Big Ten

2015 could be final year of Big Ten's first-round QB drought

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2015 could be final year of Big Ten's first-round QB drought

It’s been quite a while since a Big Ten quarterback was selected in the first round of the NFL Draft.

To find the last time it happened, you have to go all the way back to 1995, when Penn State’s Kerry Collins was the No. 5 overall pick, a first-round selection of the Carolina Panthers. In fact, just two Big Ten quarterbacks have been first-round picks in the past 25 years, with Illinois’ Jeff George preceding Collins as the No. 1 overall pick in 1990.

This year’s first round was no different, with no Big Ten signal-callers getting to join Roger Goodell on stage Thursday night at the Auditorium Theater.

But there’s plenty of reason to believe that 2015 could be the final year of the Big Ten’s first-round drought when it comes to the most important position on the field.

[MORE BIG TEN: Three Big Ten players picked in NFL Draft's first round]

Next season, it's expected the streak will come to an end. And potentially in a big way, as Michigan State’s Connor Cook, Penn State’s Christian Hackenberg and Ohio State’s Cardale Jones all could be first-round selections, depending of course on how their respective 2015 seasons go.

Cook led the conference in passing yardage last season, completing 58.1 percent of his passes for 3,214 yards, the only Big Ten QB to surpass 3,000 yards through the air. Twenty four of his completions went for touchdowns as he guided one of the most prolific offenses in the country. And he left a pretty great final impression at the end of last season in the Cotton Bowl, leading Michigan State to a 20-point fourth-quarter comeback in a stunning win over Baylor.

Hackenberg’s sophomore season was somewhat of a disappointing follow-up in wake of his fantastic freshman campaign in 2013. The Penn State quarterback threw 15 interceptions and was under constant pressure as the Nittany Lions allowed 44 sacks. But despite all that, his 2,977 passing yards were the second most in the Big Ten. Plus, NFL scouts have been drooling over Hackenberg’s pro potential for years already.

[MORE BIG TEN: Hawkeyes fans' approval of Kirk Ferentz drops dramatically]

Jones might be as low as third on the Buckeyes’ quarterbacking depth chart when the season begins, but he might also be the Ohio State QB that pro teams want the most. Even if he’s used sparingly this season behind J.T. Barrett and Braxton Miller — though of course, Jones could still win the job, too — that likely won’t matter to NFL teams, who would love to have the 6-foot-5, 250-pound Jones. He displayed in three eye-popping postseason wins to guide Ohio State to a national championship his remarkable ability to throw the ball 70-plus yards down the field and run over defenders with his massive frame.

Even though Big Ten schools have produced Super Bowl winners over the past decade in Tom Brady, Drew Brees and Russell Wilson and exported a Heisman winner in Troy Smith, NFL teams have stayed away from drafting the conference's quarterbacks in the first round. But this year could be the last in that long stretch.

One NFL Draft website, WalterFootball.com, has Cook, Hackenberg and Jones all going in the top 10 of next year's draft.

Next year, when it comes to pro-bound quarterbacks, all eyes could be on the Big Ten.

Big Ten officially postpones 2020 college football, other fall sports

Big Ten officially postpones 2020 college football, other fall sports

The Big Ten has officially postponed all fall sports, including football, due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The conference announced the decision in a statement on Tuesday, but left the door open for the fall sports to be played next spring.

“Our primary responsibility is to make the best possible decisions in the interest of our students, faculty and staff,” said Morton Schapiro, Chair of the Big Ten Council of Presidents/Chancellors and Northwestern University President.

“The mental and physical health and welfare of our student-athletes has been at the center of every decision we have made regarding the ability to proceed forward,” said Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren. “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall.
 
“We know how significant the student-athlete experience can be in shaping the future of the talented young women and men who compete in the Big Ten Conference. Although that knowledge made this a painstaking decision, it did not make it difficult. While I know our decision today will be disappointing in many ways for our thousands of student-athletes and their families, I am heartened and inspired by their resilience, their insightful and discerning thoughts, and their participation through our conversations to this point. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.”

In addition to football, cross country, field hockey, soccer and women’s volleyball seasons were postponed.

“The Big Ten Conference will continue to evaluate a number of options regarding these sports, including the possibility of competition in the spring,” the conference said in the statement. “Decisions regarding winter and spring sports will also continue to be evaluated.”


RELATED: Notre Dame will play for ACC conference championship in 2020 football season


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Reports: 2020 Big Ten football season in jeopardy due to COVID-19

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USA Today

Reports: 2020 Big Ten football season in jeopardy due to COVID-19

There may be no college football for Big Ten schools this fall.

According to several reports, the Big Ten school presidents voted 12-2 on Sunday to not play football this fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to Dan Patrick, the two schools in favor of playing were Iowa and Nebraska. There are conflicting reports on whether the season will be postponed or canceled, but Dan Patrick says the official news will be released tomorrow.

On his show, Patrick said he followed up with his source, who said, “Three Big Ten teams that I’ve spoken with said, ‘It’s done.’”

In response, more reports have come out saying the SEC has gathered for a previously unscheduled meeting on Monday morning.

According to Patrick’s report, the SEC is trying to delay and see if either the ACC or Big 12 will join them in playing this fall.

The MAC conference decided to cancel it’s football season on Aug. 8.

In addition, on Aug. 5 a coalition of Big Ten players published a Players’ Tribune article asking for a comprehensive plan to keep them safe during the COVID-19 pandemic if the league was to go forward with the season.

RELATED: Northwestern Wildcats pause football workouts after positive COVID-19 test


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