Third Time Is Hopefully the Charm for Big Ten Football

In this weekend's Hot Clicks: The Big Ten released its third 2020 schedule of the season, fixing the NFL's kicking problem and more.
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Big Ten Is Back

Third time’s the charm for the Big Ten...hopefully. Three days after the Big Ten reversed its postponement and announced an intention to restart the fall season, the conference released an eight-game schedule, their third version of a 2020 schedule, which follows the initial release before COVID-19 rocked college football and the August release of a nine-game conference schedule.

And the Big Ten dropped an amusing hammer on Nebraska, which had eight players file a lawsuit against the conference last month. The Huskers open in Columbus against national-championship contender Ohio State, whom they lost to by 41 points last September, and host Wisconsin a week later (and also drew Penn State from the East). Obviously, the Huskers must be thrilled to retake the field...but that’s quite the start for a program struggling for any sort of on-field relevancy. Here’s the full Big Ten schedule: 

$50,000 Fix

Most NFL teams don’t employ a kicking coach, nor do they employ part-time kicking consultants, or, in most cases, any special teams coaches (or assistant special teams coaches) with significant knowledge of kicking.

Why not? And if they did, would it result in fewer disaster games like Stephen Gostkowski and Austin Siebert had in Week 1?

“You have a special teams coach and an assistant special teams coach,” former kicker Jay Feely said. “And most of the time, none of them have any intimate knowledge about kicking and the mechanics, and how to actually correct a problem.

“Imagine if your quarterbacks coach didn’t know how to correct the mechanics of your quarterback. If he literally had no idea the quarterback was struggling or why he’s throwing balls short every time. And that’s the case for kickers on most NFL teams.”

SI’s Conor Orr has a fix: Hire a kicking consultant for three days per week at an estimated cost of $50,000 per season, or roughly the same amount as six weeks salary for one practice squad player. He argues a consultant is the “alternative to the familiar cut-and-paste routine” of cutting a kicker after one subpar game.

Illegal Herd

Colorado is a lot better at violating public health orders than winning football games.

On Thursday, two days before the Buffaloes were originally scheduled to visit Texas A&M for their third non-conference game of the season (and nine days before they were scheduled to visit Oregon as part of the Pac-12's revised 10-game schedule), their director of football operations Bryan McGinnis was issued a ticket for violating a public health order banning gatherings of 25 or more people. McGinnis led a team hike of...108 people.

In related news: The Pac-12 CEO Group will reconvene on Thursday to vote on a plan to begin their football season on Oct. 31 or Nov. 7.

Odds & Ends

Several athletes honored Ruth Bader Ginsburg after her death … There will be a silly number of freshmen in college football in 2021 … NFL Week 2 picks for every game … Likely first-round pick Rashod Bateman wants back in after opting out of the season … Ranking the NFL’s top seven receivers … Thierry Henry is getting an Entourage-style TV show about his life … New podcast episode breaking down Week 3 college football lines … The Fast Times at Ridgemont High table read was fantastic … Teachers are sick of drunk and half-dressed parents walking past the computer during distanced learning.

Camille Kostek

America’s Team

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