Burger of Champions? Culver's could be perfect winning meal

903943.png

Burger of Champions? Culver's could be perfect winning meal

Nothing goes better in college football with an upset win than a good ol' fashioned cheeseburger, or at least that's how Oregon State feels.
The No. 14 Beavers, one of college football's biggest surprises this season, have celebrated each of their past two road wins (at UCLA and at Arizona) with stops at In-N-Out Burger, a burger restaurant chain based out of Irvine, Calif.
And as the Wall Street Journal points out, the stops were easy to make for OSU. UCLA's home stadium, The Rose Bowl, was just 4.7 miles from the nearest In-N-Out Burger. And Arizona Stadium was just three miles away, making travel easy.
But what if the Big Ten wanted to celebrate with burgers? When thinking Midwest burger chains, Culver's comes to mind. Of the 424 franchise locations, 346 (81.6 percent) are located in Big Ten country, including 124 in Wisconsin alone. Illinois (82), Minnesota (52), Iowa (27), Michigan (27), Indiana (25) and Nebraska (9) are also well-represented.
Despite the locations in Wisconsin, the Illinois Fighting Illini have a Culver's location just 1.3 miles from Memorial Stadium in Champaign, the closest in the Big Ten. Iowa (1.9 miles), Michigan State (3.4) and Wisconsin (3.5) are next closest, while team buses won't have to travel far after road games in Minnesota (4.6 miles), Nebraska (4.8), Purdue (4.9), Michigan (5.8) and Northwestern (7.3). Ohio Stadium in Columbus isn't bad, either, with a ButterBurger just 10.7 miles away.
With 25 locations in Indiana, opponents may be upset to learn that the closest Culver's is more than 35 miles away in Columbus, Ind.
Opponents of Penn State will likely want to wait until they fly back home to pick up their frozen custard. There are Culver's in 17 different states, but the Eastern-most location is in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, 312 miles from Happy Valley.
The Big Ten champion can also celebrate with Culver's, as a location sits just nine miles away from Lucas Oil Stadium.
The Rose Bowl participant would have to travel 332 miles to Arizona to find the Western-most Culver's location.
Should any Big Ten team find themselves fortunate enough to play in this year's BCS National Championship game in Miami Gardens, Fla., it's a 716-mile hike to the nearest Culver's, located in Greenville, S.C.

Marist 2018 DT Elijah Teague pledges to Minnesota

2-25_elijah_teague.jpg

Marist 2018 DT Elijah Teague pledges to Minnesota

Chicago Marist three star ranked defensive tackle Elijah Teague (6-foot-3, 292 pounds) made his first visit to the University of Minnesota this weekend and earlier this evening gave head coach PJ Fleck and the Gophers his early verbal commitment.

"I'm excited, or as Coach Fleck would say, I'm elite," he told Rivals.com's The Gopher Report. "(The coaches) were excited themselves. They really wanted me, so they were excited -- more excited than me I believe."

Teague has seen his recruiting stock soar over the past few months. Teague, who is the first known State of Illinois verbal pledge to Fleck and the Gophers in the Class of 2018 and the fourth Minnesota pledge overall chose Minnesota over 30 plus verbal offers from Power 5 schools from across the country.

"Everything made it the right place," he said. "Just looking at (Fleck's) background and what he did at Western Michigan, I think he can do the same thing (at Minnesota). I'm excited to be a part of it."

Blown out by Iowa, Maryland stumbles to third straight loss

mark-turgeon-0225.jpg
USA TODAY

Blown out by Iowa, Maryland stumbles to third straight loss

It's been a tough week for the teams at the top of the Big Ten standings.

Maryland and Wisconsin both lost earlier this week, and Purdue lost on Saturday afternoon. Saturday night, the horrors continued for the Terps, who suffered their third straight defeat in a blowout 83-69 loss to the visiting Iowa Hawkeyes in College Park.

Maryland's last lead came near the midway point of the first half before Iowa sprinted away on a 22-10 run to build a double-digit lead, an advantage that grew as big as 22 in the final minutes. All in all, the Hawkeyes knocked down 16 3-pointers. The Terps weren't too far behind with 11 deep balls of their own, but they shot just 40.7 percent in the second half, unable to keep up.

The high-scoring Hawkeyes were powered by freshman Jordan Bohannon, who scored 24 points on a whopping eight made 3-pointers. Fellow freshman Tyler Cook joined him with a 20-point night, finishing with 21 points, while Peter Jok and Nicholas Baer each ended with 11.

Iowa, not completely out of the NCAA tournament realm of possibility, helped its shaky case greatly with this victory.

Maryland, meanwhile, is a lock to make the field of 68 teams, but much like the other presumed conference powers, its struggles are hitting at the most inopportune time.

The Terps have lost five of their last seven and three of their last four at home. Back-to-back home losses this week against Minnesota and Iowa have featured big days for opposing offenses. Prior to the Hawkeyes' performance Saturday, the Golden Gophers dropped 89 points on 50-percent shooting.

The woes of Maryland — plus those of Purdue and Wisconsin — set up not just an interesting final week of the regular season but an interesting Big Ten Tournament that could feature a dark horse like Minnesota entering as the favorite. A surging team like Michigan might be more capable of making a deep run than the top three seeds given their recent struggles.

The Terps will have as good a chance as any to make noise in that tournament and the one that follows throughout the month of March. Winnable games against Rutgers and Michigan State remain, but they're on a bad stretch right now, one that should only elevate the panic after Saturday's defeat.