Off-Season Reads - July 24th, 2012

A run-down of sporting stories from yesterday covering Nebraska athletics, the Big Ten and around the world.

A Missouri high school offensive linemen doesn't commit to Arkansas, Minnesota's Tubby Smith gets an extension and the Tostitos' Fiesta Bowl gets a chicken wing appetizer. Those stories and more below.

39 days to kickoff!

Football

Recruiting: KC OL down to Huskers, Hogs | sports.omaha.com

Circumstances would suggest he'd pick Nebraska, but hey, it's his future and Arkansas might have some qualities that would fit a Missourian better.

Nebrasketball

Pinnacle Bank Arena/West Haymarket area fly-through video - YouTube

Very cool. I love that the entrance to Lincoln on I-180 will be banked by Haymarket, the Arena and Memorial Stadium. The zombies attacking the Arena, however, was not expected.

Big Ten

Minnesota, Smith agree on contract extension - Yahoo! Sports

Will Tubby Smith get a NCAA tournament victory before Miles?

Michigan Debuts New Uniforms For Cowboys Classic Clash With Alabama - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

The NCAA thought about penalizing Michigan for having distracting text on their gloves. But then they realized Michigan would be playing Alabama.

And speaking of Michigan, they had a frustrating weekend.

Michigan's Fitzgerald Toussaint Arrested On DUI Charges - SBNation.com

Michigan Football's Frank Clark Suspended For Home Invasion Charge - SB Nation Detroit

Editorials, stories and more after the jump!

NCAA/Penn State Follow Up

Delany says Big Ten has suffered 'great damage'

Delany said there has been no discussions about realigning the divisions, nor does the conference plan to expand.

Who would move? Would the West trade Northwestern for Purdue or Indiana?

Barfknecht: Scandal-ridden Big Ten braces for media spotlight - Omaha.com

Nebraska, though many have forgotten, is on self-imposed probation through February 2014 for a scholarship textbook misunderstanding that also led to a $38,000 fine. Yes, it's a small-time offense, but it still counts as a violation.

I think Lee is trying too hard here to bring up Nebraska's self-imposed probation for textbooks as a black-eye for the conference. (Surprise.)

No one is associating Nebraska's probation with Ohio State's, UNC's or USC's. Actually, I think the collective opinion of UNL's probation is "seriously, you can get probation for that?". Nebraska isn't 1990s Nebraska, but we're not covered in garbage. Our program is clean, graduating players and building a solid nucleus.

Frankly, the Big Ten should be proud of that. But instead the media will focus on Urban Meyer (and his questionable ethics) and Penn State. I really hope coaches take the time to support Penn State in its reforms and not answer any questions concerning transfers. But I know that's a pipe dream.

Penn State penalties: NCAA sanctions of scholarships bad move - NCAA Football - Sporting News

Was this about restablishing the "student" in student-athlete, though? I may be wrong but I got the impression that this was about firing a warning shot. The mistakes at Penn State should force a reassessment of the balance of power between the athletic departments, the football/basketball programs and their host universities/colleges. No program should be larger than their school in influence. Visibility, sure. It's a lot easier to get excited about Cornhusker football than our plant genetics department. But the university and its mission should come first, always.

Big Ten, as a conference, has lost its balance - latimes.com

Consider this: Indiana, 0-8 in Big Ten play last year, is only three NCAA rulings from being crowned Leaders champion.

That's rather sad.

And worse than Wisconsin being able to go 6-6 and make it to the Big Ten game is that with a neutered East, the chances of the Big Ten putting up a school into the National Championship is next to nothing. Unless Michigan goes undefeated, I don't see any Big Ten schools getting tapped for the MNC game.

Penn State Transfers

Georgia Will 'Explore' Penn State Transfers, Says Mark Richt - SBNation.com

Sigh. It starts in earnest.

Source: USC pursuing PSU's Silas Redd - Big Ten Blog - ESPN

Take it with a grain of salt since its from Schad, but more importantly, this would suggest that Ohio State will also be allowed to sniff around despite their own scholarship restrictions. (UNC as well.)

And we can't ignore how much this would hurt Penn State's offense. Matt McGloin is going to need all the help he can get. Losing Redd won't help things.

Olympics

Previewing The Venues Of The 2012 Summer Olympics - SBNation.com

From the Mothership, an overview of the venues for the London Olympics. Going to go ahead and say it - the Chinese certainly have them beat on architectural innovation. Frankly, I feel bad for London following the Beijing Olympics. The comparisons will be brutal.

Other Stories

EA Sports agrees to $27 million settlement in football game monopoly lawsuit | The Verge

EA Sports cannot renew their exclusivity agreement with the NCAA/CLC when it expires in 2014, meaning that if another developer wanted to make a college football game with NCAA licensing, they could. Might not happen though, since EA Sports has such a commanding hold on the market. It's expensive to develop and publish a sports' game.

Insight Bowl Now Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

How appropriate is it for the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl to be the appetizer to the BCS-level Tostitos' Fiesta Bowl? Nothing says "BLAZIN'" wing sauce like Big Ten football.

Brett McMurphy Leaves CBS Sports For ESPN | The Big Lead

Joe Schad will report this tomorrow.

Florida State picked to win ACC, Sammy Watkins named Preseason POY - CBSSports.com

And now they're doomed to go 7-5. Virginia Tech is my pick if only because they always win the ACC.

Chad Ochocinco Is Going Back To Chad Johnson - From Our Editors - SBNation.com

Hey Chad, you can change your name on Facebook for a lot less. And since it's on Facebook, it's basically official.

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And just in case the fans are getting on your case for missing a read or you need more practice, take some time to review yesterday's calls as well.

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That's all for today. Join me every morning Monday to Friday for a round-up of the day's stories. Comments, rants and cat pictures are welcome below! (Not a member of CornNation? Join today and take part in the conversation!)

-Salt Creek and Stadium

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