Earlier today, we presented our All-Big Ten team. As you can imagine, there was a lot of debate between the six of us over who should make the team and who should get left off. Let's discuss some of our toughest choices and omissions:

Austin Ward: Thanks in large part to all the dirty work he was doing at the start of the year, Michael Bennett didn’t pile up the type of numbers that build a rock-solid case as an all-conference performer. But when it mattered most over the final month of the season, there probably wasn’t a defensive player in the league having a greater impact than the Ohio State senior as he made life miserable in the trenches in the most important games of the season for the Big Ten champs. Dating back to the road trip to Michigan State on Nov. 8, Bennett closed the season with 5 sacks, 9.5 tackles for loss and three forced fumbles down the stretch, looking every bit the All-American he was expected to be in the preseason.

[+] EnlargeKurtis Drummond
Mike Carter/USA TODAY SportsThree cornerbacks made ESPN.com's All-Big Ten team, which meant a deserving player in Michigan State safety Kurtis Drummond didn't make the cut.
Brian Bennett: The toughest single position to choose was at defensive back. You may have noticed our team did not include Michigan State safety Kurtis Drummond, who was named the Big Ten defensive back of the year. That's no slight against Drummond, who's an outstanding player, but we felt like we had to go with three cornerbacks, given the play of Maryland's Will Likely, Minnesota's Briean Boddy-Calhoun and Drummond's own teammate, Trae Waynes. In fact, Ohio State's Doran Grant had a strong case for inclusion as well, and we wanted to recognize what Wisconsin's Michael Caputo contributed to the league's best defense, statistically, during the regular season. Defensive back was a loaded position, and there wouldn't be much difference between the first- and second-team selections there.

Adam Rittenberg: I don't have a major beef with our selections this year, although it would have been nice to find a place for Nebraska running back Ameer Abdullah on the offense. Melvin Gordon told me Wednesday that if Abdullah hadn't sustained a knee injury in early November, he also would have reached the 2,000-yard plateau. Imagine if the Big Ten had three 2,000-yard rushers in the same season. Safety wasn't the strongest position in the league this year, while cornerback turned out to be surprisingly good.

Dan Murphy: It's too bad we can't field an entire offense out of running backs because the Big Ten had almost enough of them worthy of filling out an all-conference roster. Minnesota teammates and cousins David Cobb (running back) and Damien Wilson (middle linebacker) both were left of the list after great years for a surprising Gophers team. Cobb would have made the team in most other years, and Wilson was a narrow miss. Freshman receiver Mike Dudek also deserves some recognition, but there's a good chance his name will pop up here in the next few years.

Josh Moyer: Cornerback was relatively strong this season, so we decided to go with three corners and one safety on our team. As a result, Michigan State safety Kurtis Drummond was the odd man out, and he’s a player who definitely deserves some recognition. He struggled a few times this season -- missing open-field tackles against Purdue and not faring well against Ohio State -- but he was still named the Big Ten defensive back of the year. We thought Wisconsin's Michael Caputo played better, but Drummond was still solid and was a first-team All-Big Ten selection by both the coaches and media. He helped keep Michigan State’s No-Fly Zone together, while leading the team in tackles (65), interceptions (4), pass breakups (11) and pass deflections (15). He just missed the cut.

Mitch Sherman: I'm not sure we picked the right defensive lineman from Iowa. Louis Trinca-Pasat enjoyed an outstanding year, outperforming fellow tackle Carl Davis, who was more highly regarded before the season. But what about Drew Ott, the disruptive end who collected eight sacks, 12 tackles behind the line, scored a touchdown against Nebraska, forced a fumble and picked off a pass? Ott is just as deserving as Michigan State's Calhoun, though I doubt there's room for two linemen from an Iowa defense that ranked firmly in the middle of the Big Ten. So with the variety of defensive looks employed around the league, I'd take three ends and one tackle, like the coaches and media teams, inserting Ott in place of Trinca-Pasat.
In the 100 days leading up to signing day 2015, RecruitingNation will be looking back at our ESPN recruiting rankings from 2006 to the present and count down the best player of the past 10 years at each ranking position, No. 100 to No. 1.

Joey Bosa, No. 56 in 2013 class

Bosa was one of the most heavily recruited defensive line prospects in the 2013 class with offers from many of the nation's top programs. The Under Armour All-America Game selection chose Ohio State in April 2012 over Alabama, Florida State, Florida and Michigan in a recruitment that was essentially over following an unofficial visit to Ohio State in early April. Bosa had family ties to Ohio State; his mom and uncle, former Buckeyes star linebacker Eric Kumerow, attended college in Columbus. Bosa was a member of the Buckeyes 2013 star-studded class that included Vonn Bell, J.T. Barrett, Ezekiel Elliott, Jalin Marshall, Eli Apple and Dontre Wilson.

Bosa made an immediate impact for the Buckeyes. He started 10 games as a true freshman in 2013, collecting 44 tackles, 13.5 tackles for loss and 7.5 sacks, earning Freshman All-American team honors from several publications. He was also named honorable mention All-Big Ten by the league's coaches.

Bosa has followed up on the impressive freshman campaign and become one of college football’s top defensive players in 2014. He was recently named the Big Ten Defensive Player of the Year after recording 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, which both led the conference. Bosa also made a tackle for loss in 14 straight games dating to last season and has a TFL in 17 of the last 18 contests.

Honorable mention: Reese Dismukes, No. 56 in 2011 class. Dismukes picked Auburn over early favorite Alabama out of Spanish Fort High in April 2010. Dismukes is finishing up his fourth year as the starting center for Auburn and this week took home the Rimington Trophy as the top center in college football after a second straight All-SEC first-team selection. The Auburn 2011 recruiting class included offensive tackle Greg Robinson and running back Tre Mason along with Dismukes.

ESPN.com's All-Big Ten team

December, 12, 2014
Dec 12
The Big Ten unveiled its official all-league teams last week, but we have our own thoughts and choices. Here is the ESPN.com All-Big Ten team for 2014:


QB: J.T. Barrett, Ohio State: Barrett broke the Big Ten single-season record for touchdowns produced with 45. He would have added to that total if not for a broken ankle in the regular-season finale vs. Michigan.

RB: Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin: All he did was lead the FBS in rushing, break the Big Ten single-season rushing record and earn the Big Ten’s offensive player of the year honors.

RB: Tevin Coleman, Indiana: Coleman joined Gordon as the only other player in the country to top 2,000 yards; he would have been a serious Heisman contender in another year or on a more successful team.

WR: Tony Lippett, Michigan State: The Big Ten’s receiver of the year led the league with 1,124 receiving yards and 10 touchdowns.

WR: Leonte Carroo, Rutgers: Carroo joined Lippett at over 1,000 yards and averaged 19.7 yards per catch.

TE: Maxx Williams, Minnesota: A John Mackey Award finalist, Williams was the Golden Gophers’ top receiver and crucial cog in their run game.

OT: Taylor Decker, Ohio State: Anchored a Buckeyes offensive line that developed into one of the league’s best over the course of the season.

OT: Brandon Scherff, Iowa: He was named the Big Ten offensive lineman of the year and is a surefire NFL first-round draft pick.

C: Jack Allen, Michigan State: The Spartans gave up fewer sacks (10) than any Big Ten club and had one of the league’s top offenses with Allen at the point of attack.

G: Kyle Costigan, Wisconsin: An ESPN All-American, Costigan helped pave the way for Gordon’s record-breaking runs.

G: Pat Elflein, Ohio State: He was a sturdy performer all season on the Buckeyes’ line as the offense scored at a rapid pace.


DE: Joey Bosa, Ohio State: The Big Ten defensive player of the year led the league in sacks (13.5) and tackles for loss (20) and tied for the lead with four forced fumbles.

DE: Shilique Calhoun, Michigan State: After a quiet start, Calhoun got back to his dominating ways and finished with 6.5 sacks.

DT: Anthony Zettel, Penn State: With eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss from the defensive tackle position, Zettel was the most disruptive interior lineman in the conference.

DT: Louis Trinca-Pasat, Iowa: LTP was a pleasant surprise for the Hawkeyes, leading the team with 11 tackles for loss and adding 6.5 sacks.

LB: Mike Hull, Penn State: Hull was the Big Ten linebacker of the year and led the league with 134 tackles.

LB: Jake Ryan, Michigan: Ryan turned in a strong senior season with 112 tackles and 14 tackles for loss.

LB: Derek Landisch, Wisconsin: Any one of the Badgers’ four “Chevy Bad Boys” linebackers could have made the first team, but Landisch led the team with nine sacks and 16 tackles for loss.

DB: William Likely, Maryland: A big-play machine, Likely grabbed six interceptions and scored touchdowns on two of them.

DB: Briean Boddy-Calhoun, Minnesota: Like Likely, he was always in the middle of the action with four picks and a key strip late to seal the Nebraska win.

DB: Trae Waynes, Michigan State: Probably the best pure cover guy in the league, Waynes is asked to do a whole lot as the point man in the Spartans' "No Fly Zone."

DB: Michael Caputo, Wisconsin: Caputo was the leader from his safety spot for a defense that was the best in the league during the regular season; he finished with 99 tackles.


K: Brad Craddock, Maryland: The Big Ten kicker of the year made his first 18 field goals this season, including a 57-yarder and a game-winner at Penn State.

P: Peter Mortell, Minnesota: Mortell was a field-position weapon for the Gophers, leading the league with a 45.5-yard average per attempt

PR: De'Mornay Pierson-El, Nebraska: The freshman scored three touchdowns on punt returns and had a preposterous 17.8 yard average for the season.

All-purpose: Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska: We had to find a spot for Abdullah on the team, and since he returned kicks and was extremely versatile as a running back, this seemed like a good spot.

Big Ten morning links

December, 12, 2014
Dec 12
Wisconsin survived its first full day since way back in 2012 without a head coach, though the search to replace Gary Andersen -- set to to be introduced Friday at Oregon State -- appears set end quickly.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reported Thursday night that the school is prepared to hire Pitt coach Paul Chryst, a former UW quarterback and offensive coordinator.

It’s a delicate situation, of course, for the Badgers, the uprooted assistant coaches and their families -- not to be taken lightly. But perhaps the most interesting byproduct of Andersen’s unexpected departure is the news that Barry Alvarez will coach Wisconsin in its bowl game. Again.

Alvarez, the 67-year-old athletic director and Hall of Fame former coach of 16 years in Madison, led the Badgers in the 2013 Rose Bowl, a six-point loss to Stanford, after Bret Bielema bolted to Arkansas.

Alvarez ought to just coach the Badgers in every bowl game. In fact, other legends should follow suit and rejoin their former programs on the sideline in the postseason. Surely, the NCAA would allow a special 10th coach. If not, just make them interns.

Let’s bring back Bobby Bowden, Lou Holtz, Mack Brown (too soon?), Don Nehlen, Lavell Edwards, Hayden Fry, Barry Switzer and, if Indiana can get to six wins, Bill Mallory.

Yes, I’m joking. Slightly more serious about this, though: Nebraska has an opening on its staff for the Holiday Bowl. How about Tom Osborne? If Alvarez can go from the College Football Playoff selection committee to the sideline, why not Osborne?

Yeah, he’s 77, served three stints in Congress, lost a gubernatorial primary in Nebraska -- did that really happen? -- and spent five years as athletic director since coaching his last game, a resounding win over Peyton Manning and Tennessee in the 1998 Orange Bowl.

But Osborne has perhaps never watched more college football than in this season. He must have some ideas on how the Huskers could surprise USC. One more fumblerooski up his sleeve.

What an experience it would be for Barney Cotton, long loyal to Nebraska, to have the ex-coach at his side. Cotton played under Osborne from 1975-78, then sent his three sons to Nebraska. It could also be a meaningful sendoff for Ron Brown, the Nebraska running backs coach who worked alongside Osborne in the legendary coach’s final 11 seasons.

Might help a bit with ticket sales, too, and inject a little spice into a game that means a great deal to several Huskers who want to honor their former coach, Bo Pelini, but realistically, little to the forward movement of the program.

Alvarez played linebacker for Bob Devaney on Nebraska teams of the 1960s that included Osborne as an offensive assistant. If Barry can do it, so can Tom.

Alas, it’s unrealistic. Osborne would likely never thrust himself into the spotlight in such a way. But just let me dream.

Thursday in Lake Buena Vista, Florida...

Lots of hardware

What a night on the Disney Boardwalk at the College Football Awards Show. The Big Ten had a good showing, as Iowa offensive tackle Brandon Scherff won the Outland Trophy, presented to the nation's top interior lineman; Maryland's Brad Craddock took home the Lou Groza Award as the top place-kicker; and Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon beat finalists Tevin Coleman of Indiana and Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska for the Doak Walker Award, given to the best running back.

Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright won the Bednarik Award, given to the best defensive player. Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa was among the finalists.

Also, Nebraska wide receiver Jordan Westerkamp won a vote for college football's play of the year for his behind-the-back catch in the season opener.

Around the league:

West Division
  • As expected, Gordon plans to leave after this season for the NFL.
  • Some confusion exists over Iowa's starting quarterback for the TaxSlayer Bowl.
  • A meeting with Missouri in the Citrus Bowl is a "big step" for Minnesota, according to coach Jerry Kill.
  • One of Purdue's recent football brings a French flavor, by way of a California junior college.
  • Northwestern needs to make changes, writes Teddy Greenstein, but will it happen?
  • The competition continues at Illinois during bowl practices.
East Division
  • Urban Meyer and Nick Saban have already met once in a playoff. They sat side by side Thursday and recalled the 2009 SEC championship game.
  • No surprise that Michigan wide receiver Devin Funchess did not meet his own expectations this year.
  • The explanation of playoff committee chair Jeff Long on Mississippi State's final-week jump over Michigan State does not erase flaws in the process, writes Graham Couch.
  • Indiana lands UAB receiver Marqui Hawkins but misses a juco QB target.
  • Freshman quarterback Michael O'Connor is leaving Penn State.
  • Maryland coach Randy Edsall, in San Francisco on Thursday, to discuss the Terps' matchup with Stanford, says receiver Stefon Diggs will play in the Foster Farms Bowl.
  • The salary pool for Rutgers' assistant coaches ranks eighth in the Big Ten.

Nick Saban, Urban Meyer, Mark Helfrich and Jimbo Fisher look ahead to the start of the College Football Playoff.

Gene Chizik and Greg McElroy chose the key players for Alabama and Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl.

B1G roundtable: Bowl thoughts, Part IV

December, 11, 2014
Dec 11
Each day this week, our Big Ten panel of experts is weighing in on a topic related to the league's postseason lineup.

Today's question: What will be the most lopsided bowl game involving a Big Ten team?

Austin Ward: There’s no question which team will be most excited about its appearance in the TaxSlayer Bowl, and it’s the same one that appears to be trending upward while the other seems mired in mediocrity. Iowa is capable of putting big numbers on the scoreboard and shutting opponents down defensively, but it was perhaps the most inconsistent squad in the Big Ten this season. The Vols, meanwhile, will have no shortage of motivation, they are emerging on both sides of the ball with a lot of young talent and a coming-out party could come at the expense of the Hawkeyes.

Adam Rittenberg: I'm worried about Nebraska. It's always tricky predicting how teams perform in bowls after coaching changes, and I tend to think Ameer Abdullah, Kenny Bell and the other leaders will keep the Huskers grounded. But when USC is on its game, especially offensively, the Trojans are one of the nation's best teams. I don't see Nebraska's defense keeping pace with USC stars Cody Kessler, Buck Allen and Nelson Agholor.

Dan Murphy: There are no guaranteed laughers in this group. One game that has some potential to get out of hand is Tennessee-Iowa. The Hawkeyes have been impossible to predict this season and the Vols have a roster full of young, talented players that could benefit from an extra couple weeks of practice time.

Mitch Sherman: Hate to say it after the good vibes of the Mike Riley hire in recent days, but Nebraska might get exposed against USC. The Huskers, as a program, are in transition as most of the coaches, if not all, in charge of bowl preparation plan for a future at different schools. Organization may suffer. Focus could be a concern for the Huskers, who would likely struggle to slow Kessler and Agholor if none of these exterior issues existed. Nebraska’s best hope is to let it all hang out. Really, there’s nothing to lose -- except the game, by a sizeable margin.

Josh Moyer: Nebraska could have its hands full with USC’s offense, so that one really has the potential to be lopsided. The Trojans boast the nation’s No. 25 scoring offense, and the Huskers haven’t seen a passing attack quite like this all season. Kessler completed 70.7 percent of his passes, while throwing for 3,305 yards, 36 touchdowns and just four interceptions. Without Bo Pelini, Nebraska isn’t in the best spot, either -- so I think there are simply too many things working against it here.

Brian Bennett: Alabama is nearly a 10-point favorite over Ohio State and I fear this is not a great matchup for the Buckeyes. Giving Nick Saban a month to prepare with a motivated team is hardly ever a recipe for success. Of course, it's also hard to bet against Urban Meyer, and I picked Ohio State to lose to both Michigan State and Wisconsin. So you really don't want to bet on my picks.

Bednarik Award: The case for Joey Bosa

December, 11, 2014
Dec 11
The intention was to unleash a pair of athletic defensive ends simultaneously, twin terrors up front that would give Ohio State perhaps the most fearsome line in the nation.

That plan quickly fell apart, but it didn't make any difference to the Buckeyes. Joey Bosa just dialed up his own production and effectively crammed the stats sheet with enough numbers for two men.

[+] EnlargeJoey Bosa
Jonathan Ernst/Getty ImagesOhio State's Joey Bosa has made a strong case this season to take home the Bednarik Award, which is given to the top defensive player in college football.
It's scary to think what Ohio State might have been able to do if former All-Big Ten pass-rusher Noah Spence hadn't been suspended and ultimately ruled permanently ineligible by the conference for failing two drugs tests, because even in the face of double teams and schemes designed to minimize Bosa's impact, the freakishly athletic sophomore still took over games on a weekly basis.

He finished the regular season with 20 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks, forced 4 fumbles and returned a recovery for a touchdown as part of the blowout in the Big Ten championship game over Wisconsin. And he wasn't exactly stuffing the box score against just the lightweights on the schedule, proving himself consistently throughout the entire season with a tackle for loss in every game but two and chipping in more than one hit in the backfield on seven different occasions.

Each of his forced fumbles led to points for the Buckeyes. He clinched a critical double-overtime road win against Penn State with a "walk-off" sack. And while his celebratory "shrug" after big plays doesn't count as impacting the game any, it was infectious with the Buckeyes as he blossomed into a fun-loving teammate who could also lead by example with his relentless work ethic.

There's no question that the other two finalists for the Bednarik Award have their strong points. Arizona's Scooby Wright III has eye-popping stats, though his role is different than the one Bosa fills for the Buckeyes and puts him in position to make more plays. And Clemson's Vic Beasley is a handful for any offensive line, but his numbers simply don't match up with Bosa's across the board.

Win or lose, Bosa is probably going to throw up his arms in the same pose and shake it off. He deserves to take home the trophy this year, though, and if he doesn't, count on him making it even more difficult to deny him next season.

If this season proved anything, it's that Bosa is only getting better -- and he's terrifying all on his own.

Big Ten season recruiting superlatives 

December, 11, 2014
Dec 11
While the recruiting season isn't quite finished, we are done with the regular season. It has been a crazy year within the Big Ten with coaching changes, big commits and big decommits as well. Here is a closer look at the Big Ten's recruiting superlatives.

Big Ten morning links

December, 11, 2014
Dec 11
Well, that was sure an unexpected turn of events. Make that three new coaches for the Big Ten next season.

Blindsiding Bucky: As if getting destroyed in the Big Ten championship game hadn’t already made for a miserable week for Wisconsin, it somehow got even worse on Wednesday. Which was more shocking, the 59-0 loss to Ohio State on Saturday or Gary Andersen’s swift departure just a handful of days later? For that matter, who could have envisioned he would leave for Oregon State instead of a more prestigious job like maybe Florida or Michigan? This was truly a shocker, and the Badgers are no doubt reeling. The Beavers had previously kicked the tires on Brady Hoke, and a reasonable case could have been made that what amounted to a trade with Nebraska for Bo Pelini would have qualified as a successful hire given his consistent track record as a winner. But instead of two out-of-work Big Ten coaches, Oregon State landed a current division winner. And that means Wisconsin should take a long, hard look in the mirror at itself and figure out why it is looking for another coach. Awards season: The Big Ten is guaranteed to be stuffing at least one trophy in its luggage tonight at the Home Depot College Football Awards show, with all three finalists for the Doak Walker Award hailing from the conference. But how many more might the league win? There aren’t all that many options, but Joey Bosa is a realistic threat to claim the Bednarik for the defensive player of the year thanks to his breakout season up front for the Buckeyes. Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff may not have had his finest campaign this year, but he remains extremely well regarded as a pro prospect and could walk out with the Outland honoring linemen. But for the most part, aside from the Walker, it doesn’t figure to be an event that does a whole lot of celebrating the Big Ten.

Texas Tom: With a Broyles Award now officially in his trophy case and a cell phone in hand that was already receiving calls about jobs before Tuesday, expect the conversations about Ohio State offensive coordinator Tom Herman as a future head coach to continue to heat up while he tries to focus on preparing for the College Football Playoff. After Houston made its opening official on Monday, that seems like a logical landing spot for Herman and a potentially perfect fit for that program with a rising star in the profession who knows the spread attack and has been masterful in developing quarterbacks. On top of that, Herman has previous ties to the area as a former assistant at Rice, and he’s earned a reputation for recruiting in Texas despite the long distance to Ohio State. He might even be able to bring along a Houston native with him to work with the quarterbacks if his former pupil Kenny Guiton is ready to get into the profession.

East Division
  • The Michigan athletic department has made a hire -- but it's a public relations firm, not a coach.
  • Michigan State has a chance to improve its stature against an opponent that has impressed Mark Dantonio.
  • Can Penn State slow down Boston College dual-threat quarterback Tyler Murphy?
  • Taking a closer look at what Maryland's assistants are earning.
  • Evaluating Rutgers on offense this year as compared to last season.
  • The price is steep, but that isn't keeping Ohio State fans from snatching up tickets for the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
  • Indiana swooped in to pick up a former UAB wide receiver.
West Division
  • The other Wisconsin departure was anticipated all along, and Melvin Gordon isn't keeping it a secret.
  • There's a buzz around the bowl game for Minnesota this postseason.
  • Complete details for Mike Riley's contract at Nebraska have been revealed.
  • A former Purdue running back is carving out a career as a model after winning a reality show.
  • Iowa left tackle Brandon Scherff remains a man of few words.
  • Illinois is happy to be heading to a bowl game, but it is aware there is work to be done.

Scooby Wright wins Lombardi Award

December, 10, 2014
Dec 10

HOUSTON -- Arizona linebacker Scooby Wright won the Lombardi Award on Wednesday night as the nation's best lineman.

The sophomore edged Clemson senior defensive end Vic Beasley, Washington senior linebacker Hau'oli Kikaha and Ohio State sophomore defensive end Joey Bosa for the award presented by the Rotary Club of Houston.

Wright won the Bronko Nagurski Award on Monday night as the top college defensive player, and was the Pac-12 Defensive Player of the Year. He's also in the running for the Walter Camp Player of the Year Award.

"It's a great honor, but it's representative of the University of Arizona defense and the whole program," Wright said about winning the Nagurski and Lombardi Awards.

The first Arizona player to win the Lombardi, Wright is driven by being snubbed by coaches out of high school, with the Wildcats the only Division I school to offer him a scholarship.

"It's definitely fueled me," Wright said. "At times you don't feel like working out and doing stuff, you always have to prove guys wrong. People said I was not going to be an impact player in the Pac-12. I even had some college coaches tell me to look at JUCO. The only Division I offer was from the University of Arizona. I'm just enjoying it."

Wright said his two favorite plays this season were sacking Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and against rival Arizona State, stripping the ball before scooping it up and scoring on the first drive.

(Read full post)


Ivan Maisel discusses his profile of two-time Heisman Trophy winner Archie Griffin.

J.T. Barrett, woman made 911 calls

December, 10, 2014
Dec 10

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett and his ex-girlfriend made 911 calls on Tuesday morning alleging each attacked the other.

Columbus Police responded to calls for a domestic dispute at Barrett's apartment. Barrett and the woman both declined to file charges, and police said that neither had visible injuries.

The case will be referred to the prosecutor's office, and any charges would have to be prompted by either Barrett or his ex-girlfriend.

Barrett, a redshirt freshman who started the entire regular season for the No. 4 Buckeyes before breaking his ankle against Michigan, accused the woman of refusing to leave his apartment, according to the police report.

In a separate call, the woman said Barrett choked her and flung her across the room.

Ohio State spokesman Jerry Emig told the Columbus Dispatch that the school was "aware of the report."

"We understand there were no charges filed," he told the paper. "We are looking into it."

The Ohio State staff, including coach Urban Meyer, is currently on the road recruiting.

According to the police report, Barrett said the woman ran at him and hit him before he pushed her away in self-defense, causing her to fall on a bed. The woman said Barrett confronted her in his bedroom and used his forearm to apply pressure on her neck and tried to take away her cell phone.

(Read full post)

Big Ten Wednesday mailbag

December, 10, 2014
Dec 10
The regular season is over. The mailbag lives on.

Mitch Sherman: It's so difficult to identify one way to beat Alabama. The Crimson Tide, statistically, are good just about everywhere, with a slight vulnerability against a strong passing game. No way, though, do I think Ohio State's key to success is to throw over the top of the Alabama defense. That's playing right into the hands of Nick Saban. Blake Sims has been so good, and Amari Cooper is just about unstoppable, but I think the Buckeyes' only chance to slow Alabama's offense is to cut out its legs -- slow the ground game. Good luck against T.J. Yeldon and Derrick Henry. But Ohio State has to start somewhere, and that's as good a spot as any. Mitch Sherman: The extra preparation time alone, regardless of opponent, often amounts to something of a death sentence for opponents of Saban-coached teams. Really, Ohio State didn't wow Wisconsin in the Big Ten title with a whole set of new offensive looks. Urban Meyer's offense is a known commodity. Surely, Saban recalls it. Alabama will be ready for Jones. And really, Jones' game against the Badgers figures to benefit Ohio State more than the Crimson Tide. Mitch Sherman: I like lots about the hire. Riley is a seasoned coach who brings a new attitude to Nebraska. I think fans and players will embrace his style. But like anything new, it's impossible to judge completely until a body of work exists. If Nebraska gets over the hump as a program, wins a league title and plays consistently competitive football in big games, the change was worth it. If not, Nebraska made a mistake. As for Michigan, sure, it can get a decent coach. We're talking about Michigan. Just don't expect it to happen overnight. At this point, the pre-dead period recruiting time is essentially lost. The Wolverines might be waiting a few weeks -- more specifically, until the end of the NFL season. Mitch Sherman: Probably never. With the nine-game league schedule set to start in 2017, it just doesn't make sense, logistically, to lock in a set of games against teams from a specific Power-5 league. The Big Ten tried -- and failed -- to work an arrangement with the Pac-12. This just isn't like basketball, which has so much more room with which to work in the nonconference season. And the alternative can be better. With upcoming games such as Alabama-Wisconsin (2015), Northwestern-Stanford (2015-16), LSU-Wisconsin (2016), Michigan-Florida (2017), Ohio State-Oklahoma (2016-17), Nebraska-Oregon (2016-17) and Michigan State-Arizona State (2018-19), why focus on a rivalry with one single league? Mitch Sherman: The Scarlet Knights can have one of the best running games in the Big Ten. With the league losing the likes of Melvin Gordon, Ameer Abdullah, David Cobb, Jeremy Langford and possibly Tevin Coleman, there's a void in the category of great backs. Perhaps Paul James, who ran for 363 yards and seven touchdowns in four games, can fill it. He ought to recover from an ACL tear, suffered Sept. 20 against Navy, in plenty of time for his senior season. Not enough carries exist to please James in addition to Josh Hicks, Robert Martin, Desmon Peoples and Justin Goodwin. But the competition should be fierce in the spring and spill over to August as Rutgers looks for an offensive identity without quarterback Gary Nova. For a team that ranked 10th in the Big 12 in rushing, the ground game is a good place to expect big improvement.


Saban vs. Meyer
Trevor Matich discusses the coaching matchup in the Allstate Sugar Bowl between Alabama's Nick Saban and Ohio State's Urban Meyer.


Saturday, 12/20
Monday, 12/22
Tuesday, 12/23
Wednesday, 12/24
Friday, 12/26
Saturday, 12/27
Monday, 12/29
Tuesday, 12/30
Wednesday, 12/31
Thursday, 1/1
Friday, 1/2
Saturday, 1/3
Sunday, 1/4
Monday, 1/12