Rise and shine, friends. Here's what's going down in the Big Ten today.
— Urban Meyer's hyper-competitive ways extend to his approach to academics, per the Columbus Dispatch. Ohio State linebacker Etienne Sabino was interviewed in the story, and he talked extensively about how grades are important to the player, position group and team as a whole, which is as good an approach to take towards academics as any.
— As fears about brain health mount to the point where sports sociologist Jay Coakley is telling the New York Times that football is at "a turning point," Deadspin says the "holy grail" of chronic brain damage is on the horizon.
Researchers are close to a point where the tau proteins consistent with chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) can be mapped on the brain while the patient is still alive. This would open up massive new avenues for studying and tracking CTE.
Make no mistake: The better this program does and the better it can be applied to individual players, the better shape football will be in as a whole. So remember the phrase "tau imaging" and what it means. There is nothing more critical to the future of the sport of football. Nothing.
— Penn State just landed the services of 4-star OL Dorian Johnson, who committed to the Nittany Lions this weekend, per PennLive.com. There is some variation in the scouts' estimation of Johnson: Rivals.com says he's the 23rd-best tackle, while 247Sports.com says he's the 12th-best player overall. Everyone agrees that he's a good one, though.
— Sam McKewon of the Omaha World-Herald broke down Nebraska's standing in each of the major preseason publications. So congratulations on not having to spend $40 to read things you already know, Nebraska fans.
Bonus: McKewon's description of one publication as "a colorful, skin-deep guide." Subtle snark is always the best.