Big Ten lunchtime links: Brewster motivated to beat alma mater

Posted by ESPN.com's Adam Rittenberg

Happy hump day. All I know is we're a little bit closer to Saturday.

The links begin with Ohio State coach Jim Tressel, who felt the hit from Wisconsin that knocked reserve running back Dan "Boom" Herron out of last Saturday's game falls under the officials' new point of emphasis to limit helmet-to-helmet blows.


Paterno, 81, has faced questions about his future for years. But his declining mobility, coupled with the announcement last April that he would not receive a new contract when his current deal expires after the season, has made for an increasingly uncertain time in his 43-year tenure as the coach. Paterno has worked without a contract for most of his career.

  • Illinois coach Ron Zook wants a packed house and plenty of "Zook Zone" towels Saturday against Minnesota, Mark Tupper writes in the Decatur Herald & Review. Here's a juicy nugget about the game:

Players say they've heard Minnesota's second-year coach, Tim Brewster, is particularly motivated because he wanted the Illini head coaching job when Zook was hired. Brewster played tight end at Illinois and helped the Illini to the Big Ten Conference championship in 1983.

  • Purdue coach Joe Tiller doesn't take kindly to boo-birds during home games, calling them "believers of stinking thinking," Tom Kubat writes in The (Lafayette, Ind.) Journal and Courier. Man, I'm going to miss Tiller's lines.

  • Wisconsin's quarterbacks weren't allowed to talk to reporters Tuesday, but offensive coordinator Paul Chryst has some ideas on how to improve the Badgers' struggling passing attack, Tom Mulhern writes in the Wisconsin State Journal.

  • Minnesota's top cornerback Marcus Sherels should play against Illinois, and left tackle Dom Alford also is expected to be on the field, the St. Paul Pioneer Press' Marcus Fuller writes in his blog.