The rich get poorer and poorer get richer, or something like that? Actually, not really, because it looks like everyone will have more money at their disposal.
The Big 12 announced after the spring meetings on Friday that they would start evening out how the revenue within the conference is distributed between its schools. Previously, the conference handed out approximately 57 percent of revenue equally with the remainder being distributed based on the number of TV appearances made be each school.
That amount will now jump to 76 percent which is good news for the schools who hadn't been the beneficiaries of receiving extra revenue because of the lack of television appearances. And because of the new TV deal with Fox signed earlier this spring and set to go into force in 2012, the amount of revenue the conference is distributing is expected to grow substantially.
“The important thing is we’re dealing with a lot more revenue so that everyone feels good about the contract,” Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton said. “It gives us more flexibility.”
So what kind of boost is this going to be for the Big 12 schools that hadn't been receiving as much revenue under the old model? It's tough to say exactly without knowing the all the data, but that won't stop us from making an educated guess.
In 2009, the conference distributed $121.2 million dollars. The following chart shows that amount broken down by both the 57 and 76 percent revenue split.
|Old Model||New Model w/12 teams||New Model w/ 10 teams|
|Total Distribution in '09||$121,200,000||$121,200,000||$121,200,000|
|Percent Dist Equally||0.57||0.76||0.76|
|Amount Dist. Equally||$69,084,000||$92,112,000||$92,112,000|
|Divide by No. of schools||12||12||10|
|Additional Money Received||--||$1,919,000||$3,354,200|
As you can see for 2009, it could have meant an additional $1,919,000 for each school before the last 43 percent was added in (based on TV appearances). Obviously going forward, there are only 10 mouths to feed instead of 12 so that same number divided by 10 would have meant each school would receive $9.21 million, or an extra $3,454,200 per school with 24 percent yet to be distributed. Not bad.
The conference has already announced that for the 2010-11 school year it will distribute $145 million. When the new TV contract kicks in starting with 2012 season, that number is expected to jump to approximately $200 million. Obviously 76 percent of those numbers is going to mean a significant revenue boost for all the schools, especially those previously on the bottom of the totem pole.
Probably even more significant than the actual numbers is the change in philosophy among the remaining 10 schools. The uneven revenue distribution had been in place since the conference started play in 1996. It had been looked at and discussed many times since but nothing had even been changed. “There’s a growing recognition that to be a strong conference we have to have every member being strong and competitive on an ongoing basis in multiple sports,” said Missouri chancellor Brady Deaton, chairman of the Big 12 board of directors.
Did the fact the conference is now at 10 teams and was nearly wiped off the map of college athletics have anything to do with the change? Commissioner Beebe was asked if the change would have been made if the Nebraska was still in the league. "It's hard to speculate," Beebe said. "Nebraska's point was not to do this as equally as some of the others (wanted). How they would have weighed in, and Colroado, we really don't know."
Whatever the reasons, the additional money will surely help the schools that are already trying to do more with less. It will more than likely make the league stronger overall and if the conference ever tries to expand back to 12 teams (which they've said time after time they are not going to do), more attractive to any team that may wish to join the league in the future.
Kansas received some bad news when it was announced this week that defensive coordinator, Carl Torbush, had been diagnosed with low grade prostate cancer and as a result, decided to retire from coaching. In addition to his coordinator duties, Torbush also coached the linebackers and his retirement left a sudden vacancy on Turner Gill's staff. It didn't take for Gill long to find his new man as he added Vantz Singletary on Friday to coach the linebackers for Kansas in 2011.
The past two seasons, he had served as the inside linebackers coach on Singletary's staff in San Francisco. Following Mike Singletary's dismissal after the 2010 season, most of the staff wasn't retained by new coach Jim Harbaugh and that turned out to work perfectly for V. Singletary and Gill.
This isn't their first time working together, either. Singletary was also the linebackers coach for Gill in Buffalo during the 2008 season when the Bulls captured the MAC title by knocking off undefeated Ball State in the MAC Championship game. Prior to his stint at Buffalo, he also coached at Tennessee-Chattanoogo, Hawaii, and Southern before joining the Niner's staff.
"Vantz will bring great ideas on pass rushing skills to our linebackers," said Gill. "He is very detailed in his instruction to the student-athletes and will provide phenomenal chemistry to our entire program."
If he's been watching and studying under his uncle all these years, it's a good bet that he knows a few things about playing linebacker. There can't be many people in the country that know more about playing the position than Mike Singletary. Hopefully for the Jayhawks, some of that wisdom has rubbed off on his nephew.
The Big 12 announced on Friday the final TV games that have been selected early for telecast on a television near you. According to the Big 12's website, ABC and Fox are required by their contract to select their games for the first three weeks of the season by June 1.
Probably the most noteable announcement was that three Oklahoma games would be televised by the FX network. Fox has not previously put games on the FX network which should be a big boost of exposure for the Big 12 since the FX network is carried in more than 99 million homes across the country. That'll beat a great thing for Big 12 fans who have been (or live) out of market only to have the Big 12 game they hoped to watch either pre-empted or not shown by the local Fox Sports Network.
As it stands now, here are the games that were or had been previously announced to be on television. It's shaping up to be a pretty solid schedule. Now if we can just figure out how to get by the next couple months.
For a list of the complete Big 12 schedule, the conference's website has you covered.
|Friday||Sept. 2nd||TCU @ Baylor||7:00||ESPN|
|Saturday||Sept. 3rd||Miami (OH) @ Mizzou||11:00||FSN*|
|Saturday||Sept. 3rd||Rice @ Texas||TBD||TBD*|
|Saturday||Sept. 3rd||Tulsa @ Oklahoma||7:00||FX*|
|Sunday||Sept 4th||SMU @ Texas A&M||6:30||FSN|
|Thursday||Sept. 8th||Arizona @ Oklahoma St.||7:00||ESPN|
|Friday||Sept. 9th||Mizzou @ Arizona St.||9:30||ESPN2|
|Saturday||Sept. 10th||Iowa @ Iowa State||11:00||FSN*|
|Saturday||Sept. 10th||BYU @ Texas||6:00||ESPN2*|
|Friday||Sept 16th||Iowa State @ UConn||7:00||ESPN/ESPN2|
|Saturday||Sept. 17th||Oklahoma @ Florida St.||TBD||ABC or ESPN|
|Saturday||Sept. 17th||Kansas @ Georgia Tech||11:30||FSN*|
|Saturday||Sept 17th||Texas @ UCLA||2:30||ABC|
|Saturday||Sept. 17th||Texas Tech @ New Mexico||2:30||Versus|
|Saturday||Sept.24th||Missouri @ Oklahoma||7:00||FX*|
|Friday||Nov. 18th||Oklahoma St. @ Iowa State||8:00||ESPN2|
|Thursday||Nov. 24th||Texas @ Texas A&M||7:00||ESPN|
|Saturday||Nov. 26th||Missouri @Kansas||11:00||FSN*|
|Saturday||Nov. 26th||Texas Tech vs. Baylor (Arlington)||2:30||FSN*|
|Saturday||Nov. 26th||Iowa State @ Oklahoma||7:00||FX*|
|Saturday||Dec. 3rd||Oklahoma @ Oklahoma St.||TBD||ABC|
|Saturday||Dec. 3rd||Texas @ Baylor||TBD||ABC|
|Saturday||Dec. 3rd||Iowa State @ Kansas State||11:30||FSN*|
You have to give the Big 12 Conference credit, they're definitely not a copycat league. The conference already announced they wouldn't be changing their name, and yesterday it was announced after the spring meetings they wouldn't change their logo, either.
Like it or not, the league is not the same as it was. The conference has an opportunity to create a new identity for itself and while I'm not necessarily a marketing expert, a great logo can go a long ways in creating that new identity. At the very least, it's never a bad idea to give the league's logo a little refresher from time to time, is it?
Right or wrong, it's interesting to compare the differences in the thought processes between the conferences in regards to their branding.
In 1993, Penn State began play in the Big Ten and the conference added the sly number 11 into their logo. Then upon adding Nebraska, debuted this, which is up for debate whether that was a good thing. (Hey, maybe the Big 12 has it figured out).
The Pac-10 gave its logo a refresher before the announcement to 10 teams, and then quickly followed that up by throwing in a "12" since starting next season, it'll now be the Pac-12 with the addition of Colorado and Utah. The decision may have been slightly easier for the Pac-12, since they had already made the decision to change their name shortly after the new additions were announced.
The Big 12 has elected to leave good enough alone, however. I can't help but think it's an opportunity missed to help rebuild the image of the league as a whole, but then again, based on some of the decisions being made, maybe the image of the league wasn't as damaged as some of us like to think. That being said, I can't help but believe this won't keep suggestions like this from cropping up from time to time. That, however, is probably inevitable no matter what the Big 12 logo looks like.
So what do you say, should the Big 12 have changed the logo it or left it alone as they did?
Over the last month or so, promotional videos for season tickets sales have started rolling out. With it being a rather slow time of the year for interesting college football topics to discuss, why not take a look at a few?
I'm always amazed that fans don't jump all over these offers. The first one below is for Iowa State and it starts out with a message stating season tickets start as low as $99. For six home games including Texas, Texas A&M, and Oklahoma State, not to mention it's the Hawkeyes turn to visit Ames this year, as well. Are you kidding me - $99!
As for the video, very cool highlights. About the music though, yeah, maybe could have went with a different selection there. I'll let you be the judge.......
Next up is Missouri. The Tigers have three commercials that I could find, and I'll include all of them for your enjoyment. The commercials make no mention of ticket prices other than to say go to MUTigers.com so that's what I did. The cheapest I could find were (for the general public) $229. Not bad. They also have six home games with the best games being visits from Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech.
As for the videos, I love this first one. What better way to get a fanbase fired up to spend some money than by showing their team knocking of the then #1 ranked BCS team in the country.
As for the second video, not bad, but I could take it or leave it to be honest.
The third and final vid switches gear and features former Missouri player, assistant coach, and radio color analyst John Kadlec. Very cool, and I imagine even moreso for Missouri fans featuring a Tiger who has been around the program for more than 60 years.
Rivals (Tom Dienhart, specifically) published their list of the top 20 "hottest" college assistants today. The Big 12 was well represented with seven assistants making the cut. Looking at the list, it got me thinking (which isn't always a good thing, by the way). OK, so these guys are the hottest, but how about who's the best? Before I get started, here are the seven guys from the Big 12 Mr. Dienhart identified as the hottest assistants in the country.
It was interesting to see Manny Diaz at the top of the list of Big 12's assistants. Nothing against the guy because I have no doubt he'll do great things at Texas, but he's been a coordinator at the BCS level for all of one season. Granted, it was a very good one at Mississippi State where the Bulldogs gave up just 19.8 points per game in the SEC. Apparently, that's good enough to make him one of the hottest assistants in the country.
So who's the best? Today, let's start with the offensive coordinators. The best of the defensive coordinators will be coming in a second post tomorrow. And just for clarification, head coaches don't count, otherwise Texas A&M's Mike Sherman would definitely make this list (and probably Briles and Snyder for that matter). The "hottest" list has much to do with assistants that are next in line for a head coaching job, and since those three are already there, they won't be included.. That's are far as the hottest will go, however. This list is based on what each has accomplished on the field. Without further ado:
The Top Five Offensive Coordinators in the Big 12
1. Bryan Harsin - Texas
If you're looking for proof this guy knows how to call plays, just go back and look at Boise State's stats the last five seasons and you'll see all the evidence you need. There are those that would argue Boise State head coach, Chris Peterson, had a lot to do with that, and maybe so, but it's doubtful Mack Brown would have brought him in without a high level of assurance he could run the show on his own, if he indeed wasn't calling all the shots in Boise.
The Broncos offense averaged 42 and 45 points per game the past two seasons. Granted, it wasn't always against BCS level competition, but Boise knocked off their share of heavyweights over the last several years, as well.
It's going to be fun to watch what becomes of the Longhorns' offense over the next couple seasons with the talent that will be available to Harsin at Texas. (Assuming he can find a QB capable of running the show, of course, which I have no doubt he will).
2. Chuck Long - Kansas
Some might raise an eyebrow at this, but how quickly people forget his days running the Sooner's offense. He was Oklahoma's offensive coordinator for some pretty good OU teams that averaged 38.9, 42.9, 34.8, and 26.9 during his time there (not liking that trend, however). Last season's Kansas offense didn't do much to help the perception about him, but it's amazing what some talent (or lack thereof) will do when to make a coordinator look good (or not so good). Long has been there, done that, with some pretty good football teams which is more than a lot of guys can say.
3. Neal Brown - Texas Tech
Tommy Tuberville brought Neal Brown to Lubbock for two primary reasons, he knew the spread offense that was previously run by Mike Leach, and his offenses at Troy were flat out explosive ranking third nationally in total offense during his final season there in 2009. In his first season with the Red Raiders, Tech's offense finished fourth in the Big 12 in both scoring and total offense, averaging 33.1 points and 460 yards per game.
4. David Yost - Missouri
Yost just completed his second season as the Tiger offensive coordinator after being Gary Pinkel's quarterback coach going all the way back to 1997 when Pinkel was still at Toledo. Yost's offenses have put up good numbers in his two seasons, but the upcoming season will be a big one as far as judging Yost's ability as a coordinator. That is because it'll be his first without first round NFL draft pick, Blaine Gabbert, quarterbacking the offense. Mizzou will be breaking in a rather inexperienced quarterback in James Franklin this year which will likely test Yost's play calling ability.
5. Tom Herman - Iowa State
Herman has been the coordinator for Paul Rhoads during his first two seasons in Ames. The numbers for the Cyclones haven't been particularly impressive, but that has more to do with Iowa State's talent level versus who they're playing than Herman's ability calling plays. In the two seasons under Herman, the Cyclones have averaged 21 points and 340 yards a game.
Go back two years earlier and you'll see why Herman got his opportunity to call plays at a Big 12 school. Herman directed the Rice Owls offense to a 10 win season in 2008. The offense averaged 41.6 points per game which was the eighth most in the country. Rice broke 50 school records under Herman's direction in two seasons (I had no idea there were 50 offensive categories to break).
The best of the rest:
Josh Heupel - Oklahoma. Yes, Sooner fans, Heupel will more than likely be in the top five before long. But calling plays for one game against UConn doesn't get him there just yet.
Todd Monken - Oklahoma State. The same can be said for Monken in Stillwater. With Weeden and Blackmon returning, the Cowboys are set up to have another huge season. Dana Holgorsen raised the bar for the Cowboys with his success last year, can Monken keep the ball rolling in his first year calling the shots?
Jay Norvell - Oklahoma. It was mildly surprising Norvell wasn't selected by Stoops as the play caller when Kevin Wilson left for Indiana since he served in that role at UCLA (also was coordinator at Nebraska but Bill Callahan called the plays). I can't see Heupel leaving in the near future, but if he does take a head coaching position sooner rather than later, you have to believe Norvell would be next in line given Stoops history of hiring from within.
Mike Sherman - Not included; already a head coach.
Art Briles - See Mike Sherman. Randy Clements and Phillip Montgomery serve as Briles co-offensive coordinators
Bill Snyder - See Mike Sherman and Art Briles . Dana Dimel and Del Miller serve as Snyder's co-offensive coordinators.
So, what do you think?Check back tomorrow for a look at the Big 12's defensive coordinators.
We've been following his All-Conference teams, so let's keep the ball rolling with Mr. Phil Steele who released his All-American teams today. The Big 12 made a nice haul, especially on offense. Of the 12 spots on Steele's first team list, five of the players selected call the Big 12 Conference home. Oklahoma linebacker, Travis Lewis, was the only defensive player to make the first team giving the Big 12 six players overall.
|Kelechi Osemelee||OT||Iowa State|
If there was a surprise among the first team names, it has to be Oklahoma's Landry Jones being the top quarterback. That's not taking anything away from Jones who should be in for a huge 2011. The surprising aspect was that Stanford's Andrew Luck wasn't his top choice. Luck returned to Stanford for his upcoming junior year, but was widely projected to be the number one pick in the NFL draft should he have chosen to leave school early.
What isn't surprising was to see Justin Blackmon and Ryan Broyles on the list as two of the three first-team receivers. The duo combined for an unbelievable 242 catches, 3,404 yards, and 34 touchdowns last season. Those numbers will be tough to duplicate in 2011, but obviously they're both set to have impressive back-to-back seasons and will likely will battle for several end of season awards when the time comes.
After having six players named to the first team, the second, third, and fourth teams had a total of eight players selected from the conference. All-in-all, not a bad a showing for the Big 12 which is down two teams from last season.
Speaking of those other two teams, Nebraska and Colorado had three players named to the first team which included Jared Crick (DT) and Alfonzo Dennard (CB) of Nebraska along with Ryan Miller (OL) of Colorado being selected. Nebraska linebacker, Lavonte David, was also named to the second team.
Here is the rest of the Big 12 players that were selected. For a look at the complete list of All-Americans Steele recognized, please visit blog.philsteele.com.
|Jeff Fuller||WR||Texas A&M|
|Quinn Sharp||P||Oklahoma State|
|Cyrus Gray||RB||Texas A&M|
|Markelle Martin||S||Oklahoma State|
Kansas coach Turner Gill made the announcement on Tuesday that defensive coordinator, Carl Torbush, will retire from coaching to deal with his health issues. Torbush was recently diagnosed with low grade prostate cancer and felt it in his best interest to step aside while he goes through treatment. "I want to thank Turner Gill and the University of Kansas for the opportunity I had to work here," Torbush said. "It is with great regret that I am retiring, but I feel in my heart after a lot of thought and prayer that this is what is best for myself and my family at this stage in my life.
The good news for Torbush and his family is that the cancer was caught early and the prognosis for a full recovery is good. "I'm just thankful that we caught it now instead of later, because later it could have been a problem. Hopefully this will be completely cleared and three or four months down the road, I hope I'm completely healthy."
From the football perspective, there's no doubt this is a big season for the KU program as Gill will be looking for continued improvement that often happens between year one and year two after a new coaching staff is put in place. Systems and schemes are in place and there is now a foundation to build upon.
That's one big reason why Gill also announced that cornerbacks coach, Vic Shealy, and defensive line coach, Buddy Wyatt, will serve as co-defensive coordinators. "There's no question that I didn't leave from our staff because I knew we had people on this staff that were capable of being defensive coordinators. I kind of always had that in mind as far as when Torbush came and even with (Vic) Shealy and Buddy Wyatt if anything were to happen or if I needed to make a change that these two here (Shealy and Wyatt) would definitely be at the top of the list as far as being a defensive coordinators here."
Shealy will be the guy making the calls on Saturday with Wyatt assisting in the game planning during the week. Coach Gill also announced the Jaywhawks will be looking to hire a new linebackers coach, a position Torbush also coached in addition to his coordinator duties.
Shealy and Wyatt will benefit from already knowing the personnel something that was critical since fall camp will open in just over two months. Torbush also believes it'll be a defense in much better shape than last season. "There is no doubt, athletically, that we're better now than we were last year."
Best of luck to Coach Torbush as he goes through his cancer treatments. Here's hoping he makes a quick recovery and is back to his daily routine soon.
Not only will the Big 12 have a new look with 10 teams, but several teams are going to be sporting their own new looks with different coordinators on the sidelines this year, as well. Here is an introduction to the new faces that'll be calling the plays in 2011 around the conference. While they're all important, here are a couple that will be fun to watch when the season gets rolling in September.
Bryan Harsin (Co-Offensive Coordinator) - Boise State finished second in the country last season in both scoring and total offense averaging 41 points and 521 yards per game. Bryan Harsin was the man calling the plays for Boise and will now bring the Broncos scheme to Austin. He had been on the Boise State's staff for the past 10 seasons including the final five as the offensive coordinator.
He'll hope to improve an offense that was downright awful at times last season. Combining Boise's scheme with the talent on the Texas roster should produce immediate results, assuming Harsin can find a quarterback that's able to execute it consistently. And that's problem 1-A facing Harsin as he gets set to start his first season in Austin. Former Longhorn quarterback, Major Applewhite, will serve as Co-Offensive Coordinator, but it'll be Harsin that is calling the plays on game day.
Manny Diaz (Defensive Coordinator) - Mack Brown didn't hesitate making changes after last season's 5-7 collapse. Not only will Texas be running a new offense, but after defensive coordinator Will Muschamp bolted for Florida's head job, Brown was also forced to bring in a new guy on defense, as well. His choice was Manny Diaz who he was able to lure away from Mississippi State.
Diaz doesn't come to Austin with a wealth of experience but that hasn't stopped him from being thought of as one of the top up-and-coming coordinators in the game. He spent one season as the coordinator at Mississippi State following four seasons at Middle Tennessee State. He'll inherit a talented defense that gave up just over 23 points a game which fell short of some lofty expectations Texas had coming into the season. In his one season in the SEC, Mississippi State gave up just 19.9 points per game.
Diaz will be the sixth defensive coordinator Brown has had on staff since the 2003 season.
Phil Bennett (Defensive Coordinator) - Coming into 2010, Baylor hadn't been to a bowl game since 1994. That changed in Art Briles third season in Waco with the Bears being selected to play in the Texas Bowl. They did it, however, with a defense that gave up over 30 points a game and in their six losses, that number ballooned to over 46 points per game. That's where Phil Bennett enters the picture.
Bennett spent the past three seasons leading Dave Wannstedts's defense at Pitt. When Wannstedt was shown the door, Bennett packed his bags for Waco and will now lead the Bears defense, hoping to build on the momentum created under Briles.
Prior to his stint at Pitt, Bennett was the head coach at SMU for six seasons where he coached against Briles who, at that time, was the head coach of the Houston Cougars. This won't be Bennett's first go-around the Big 12, either. He's also be a defensive coordinator at Kansas State and Texas A&M, and served one season as defensive backs coach at Oklahoma, as well.
Chad Glasgow (Defensive Coordinator) - Somewhat similar to the situation at Baylor, Texas Tech is looking to revive a defense that finished last in the Big 12 in total defense giving up 456 yards per game. Chad Glasgow comes to Lubbock after spending the past 10 seasons on Gary Patterson's staff at TCU. He coached the safeties for a team that led the country the past three seasons in defense and finished number one in pass defense in 2010 giving up just 128.7 yards per game.
Glasgow plans to instill the same 4-2-5 scheme that the Horned Frogs used so successfully over the years. The Red Raiders were hit hard last season with injuries, but the flip side of that is that a lot of guys picked up a valuable year of experience. That extra experience coming back, combined with Glasgow now calling the shots, means the Red Raiders should be much improved on defense in 2011 if they can stay healthy.
Josh Heupel (Co-Offensive Coordinator) - Last season's offense offensive coordinator, Kevin Wilson, is now the head man at the University of Indiana. Bob Stoops didn't have to look far for his replacement. As Stoops often does, he promoted from within and tabbed quarterbacks coach and former OU standout, Josh Heupel, to run the offense.
Heupel will share the coordinator title with Jay Norvell, but it'll be Heupel calling the plays on Saturdays. Heupel has been part of Stoops' staff going back to 2005 when he returned to Norman after spending one season as the tight ends coach at Arizona. Heupel got his feet wet last season calling the plays in Oklahoma's Fiesta Bowl victory over Connecticut. The Sooners totaled 524 yards against the Huskies, 429 of that coming through the air in OU's 48-20 victory.
Todd Monken (Offensive Coordinator) - Todd Monken returns to Stillwater following four seasons as the receivers coach for the Jacksonville Jaguars. He will inherit one of the country's most powerful offenses from 2010 with most of its key parts returning.
Much has been made about what would change with the Cowboys' offense that Dana Holgorsen made so successful in just one season. The answer is apparently nothing as Monken spent the better part of the spring learning Oklahoma State's offense rather than teaching his own.
Even though he didn't call the plays in the spring game, the Cowboys offense did combine for over 700 yards in the scrimmage which was hopefully a good sign for Cowboy fans that have their fingers crossed this year's version can equals last year's production.
This is Monken's second stint in Stillwater. He coached under Les Miles as the receivers coach while Mike Gundy was the then offensive coordinator. He followed Miles to LSU and was there for two seasons before moving on to Jacksonville.
As announced today, the Jayhawks will be looking for a new defensive coordinator after Carl Torbush has decided to retire from coaching after being diagnosed with prostate cancer. Kansas hasn't released the full details yet, but Torbush is expecting a full recovery. Let's hope that is indeed the case and best of luck to Coach and his family going forward.
UPDATE: Kansas coach, Turner Gill, announced cornerbacks coach Vic Shealy and D-Line coach, Buddy Wyatt, will assume the role as co-coordinators. Shealy will call the defenses on Saturdays.
Phil Steele followed up his All-ACC and All Big 12 teams with the release of his preseason All Big Ten team on Saturday. Four Huskers found their way onto the inaugural first team, none of which were any great suprise.
All told, Nebraska had 10 players named to the preseason squad which Steele takes four-deep for one reason or another (is being named 4th team All-Conference a complement? ) Here's a breakdown of the numbers of players selected by school (special teams not included):
|1st Team||2nd Team||3rd Team||4th Team||Total|
It's hard to get much more balanced than that in regards to players per school. Every school had between seven and eleven players recognized, with Minnesota and Indiana being the only exceptions with just two players each (by the way, that's not very good out of 96 players).
But back to Nebraska, the other Huskers that found their way onto the squad were:
Since I still cover the Big 12 for Turfburner as well, I can't help but make a couple comparisons as the Huskers get ready to change leagues. The first obvious comparison is at quarterback where Northwestern's Dan Persa is first team All-Big Ten followed by Kirk Cousin's of Michigan State. Let's just say it's hard to imagine the QB play in the Big Ten being as good as it was in the Big 12. Not to take anything away from Persa who's a very solid quarterback, but I have to believe he'd have a hard time cracking the top four in the Big 12 of Landry Jones, Brandon Weeden, Robert Griffin, or Ryan Tannehill.
But herein lies one of the big differences between the conferences - offenses in the Big Ten simply don't rely on their quarterback near as much as they do in the Big 12. Don't get me wrong, every team regardless of their conference needs a good starting quarterback, but the offenses in the Big Ten simply don't air it as much as most do the Big 12 and therefore just aren't going to put up the gaudy offensive stats you see in the Big 12.
*A couple other notes: it's great to see Rex Burkhead getting some love in the Big Ten. Depending on what the incoming freshman do, he could get a ton of work this season. If he stays injury free, it wouldn't be shocking to see him pushing for first team honors come seasons end.
*Michigan's Denard Robinson and Taylor Martinez were listed as the third and fourth team quarterbacks. It'll be fun to watch these two play against the same competition all season. Robinson will be switching offenses and now running Al Borges' west coast attack which should be a huge storyline in the conference throughout 2011. Nebraska fans know all too well how that transition can go if not handled properly.
Martinez on the other hand, is going to be playing in an offense much more suited to his skill set than he was in previously. If he gets his complete mobility back, he could be in for a monster season, although he still has a lot to prove when it comes to consistency.
*Out of 20 offensive lineman named to Steele's squad, exactly one Husker made the cut and that would be offensive tackle, Jeremiah Sirles, who missed the entire spring while recovering from a should injury. How will this group hold up in the Big Ten? Yes, preseason teams aren't worth much more than the paper they're printed on, but if you're a Husker fan, you'd still like to see a few more guys on this list.
Here's the link to see the entire list of players that made Steele's All-Conference team.