Big Ten Guru

Big Ten Guru Becoming Chicago Sports Guru

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

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It's time for the Chicago Now blog Big Ten Guru to graduate and find a new home. Actually it's graduating and picking up a master's and doctorate degrees on the same stage as BTG now expands and morphs into Chicago Sports Guru.

Why? Because there's no doubt that Chicago is the best sports town in history. It's the city that's been home to: the greatest basketball player on Earth, the most iconic Super Bowl team of all-time, the biggest scandal in baseball history, and the most infamous postseason droughts in all of sports. The premier collegiate athletic conference in all of sports is headquartered here and the city is host to the NBA Draft Combine every spring.

In short, our news is national news and you can't properly get the big picture until you see the Chicago perspective. It's the national picture with a Midwest focus.

And the place to get that perspective is Chicago Sports Guru at Chicago Now.

From now on, all future updates of Big Ten Guru will be happening at Chicago Sports Guru.

Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger Scandal Being Covered by Major Media Now

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

jenn sterger

I really wasn't sure if the Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger sexting scandal would get picked up the mainstream media. Sure, it's plenty newsworthy, but given what I know of the sports promotional firm known as ESPN, and the horrible precedent they set within the industry, I figured the MSM might drop the ball once again. I thought it could be the sports media equivalent of the news media handling the run-up to the Iraq war.

Remember that? In 2002-03, the media establishment's coverage of the upcoming Iraq invasion might be summed by this sentence:

"Everything Bush/Cheney/Condi/Rummy says is 100% right, never to be questioned, and if you don't want to go to war this exact second you are a terrorist/communist/nazi/spineless pansy."

And since the Minnesota Vikings QB is the closest thing we have to a sacrosanct omnipotent being in the NFL/sports, I was worried it would happen again.

Glad I'm wrong.

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Notre Dame Basketball Media Day Review

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

mike brey

When it's 85 degrees outside, it's somewhat difficult to think about college basketball season, but practice is underway and Notre Dame Media Day is already over.

It was interesting to see if ND Head Coach Mike Brey would still rock his trademark mock turtleneck underneath a sport coat today, as this afternoon was shorts and flip-flop weather.

And the light-hearted banter I walked in on (a bit late unfortunately) was all about the topic of wardbrobe, the NBA's new dress code for coaches and how the mock doesn't work for men who are out of shape.

Then the press conference officially began and it was all business. Well, basketball actually, because that's the business at hand.

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On Favre Sexting Saga, Jenn Sterger's Silence is Golden

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

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Tonight's ESPN broadcast of Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings versus the New York Jets on Monday Night Football will be fascinating to watch; and I'm not talking about only the football game. All the evidence of Favre's sexting of Jenn Sterger is common knowledge, and the subject is being widely discussed in most mediums of NFL coverage.

But what will ESPN do tonight? How will they cover an obvious black-eye for their all-time favorite player? Will they strangle the golden goose in the name of journalistic integrity?

Favre will not address the allegations, but he also won't deny them. And Ms. Sterger has been silent about the entire situation. So critics deriding her as a publicity wh*** are proven wrong, as she has done nothing opportunistic so far. Of course, I will strike that sentence from the record if/when it's revealed she sold the material to a third party, who later turned it over to Deadspin.

And Deadspin's critics have been proven wrong too. The website had the goods to back up their claims; and there was substance supporting the rumors and gossip. They're actually the whistleblower here, as two more Jets-employed women came forward after the cell phone pics surfaced to indicate Favre harassed them.

We'll discuss the two "winners" in more detail later, but first let's discuss those who took some hits these past couple days.

Totally awesome graphic at the top of this page created by Yardbarker.com
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Defending Deadspin's Decision to Publish Favre Sexting Material

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

jenn-sterger-jets

Obviously, if there's one big winner in the Brett Favre-Jenn Sterger sexting saga it's Deadspin. And deservedly so, there's a reason ESPN employees get fired if they're caught browsing it at work (True story! I got additional confirmation from other sources on the existence of this practice over the weekend).

If there's any justice in the world, Deadspin achieved 20-30 million page views these past few days.

Because the process they employed in releasing this information to the public was the polar opposite of LeBron James/ESPN's "The Decision." LeBron's reality special was more of a publicity train wreck on multiple levels than Fox's "Who wants to marry a millionaire?" in 2000.

But the site that provides sports news without access, favor or discretion had the perfect storm going for them here with Favre-Sterger and they capitalized on it.

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Polls, Ohio State Realize #2 is not a Winner, #3 Nobody Remembers

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

ohio state cheerleader

The great American poet Cornell Haynes once posed this existential query:

"What does it take to be #1, two is not a winner, and three nobody remembers." In slightly more recent history, another local wordsmith named Kanye West stated "number one can't put nothing above that. You deserve a verse from me, we're going to party like it's our anniversary."

Today, the Ohio State Buckeyes, favorites to win the Big Ten and contend for a national title, are living these lyrics. With the South Carolina upset over Alabama, the polls have deemed the Buckeyes the new rulers of college football.

OSU fans, I hope you run these two rap references into the ground, exactly like I did in 2004-05 when Illinois was #1 for most of the basketball season.

Here's what some of the stars of the team had to say about it:

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Notre Dame QB Dayne Crist is Developing Quickly

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

dayne crist

In the shadow of Touchdown Jesus at Notre Dame Stadium a savior named Crist is possibly emerging. Remember his name is Crist not Christ, so don't expect miracles right away. But Notre Dame junior QB Dayne Crist is putting up numbers that have been much better than anyone would expect given his lack of prior experience. He's made only six career starts, all this season, and for a program that's transitioning to a new coach and a new field general in 2010, his solid consistency within those six starts is a welcome comfort.

After going 24-39 for 242 with a touchdown pass and no picks versus Pitt, Crist discussed his progress.

"It's still a work in progress, I would say.  It's still continuing to develop.  We did some good things today and did some things that we'd like to correct," he said.

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Inside the Notre Dame Golden Dome (Basilica Videos)

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

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If there's one fight song that non-college football songs know, it would be Notre Dame's "Victory March," likewise for their Alma Mater song "Notre Dame, Our Mother." You don't have to be "Rudy" or someone sharing his prodigious passion for ND football to appreciate this video shot by my friend Stephanie Kuzydym inside the Golden Dome on gameday.

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Brandon Lloyd is Really Almost the NFL's Leading Receiver?

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

brandon_lloyd

You're joking right? The same Brandon Lloyd who used to say what's up to me when we'd pass each other on the quad walking to class at the University of Illinois. The same guy who was the subject of one of my first ever newspaper assignments at the Daily Illini. That's who has 454 receiving yards in four games, just two shy of Reggie Wayne for the NFL lead. Really, the Denver Broncos wideout?

The same guy who had a good quarter of a season with the Chicago Bears in 2008, before getting injured/falling out of favor with the coaches/focusing less on football and more on his R&B career and then being let out of Chicago?

That Brandon Lloyd? Yes.

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Ohio State Experiences the Healing Power of the Indiana Hoosiers

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth


Going into the Indiana game, the Ohio State Buckeyes had plenty to worry about. How would the Buckeye's banged up secondary hold up against Ben Chappell and the Hoosier's prolific passing attack? How much would Terrelle Pryor's thigh injury inhibit an Ohio State offense that has relied on his explosive runs when their backs were against the wall? But what seemed like threats from the Hoosier squad at kickoff turned into the perfect treatment for Ohio State to smooth out their rough edges.

By Hans Hetrick

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Illinois Wins in Happy Valley For The First Time Ever

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth


As a noted critic of Ron Zook, I want everyone to take note that this does NOT absolve him for his sins. It absolutely doesn't. I had to even write another sentence to emphasize and link another"Ron Zook is bad" story because that's how many times I've written it.

But on this Saturday, on October 9th, 2010, for this one day only...We, the Illini Nation, are at peace.

We are celebrating that our long national nightmare is finally over.

We have defeated Penn State in our own personal House of Horrors, Beaver Stadium.
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Favre-Sterger Incident Puts ESPN, NFL on the Spot

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

sterger

As we found out yesterday, the Jenn Sterger allegations against Brett Favre are indeed true. Deadspin delivered the goods, and the only way Favre could be innocent, is if some elaborate and carefully orchestrated conspiracy/cover-up were at work. You know those people who don't believe in the moon landing? Or think O.J. was framed? Or believe 9/11 was an inside job? The conspiracy would have to be that complex.

So now that the bomb has been dropped and the mushroom cloud is smoking, time to deal with the fallout.

Let's overlook the fact that Sterger looks EXACTLY like Deanna Favre on a 15 year delay with fake breasts (and later, sans fake breasts) for a moment. Yes, this story is very sophomoric, but both ESPN and the NFL are accountable here. Because it's also serious.

Roger Goodell has been attempting to legislate morality in his league for some time, and ESPN has become a sports marketing company; and less a sports news corporation these past few years. It's time for both to go to work.

By Paul M. Banks

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Notre Dame vs. Pittsburgh: Brutally Honest Game Preview

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

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With three of their first four against ranked teams, Notre Dame had their "echoes woken up" on them right off the bat. But at least they had some desert last week in the form of rival Boston College. Having a 2-3 record after consuming the meat and potatoes of their schedule isn't catastrophic. But now you can "shake down the thunder" because the cupcakes are coming! And with the remaining schedule, 7-5 in 2010 still seems very doable.

This week, they welcome Dave Wannstedt (a begrudgingly familiar site to Chicago Bears fans) and his 2-2 Pittsburgh Panthers to Notre Dame Stadium. Wanny has always been like a football version of a sitcom stock character. "Oh, that wacky neighbor Wanny! What hi-jinks and tomfoolery will ensue on this weekend's episode?"

Well, if you want to learn more about Pitt and their players, start watching "America's Most Wanted" because this team has more arrests than Rick James and Lindsay Lohan combined.

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Northwestern vs. Purdue: Brutally Honest Game Preview

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

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Part two of my Saturday double-dip is under the lights. The primetime game at Ryan Field is just the 12th night game in NU's home stadium history. Interestingly, the night contest will be played almost 75 years to the day of the first-ever night game in Big Ten history. That game also involved Northwestern and Purdue, on Oct. 5, 1935 in Evanston. What a coincidence.

And I may seem some history Saturday night, as Northwestern has not started 6-0 since 1962, the last time Northwestern was ranked No. 1 in the nation. Yes, that's right, the Wildcats were once ranked #1 at some point in program history. It's safe to say they won't be ranked #1 at any point in 2010, even though they may just go undefeated this season. No seriously, as we discussed here, look at their schedule and 12-0 is doable. Ok, that actually has a very small chance of happening- but still they're a very good team.

Special thanks and credit to Spread Far the Fame for the graphic above. They have the best NU blog of all. Be sure to check them out.

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Michigan, Michigan State, Ohio State well Represented in NHL

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

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You know what today is? Hockey's opening day, and with it time to break down all the team's rosters. In all, 57 former CCHA players are on NHL opening-day rosters. Michigan leads the way with 15, followed by Michigan State with 11.

Six Ohio State Buckeyes are on NHL opening-day rosters, ranking third among CCHA schools. So the Big Ten is definitely in the hizouse here.

Four NHL regulars from 2009-10 return to their squads for the new year - R.J. Umberger in Columbus, Dave Steckel in Washington, Ryan Kesler in Vancouver and Rod Pelley in New Jersey. Zac Dalpe, who left Ohio State in the spring after two seasons, earned a spot in Carolina's lineup after his first training camp. Tyson Strachan is on the opening-day roster for St. Louis after playing eight games for the Blues a season ago.

Dalpe's  Hurricanes take on the Minnesota Wild at noon ET Thursday as part of the 2010 Compuware NHL Premiere Series in Helsinki, Finland, to open the 2010-11 NHL campaign (live on Versus and TSN).

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What Else Can Go Wrong For The Green Bay Packers?

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth


Entering the season, the Green Bay Packers were the trendy pick for the NFC's representative in the Super Bowl. I would be interested to see how many of those people would like to go back and change their predictions after watching the team lose three key starters to significant injuries. To make matters worse, the Packers failed at pursuing RB Marshawn Lynch and now have to play the Vikings' Randy Moss (historically a Packer killer) at least twice this season.

Here's a breakdown of each of the Packers' early misfortunes and what they need to do to win the NFC North.

By: Nick Grays

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2010-2011 Chicago Blackhawks Season Preview

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

patrick kane drinking

It's that time of year again!!! The air is getting colder, and the sweaters are coming out.  The hockey sweaters that is.  Well maybe not today exactly in Chicago- it's actually perfect and 75 out today. And it'll be almost 80 this weekend. But eventually, probably a few games into the regular season, it will get cold, and it will be officially hockey season. Opening Day of the NHL 2010-11 season is here and today, we take a look at the Chicago Blackhawks, and what to expect for the season.

As you can see from the picture above, Patrick Kane and company, the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, are the toast of the town, America's #1 sports town.

By: Bryan Vickroy

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Deadspin Publishes Jenn Sterger's X-Rated Pics of Brett Favre

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

jenn sterger

You remember this story from the summer? When Deadspin claimed to have the goods on former Green Bay Packer, New York Jets, and current Minnesota Vikings starting QB Brett Favre. More specifically, claiming that media wh*** Jenn Sterger had pics of Favre's genitalia. It caused quite a stir; it even inspired a hilarious music video.

Still, I was shocked that this story went pretty much ignored by a majority of the mainstream media. Shouldn't this have been a much bigger NFL story? Well, it's about to become one. Especially now that Deadspin claims a Jets PR person may have acted as a liaison between Favre and Sterger.

Wow! it's been a real negative publicity storm for the New York Jets lately.

Ines Sainz, Braylon Edwards, and the inability of both Rex Ryan and Darrelle Revis to keep their mouths shut. It's the perfect storm alright.

Anyways, if Deadspin delivers on what they say they have, D-day is here.

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Randy Moss No longer Behaved "The Patriot Way"

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

randy-moss

Remember playing football in the schoolyard? When the quarterback, or maybe even the team itself, just decided not to throw to one individual for the whole game. Maybe you were that player being ignored, or maybe you're the one who acted petty, vindictive and childish. But the NFL is too professional for such acts, right?

Not exactly.

When the New England Patriots dismantled their division rival Dolphins in Miami 41-14 Monday night, they consciously ignored Moss. With this tacit act, Belichick made it publicly known that Randy had worn out his welcome in Foxboro.

While the timing of his trade to the Minnesota Vikings, and the deal itself seem senseless from New England's standpoint- take the time to look at it with more detail, from the organizational point of view- it makes perfect sense.

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Wolverines Denard Robinson: Truly Bigger than Jesus?

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

denard_robinson

The late John Lennon once got in trouble for saying that The Beatles were "bigger than Jesus." However, he simply conveyed a valid point- at that particular moment in history, the Beatles' popularity was arguably bigger than Jesus Christ in certain places. Lennon also gave us one of my all-time favorite quotes: "life is what happens when you're busy making other plans."

Both apply to Michigan Wolverines football and their QB, the Heisman Trophy front-runner Denard Robinson. His numbers, his media coverage and his persona are getting huge right now- by the end of senior year he could be bigger than Tim Tebow (i.e. bigger than Jesus.) In certain parts of Michigan, maybe so already.

And no one counted on nor expected this production. Remember the talk of a balanced attack in the spread-option? Remember the days when Tate Forcier was the starter? Denard is what happens when you make other plans.

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Sporting News Names Chicago #1 Sports City!

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

sporting-news-best sports city

October 6 - Chicago, with the Stanley Cup-winning Blackhawks and fast-rising Bulls leading the way, is No. 1 in Sporting News' 17th annual Best Sports Cities rankings. This is the third time the second city has received the honor.

The Windy City dethroned 2009's No. 1 Pittsburgh, a first-time winner in 2009 and No. 12 in 2010's rankings.

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Illinois' Demetri McCamey on Official Wooden Award Watch List

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

demetri mccamey

As he enters his senior year, Illinois point guard Demetri McCamey has secured his reputation as among the top players not only in the Big Ten, but the nation.

No one has doubted McCamey's potential, but there have been questions aplenty about his work ethic and maturity. However, he's made big strides all three years that he's been in Champaign, and now he finds himself a candidate to join his former high school teammate and friend Evan Turner as a winner of the Wooden Award.

Eleven conferences are represented on the Wooden Award Preseason List. Leading the way is the Big 10 (10), followed by the ACC (8), Big East (7), SEC (3), Big 12 (7), Pac-10 (6), Atlantic 10 (3), Mountain West (2), West Coast (2); and Conference USA, and the Horizon League with one apiece.

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Illini QB Nathan Scheelhaase needs to Throw More

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

illini-scheelhaase

Entering last Saturday, one of the keys to an Illinois upset over #2 Ohio State was for the Illini to attack the Buckeyes defense through the air. Sure, it's the weakest part of this Illini team, but the Buckeyes are so stout against the run that making plays in the passing game was critical.

The Illini hung with 'em for all but the last couple minutes, but ultimately failed in their upset bid. They made some plays in the vertical passing game during the first quarter, but their final box score showed less than 140 yards passing for the game. And they enter this Saturday's matchup with Penn State just 113/120 teams in all of FBS in passing offense.

We know that redshirt freshman QB Nathan Scheelhaase has a great arm. We now need to see him use it. We've seen him beat people on the ground, now we need to see Scheelhaase do it through the air.

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Northwestern's John Shurna named to Wooden Award Watch List

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

john shurna

Despite the departure of star forward Kevin Coble, things are looking up for the Northwestern hoops program. When was the last time a Wildcat player was named to the Wooden Award watch list? Evan Eschmeyer during one of his 12 years of college eligibility? Jim Stack in the 1960s?

Well you can add junior forward John Shurna to the list.

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Northwestern Nationally Ranked Again

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

willie-the-wildcat

The "Cardiac Cats" have broken through in the national polls. Off to a 5-0 start for the second time in three years, Northwestern climbed into the USA Today/Coaches' Top-25 football ranking today at No. 25. The Wildcats improved to 5-0 on the year and won their eighth straight regular-season contest Saturday with a 29-28 victory at lowly Minnesota.

They call them the Cardiac Cats because often when they win it's not by much, even against bottom feeders like the Gophers in Minneapolis.  (Or Eastern Michigan in '09, or Duke in '08) But still they "just win, baby" and the triumph marked the Wildcats' 10th road win--a Big Ten Conference-best--since the start of the 2008 season. Northwestern also improved to 17-6 in games decided by a touchdown or less in the Pat Fitzgerald era.

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Former Cub Matt Murton about to Become Japan's Hit Leader

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

matt_murton

Former MLB corner outfielder Matt Murton hit .286/.352/.436 in his 1,058 plate, 354 games for the Cubs, Rockies, and A's. However, the 2003 first round pick never made it in the big leagues. But in Japan he's hitting .349 with 17 home runs and 88 RBIs. He's not only big in Japan, he's historically huge in Japan.

According to Chicago Breaking Sports.com

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Buckeyes Jermale Hines Gives Ohio St. a Coach on the Field

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

jermale hines

Chicago may be nicknamed "the windy city," but there's another place in Illinois, about three hours south, reknown for powerful wind. (The "Windy City" moniker actually has nothing to do with wind. It actually originated with New York City politicians condescending to Chicago city officials who talked a big game about the 1893 World's Fair).

Zuppke Field, at University of Illinois' Memorial Stadium, is a place where gale force winds can affect the outcome of a game as much as player performances and coaching decisions. You might recall 2002 Chicago Bears vs. Detroit Lions, when Lions Coach Marty Mohrniweg made the ill-fated, bone-headed decision to give up the ball in overtime, in order to have that infamous wind at his back.

Ohio State senior free safety Jermale Hines noticed. "It was big because the offense is so limited. When facing the wind, they tend not to throw the ball too deep, a lot of short passes and things like that. And with the wind, they tend to try to go deep," the 6-1, 216 pound DB from Cleveland said.

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Bulls' Carlos Boozer out 8 Weeks

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

carlos boozer

It sure didn't take long for the serious injury bug to bite a NBA superstar. Less than a week after practice began, and a couple a days before preseason games begin, we have an announcement on the status of the Chicago Bulls' Carlos Boozer.
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Did Ron Zook Cost Illinois the Ohio State Game?

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth

ron zook

Is there any more activity over at fireronzook.com?

After Saturday's "moral victory" loss against #2-ranked Ohio State, it definitely should be.

While the Illini were not expected to be close, and weren't supposed to win the game, they were driving to tie late in the game, and had a chance to completely turn the college football world on its ear.

That's when Zook gagged on his headset mic.
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Scott Tolzien: Not the Flashiest of QBs, But Highly Effective

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thesportsbank

Businessman/entrepreneur first, journalist/writer second, marketer third, tech geek fourth


Wisconsin Badgers' starting quarterback Scott Tolzien may not be as flashy as Denard Robinson, Terrelle Pryor or even Ricky Stanzi, when it comes to his fellow Big Ten quarterbacks.

However, he does compare in effectiveness. The senior from Rolling Meadows, IL ranks eighth in the country with a passer rating of 176.2. His career pass efficiency of 149.8 is the best in Wisconsin history and ranks eighth among active FBS quarterbacks with at least 20 games started.

For a team which is always known for their running game, Badger quarterbacks are usually stuck in the role of an unsung hero. How many have already forgotten the names Jim Sorgi, John Stocco and Tyler Donovan?

Tolzien is doing his best to change the perception in Madison by establishing a passing game on one of the most high-powered offenses in the country.

By: Nick Grays

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