preseason media poll, all 40 voters picked Ohio State to win the Big Ten title, and all 40 picked Michigan State to finish second in the Big Ten East. In the first Coaches Poll, Ohio State landed at No. 1, with Michigan State at No. 6.
“Nothing new for us,” Cook said. “Ever since I’ve been at Michigan State, we’ve been overlooked.”
Ohio State plays at Michigan State on Nov. 21.
“No offense to you guys [in the media], but I’m not really focused on what people say,” Calhoun added. “Ah, they say Ohio State is the preseason No. 1; let’s just kill ourselves. Can we possibly cancel that game?”
Bad memories of Iowa
Iowa beat the Gophers 23-7 two years ago but got clobbered 51-14 last year in Minneapolis.
Ott said the 2013 Iowa team “had good senior leadership and was clicking as a unit.”
“I don’t really know what happened to us last year,” he said. “But we got our butts handed to us pretty good.”
Terps’ learning curve
Maryland coach Randy Edsall on what the Terrapins learned their first year in the Big Ten: “I think that we found out that it was really a lineman league. That you had to be able to win in the trenches if you were going to be successful, week in, week out, year in, and year out.”