Posted by: marcmwm | August 8, 2008

Watched the Big Ten Tonight special . . .

Just a couple quick conclusions to jump to:

1) James Vandenberg — I’m not sure he’s going to redshirt. Very catchable ball.

2) John Wienke — Not bad, either.

3) Shonn Greene has a scalp infection and can’t wear a helmet right now. But according some ‘net legend-makers, helmet schelmet for Greene.

4) Gerry DiNardo loves Jewel Hampton. He said he’ll be the freshman who plays.

5) I interviewed Mitch King’s brother, Vince, once and he mentioned how much Mitch hated the hair question. And I agree. I have never and will never ask Mitch King about his hair, as the BTN sideline guy Mike Hall did today. (I will, however, say he looks like the Mighty Thor.)

6) The line stuff was difficult to sort out. But I slowed it down (the magic of DVR) and saw that the first-team OL is, left to right, Bryan Bulaga, Seth Olsen, Rob Bruggeman, Dan Doering and Kyle Calloway.

7) Sophomore Jacody Coleman and sophomore Jeff Tarpinian seem to be holding at the inside LB spots. There are a ton of bodies in on this competition.

8) Freshman David Blackwell was at practice but not practicing. He’s waiting for the Clearinghouse. He was with the QBs.

9) TE Ross Peterson made Vandenberg look good with a helluva catch during the 7-on-7, laying out with a linebacker on his hip. Ross Peterson, that’s a name I heard last year for a walk-on who could maybe make a jump.

10) Kirk Ferentz mentioned Lance Tillison as a guy who’s made strides in the offseason and who could push for playing time. He also mentioned Tyler Neilsen as a possibility for break-out special teamer.

11) DC Norm Parker made a point about the spread offense, saying the tweak that makes it tough to defense is the option element.
12) The show didn’t have a lot on QB Jake Christensen on the practice field, but Mike Hall conducted a good interview with him after practice. I’ve heard Jake answer the question “what do you need to do better this season?” twice now with pretty much one word, “accuracy.” Also during 7-on-7, OC Ken O’Keefe groused after Christensen put a ball out that made WR Andy Brodell slide to catch. He wanted JC to place the ball where Brodell could catch and run.

13) BTN analyst Howard Griffith likes RB Paki O’Meara a lot.

14) It didn’t appear that sophomore QB Rick Stanzi was practicing. He suffered a shoulder injury on July 18.
15) Freshman QB Marvin McNutt fumbled a couple snaps. Bruggeman appeared angry at himself after one. Hampton also had a fumble.

Overall, it was a slick production that held my interest for the full 90 minutes. In fact, I thought it went too quickly.

It was better than the Bears-Chiefs preseason game. I couldn’t stick with that one.



  1. Thanks, Marc.
    I saw the show and enjoyed it immensely. I love the BTN.

  2. Now, if the Big Ten Network could 1) only get their product to the masses here in Iowa and 2) just show however much football programming it wants.

    I didn’t watch BTN much after football last year. This year, I’ll tune in for more hoops, but that’ll be about it. I did enjoy the little bit of hockey it had last year. Of course, you guys know that there is no Big Ten Hockey. There’s the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (Gophers, Badgers) and the Central Collegiate Hockey Association (Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State). Those leagues have their own TV deals and so it’s difficult for BTN to pry games away for their wonderful HD signal.

    Point is, I’m probably not hanging around for olympic sports.

  3. I agree Jebus. Love the BTN! I do wish they could delve into the tape machines and show a better collection of older games. The 90 minutes last night was great and now I am interested in watching all of the other Big Ten teams and how they practice.

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