You have questions, and I have answers in this week’s mailbag. A good variety of queries populated my in-box this week, with fans wondering about Wisconsin quarterback Danny O’Brien and the stagnant Michigan offense, among other topics. Let’s get started!
When it comes to biggest surprises of the 2012 season, the emergence of Philip Nelson as quarterback at Minnesota ranks right up there. Only one quarterback in the history of Golden Gopher football that has won the job as a true freshman and kept it for four seasons. That was Rickey Foggie. See what Foggie has to say about Nelson and check out other Big Ten news in my daily links.
The exhibition season already has tipped off for Big Ten men’s hoops teams. Before the games start to count, though, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina wanted to offer his Big Ten players in the spotlight. Whether the players have big shoes to fill, they’re considered the missing piece or they’re coming off down years, Yarina offers one guy for every Big Ten team. See the list in this post.
The Heisman race doesn’t appear to be coming into focus.
The Big Ten slate isn’t loaded with many great games this Saturday, but questions still loom for each team. Chief among them are if Indiana can keep its momentum rolling? Is Denard still Denard? Will the Nebraska defense continue its solid run? Check out those and the other nine pressing questions for Big Ten teams this week.
Wisconsin is off this week. And that’s undoubtedly a good thing when you consider it needs to replace quarterback Joel Stave, who is out for eight weeks with a broken left collar bone suffered in the loss to Michigan State on Saturday. Read about what the Badgers are thinking and other hot topics in my daily links.
Amid unrest about the direction of the football program, which sits at 0-4 in the Big Ten, Purdue A.D. Morgan Burke issued a statement Monday.
There is a dearth of marquee matchups, but it is Little Brown Jug week. That may not mean much to you, but it does to Minnesota and Michigan. It’s an iconic college football trophy that the schools first played for in 1903. But it has been a lopsided rivalry, with the Golden Gophers winning just twice (1986 and 2005) in the last 30 seasons.
The bowl picture got a bit jumbled after a topsy-turvy weekend. The big winner was Nebraska, which moved into the Rose Bowl slot with its triumph over Michigan. The Legends Division is the Cornhuskers if they win out, which could set up a likely clash with Wisconsin in the Big Ten title game. The Huskers beat the Badgers, 30-27, earlier this season.
It’s Monday in late October, and I find myself typing about Indiana’s possibilities to win the Leaders Division and go to the Big Ten title game. Really. It’s all true and very possible for Kevin Wilson in his second season in Bloomington. Is this a great country or what?! Read all about that and other pertinent items in my daily links.
With another Saturday in the rear-view mirror, it’s time to take the temperature of the Big Ten. It was a tough week for the Leaders Division, with four of its six teams losing. And a new leader emerged in the Legends, as Nebraska continues to move up. Where do all the teams land in my latest Power Rankings? Find out in this post.
Before we turn our attention to Week 10, we need to review how BTN.com fans, Tom Dienhart and yours truly did with our Week 9 predictions. It was a rough week for all involved, as BTN.com fans led the way with a 3-3 record. As a result, BTN.com fans tied Dienhart for the top spot in the season standings, at 54-20. I sit three games behind the pace.
Lots of interesting things took place on Saturday, as the Legends Division race got a lot more interesting with Michigan’s loss at Nebraska. It got me thinking that Cornhusker quarterback Taylor Martinez may not be getting all of the credit that he deserves. I discuss that and more in my top 10.
The Big Ten race continues to take shape, as nine weeks are in the books. A big story this week: Injuries at quarterback. Last week, Ohio State’s Braxton Miller left the game with a neck injury but returned to play well this Saturday. But now, Wisconsin lost Joel Stave for the season with a collarbone injury and Michigan saw Denard Robinson go down with a right elbow issue that he is supposed to rebound from next Saturday. Scary stuff. Here is what I learned this week.
LINCOLN, Neb. — This is what Bo Pelini had been waiting for: A big win. And that’s exactly what Saturday night’s 23-9 victory over Michigan was. Oh, Pelini has won some important games since taking over as Nebraska coach in 2008. One of my favorites was at the 2009 victory in the rain at Missouri.
Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the action and offers his Snap Reactions. Dienhart was very impressed by Ohio State, and on both sides of the ball, in its 35-23 victory over Penn State. Check out his impressions in this post.
Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the action and offers his Snap Reactions. See Dienhart’s immediate thoughts from Michigan State’s impressive rally and overtime victory at Wisconsin and Minnesota’s emphatic win over Purdue in this post.
Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart watches all the action and offers his Snap Reactions. See Dienhart’s immediate thoughts from Northwestern and Indiana’s wins over Iowa and Illinois, respectively, in this post.
Evan Habeeb-US PRESSWIRE
The story of the 2012 Penn State team just keeps getting more interesting … and improbable. Back in August, no one was authoring this script. No one saw the Nittany Lions becoming a Big Ten star with a 5-2 overall record and 3-0 Big Ten mark with Ohio State rolling into State College, Pa., on the last Saturday of October.
In my preview of this Saturday’s six games, I believe most teams will play with a real sense of urgency. Nebraska and Michigan are two good examples, but Ohio State and Penn State each have something to prove, too. Michigan State and Wisconsin have a history, Iowa leads Northwestern in the standings, and Purdue, Minnesota, Indiana and Illinois each seek their first conference win.
The anticipation for the Big Ten basketball season is tangible for a league that looks like it may be the best in America. Five schools appear in most every significant preseason poll. Indiana leads the way, ranking No. 1 in the USA Today poll, Sporting News poll and Athlon poll, among others. Ohio State and Michigan show up in several top fives, while Michigan State and Wisconsin also are ranked in most polls.
Three Big Ten quarterbacks led game-winning drives in the waning moments last Saturday. Two of the names – Taylor Martinez and Denard Robinson – were no big surprise, but the other, and perhaps most impressive, one – Kenny Guiton – sure was.