Illinois v Ohio State

Maryland already thinking about new trophy games in Big Ten


If there is one thing the Big Ten has plenty of, it is trophy games. The conference is home to 12 trophy games and that number could be on the rise as two new members join the conference starting tomorrow (July 1). Maryland and Rutgers will join the Big Ten, which should lead to some new rivalries within the conference over the course of time. Both new Big Ten members will have a close regional rival with Penn State, and the two will likely develop a rivalry between each other as well.

Maryland is already getting in the Big Ten flavor by discussing the possible addition of new trophy games with its new regional rivals from Rutgers and Penn State. The Washington Post says a handful of athletic department officials at Maryland have confirmed that to be the case, although the details of those potential trophies are far from being anything worth sharing.

Maryland and Rutgers have zero trophy games, but Penn State has two with Big Ten foes. The Governor’s Victory Bell is awarded to the winner of the Penn State-Minnesota games (last year Minnesota players broke the flimsy trophy), and the Land Grant Trophy is awarded to the winner of any game between Penn State and Michigan State (it is also one of the ugliest trophies in college football). Penn State and Michigan State have not faced each other since 2010, before the Big Ten created divisions with the addition of Nebraska. The two will now be in the same division, so the Land Grant Trophy will again be making an annual appearance.

What would be a good concept for a trophy between Penn State and Maryland? Perhaps something relating to the Mason-Dixon Line? What about Maryland and Rutgers? Perhaps a three-way trophy could be started up for the winner of the Maryland-Penn State-Rutgers match-ups as well, along the lines of the Commander-In-Chief’s Trophy for Air Force, Army and Navy?

If anything, I would like to formally propose if Maryland beats Ohio State and Illinois in the same season, then the Terps gain control of the Illibuck until either team defeats them.

Starting LB C.J. Johnson reveals surgery on social media, Ole Miss confirms

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Ole Miss will be without a starting piece of its defensive puzzle for an extended period of time, both the player and the school revealed Tuesday.

With rumors swirling about his condition, C.J. Johnson confirmed on his personal Twitter account late this morning that he will be undergoing surgery at some point in the not-too-distant future.  The linebacker sustained an injury to his left knee in last Saturday’s loss to Florida and did not return to the contest.

Subsequent to that posting, Ole Miss confirmed that Johnson underwent surgery earlier in the day to repair a torn meniscus in his knee.  The procedure and rehab will sideline Johnson for a period of 4-6 weeks.

At the low-end of the prognosis, Johnson would miss the next four games — New Mexico State, Memphis, Texas A&M, Auburn — and return for the Nov. 7 game against Arkansas.  The high-end would have him sidelined until the regular-season finale against Mississippi State.

Johnson had started all five games at middle linebacker for the Rebels.  He started 26 games at defensive end the past three years before moving to linebacker.

Butch Jones labels rumor of ‘physical altercation’ with Vols player ‘absolutely ridiculous’

ATHENS, GA - SEPTEMBER 27:  Head coach Butch Jones of the Tennessee Volunteers yells at Marquez North #8 during the game against the Georgia Bulldogs at Sanford Stadium on September 27, 2014 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)
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Already in the crosshairs for his 2-3 team’s late-game failures, Butch Jones now finds himself under increasing scrutiny for something that allegedly happened a couple of months ago.

The website, which features such respected journalists Tony Barnhart and Mike Huguenin among others, reported earlier today that the Tennessee head coach was involved in what was described as a “physical altercation” with senior offensive lineman Mack Crowder during summer camp this past August.  The source close to the program added that practice film that day captured the alleged incident, although it’s unclear if that tapes still exists.

From the site’s report:

The incident occurred during fall camp, about the time that news started to come out about a few offensive linemen who were considering stepping away from the program. Crowder walked off the practice field one day and missed a day or two of practice, and Brett Kendrick and Dylan Wiesman were said to be contemplating their futures. Sources say the players’ actions stemmed from an incident between Jones and Crowder.

The website also made a Freedom of Information request seeking any correspondence between the university and the Crowder family be turned over, but writes that UT “administrators said any sort of letter or correspondence that may or may not have happened was covered under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.”

Monday, Jones labeled what began as message-board speculation that he had struck one of his Vols players as “absolutely ridiculous.” The Knoxville News Sentinel contacted Crowder’s father, with the paper writing that “he had no comment and did not want to give validation to message boards.”

At least publicly, the university has yet to address the allegations.  Jones will get yet another chance to address the speculation with the media in the very near future.