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Golden Nugz - 05.10.10

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What a weekend for Gopher baseball. Coming into the weekend they were one of five teams within a game of first place. The weekend's opponent, Michigan, was one of them. Now they are one of four teams within a 1/2 game of first after taking two of three from Michigan and having won three consecutive series.

MGO Blog has a detailed recap of the weekend carnage.

The Gophers are getting hot at the right time of the season after struggling to score runs in their first 20 games. One home series remains, this weekend vs. Penn State. After that they head to Ohio State for the final series before the Big Ten Tournament. A conference championship is within their reach, should be a great final six games.

  • If anyone was wondering where Royce White would end up, well it just may be Kentucky. Not that anyone should be surprised to see coach Cal taking a chance on a kid with a troubled past. I'd love to see Royce get his act together and enroll at the U. But Myron Medcalf pointed out last week that until he makes some changes to the influences he hangs with, the Gophers really are not that interested. Too bad, he could be a real difference maker.

Around the Big Ten

  • Phil Miller is reporting that the Big Ten is raking in the money.
    And not even three years removed from beaming its first Hail Mary pass into living rooms, the Big Ten Network, once scoffed at as an expensive exercise in hubris, has blossomed into a money-maker surpassing even its own most optimistic forecasts.

    The channel, a partnership of the conference and Fox Sports (which owns 49 percent), now collects subscription fees (via cable and satellite bills) from nearly 45 million households around the country, is available to 30 million more potential customers, and has increased its advertising revenue by more than 30 percent in the past year, Silverman said.

    Best of all for the 11 Big Ten universities: Even after paying its guaranteed rights fees to the conference of more than $60 million last year, the network was so profitable that the Big Ten's share amounted to an additional $66 million, which each school shared in equally. "We hoped it would be profitable eventually. But it turned a profit in, what, its second year?" said Minnesota athletic director Joel Maturi, whose athletic budget reaped an estimated $22 million in TV rights (including ABC, CBS and ESPN contracts) alone. "I don't believe anyone truly expected to be this successful this quickly. It's absolutely remarkable."

    Add to that the possibility of adding the New York (or even just the New Jersey market) and it is no wonder the Big Ten is ready to expand.
  • Ben Brust has committed to Wisconsin.
  • Talor Battle is returning to Penn State.
  • Is Purdue ready for that Final Four run they were denied this past year? JJ Johnson is coming back for his senior season.