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Joe Thomas turns snaps record into comedy

Published: Friday, September 22, 2017 @ 2:07 PM

Joe Thomas set the NFL snaps record Sunday, exceeding 10,000 (10,064, to be exact).

He’s had fun on social media all week, talking about his time with the Browns. On Thursday, he posted a photo mimicking Wilt Chamberlain’s 100 point game pose.

Thomas also made waves with a comment that he had to introduce himself to a quarterback in the huddle, poking fun at the amount of quarterbacks the Browns have burned through in a decade.

But he’ll always remember Josh Johnson.

Most importantly, Thomas gave advice on how one should go about breaking the snaps record. It was exactly what you’d expect from the comical lineman.

Newest Badgers arrive on campus; Wisconsin players excel at Shrine Game practice

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

Wisconsin football and basketball are always the main topics in Bucky’s Breakfast, Land of 10’s daily Badgers notebook — but we cover news, notes and analysis across Badgers sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Wisconsin football, recruiting, basketball and more.

New Badgers on campus

Wisconsin officially welcomed its five early enrollees on Monday.

Good start for former Badgers

Practices at the East-West Shrine Game got underway Monday, and former Wisconsin safety Natrell Jamerson had one of the highlight plays of the day with this smooth-looking interception. Outside linebacker Leon Jacobs was listed among the standouts in practice by Defensive lineman Alec James also took part. DL Conor Sheehy was invited to the game, but isn’t taking part because of an arm injury.

Best games of 2018

Unlike 2017, Wisconsin’s schedule next fall will offer plenty of chances for the Badgers to prove to everyone they are an elite team. And while games against Northwestern, Nebraska, Iowa and Michigan are highlights, it’s Wisconsin’s trip to Penn State on Nov. 10 that has the attention of, which  put together a list of the top games in each week of the 2018 season.

Bowl winners and losers

Thanks to an 7-1 record in bowl games, including Wisconsin’s 34-24 win in the Orange Bowl against Miami, the Big Ten was among Athlon’s bowl season winners.

Former Badgers safety moving up

The coaching profession is not an easy one, but former Wisconsin safety Jay Valai is making his way up the ladder. After spending last season as a quality control coach at Georgia, Valai will reportedly join the staff of the Kansas City Chiefs as defensive quality control coach.

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Wisconsin looking for consistency

The Badgers are searching for some offensive consistency as they hit the toughest stretch of the Big Ten basketball season, according to Jesse Temple.

Badgers need to keep shooting

Despite major struggles from beyond the 3-point arc the last two games — and really for much of the season — the Wisconsin coaches are telling their guys not to shy away from good shots, writes Jeff Potrykus of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Tough road for Wisconsin hockey

It’s been a bit of a struggle in the second year of the Tony Granato era and things aren’t getting any easier. As Todd Milewski of the Wisconsin State Journal explains, the Badgers series against No. 1 Notre Dame this weekend is the start of 10 straight contests against ranked opponents to close the season.

Miss a previous edition of Bucky’s Breakfast? Get caught up here.

Where 2017 Penn State season ranks all-time; RB Saquon Barkley dishes on pizza

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

Penn State football is the No. 1 topic in We are… Awake every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Nittany Lions sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Penn State football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Among the best?

For some the 2017 Penn State season will rank among the best in a long time. For others, what-if will enter their minds and it will always feel like unfinished business.

So where does the 2017 season rank among Penn State’s all-time best? Veteran beat writer Mike Poorman of writes that few teams can say they’ve done with the Nittany Lions have done these past two seasons.

Everybody knows the rules

You’ll see former Penn State star Saquon Barkley popping up in various things between now and the NFL draft in April, some serious, some funny.

Some, like he did with Barstool Sports on Monday, involve him reviewing pizza. Barstool’s Dave Portnoy and Barkley hit Mediterraneo in New York City for Portnoy’s daily “One Bite” segment. Barkley, who was born in New York, gave the pizza a 6.6 rating.

Welcome back

John Reid was expected to be a major piece to the Penn State secondary last season, but a left knee injury suffered in spring derailed his season.

Reid will be back on the field in 2018, and a much needed piece to a rebuilding secondary that loses Marcus Allen and Troy Apke.

Frank Bodani of the York Daily Record writes that it’s easy to forget about Reid, but his importance will be remembered soon enough.

Returning keys

The 2018 Penn State offensive will run through quarterback Trace McSorley and the soon-to-be senior will command a lot of attention from opposing defenses as Penn State figures out who will replace Barkley.

The staff at Eleven Warriors writes that McSorley is the top returning quarterback in the Big Ten.

From Eleven Warriors:

Trace McSorley is clearly the best returning quarterback in the Big Ten for two reasons we’ll belabor here. He is an exciting playmaker who thrived in the Fiesta Bowl win notwithstanding the departure of Penn State’s brilliant offensive coordinator to the head-coaching gig at Mississippi State. McSorley was the consensus second team All-Big Ten quarterback last year behind J.T. Barrett, who just concluded a Big Ten career for the record books.

The piece goes on to say that the second option for quarterback is Northwestern’s Clayton Thorson, and that it really wasn’t a hard selection to make considering how few returning quarterbacks will be on conference rosters in 2018.

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What are the odds

Speaking of McSorley, he will garner some early Heisman consideration, but just how far that lingers into the season remains to be seen.

Andrew Callahan of Lions 247 breaks down McSorley’s early odds and answers some other offseason questions for Penn State.

From Callahan:

  • Buy or sell: Trace McSorley’s Heisman odds at 14-1? Right now, I’m selling. It’s not a bad bet, but you can never account for every Heisman candidate in January, and I think he’ll face stiff competition at minimum from Jonathan Taylor, Will Grier, Khalil Tate, perhaps Nick Fitzgerald and if he returns, Bryce Love.

Odds of 14-1 in January sound promising, and much can happen between now and conference championship Saturday in December, but one could argue McSorley will have a better chance to stick around the Heisman race longer than Barkley did. Then again maybe he will be out of it well before Barkley was too.

3 years in

Offensive lineman Michael Menet came to Penn State as a cornerstone. The Nittany Lions desperately needed depth and an influx of recruits at the offensive line positions, but his first two seasons have been slowed by injuries and an inability to crack the two-deep.

Greg Pickel of writes that there will be one new starter on Penn State’s offensive line this season and Menet is hoping his offseason prepares him to be that new piece.

Miss previous editions of the Wakeup Call? They can be found here.






Nebraska’s Drew Brown to honor Sam Foltz; are Scott Frost and Urban Meyer alike?

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

Nebraska football-Drew Brown

Nebraska football is the No. 1 topic in Big Red Rising every day — but we cover news, notes and analysis from across Huskers sports. Join us each morning to get caught up on everything you missed in the world of Huskers football, recruiting, basketball and more.

Drew Brown to honor Sam Foltz

Nebraska kicker Drew Brown plans to honor his fallen friend and teammate Sam Foltz by wearing No. 27 at the East-West Shrine Game.

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2 of the same?

When it comes to recruiting, Tom Lemming sees a similarity between Nebraska coach Scott Frost and Ohio State coach Urban Meyer.

Love for Scott Frost

Nebraska defensive end Caleb Tannor’s high school coach loves Scott Frost’s plan for the Huskers, and that’s great news on the recruiting trail.

Visits, visits, visits

The Nebraska coaching staff has hit the recruiting trail once again, which meant there were quite a few in-home visits on Monday.

A new opportunity

Former Nebraska offensive line coach Mike Cavanaugh has found a new opportunity. He has been hired at Syracuse as their OL coach, per reports.

Expected to play

After being sidelined on Dec. 17 because of a knee sprain, former Huskers star and current New England Patriots RB  Rex Burkhead is expected to play for in AFC Championship Game.

Realistic expectations

It may only be January, but many are starting to project Frost’s first season with Nebraska. ESPN’s Mark Schlabach wants fans to temper expectations just a bit due to the Huskers’ difficult 2017 season.

Jordy Tshimanga returning

After a few days away from the team, coach Tim Miles confirmed on Monday that Nebraska center Jordy Tshimanga will return on Tuesday.

Another B1G win for Nebrasketball

Nebraska basketball got a much-needed win over Illinois Monday evening when James Palmer Jr. sank a last-second 3-pointer for the 64-63 win. Talk about quite the way to win.

Oversleep and miss a recent Big Red Rising? No worries. We have all our past editions here.

The post Nebraska’s Drew Brown to honor Sam Foltz; are Scott Frost and Urban Meyer alike? appeared first on Land of 10.

Far too early to tell Arkansas basketball’s NCAA Tournament realities

Published: Tuesday, January 16, 2018 @ 1:00 AM

Arkansas football rules the world of Razorbacks sports. So, with your bacon, have some Hogs for Breakfast and get caught up. It’s SEC Country’s weekday column and roundup on all things Arkansas … especially Arkansas football. Opinion, numbers, inane babble and more! And now with ironic exclamation points! There is no place like it on the web.

One of the most annoying clauses in sports is, “If the season ended today …”

Most all of us are guilty of having said it at some point. Myself included. Immediately after, I regret it because probably never in the history of that utterance has the rest of the clause finished with the season actually ending on that day. Therefore, in reality, it means nothing. The season didn’t end that day.

But, boy, it’s still a fun game, isn’t it? The phrase, at a fundamental level, is the reason we have opinion columns and projections and talking heads shows. For whatever reason, what’s happening in the future is more interesting than what’s happening today.

All that is written to say this:

It’s impossible to tell if Arkansas is an NCAA Tournament team.

There. Said. Not going to make a lot of people happy. But it’s factual.

“If the season ended today,” then, yes, absolutely. The Razorbacks are a solid “in” for the Big Dance. They have two high-profile wins — over Tennessee and Oklahoma; they have a strong strength of schedule to take some of the pain out of the losses; and they are, simply put, quite talented.

They also have played mediocre basketball since Christmas, face an increasingly difficult road (especially starting in two weeks) and haven’t established themselves so clearly as a high-quality team that Arkansas is a lock. And that’s not the “well, no one is a lock because any team can lose all of a sudden.” No, Arkansas isn’t a lock right now even in the stretched sense. The Hogs look about like a .500 basketball team in SEC play this season, based off previous results.

Is that going to be enough?

Arkansas offensive coordinator Joe Craddock’s story is wild

Middle Tennessee State quarterback.

High school football assistant coach.

Clemson graduate assistant.

SMU offensive coordinator.

Arkansas offensive coordinator.

Not exactly the most common route to big-time coaching there. But it’s Joe Craddock’s. What is maybe even more shocking is that Craddock is only 32. His boss, Arkansas coach Chad Morris, has a somewhat similar path to where he is, but Craddock is 18 years his junior and toiled at levels Morris hasn’t seen in at least a generation.

Great story Monday from our Trent Shadid about Craddock’s circuitous road.


  • Donald W. Reynolds Razorback Stadium will soon have metal detectors, it appears. The Arkansas Democrat-Gazette has a report that says bids are moving forward for those companies that want the job of (probably being) official metal detector of Razorbacks athletics.
  • We wrote a few days ago that Brandon Martin was our pick for breakout player at wideout this season for Arkansas. Over at 247Sports, Andrew Hutchinson wrote how the Razorbacks are looking for both more speed and more size at the spot. Bodes well for the massive Martin.
  • John Mincey’s de-commitment from Arkansas’ recruiting class was a bit of a sting. Shadid wrote that the Razorbacks are seeking a backup plan now.

Tweets and the like

• Arkansas football’s uniforms are up for some sort of internet prize. The official Hogs account is pushing you to vote on them.

• The basketball team was busy Monday morning. Kudos.

• It snowed like crazy in the farthest northern stretches of the state on Monday. Makes this seem super far away. But, my goodness, I hope it hurries.

Skip Breakfast? C’mon. It’s too important. Catch up with previous versions here.