Dec 26, 2019 2:17 PM

12/26 Big Ten Conference news

Posted Dec 26, 2019 2:17 PM

UNDATED (AP) — Almost a year to the day after breaking his leg, Kenny Willekes is ready for his Michigan State swan song. Willekes was injured in last year's Redbox Bowl but recovered in time for the 2019 season, when the senior defensive end was productive again for the Spartans. He's finishing up his college career in Friday's Pinstripe Bowl against Wake Forest. Willekes was the 2019 winner of the Burlsworth Trophy. That goes to the nation's most outstanding player who began his career as a walk-on. He has nine sacks this season.

UNDATED (AP) — This College Football Playoff shows that sometimes the best person for the job is someone already in the building. The head coaches for No. 1 LSU, No. 2 Ohio State, No. 3 Clemson and No. 4 Oklahoma were all assistants at their current schools before being promoted. Clemson's Dabo Swinney and LSU's Ed Orgeron were named interim coaches after mid-season firings. They were eventually elevated amid much skepticism. Oklahoma's Lincoln Riley was identified shortly after joining the Sooners as a possible successor to Bob Stoops. Ohio State made a similar move with Ryan Day replacing Urban Meyer.