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Friday, July 19, 2019

Day two 2019 Big Ten media days photo gallery



By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

Day two of the 2019 Big Ten media days is in the books from the Hilton Chicago and here are the some of the photos I took. 










Green: The key to Michigan State’s success hinges on its loaded defense


Photo Credit: Geno Green


By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


CHICAGO— After a stretch of success from 2013-15 with two Big Ten titles, a Rose Bowl win, a College Football Playoff semifinal appearance and a top six or better finish in the AP poll, the Michigan State Spartans took a couple of steps back in the last three seasons with a combined 20-18 record.

If the Spartans look to return to a New Year’s Six bowl in the 2019 season, they will have to rely primarily on all three elements of the defense— the defensive line, linebackers and the secondary. Phil Steele’s preseason magazine projects Michigan State’s defensive line at fourth nationally, the linebackers seventh and the secondary 19th. 

The accolades don’t stop with the team, but on the individual players as linebacker Joe Bachie and defensive end Kenny Willekes were named to the 2019 Big Ten preseason honors list on Wednesday.

The individual awards matter little to Bachie as he looks to play a pivotal part in getting the Spartans back to a major bowl game as a senior after making trips to the Holiday Bowl and the Redbox Bowl in 2017 and 2018, respectively.

“I just want to leave my mark on something, whether it is the Big Ten championship, the Rose Bowl, Cotton Bowl, etc,” Bachie said. “I want to get to something that is bigger than anything I have done the past three seasons.”

With all of the pieces in place, Bachie believes there are no excuses to Michigan State being the best defense in the FBS this season.

“Absolutely. If I didn’t believe that, then I would not be talking about all the hype,” Bachie said. “We have all of the pieces and leadership to put it altogether, so we will see what happens.

Willekes appeared to be on the verge of being one of the top picks in the 2019 NFL Draft until a broken leg suffered in the Redbox Bowl against Oregon ended any hopes of coming out early. The injury provided a silver lining for the senior with one last chance to make an impact for the Spartans.

“I am a Christian and I believe in God’s divine plan on me coming back to Michigan State for my senior year,” Willekes said.

The Spartans’ depth goes far beyond the senior duo as cornerback Josiah Scott, linebacker Tyriq Thompson, safety David Dowell and defensive linemen Raequan Williams, Jacob Panasiuk and Mike Panasiuk look to make their marks as well.

Williams also elected to stay for his senior season at Michigan State and is projected along with Willekes as low end first-round picks in various 2020 NFL mock draft boards.

The depth on defense will be a key in MSU’s tough schedule with road games against Ohio State, Wisconsin and Michigan, to go along with a home meeting against Penn State.






An overseas game likely in the future for Michigan



Photo Credit: Geno Green



By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


CHICAGO— Overseas games are not anything new for college football, but are played infrequently with minimal impact in the College Football Playoff rankings.

With rising fan bases overseas of teams, such as the Michigan Wolverines, the possibility of a Big Ten regular season game being played in Mexico City one day was brought up at Thursday’s Big Ten media day session with outgoing league commissioner Jim Delany expressing potential interest.

“This particular conference is regional,” Delany said. “It's national to some extent, as international as any probably, and I think it would be a great idea to take a look at and either have a preseason game – not a preseason game but an early-season game and a bowl game. It would be a terrific idea.”

Michigan has become the posterchild of flashy overseas trips over the last three seasons to Italy, France and South Africa, even attracting attention from Amazon’s “All or Nothing” series in 2018 when they were filmed, while practicing in Rome, Italy.

Coach Jim Harbaugh mentioned in Friday’s session that an announcement would be made soon about a game being played down the line involving the Wolverines.

“I know you can talk about this, we’re scheduling – I think we’re really close to announcing, actually, playing another team on foreign soil,” Harbaugh said. “I won’t say what it is because – have you heard anything about this? Then I’d better not say it because we’re probably not ready to release that yet. But I think there’s something really imminent. There will be an announcement soon on that.”

2019 TBT primer for July 19-21





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


The sixth annual Basketball Tournament gets underway on Friday with four regional sites in action as the champions from the respective eight-team pods will be crowned and head to Chicago for championship week beginning Aug. 1.


This weekend’s schedule (All Times ET):

Columbus Regional:

Capital University- Columbus, OH
Hosted By: Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State Alumni)

Friday, July 19- Round 1:

2) Kohl Blooded (Wisconsin) vs 7) Mid American Unity, 3 p.m., ESPN3
3) Red Scare (Dayton) vs 6) The Region, 5 p.m., ESPN3
4) Big X VS 5) West Virginia Wildcats, 7 p.m., ESPN2
1) Carmen’s Crew (Ohio State) vs 8) Illinois BC, 9 p.m., ESPN2


Saturday, July 20- Round 2:

Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner, Noon, ESPN
Game 3 winner vs Game 4 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN


Sunday, July 21- Round 3:

Game 1/2 winner vs Game 3/4 winner, Noon, ESPN


Lexington Regional:

Frederick Douglass High School- Lexington, KY
Hosted By: Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky Alumni)

Friday, July 19- Round 1:

3) Fort Wayne Champs vs 6) Showtime, 3 p.m., ESPN3
1) Loyalty is Love vs 8) Hoopville Warriors, 5 p.m., ESPN3
4) KBC vs 5) Peoria AllStars, 7 p.m., ESPN3
2) Bluegrass Boys (Kentucky) vs 7) D2, 9 p.m., ESPN3

Saturday, July 20- Round 2:

Game 2 winner vs Game 3 winner, 4 p.m., ESPN2
Game 1 winner vs Game 4 winner, 6 p.m., ESPN2

Sunday, July 21- Round 3:

Game 2/3 winner vs Game 1/4 winner, 2 p.m., ESPN



Greensboro Regional:

Coliseum Complex’s Fieldhouse- Greensboro, NC
Hosted By: Team CP3

Friday, July 19- Round 1:

4) Primetime Players vs 5) Florida TNT, 3 p.m., ESPN3
1) Team Hines vs 8) Boo Williams, 4:50 p.m., ESPN3
2) Team CP3 VS 7) Tampa 20/20, 6:40 p.m., ESPN3
3) Power of the Paw (Clemson) vs 6) Team 23, 8:30 p.m., ESPN3

Saturday, July 20- Round 2:

Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner, 5 p.m., ESPN3
Game 3 winner vs Game 4 winner, 7 p.m., ESPN3

Sunday, July 21- Round 3:

Game 1/2 winner vs Game 3/4 winner, 3 p.m., ESPN3



Memphis Regional:

Elma Roane Fieldhouse- Memphis. TN
Hosted By: Bluff City (Memphis Alumni)

Friday, July 19- Round 1:

4) Broad Street Brawlers vs 5) Southern Gentlemen, 4 p.m., ESPN3
1) Gael Force (Saint Mary’s) vs 8) Jackson TN, 5:50 p.m., espn3
3) Team Arkansas vs 6) Louisiana Utd., 7:40 p.m., ESPN3
2) Bluff City (Memphis) vs 7) Team 901, 9:30 p.m., ESPN3

Saturday, July 20- Round 2:

Game 1 winner vs Game 2 winner, 6 p.m., ESPN3
Game 3 winner vs Game 4 winner, 8 p.m., ESPN3

Sunday, July 21- Round 3:

Game 1/2 winner vs Game 3/4 winner, 3 p.m., ESPN3



Thursday, July 18, 2019

Day one 2019 Big Ten media days photo gallery



By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

Day one of the 2019 Big Ten media days is in the books from the Hilton Chicago and here are the some of the photos I took. 




















Green: Huskers’ fate lies primarily on Frost and Martinez


Photo Credit: Geno Green

By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


CHICAGO- A year ago, the Nebraska Cornhuskers underwent a massive overhaul with Mike Riley being let go as they went back to the past as head coach Scott Frost was plucked away from the University of Central Florida to the same position.

An often comparison over the off-season has been the side-to-side struggles in the first season as UCF went 0-12 mark, compared to Nebraska’s 4-8. Despite the similarities of not making a bowl game, Frost looks toward brighter days in the 2019 edition of Nebraska, which was projected by the Big Ten media as the unofficial preseason Big Ten west champions on Wednesday.

“Well, we coached a lot of really good kids and really good players in Orlando. We've got a lot of really good kids and really good players in Lincoln,” Frost said at Thursday’s Big Ten media day. “Those two teams have nothing to do with one another, and I'm never going to make any comparisons. I love where I am. I'm the coach at Nebraska.”

The lofty preseason expectations have trickled down to position players— specifically quarterback Adrian Martinez.

While the highly touted sensation from California threw for 2,617 yards and 17 touchdowns as a freshman, injuries to other key positions in the first six games railroaded the Cornhuskers as they finished out of the postseason for the second straight season— something fans in Lincoln could not come to grips with.

The silver lining proved to be a 4-2 finish, which carried over to high expectations going into the 2019 season with Martinez being the healthiest in the last two seasons, which is something the sophomore does not take for granted, especially with 18 starters returning.

“It is definitely a good thing and is something I do not take for granted,” Martinez said. “It is something to be thankful for and it is part of the game of football. I am excited for how this season will turn out.”

Martinez’s potential health stability, coupled with lofty preseason Heisman Trophy expectations has set a high bar, but knows there are other things he can improve on as the off-season begins to hit its crescendo.  

“Me being a smarter football player and just having a better general knowledge, we will be able to improve in those areas,” Martinez said.

While the Big Ten west divisional race will be the tightest since realignment in 2014 with the Cornhuskers, Iowa Hawkeyes and Wisconsin Badgers as the primary contenders, the physicality is something Frost does not take for granted and knows they cannot afford to slip up in any facets of the game.

“This is a big, physical league,” Frost said. “There's a lot of big, physical teams, a lot of really good teams, and regardless of your scheme on offense or defense, you can't get pushed around, you can't get outworked, and you can't get outsized. We made a lot of strides to catch up, and I think that will show up on the field.”

While the schedule features stiff tests at home with matchups against Ohio State, Wisconsin and Iowa, Nebraska has the Sept. 7 game at Colorado circled on the calendar.

In what was a back and forth affair, Nebraska lost Adrian Martinez to a knee injury in the late stages of the fourth quarter, which allowed Colorado to score what would be the game-winning touchdown reception by Laviska Shenault Jr. to secure the 33-28 win on Sept. 8, 2018.

Martinez did not forget about having to be a non-factor in the final moments last season and looks forward to getting another shot at the old Big Eight rivals.

“Colorado will be a ton of fun and looking forward to playing them in Boulder,” Martinez said. “There should be a lot of Nebraska fans there too and it will be a great time.”

With a team primarily made of underclassman, Martinez’s continued growth could be the difference between the Rose Bowl and another holiday season on the couch.


Saturday, July 13, 2019

2019 Maryland Terrapins football schedule







By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen

2019 Maryland Terrapins football schedule (All Times CT):


Aug. 31:

vs Howard, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, 11 a.m.


Sept. 7:

vs Syracuse, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, 11 a.m.


Sept. 14:

at Temple, Lincoln Financial Field, Philadelphia, PA, 11 a.m.


Sept. 27 (Fri.):

vs Penn State, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, 7 p.m.


Oct. 5:

at Rutgers, HighPoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, Time TBA


Oct. 12:

at Purdue, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN, 11 a.m.


Oct. 19:

vs Indiana, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, Time TBA


Oct. 26:

at Minnesota, TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, Time TBA


Nov. 2:

vs Michigan, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, 11 a.m.


Nov. 9:

at Ohio State, Ohio Stadium, Columbus, OH, Time TBA


Nov. 23:

vs Nebraska, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, Time TBA


Nov. 30:

at Michigan State, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI, Time TBA


Dec. 7:

Big Ten championship game, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, 7 p.m.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

2019 Rutgers Scarlet Knights football schedule





By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


2019 Rutgers Scarlet Knights football schedule (All Times CT):



Aug. 30 (Friday):

vs Massachusetts, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, 6:15 p.m.


Sept. 7:

at Iowa, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, 11 a.m.


Sept. 21:

vs Boston College, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, Time TBA


Sept. 28:

at Michigan, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI, Time TBA


Oct. 5:

vs Maryland, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, Time TBA


Oct. 12:

at Indiana, Memorial Stadium, Bloomington, IN, 11 a.m.


Oct. 19:

vs Minnesota, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, 2:30 or 3 p.m.


Oct. 26:

vs Liberty, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, Time TBA


Nov. 2:

at Illinois, Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL, Time TBA


Nov. 16:

vs Ohio State, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, Time TBA


Nov. 23:

vs Michigan State, Highpoint.com Stadium, Piscataway, NJ, Time TBA


Nov. 30:

at Penn State, Beaver Stadium, University Park, PA, Time TBA


Dec. 7:

Big Ten championship game, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, 7 p.m.


Friday, June 28, 2019

2019 Iowa Hawkeyes football schedule






By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


2019 Iowa Hawkeyes football schedule (All Times CT):


Aug. 31:

vs Miami (OH), Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, 6:30 p.m.


Sept. 7:

vs Rutgers, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, 11 a.m.


Sept. 14:

at Iowa State, Jack Trice Stadium, Ames, IA, 3 p.m.


Sept. 28:

vs Middle Tennessee State, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, Time TBA


Oct. 5:

at Michigan, Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor, MI, 11 a.m.


Oct. 12:

vs Penn State, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, Time TBA


Oct. 19:

vs Purdue, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, 11 a.m.


Oct. 26:

at Northwestern, Ryan Field, Evanston, IL, 11 a.m.


Nov. 9:

at Wisconsin, Camp Randall Stadium, Madison, WI, Time TBA


Nov. 16:

vs Minnesota, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, Time TBA


Nov. 23:

vs Illinois, Kinnick Stadium, Iowa City, IA, Time TBA


Nov. 29 (Friday):

at Nebraska, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, Time TBA


Dec. 7:

Big Ten championship game, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, 7 p.m.


Thursday, June 27, 2019

Green: Return of the mack as UConn returns home to the Big East






By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


Like peanut butter and jelly, the Connecticut Huskies and Big East basketball were always meant to be together.

After what will amount to an eight-year divorce, the Huskies and the Big East will again tie the knot no earlier than July 1, 2020, as formally announced on Thursday afternoon by league commissioner Val Ackerman in a press conference at Madison Square Garden.

The Huskies’ move back to their roots comes as a steep price— a $10 million American Athletic Conference exit fee for not leaving on 27 months’ notice. 

For fans of the league old and new, the price is well worth the reward for bringing the Huskies back on board. As one of the founding members of the original Big East, the Huskies played a pivotal role in the rise of the league until the split at the end of the 2012-13 season.

The temptation of football money from schools such as, Syracuse, Pittsburgh and West Virginia ended the original Big East, but were one of a handful of schools who stayed on in what would be rechristened as the American Athletic Conference in 2013. The remaining seven catholic schools (DePaul, Marquette, Villanova, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Providence and Georgetown) decided to form their own league by keeping the Big East name alive.

While the Big East has found success on the big stage with a pair of national championships by the Villanova Wildcats in 2016 and 2018, a consistent rival has been a struggle to find as various teams have attempted to play the part, but have fallen short at the finish line.

The Huskies’ return could bring that opportunity to reality and signals a much-needed reunion with the Big East as the fit in the AAC did not feel right with the exception of the money made from TV deals with ESPN and CBS. 

Everything else seemed out of place as every road trip was a long flight to play teams, such as East Carolina, Tulane and Tulsa. While travel will still be a factor in its return to the Big East, it will not be as daunting with shorter trips to old rivals like Villanova, Georgetown and St. John’s and the longest trip being in Omaha, where Creighton’s arena is located and has one of the better fan atmospheres in the Division I basketball.

With power conferences slowly expanding to a 20-game schedule to help boost NCAA tournament resumes, the Huskies’ return helps fill the void of the 19thand 20thgames for opponents, but more importantly retains the round-robin schedule with the Big 12 as the only power conferences to operate in that format.

The Huskies’ return also garners Big East tournament moments of the past. Ray Allen’s game-clinching jumper in the 1996 final against Georgetown comes to mind for most fans as the shooting sensation went at it one-on-one against Allen Iverson.

For fans more associated with the current generation of UConn basketball, the 2009 six-overtime thriller against Syracuse and Kemba Walker’s insane stretch in the 2011 conference tournament come to mind for opposite reasons. The Huskies finished on the short end of the stick against the Orange in what is arguably the greatest game in the history of the Big East tournament, while Walker’s play in 2011 propelled them from a bubble team to a three-seed in the NCAA tournament and an improbable national championship over the Butler Bulldogs, who happen to be a part of the current incarnation of the league.

UConn’s return bolsters an already electric Big East tournament, which has thrived post-reconfiguration when most fans left the sustainability of the league on life support. 

While not the same as the vintage days, the Big East is thriving and better than ever with one of its own returning to its roots to strengthen one of the better conferences in Division I basketball.

Sunday, June 23, 2019

2019 Nebraska Cornhuskers football schedule




By: Geno Green
Twitter: @TheGenoGreen


2019 Nebraska Cornhuskers football schedule (All Times CT):


Aug. 31:

vs South Alabama, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, 11 a.m.


Sept. 7:

at Colorado, Folsom Field, Boulder, CO, 2:30 p.m.


Sept. 14:

vs Northern Illinois, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, 7 p.m.


Sept. 21:

at Illinois, Memorial Stadium, Champaign, IL, Time TBA


Sept. 28:

vs Ohio State, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, Time TBA


Oct. 5:

vs Northwestern, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, 2:30 p.m.


Oct. 12:

at Minnesota, TCF Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, MN, Time TBA


Oct. 26:

vs Indiana, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, Time TBA


Nov. 2:

at Purdue, Ross-Ade Stadium, West Lafayette, IN, Time TBA


Nov. 16:

vs Wisconsin, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, Time TBA


Nov. 23:

at Maryland, Capital One Field at Maryland Stadium, College Park, MD, Time TBA


Nov. 29 (Friday):

vs Iowa, Memorial Stadium, Lincoln, NE, 2:30 p.m. 


Dec. 7:

Big Ten championship game, Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, IN, 7 p.m.