- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday9 hrs ago
Quarterback Braxton Miller hasn't played an injury-free season during his time at Ohio State, but coach Urban Meyer thinks this season could change that.
During Big Ten media days on Monday, Meyer said Miller, who missed all of spring practices, was healthy after recovering from offseason shoulder surgery.
"He is ready to go," Meyer said. "He's full speed, best shape he's ever been in his life."
Miller suffered the injury in the 40-35 loss to Clemson in the Orange Bowl, one of the many injuries Miller has suffered during his three playing seasons at Ohio State. Many of those injuries have been a product of Miller's scrambling. Miller, who is one of the nation’s best dual-threat quarterbacks, has rushed 557 times for 3,054 yards during his career.
But Miller said despite offseason conditioning and bulking up from 212 pounds to 221 pounds, he doesn’t plan to take the same kind of hits he’s taken in past seasons.
Braxton Miller up to 221 pounds (from 212) but still feels faster. As for taking same pounding as last year? "That ain't gonna happen."
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday10 hrs ago
Unlike the other power conferences, the Big Ten jam packs its media day festivities into one day where all 14 conference head coaches, along with players from each team, address reporters in Chicago.
There wasn’t a whole lot of noise made at this year’s event, but now that Rutgers and Maryland have become official members, the league has re-aligned into an eastern and western division.
The west has already been pegged by league media as the weaker of the two divisions, but coaches aren’t looking at it that way. Wisconsin, despite its question marks on offense, is considered the top contender in the division, largely because of what is said to be a weaker schedule against its west division counterparts.
Badgers head coach Gary Andersen doesn’t buy that theory.
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday10 hrs ago
Welcome to our Dr. Saturday feature titled "Random offseason tweet of the day." With real games still weeks away, coaches and players will be tweeting about non-football-related things as the season approaches. In this space, we'll try to find the funniest and goofiest tweets of the day. If you see something, don't hesitate to send it to us.
North Carolina coach Larry Fedora has better abs than a lot of his football players. Just look at this picture of him from the beach.
Larry Fedora, w/daughter, on his 6-pack abs secret: “No beer, no cardio, lift weights 45 minutes 4 days/week” pic.twitter.com/9LgqEGPEcy
The "no cardio" that Fedora likely refers to is a lack of running or other hamster work at the gym on an elliptical or stairclimber. Instead, his cardio is coming via his weightlifting sessions.
Yes, weightlifting can be cardio too. The lifting sessions Fedora is engaging in are probably raising his heart rate above and beyond what it would be at through a session of steady-state running or pedaling. And there's likely little rest time between sets either.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday11 hrs ago
Mark Dantonio didn’t want to put his team on too high of a pedestal.
Sure, Michigan State is coming off its best season in school history with a 13-1 record, Big Ten title and the first Rose Bowl crown since 1988, but Dantonio is trying to temper expectations in a league where the Spartans aren’t even the favorite this year.
“First of all, I termed ourselves one of the hunted, so I think that’s important to recognize — not ‘the hunted,'” Dantonio said during Big Ten media day on Monday. “We’re not looking for any entitlement, anybody to put us up there. We’ll get what we earn. Every game will be a challenge, beginning with our first game … We’ve had a knack for winning football games these last couple years, but we’ve also taken a step back at times. It’s important that we understand that we’ve done that.
“We’ve stuck our foot in the ground and driven forward when those things have happened. We found the inches last year, We have to continue to find those inches and gain even more ground because respectability could fly right out the window on us. I understand that. It’s what we’ve done lately that you’re basically judged on. We continue to build our future as we move forward.”
- Nick Bromberg at Dr. Saturday11 hrs ago
The "State of Rutgers" is apparently larger than New Jersey.
When asked about his team's recruiting area during Monday's Big Ten media days, Rutgers coach Kyle Flood mentioned the "State of Rutgers," as the territory of the state university of New Jersey.
"Certainly as we recruit, we recruit what's called the State of Rutgers," Flood said. And the State of Rutgers begins in New Jersey, but it also includes southeastern New York, eastern Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, and we've always traditionally recruited Florida. So that's been our recruiting footprint, and that will not change."
"What I will tell you is the Big Ten schools, whether it's our neighbor to the west, our neighbor to the south or any other traditional programs in the Big Ten, have always recruited New Jersey. And that hasn't changed. And what's important to me is that we find the right players that are right for Rutgers."
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday11 hrs ago
Returning Tennessee to its former glory has not been easy.
Since the Vols won the national title in 1998, they have won 10 or more games just four times, had six losing seasons, including four straight, and are on their third coach since Philip Fulmer was forced out in 2008.
And while many of the former players think Tennessee is on its way back behind second-year coach Butch Jones, it’s hard for them to let go out the years since Fulmer's departure.
"I really don't even want to say the names of the two guys who were there between Coach Fulmer and Coach Jones,” former linebacker Al Wilson told the Times Free Press. Wilson was one of several former Tennessee players working a youth football camp this past weekend and asked about his thoughts on the state of the program.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday12 hrs ago
Two LSU true freshmen were arrested in separate incidents on campus last week.
Trey Lealaimatafao and Davon Godchaux, both defensive linemen, will be “disciplined internally” and have already met with head coach Les Miles, LSU sports information director Michael Bonnette told NOLA.com.
LSU police said that Lealaimatafao, a defensive tackle from San Antonio, Texas, was arrested for stealing a bicycle. The incident allegedly took place on July 1 when the bike was stolen near the Middleton Library on campus.
Investigators identified Lealaimatafao from surveillance footage in the area and made contact with him on Thursday. He admitted taking the bike and told investigators he thought it was permissible if the bike was not secured, Lalonde said. The bike was returned to the victim Thursday.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday14 hrs ago
Everyone knows about Melvin Gordon.
The Wisconsin running back mulled leaving for the NFL, but the 1,600-yard rusher is back in Madison for his redshirt junior season. He’s ready to tear up the Big Ten again, but for second-year head coach Gary Andersen, he’s one of a few known commodities on the Badgers’ offense heading into the 2014 season.
The offensive line is stout like most Wisconsin lines in past seasons have been, but wide receiver, with Jared Abbrederis (78 catches, 1,081 yards, 7 TDs) out of the picture, is the offense’s weakest link.
“Offensively – there’s lots of questions. Wide receiver is a big question mark and it’s been talked about a lot. We need a couple young men to step up,” Andersen said Monday at Big Ten Media Day in Chicago.
It’s not easy to replace a player as productive as Abbrederis, a recent draft choice of the Green Bay Packers. One player is not going to do it, but Andersen pointed to a few different guys who can collectively fill the void.
- Sam Cooper at Dr. Saturday15 hrs ago
Utah quarterback Travis Wilson was cited for possession and consumption of alcohol by a minor Friday night.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, the 20-year-old Wilson was attending a Tim McGraw concert in Salt Lake City, was cited into West Valley Justice Court and subsequently “released at the scene.”
Utes head coach Kyle Whittingham released a statement acknowledging the incident.
“We are still in the process of gathering information on the incident,” Whittingham said. “Once we have all the facts, we will handle the situation internally and determine any disciplinary action that should be taken.”
Wilson, a junior, recently was given the thumbs up to continue his playing career after an intracranial artery condition was discovered following a concussion sustained against Arizona State last season. Wilson had thrown for 1,827 yards, 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions before the injury sidelined him for the rest of the season.
- Graham Watson at Dr. Saturday16 hrs ago
Marshall running back Kevin Grooms has been dismissed from the team following a Saturday arrest.
Grooms, C-USA’s Freshman of the Year in 2012, was arrested Saturday on charges of misdemeanor domestic assault by threat, felony burglary and daytime breaking and entering, misdemeanor petit larceny and fleeing on foot. The Marshall athletic department confirmed Grooms dismissal to the Charleston Daily Mail, saying he had been dismissed for a “violation of team rules and policies.”
Grooms time with the Marshall program hasn’t been great off the field.
According to the paper, Saturday’s incident was Grooms’ third arrest since April 2013.
On April 21, 2013, Grooms was arrested on misdemeanor charges of underage drinking and obstruction. He also was one of five people named in a civil suit filed in May seeking damages after a pedestrian claimed Grooms was in a car that struck him “while under the influence of drugs and/or alcohol, operating said motor vehicle at excessive speed.”