2014 Week 1 Big Ten Football Scores and Predictions


Here are the predicted scores for Week 1 in Big Ten football.


Minnesota 31    EIU  13

Rutgers  27     Washington St. 34

MSU 38     Jacksonville State 10

PSU 28   UCF 21

Illinois 40   Youngstown State 24

Indiana 34    N. Iowa 13

Michigan 30   Appalachia State  14

Purdue  38    W. Michigan 24

Ohio St. 34    Navy 20

Maryland 40   James Madison 20

Nebraska 41   Fl Atlantic 9

Northwestern  21   Cal 28

Wisconsin 24   LSU 30

Top Five Quarterbacks to Watch in the Big Ten- 2014


Nate Sudfield- Indiana

Sudfield is a junior out of Modesto, California that stands 6’5” and is 228 lbs. During his sophomore season in 2013, he completed 194-of-322 (60.2 percent) for 2,523 yards with 21 touchdowns, nine interceptions and a 142.0 pass efficiency rating and started eight games and appeared in all 12 .He ranked  fourth in TDs and completion percentage, seventh in yardage and ninth in completions on IU’s single-season lists . In the conference, Sudfield ranked third in the Big Ten in yards per completion (13.0) and yards per attempt (7.8), fourth in passing yards per game (210.2) and completions per game (16.2), tied for fourth in passing scores, fifth in pass efficiency, passing yardage, total offense per game (207.4), completion percentage and points responsible for per game (11.2), and sixth in yards per play (6.9)

Christian Hackenberg- Penn State

Back for his sophomore season, Hackenberg left some eye-popping stats from his freshman campaign for pundits to devour. He broke one Penn State overall passing record and 12 school freshman passing records, including the rookie marks for game and season passing completions, attempts, yards and touchdown passes. For the season, he was 231-of-392 for 2,955 yards, with 20 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He had a long completion of 68 yards to Adam Breneman, good for a touchdown in the big win at No. 14 Wisconsin. Hackenberg also ran for four touchdowns and accumulated 2,887 yards of total offense, an average of 240.6 ypg. Hackenberg’s tremendous season was recognized nationally, as he garnered first-team True Freshman All-America accolades from 247Sports.com. He was selected a second-team Freshman All-American by Athlon Sports, Phil Steele’s College Football and CollegeFootballNews.com, with Heisman Trophy-winner Jameis Winston claiming the first-team nod. Hackenberg earned Big Ten Freshman-of-the-Week five times during the season, the second-highest total since the honor began in 2010. He also was named the Athlon Sports National Freshman-of-the-Week twice, following the wins over Michigan and at Wisconsin. Hackenberg finished third overall on the Penn State season passing yardage chart (2,955) and fourth on the season completions list (231).

Connor Cook- Michigan State

In 2013, Cook posted a 12-1 record as the starting quarterback  and was named second-team All-Big Ten by the coaches along with honorable mention All-Big Ten selection by the media He also garnered All-Big Ten accolades from ESPN.com (second team) and Athlon Sports (second team) and was an Academic All-Big Ten selection. He completed 59 percent of his passes (223-of-380) for 2,755 yards, 22 touchdowns and six interceptions and ranked among MSU’s single-season leaders in touchdown passes (tied for second with 22), total offense (fourth with 2,831 yards), pass attempts (fourth with 380), passing yards (fifth with 2,755), pass completions (tied for sixth with 223) and passing yards per game (14th with 196.8 ypg.) In conference, Cook ranked among the Big Ten leaders in touchdown passes (tied for second with 22), pass completions (third with 223), passing yards (fourth with 2,755), passing (fifth with 196.8 ypg.), total offense (sixth with 202.2 ypg.) and passing efficiency (eighth with 135.5 rating) and tied for the fewest interceptions (6) among starting Big Ten quarterbacks.

Wes Lunt- Illinois

Lunt is a sophomore from Rochester, Illinois that sat out the 2013 campaign after transferring from Oklahoma State. His 2012 season for the Cowboys say him make five starts for the Cowboys as a true-freshman, the first three games of the season and two in the middle of the season, before injuries ended both streaks. He was the first true-freshman QB to start a season-opener at OSU since at least 1950, completing 11-of-11 passes for 123 yards in less than a quarter of play in an 84-0 win over Savannah State. Lunt followed with a 436-yard, four-TD performance at Arizona in his first road start and on the season, completed 81-of-131 passes (61.8 percent) for 1,108 yards, six touchdowns and seven interceptions in six games.

Devin Gardner- Michigan

The Wolverines website has the Detroit native at 6’4” and 216 lbs which is a big quarterback. He is currently a graduate student at Michigan. Gardner is a three-year letterman that has appeared in 37 contests at quarterback and wide receiver, making 21 starts, including 16 at quarterback and has accounted for at least two touchdowns in 14 of his last 17 games .In 2013, he completed 208-of-345 passes for 2,960 yards and 21 touchdowns and carried the ball 165 times for 483 yards and 11 touchdowns.



Top Wide Receivers in the Big Ten- 2014

Top Wide Receivers in the Big Ten- 2014

The season begins in a few days so let’s examine some of the top wide receivers in the league.

Stefon Diggs- Maryland

A 6’0” junior, Diggs is a Maryland native and loving every minute of the attention he is receiving. Probably the best WR in the Big Ten and likely the most coveted by the NFL, he had a terrific 2013 season. An honorable mention All-ACC selection by the media and coaches despite suffering a season-ending injury at Wake Forest (10/19) … a member of the team’s leadership council … missed the final six games of the season … began his sophomore campaign with an impressive game against FIU (8/31), recording 98 yards receiving, one touchdown and 70 yards on three kickoff returns … his impressive play carried over against Old Dominion (9/7) by recording a career-best 179 yards receiving and a touchdown … was named ACC Receiver of the Week following the Old Dominion game … had 110 receiving yards and a touchdown against  Connecticut (9/14) … caught six balls for 96 yards against Virginia (10/12) … caught eight balls for 67 yards against Wake Forest (10/19).

Devin Funchess- Michigan

A Farmington Hills, Michigan native he will begin his junior season for the Wolverines. In 2013, Big Ten Kwalick-Clark Tight End of the Year … All-Big Ten first team (media) and second team (coaches) … Sporting News All-Big Ten Team … earned second varsity letter …appeared in 13 games at tight end, making nine starts … his 748 receiving yards are the most all-time by a U-M tight end in a single season … also tallied six touchdowns

Shane Wynn- Indiana

Wynn caught 46 passes for 633 yards (13.8 average) and 11 touchdowns and  finished second in Big Ten and tied for 19th nationally with his 11 TDs, which are third on Indiana’s single-season list He also added one rushing and a 58-yard punt return score for 13 total touchdowns, which led team, shared fourth in league and are tied for sixth in school history Wynn posted 1,158 all-purpose yards with 415 on kick returns (18 returns), 98 on punt returns (seven returns) and 12 on rushes (four carries) and averaged 52.8 receiving yards and 96.5 all-purpose yards per game and 23.1 yards per kick return and 14.0 yards per punt return while starting all 12 games. He is a Cleveland, Ohio native.

Kenny Bell- Nebraska

Bell attended high school in Boulder, Colorado before accepting a scholarship to Nebraska to play football. He started 12 games and finished with a team-high 51 receptions for 577 yards and four touchdowns. He caught five or more passes five times, including each of the final three regular-season games. Bell’s 52 catches ranked seventh on the NU single-season reception list, giving him two of nine 50-catch seasons in Husker history.

Leonte Caroo- Rutgers

The junior caught 28 passes in 2013 for 478 yards and nine touchdowns. He had 17-yards per reception average. He will begin facing tougher competition in the Big Ten.

Tony Jones- Northwestern

Ranked sixth in the Big Ten with 4.6 receptions per game and he grabbed a team-best 55 passes. Jones also ranked 12th in the conference with 52.5 receiving yards per game He caught at least one pass in 11 of 12 games. He hails from Michigan.


For our analysis of the top running backs, click here.

For our article on Rutgers in the Big Ten, click here.

Top Ten Running Backs in the Big Ten-2014


Here are the Top Ten Running Backs in the Big Ten in my opinion. They are listed in the order that I believe are the best of the ten first.


Melvin Gordon- Wisconsin

Kenosha born Gordon has had an outstanding career at Wisconsin. He is the fastest player in Wisconsin history to reach 1,000 career rushing yards (104 attempts) and owns more runs of 20-plus yards (24) than negative yards (19) in his career. Also, he has accumulated 16 career rushing touchdowns have covered an average of 29.8 yards. Gordon’s only lost fumble in career came on lateral play in 2014 Capital One Bowl as he has never lost a fumble across 288 rushing attempts, 3 receptions or 8 kickoff returns (299 total touches) At Wisconsin, he ranks No. 13 in history with 2,328 career rushing yards and owns 10 career 100-yard games, including nine of 140-plus yards.

He ranked 10th in the country and second in the Big Ten with 1,609 rushing yards, setting a UW sophomore record and scored 12 rushing TDs. Also, he led the nation and set UW single-season record at 7.8 yards per attempt which is just the sixth player in UW history to rush for more than 1,600 yards in a season and the only player in the country to have three runs of at least 70 yards. Gordon tied for the most runs of at least 60 yards (4) of any FBS player and rushed for at least 140 yards in 8 of Wisconsin’s 13 games in 2013.

Ameer Abdullah- Nebraska

The 5’9” 195 lbs. senior from Alabama will complete his final season of eligibility with some fantastic numbers to his credit. Last season, Abdullah ran for 1,690 yards and nine touchdowns on 281 carries. Abdullah topped 100 yards in 11 of 13 games, including a career-high 225 yards against Illinois. He had a streak of eight straight games with 100 yards, and topped 85 yards in all 13 games.

He averaged 130.0 rushing yards per game to rank second in the Big Ten and seventh nationally. In conference games, he was even better, averaging 137.9 yards per game to again rank second in the conference.

Abdullah was also Nebraska’s third-leading receiver with 26 receptions for 232 yards and two touchdowns. His all-around ability placed him first in the conference and 13th nationally in all-purpose yards per game, averaging 153.8 yards per game.

He also averaged 6.0 yards per carry and carried the ball more than 20 times nine times in 2013, including each of the final six games. While showing the ability to carry a heavy load, Abdullah also provided a big-play threat in the running game. He had eight runs of 30 yards or more, ranking among the national leaders in that category.



Jeremy Langford- Michigan State

The fifth year senior returns for his final season after spending time for the Spartans at several positions in his career. Now going into his second season as running back, Langford has recorded some outstanding numbers from his 2013 season. He started all 14 games at tailback during a breakout season in 2013 in which he led the team in rushing yards (1,422), carries (292), total touchdowns (19), rushing touchdowns (18), scoring (114 points) and all-purpose yards (1,579) . Langford also led Big Ten in total touchdowns (19) and carries (292) .and was ranked among the FBS leaders in rushing yards (16th with 1,422) and rushing (27th with 101.6 ypg.) He ended the season also ranked among the Big Ten leaders in scoring (third with 8.1 ppg.), rushing yards (fifth with 1,422), rushing (sixth with 101.6 ypg.) and all-purpose yards (eighth with 112.8 ypg.).


Tevin Coleman- Indiana

A Tinley Park, Illinois native, he left the state and found plenty of playing time for the Hoosiers. His 2013 season was tremendous as he rushed for 958 yards on 131 carries (7.3 average) with 12 touchdowns and caught 19 passes for 193 yards, returned six kicks for 124 yards and finished with 1,275 all-purpose yards. He also averaged 106.4 rushing yards and 141.7 all-purpose yards per game and started the first nine games of the season and missed the final three due to an ankle injury. Coleman tied for second in the Big Ten (T-14th nationally) in yards per attempt, third (22nd) in all-purpose yards per game, tied for third in total yards per play (7.3, T-26th), fourth (T-20th) in yards from scrimmage per game (127.9), fifth in rushing yards per game (22nd) and scoring per game (8.0), tied for fifth in rushing TDs and tied for sixth in total scores.

David Cobb- Minnesota

Hailing from Killeen Texas, this senior running back has an outstanding 2013 season as he led team in rushing with 1,202 yards (12th all-time in program history and 27th in the nation last season) on 237 carries (10th all-time in program history and 18th in the nation last season) and became the first Gopher to rush for more than 1,000 yards since Amir Pinnix in 2006 (1,272 yards) He tied for team lead in touchdowns with seven (all rushing) and  finished season with 1,376 all-purpose yards (1,202 rushing and 174 receiving), which is the most for a Gopher since 2009 (most for a running back since 2006) and is tied for 16th all-time in program history Elliott had six 100-yard rushing games (team was 5-1), which was the most by a Gopher since Laurence Maroney had eight in 2005  He rushed for more than 100 yards in wins against Northwestern, Nebraska, Indiana and Penn State.


The other top performers for 2014:

Ezekiel Elliott- Ohio State

Josh Ferguson- Illinois

Corey Clement- Wisconsin

Mark Weisman- Iowa

Raheem Mostert- Purdue

Rutgers Looking for Big Bucks, No Whammies in Big Ten


              Rutgers to Get a Big Welcome to Big Ten Football

The decision made by Rutgers to enter the Big Ten conference was likely made due to the money they would accrue as a member. In 2013, each Big Ten school received over $24M dollars to add to their coffers. Also, the Top Tier of the Big Ten Network will be renegotiated in 2017 and has the makings to be a blockbuster deal for each school in the conference.

Now college football is upon us and the Scarlet Knights will get their first taste of Big Ten action when they entertain Penn State on September 13th. The crowds will be enormous and the fandom will be at an all-time high as their team takes the field. The Big Ten Network will be smiling with all the new television sets in New York and Maryland that have their dial on their programming.

Coach Kyle Flood has to be feeling the nerves from going 6-7 last season in the Big East and now getting to see the likes of Ohio State, Michigan State, Penn state, Wisconsin and Michigan. This is big-time football for Rutgers to rub elbows with.

One way to prepare for the stiff competition is to hire Ralph Friedgen as your offensive coordinator. The 67-year old came out of retirement to help guide the Scarlet Knights. Friedgen has had several jobs in the Big Ten and understand the scope of the schedule. QB Gary Nova will attempt to hang onto his job as he has sputtered at times in his career. In 28 games, he has thrown 39 interceptions but tossed 51 touchdowns and 6,407 yards.

The Big Ten schedule makers didn’t do Rutgers any favors when they welcomed them into the conference. Aside from being in the East Division, the tougher division that includes Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan and Michigan State, Rutgers’ two games against the West Division are against its top two teams, Wisconsin and Nebraska.

Welcome to Big Ten football, Rutgers.

Samuel Gompers and the Tea Party

          Samuel Gompers and the Tea Party

Remember Samuel Gompers from History Class? He was the founder of the AFL-CIO. He hated immigrants and was appalled at the flood of them into the United States. Gompers was convinced they were undermining the union member wages. He went on to write a pamphlet titled, Meat vs. Rice: American Manhood Against Coolieism: Which Shall Survive?” Samuel Gompers was quoted to say, “Caucasians are not going to let their standard of living be destroyed by Negroes, Chinamen, Japs or any others,”

What do the Tea Party and Samuel Gompers have in common? They both rose to prominence during economic inequality in our country and both squarely place the blame on immigrants.

In Gompers day there is evidence that shows mass immigration led to lower wages and spread the gap between the wealthy and middle class. But it wasn’t the immigrants fault as companies are to blame for exploiting them as a cheap labor force and the laws of the United States allowed them to do that. In fact, scapegoating immigrants makes inequality worse, because it creates an opportunity for corporations and politicians to drive a wedge between native-born workers and those from foreign lands, to the disadvantage of both.

It appears to be justified that immigrants deserve lower wages because they have fewer skills, education and lack a deep understanding of the English language. It is not surprising that immigration is a focus of the Tea Party’s populist resentment. Non-college-educated whites may always be skeptical of mass immigration — and of politicians who support it. Their opposition to immigration isn’t just about race. It’s about money, too.

If the Tea Party really wants to reduce the impact of immigration on American wages, they should lobby for laws that make life easier for immigrants, not laws that aim to drive them out of the country.


The opinions in this blog belong to Tom Knuppel

Tweets from the World of Sports in the Last Hour 8/22/14

Ten Tweets from Around the World of Sports in the Last Hour

  1. Michael DeCourcy @tsnmike–Memphis transfer Dominic Woodson has enrolled at Tennessee; appeal for immediate eligibility is yet to be decided.
  2. Illinois Basketball  @IlliniHoops– SCHEDULE UPDATE: Annual #BragginRights game #Illini vs. Mizzou 12/20  in St. Louis is set for 1 pm CT on ESPN2
  3. Carrie Muskat  @CarrieMuskat–Cubs now have homered in 7 straight Gs. Rank 2nd in NL w/294 (Rockies 1st w/303)
  4. SportsInsights.com  @SportsInsights–Tonight the #RedSox are the largest home dogs (+164) they’ve been since 2006 and are receiving their lowest amount of support ever (10%).
  5. Dan McLaughlin @DannyMacTV–This has been officially announced…” An Evening With Tony LaRussa” on Sept 15 at Busch Stadium.
  6. Jim Bowden @JimBowden_ESPN–Dave Dombrowski #Tigers told us they were told on Monday they were “out” of contention on Castillo.
  7. Rodney @KnuppelRodney– Building steam with #NFL survivor contest. Up over $700 in pot and growing. $10 entry. Sign up at yahoo using ID: 1729, password football
  8. Sporting News NCAAB  @sn_ncaab–NCCU coach @LeVelleMoton is reportedly getting an eight-year contract extension.
  9. HardballTalk @HardballTalk–Albuquerque Isotopes to give away Joc Pederson’s 1994 Buick Century
  10. HardballTalk @HardballTalk–#Athletics send Dan Otero back to Triple-A with 7-1 record, 2.28 ERA
Is the American Medical Association a Terrorists Organization?

Is the American Medical Association a Terrorists Organization?

In June, the well-respected Journal of the American Medical Association published an article that proposed “Banning the Handshake From the Health Care Setting.”

The AMA had this to say:

The handshake represents a deeply established social custom. In recent years, however, there has been increasing recognition of the importance of hands as vectors for infection, leading to formal recommendations and policies regarding hand hygiene in hospitals and other health care facilities. Such programs have been limited by variable compliance and efficacy.In an attempt to avoid contracting or spreading infection, many individuals have made their own efforts to avoid shaking hands in various settings but, in doing so, may face social, political, and even financial risks.

“Fist bumping” — the gesture made popular by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama during the 2012 election campaign — transmits significantly fewer bacteria than a handshake or a high-five.

A West Virginia University study published in the The Journal of Hospital Infection found that significantly more bacteria are transmitted when people shake hands, as opposed to when they simply bump fists. This is due to the increased surface area exposure and length of skin-on-skin contact associated with the handshake.

“We surmise that the fist bump is an effective alternative to the handshake in the hospital setting,” wrote lead researcher Tom McClellan in the journal. “[Fist bumping] may lead to decreased transmission of bacteria and improved health and safety of patients and healthcare workers alike.”

Whoa, stop right there. The AMA is calling for fist bumping and it was made popular by President Obama? We might need to check into this. Let’s examine the history of fist bumping as written in Time magazine.

The origins of the bump are murky, though most communication experts agree on a basic — if fuzzy — evolutionary timeline: the handshake (which itself dates back to ancient times) begat the “gimme-five” palm slap that later evolved into the now universal “high-five” and, finally, the fist bump.

Some claim the act of knuckle-bumping began in the 1970s with NBA players like Baltimore Bullets guard Fred Carter. Others claim the fist bump’s national debut occurred off the court, citing the Wonder Twins, minor characters in the 1970s Hanna-Barbera superhero cartoon The Superfriends, who famously touched knuckles and cried “Wonder Twin powers, activate!’ before morphing into animals or ice sculptures. One might also credit germaphobics for the fist bump’s popularity. Deal or No Deal host Howie Mandel reportedly adopted the gesture as a friendly way to avoid his contestants’ germs.

But the President and his wife did a fist bump in front of America. On June 6, 2008, a Fox News personality asked if that was a terrorist jab.

During the June 6 edition of Fox News’ America’s Pulse, host E.D. Hill teased an upcoming discussion by saying, “A fist bump? A pound? A terrorist fist jab? The gesture everyone seems to interpret differently.” In the ensuing discussion with Janine Driver — whom Hill introduced as “a body language expert” — Hill referred to the “Michelle and Barack Obama fist bump or fist pound,” adding that “people call it all sorts of things.” Hill went on to ask Driver: “Let’s start with the Barack and Michelle Obama, because that’s what most people are writing about — the fist thump. Is that sort of a signal that young people get?”

The AMA wants you to fist bump. They say it is to control germs but can we trust them? Is there an underlying agenda here?


(no, there isn’t)


This blog was written in jest and the opinions in this blog belong to Tom Knuppel


Put Some Silence into Your Life

Put Some Silence into Your Life

Society, for the most part, appears to hate silence. We surround ourselves with noise. Sounds and beeps are all over the place. When is the last time you drove a car with no passengers and didn’t turn on the radio or CD player? We can’t stand it.

If we have noise going then we can avoid having confrontation with ourselves.  Yes, that is what is likely to happen. We will do anything to put noise into our lives including singing horribly out loud to ourselves. Silence is considered one of the great spiritual disciplines and the most avoided one of all.

Consider this quote from Roy Walsh, psychiatry professor quoted in the book The Search for Meaning:

Basically our lives are, to a large extent, spent in avoiding confrontation with ourselves. And then you can begin to make sense of the enormous amount of our culture’s daily activities, which attempt to distract us from ourselves, from deep reflection, from deep thinking, from existential confrontation. There’s a wonderful phrase by the philosopher Kierkegaard, “tranquilization by the trivial.” I think our culture has mastered this better than any culture in history, simply because we have the wealth and means to do so.

What makes silence difficult? People are action oriented and they complement our actions not our being. Think about the last time someone said to you “How are you?’ They want to have noise or conversation as they are afraid of silence.

If we slow down and put silence in our lives it would cause us to listen to ourselves and God. We would rather have a tornado buzzing around in our head as we don’t want to confront the mess we have inside and outside our head. No one can fix that but God.

The answer is simple (isn’t it always?), but undesired by most. We just simply need to add a little silence to our lives. Turn off all the noise, and then listen to the noise inside. I promise if you keep working on finding that inner silence, it will start to come and the peace that passes understanding will also find you too. Silence really is golden.

Let’s start treating like it’s worth what it actually is.


The opinions in this blog are those of Tom Knuppel

NBA Telecasts More Games in 2014-15


It all starts October 28th on TNT with the NBA reigning champion San Antonio Spurs hosting the Dirk Nowitzki led Dallas Mavericks. The telecast will feature the Spurs receiving their championship rings. Later in the evening TNT will feature the Los Angeles Lakers hosting the Houston Rockets.

The next night (Oct. 29th), ESPN will televise their own doubleheader with the first contest between the  Chicago Bulls led by Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah visiting the Kicks at Madison Square Garden as Carmelo Anthony returns to New York after a tumultuous off-season. Game two finds the reigning MVP Kevin Durant and his Oklahoma Thunder team traveling to Portland to play the Trail Blazers.

Thursday, October 30th TNT will bring the return of LeBron James to Cleveland as they host the New York Knicks in the first game and feature the Los Angeles Clippers playing host to the OKC Thunder.

Back to ESPN on October 31st, they will have another doubleheader with the Chicago Bulls hosting the Cleveland Cavaliers and will be followed by the Lakers and Clippers meeting in Los Angeles.

Another big attraction will be the Christmas Day five-pack of basketball as ESPN has the Knicks and Wizards at Madison Square Garden followed by ABC showing the Spurs and Thunder. In game two, ABC will bring viewers the Cavaliers traveling to Miami for the LeBron reunion game. TNT gets into the act as the Lakers play in Chicago to take on the Bulls followed by Stephen Curry’s Warriors facing Blake Griffin’s Clippers for the nightcap.

At the completion of the season TNT will have televised 53 regular-season games with most of them on Thursday evenings and ESPN will have 75 games with the majority being shown on Wednesdays and Fridays.