New student-run website provides in-depth Big Ten coverage

Medill freshmen Corey McMahon and Kevin Trahan launched Big Ten or Bust, a new website covering Big Ten football and basketball, a little more than a month ago with the hope of becoming a respected source on the conference. The site has 12 writers - one for every Big Ten team - and eight are current Medill students. McMahon and Trahan took a few minutes to talk about why they started the site and what they hope to accomplish with it.

How did you come up with the idea for Big Ten or Bust?
McMahon: I came up with the idea for the site some time last quarter and then started kicking it around with friends. We’re all really into sports. The idea was that the site would cover the Big Ten as a whole, but also provide coverage of each team individually as if it were a team-specific site. 

Trahan: In our group of friends, we’re all big sports fans, and most of all, we’re all Big Ten fans. We decided that it would be nice to have a place to voice our opinions on Big Ten sports.

How many of you are working on the site?
Trahan: We now have 12 writers – 10 from Northwestern and two from Iowa. Eight are in Medill. Each beat writer provides a preview and recap for every football and basketball game, reaction to news surrounding the team, and columns about the team.

What is your vision for the site?
Trahan: It’s mainly to become a respected source for Big Ten news and to create a following. We want to interact with our readers and interact with the people and programs we’re writing about as well. 

McMahon: With our recent launch, right now is all about building up a bunch of quality content and going for growth. We’re utilizing every outlet we know of to get more exposure. We also know March Madness is right around the corner, and we’re formulating ideas for that.

What makes your site different from others that cover college sports?
Trahan: Most blogs and websites either cover one team in-depth or cover the big stories throughout the conference. Because we have individual beat writers, we are able to cover every team in-depth, all in one place. That combination of in-depth, team-oriented coverage makes Big Ten or Bust unique.

McMahon: We also want to have interactive content like people are used to seeing on, say, The New York Times website. The tools available today for the average consumer to make great, professional-looking content like that is amazing, but I still only really see it coming from bigger newspapers and websites. Our hope is that [interactive content] will make our website unique and worth visiting.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about Big Ten or Bust?
Trahan: Our model gives us the unique capability to reach a wider audience than nearly every team-based blog and also gives us the ability to go more in-depth than other conference-wide blogs. We hope to use that to our advantage and to provide the best content possible for our readers, making Big Ten or Bust an all-in-one stop for all things Big Ten.

McMahon: I want the site to be held to really high expectations, and I want to meet those expectations.

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