Big Ten spring football overreactions: Michigan has a new Charles Woodson, Wisconsin offense modernizing

Big Ten spring football overreactions: Michigan has a new Charles Woodson, Wisconsin offense modernizing

Spring practice in college football exists for two fundamental reasons. The primary reason is to get a head-start on the upcoming season. Coaches use it to implement new players and principles in the playbook, so that by the time training camp opens, everybody has a better idea of what’s expected of them.

The other — and some would argue the more important reason — is for fans and media to overreact to everything they see in this minor glimpse to sustain their college football souls for the next few months. Well, I’m not a coach because I haven’t been able to play a new version of NCAA Football in years, but I am a writer. So while I can’t teach you how to play football, I can help you figure out what wild overreactions you should have following spring practice in the Big Ten.

There’s no need to thank me, but I’d appreciate it if you could tell EA Sports to speed up the new game.

The Illini will have two 1,000-yard rushers: In 2010, a few years before Bret Bielema would leave Wisconsin for Arkansas, both James White and John Clay rushed for over 1,000 yards in Wisconsin uniforms. A third back on the team, Montee Ball, rushed for 996 yards and 18 touchdowns that same season. After watching Illinois’ spring game, you could wonder if we’ll see a repeat of that performance under Bielema in Champaign. Even with new offensive coordinator Barry Lunney calling plays and a new QB in Syracuse transfer Tommy DeVito, Illinois’ offense was at its best when handing the ball off to Chase Brown and Josh McCray. Brown (1,005 yards and 5 TD in 2021) rushed for 90 yards on 11 carries in the game, while McCray (549 yards, 2 TD) rushed for

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Michigan vs. Wisconsin fight: Did Wolverines coach Juwan Howard deserve his five-game suspension?

Michigan vs. Wisconsin fight: Did Wolverines coach Juwan Howard deserve his five-game suspension?

The sports world is buzzing with reaction to the postgame fight involving Michigan and Wisconsin on Sunday. On Monday, the Big Ten announced penalties for the brawl, including a five game suspension and $40,000 fine for Michigan coach Juwan Howard. In addition Wisconsin coach Greg Gard was fined $10,000 for violating the conference’s sportsmanship policy, but was not suspended.

The Big Ten also suspended three players one game for the altercation following the Badgers’ 77-63 win on Sunday with Michigan’s Moussa Diabate and Terrance Williams II, and Jahcobi Neath of Wisconsin sitting out their team’s next game

But is Howard’s punishment too much, not enough or about right for an incident that was highlighted by his open-handed strike on Wisconsin assistant Joe Krabbenhoft? Howard’s defenders would have you believe that he was the true victim — provoked by Greg Gard’s late timeout and by Gard’s attempt to stop Howard in the postgame handshake line. There’s also the uncertainty surrounding what Krabbenhoft may have said to provoke Howard.

But while it’s incumbent upon Michigan and the Big Ten to parse through the clutter and figure out exactly what happened, the raw video is unkind to Howard.

So, based on what we knew Monday morning, our writers weigh in for this edition of the Dribble Handoff:

Gary Parrish: Howard should be suspended, but not terminated 

Let’s define the baseline of punishment at suspension: I would imagine Greg Gard gets no suspension. The players who threw punches on video will face a suspension. And Juwan Howard’s going to face a suspension. I think it stops short of termination, although, there were plenty of people — even like legitimate media people — saying he should be terminated for what he did. I’ll stop short of that. I don’t like throwing around termination for one

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