Dienhart: Ranking 2012 Big Ten games Part I
Here’s a fun project: I am ranking each 2012 Big Ten football game, from 96 to 1. Up first today: 80-96. In the next four days, I will send in groups of 20. If you see anything crazy, let me know. Like rankings like this? You need to check out my Rankings archive, where I rank all things Big Ten, including my top 2012 Big Ten units. Also, get all my latest Big Ten football posts right here.
80. Wisconsin at Indiana, Nov. 10: Wisconsin has won the last eight meetings with Indiana. And the Badgers have scored at least 31 points in each victory, eclipsing 50 points four times including that memorable 83-point effort in 2010.
81. Purdue at Ohio State, Oct. 20: Purdue has beaten Ohio State the last two times in West Lafayette. But the Boilermakers haven’t won at Ohio State since 1988, John Cooper’s first season in Columbus. That’s eight losses in a row in the Horseshoe. And Purdue has scored more than 20 points just once in those eight defeats. Ohio State won, 49-0, the last time the teams met in Columbus.
82. New Hampshire at Minnesota, Sept. 8: New Hampshire went 8-4 last season playing in the FCS Colonial Athletic Association. The Gophers must win this game after struggling in the non-conference last season.
83. Marshall at Purdue, Sept. 27: Danger! Marshall, which went 7-6 and is coming off a bowl, will provide a nice test from Conference USA. Purdue jumps from playing the Thundering Herd to a rugged start to the Big Ten menu: Michigan; Wisconsin; at Ohio State.
84. Indiana at Northwestern, Sept. 29. The Wildcats scored 59 points on the Hoosiers last season and have won seven of the last eight meetings.
85. South Dakota at Northwestern, Sept. 22: South Dakota is a FCS team from the Great West Conference that went 6-5 last season. Can you say “tune up”?
86. Indiana at Penn State, Nov. 17. This has been as lopsided as the Roadrunner vs. the Coyote. The Nittany Lions have played the Hoosiers 14 times (all since joining the Big Ten)—and have won each game.
87. UMass at Michigan, Sept. 15: UMass, which was 5-6 last year, gave the Wolverines a scare before losing 42-37 in 2010.
88. Michigan State at Indiana, Oct. 6: The Spartans are 11-2 in the last 13 meetings, including a 55-3 triumph last season.
89. Eastern Michigan at Michigan State, Sept. 22: These schools call the same state home, but that’s about the only thing they have in common. After the game vs. Eastern Michigan, coming off a 6-6 season, Michigan State opens Big Ten action with a visit from Ohio State.
90. Ball State vs. Indiana, Sept. 15: The Cardinals beat Indiana, 27-20, last year in Lucas Oil Stadium. The Hoosiers need this one—badly.
91. UAB at Ohio State, Sept. 22: UAB is from Conference USA. The Blazers went 3-9 last season and have a new coach in Garrick McGee, the former Arkansas offensive coordinator.
92. Ohio State at Indiana, Oct. 13: Indiana beat Ohio State in 1987 and 1988—and the Hoosiers haven’t topped the Buckeyes since, a string of 19 games in succession (18-0-1).
93. UTEP at Wisconsin, Sept. 22: UTEP, 5-7 in 2011 under Mike Price, may be overmatched when it visits. After the visit by the Miners, the Badgers open Big Ten action at Nebraska. Will Wisconsin stay focused?
94. Indiana vs. UMass (at Foxborough), Sept. 8: The Minutemen are transition to FBS as a member of the MAC under new coach Charley Molnar.
95. Charleston Southern at Illinois, Sept. 15: Time to clear the bench. Charleston Southern is a FCS school—and an odd choice for an opponent. It went 0-11 last season playing in the Big South.
96. Idaho State at Nebraska, Sept. 22: This could get ugly. Idaho State figures to be little more than a speed bump, a FCS team from the Big Sky that went 2-9 last year.
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