It's Not Plagiarism If You Link To It is BHGP's regular news roundup. Send all tips to any of the email addresses at the bottom of the page. Seriously: any and all tips are appreciated, although not all tips will necessarily get used in INP.
Show us the money. ESPN got a copy of the Big Ten's 2009-2010 tax filings last week and published their findings; nothing was particularly surprising -- BREAKING NEWS: the Big Ten raked in a lot of cash, you guys -- except for one tiny little detail:
Each Big Ten school received in excess of $20 million from the league, with the exact amounts varying. Michigan State received the most at $20,141,838, followed by Ohio State ($20,083,504) and Purdue ($20,080,504). Northwestern and Iowa received the least at $20,032,504 each, though they're not exactly clipping coupons.
THIS IS AN OUTRAGE! I MEAN, YES, WE'RE STILL GOING TO CASH THE $20M CHECK, BUT... OUTRAGE! HOW DARE MIGHTY IOWA'S SHARE OF THE TELEVISION LUCRE BE THE SAME AS THAT OF THE ARMANI MAFIA?! AND $48K LESS THAN PURDUE, OUR MOST HATED RIVAL?! THAT IS A VILE INSULT. YOU AND THE RO*TEL/BARBASOL AXIS OF POWER WILL BE HEARING FROM OUR LAWYERS, SIR.
In more serious news, despite all that money, the Big Ten is lagging behind when it comes to one of the hottest competitive battlefields in college football: assistant coaching salaries, where the league ranks fourth, behind the SEC, Big 12, and ACC. No, really, the ACC. And, yes, we're still talking football assistant coaching salaries here, not basketball. More money won't solve everything, but it will go a long way in attracting the best and brightest of the assistant coaching ranks, which is something the Big Ten could certainly use. That isn't to say that there aren't some quality assistant coaches in the Big Ten -- I wouldn't trade Norm Parker for anyone, Tom Bradley routinely fields top defenses at Penn State, and Paul Chryst seemed liked a brilliant offensive coordinator when Wisconsin was throwing 60-70 points on the board (though he certainly lost some of his luster after that baffling Rose Bowl gameplan) -- but they might be more of the exception than the rule. The Big Ten already suffers a bit from not having the same easy access to the fertile recruiting grounds of Texas and Florida that the Big 12 and SEC have; their teams can ill afford to also fall behind in the assistant coaching ranks.
POP QUIZ: Can you name the last Big Ten assistant coach who was hired away to be a head coach for a BCS school? (NOTE: Pat Fitzgerald, Bill Lynch, and Luke Fickell do not count; they were appointed to their head coaching roles as a result of tragic or nefarious circumstances.)
Making a list and watching it twice. The preseason watch lists for various college football postseason awards continue to be released and Iowa players continue to turn up on them. There aren't any surprise names showing up -- for some reason, the John Mackey Award seems to want to wait for C.J. Fiedorowicz to actually do something as a tight end before they consider him -- but they are a nice reminder that even with the massive losses Iowa suffered after last season, there's still a solid core of talent returning this year. Without further ado... Riley Reiff made the Outland Trophy watch list, Marvin McNutt made the Biletnikoff Award watch list, and Shaun Prater made the Bednarik Award watch list. Curiously, though, he did not make the Thorpe Award (defensive back-only) watch list. In related news, ESPN's position rankings hit the defensive backfield and Iowa slotted in at #6, which is not at all surprising after losing a pair of multi-year starters at the safety spots.
The power of recent thinking. Mas Casa finished up his reader-dictated list of the top five Iowa football teams of the Ferentz Era and, just as I predicted, the 2002 team came in... second? Wait, what? The top three were 2004, 2002, and 2009. Admittedly, all three were very fine seasons and each has plenty to recommend about it: 2004 was a smoke and mirrors show, par excellence, with Drew Tate having a wildly successful coming out party and the Iowa defense entering beast mode when Big Ten play rolled around; 2009 featured Iowa's greatest bowl triumph in 50 years and had enough heart-stopping moments to turn even a healthy man into a physical wreck; and 2002 featured Iowa's glorious 8-0 Big Ten campaign and a team that simply destroyed many of its opponents. That said, I'm still a little surprised to see 2009 come out on top; apparently people really dug all the insane drama of that season. Or they just really like the Orange Bowl Trophy. Or it was just the most recent year and they had the freshest memories of those games; we are coming up on the ten-year anniversary of the '02 squad, after all.
* Tom Dienhart picks Iowa as a potential dark horse in the Big Ten in 2011; hey, why not -- we all know Ferentz's Iowa teams do their best work when there are no expectations on them.
* In case you needed further evidence that player development has been crucial to Iowa's success: over the last ten years, Iowa has the 15th best winning percentage in the nation (.684), despite having an average recruiting class ranking of 40th.
* Minnesota picked up a football recruit named Isaac Hayes; if their next recruits are named Marvin Gaye and Al Green, we'll finally have conclusive proof that Jerry Kill was not brought in to return Minnesota to its former (very former) glory on the gridiron, but rather to assemble the most unstoppable soul trio ever.
* I'm pretty sure this is still code for "The Royals still haven't offered me enough cash money, yo," but hey: the notion of Nebraska having a starting quarterback named Bubba is also pretty damn sublime.
* Doc profiles Iowa's most hated basketball rival (with a poll); do you agree that Illinois is Iowa's most loathed hoopyball rival?
* Zach Johnson was definitely rocking his Hawkeye Yellow, Hawkeye Yellow last weekend at The John Deere Classic in Moline.
* It's a pretty stacked year for in-state recruits when it comes to wrestling (especially in the lower weights), and in other caring is creepy news, Jack Dahm is assembling yet another solid baseball recruiting class; if only he could win a few more games, too.
* CM Punk is a goddamn force of nature right now:
(And his show-opening promo was pretty fantastic, too.)